India vs West Indies 2013

Sachin Tendulkar s final Test assignment has taken precedence over all the other developments © IANS

Nov 5, 2013
 
Only four days after winning the One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia, India face the West Indies in the first Test at Kolkata. However, the on-field action doesn’t seem to be main focus as Sachin Tendulkar’s final Test assignment has taken precedence over all the other developments. Nevertheless, both sides would be eager to do well and put in performances to clinch victories.
 
India have a few changes to their squad from the one that beat Australia 4-0 earlier this year. Ravindra Jadeja is out with a shoulder strain and Rohit Sharma is in the side. Also, Shami Ahmed has come into the side and has a chance to make his Test debut. Shikhar Dhawan will open the batting with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara will bat at No 3. Tendulkar will be at his accustomed spot at No 4.
 
Virat Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would form the middle-order. Then, there is a toss-up between Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane as Jadeja’s spot is up for grabs. Rahane played the last Test against Australia at Delhi, but didn’t make much of an impression. On the other hand, Rohit has been in splendid form of late and he has a chance to make his Test debut.
 
Now that Jadeja is not in the side, India don’t have the luxury of playing three seamers. Pragyan Ojha
may partner Ravichandran Ashwin as the second spinner. Umesh Yadav is set to return to the Test line-up after a year. It would be interesting to see if India go for Ishant Sharma, who had a torrid time in the recent ODI series against Australia. In contrast, Shami was impressive and may come in.
 
West Indies had a good warm-up game against Uttar Pradesh and have a side packed with impact players. Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell got runs and will open the batting. Darren Bravo is a fixture at No 3, followed by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at No 4. Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin will complete the rest of the order. 
 
Darren Sammy, the captain may have to bat as low as No 8 as he will also contribute with the ball. Shane Shillingford and Kemar Roach may not be available for the game and as a result Veerasammy Permaul and Sheldon Cottrell may play. Tino Best may have to lead the attack in the absence of Roach.
 
Keeping aside all the Tendulkar-centric drama off-field, there is some serious cricket in store. West Indies may feel as if this isn’t their party, but they have vowed to spoil it for India.
 
Teams: 
 
India (probable):  Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Shami Ahmed. 
 
West Indies (probable): Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy (c ), Veerasammy Permaul, Tino Best, Sheldon Cottrell. 
 
Time: 09:00 IST | 03:00 GMT

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)