India vs Windies: 2nd Test, Preview- Can the Windies put up some fight against the odds?

The Windies need to churn out something spectacular in order to not slump to their seventh straight Test series defeat against India.   

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India won the opening Test against Windies in Rajkot by an innings and 272 runs, which also happened to be their most comprehensive win in Test cricket (by an innings). Both teams have had contrasting journeys in the longest format for the last few years and India’s domination over the Caribbean team didn’t spring a surprise by any stretch of the imagination.

The second Test commences from tomorrow at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad and quite expectantly, the home team is expected to brush aside their opponents without much trouble. Virat Kohli’s men looked comprehensive throughout the previous encounter and at no stage did the visiting team look like getting a foothold into the encounter.

In the meantime, it will be India’s last match in whites before they take on Australia later this year. Hence, the contest is important for them to get their combinations right. On the contrary, the Windies have lost all their six Test series against India since the 2002-03 series and need to churn out something spectacular in order to not slump to their seventh series defeat.

Team Combination

India

India are unlikely to make changes in their playing eleven from the last match. KL Rahul will get another chance to get his form back. The Karnataka-batsman will open the batting with 18-year-old sensation Prithvi Shaw. Cheteshwar Pujara lends solidity to the middle-order and is slotted to come at number three. The captain Virat Kohli will come in at number four.

Ajinkya Rahane has strained to score in Test cricket over the last few months and he would be desperate to find some form before the Australia tour. Rishabh Pant is the designated wicketkeeper. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are the all-rounders. Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav will partner Ashwin and Jadeja in the spin department. Shami and Umesh are the pacers.

Predicted XI

KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav

Windies

The visitors will make one change and bring in Jason Holder, who didn’t play the last match due to a shoulder injury, in place of seamer Sherman Lewis, one of the two debutants in the previous match. In that scenario, Kraigg Brathwaite will pass the baton of leadership to Holder. Brathwaite and left-handed batsman Kieran Powell will open the batting.

Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Sunil Ambris have the responsibility to shoulder the middle-order, which looked out of sorts in the Rajkot Test. Shane Dowrich is the wicketkeeper. Holder’s inclusion is also expected to strengthen the batting order. He will partner Shannon Gabriel and Keemo Paul in the bowling department. Devendra Bishoo is the lone spinner.

Predicted XI

Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (C), Keemo Paul, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel

Focus will be on

KL Rahul- India

Rahul, after his century against England in the final Test at Kennington Oval, couldn’t replicate his form in Rajkot and fell for a duck to Shannon Gabriel. Ahead of the Australia series, the 26-year-old Rahul can’t afford another indifferent show by any stretch of the imagination, especially with a number of young and vibrant batsmen waiting in the wings.

Kraigg Brathwaite- Windies

Among the current Windies batsmen, Kraigg Brathwaite is presently one of the most prolific run scorers. In a not so experienced lineup, his role holds prime importance. However, the batsmen got out cheaply on both the instances in the last match after which his team couldn’t put up any sort of fight as the Indians kept drilling one nail after the other in their coffin.

Head to Head

Overall – 95| India won – 19 | Windies won – 30 | Draw – 46

Stat Attack

24– Number of wickets Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed in three Test matches at Hyderabad, with three 5-wicket hauls. The off-spinner averages 15 at this venue and has a strike-rate of 36.4.

105– Runs Cheteshwar Pujara needs to become the 12th Indian to score 5000 Test runs. Pujara also needs 113 more runs to complete 14,000 runs in first-class cricket.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

Online – Hotstar

Match Timings: 09:30 IST, 04:00 GMT

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