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WI v IND, 3rd Test Preview: India look to make amends following Kingston heartbreak

India News
Players from India congratulate one another at the end of their match. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The third Test between the West Indies and India will be played at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St. Lucia. While this will certainly be viewed by one and all as a historic moment in Test cricket and by Darren Sammy, it would be perhaps the time when many a records are broken. With wholesale team changes expected from both sides, it is clear that a mouthwatering encounter will be on the cards.

Pitch Conditions

The wicket at St. Lucia has always been a slow one. Spin has always been the king with the spinners able to extract turn on the track as early as Day one. However, as has been the trend in the recent past, the wicket becomes easier for batsmen to express themselves once the wicket has been weathered for a few hours. Moreover, the Indians will certainly be delighted that there will be no hint of rain or thundershowers, thereby expecting them to go the full monty in terms of a surge to victory.

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Team Analysis

West Indies

The previous Test match saw the West Indies twelfth man come to their rescue as rain washed out most of the play on the third and the fourth days of the encounter. However, the Windies had an unlikely hero in Roston Chase, who slammed a wonderful century and stitched an important partnership with Shane Dowrich as the hosts managed to escape with a draw.

While Chase will be expected to put up a similar effort in the upcoming match at St. Lucia, it will be clear that the 24-year old will be expected to score at least a 100 runs and pick 5 wickets. However, Jason Holder will be hoping that the senior members of the side step up to the plate and make amends for some terrible performances thus far in the series.

India

In spite of the heartbreak at Kingston, Virat Kohli, and his men have given out a sign that the morale in the Indian camp is as high as it has ever been. The Indians missed out on a victory in the previous Test due to rain, but, the fact that there is little or no rain predicted in St. Lucia will certainly fortify Kohli’s spirits as he aims to go in for the win.

The team selection for the Indian team will be something under massive scrutiny as Anil Kumble and Virat will look to put their heads together to make an attempt to get the best possible XI on the St. Lucia pitch. While KL Rahul certainly made a case for himself with a ton in Kingston, it will remain to be seen which batsman is left out of the side. Shardul Thakur may be handed a Test debut with Umesh Yadav unable to pick wickets at the moment.

Probable XI:

West Indies:

Jason Holder (C), Shane Dowrich (WK), Leon Johnson, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jermaine Blackwood, Marlon Samuels, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins/Alzarri Joseph, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel

India:

Virat Kohli (C), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), KL Rahul/Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav/Shardul Thakur

StAttack

1. Ajinkya Rahane requires 251 runs to complete 2000 Test match runs.

2. Ravichandran Ashwin requires 11 wickets to complete 200 Test wickets. Should he complete this in this match or the next, he will become the fastest ever to the landmark. Clarrie Grimmett was the previous bowler to do so and took 36 matches to achieve the feat. Ravi Ashwin has played 34 matches thus far and has 189 wickets to his name.

3. Darren Bravo requires 250 runs to complete 1000 runs against India. If he does complete 1000 runs against India, he will become only the 21st player to achieve the feat.

4. Similarly, Ravi Ashwin requires 3 more wickets to complete 50 wickets against the West Indies. Harbhajan Singh is the only other active player at the moment with more than 50 wickets against the Windies with 56.

5. Kraigg Brathwaite requires 214 runs to complete 2000 runs in Test cricket. He will become the 36th West Indian batsman to do so.

6. Of the only four Test matches played at the Darren Sammy Stadium, only one has churned out a result with the West Indies claiming a win against Bangladesh in 2014. The last time the Indians played here was in 2006, yielding a draw.

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