INDIA VS WEST INDIAS(IND VS WI) 2019 :A perfect combination and a winning start will be foremost on skipper Virat Kohli’s mind when India takes on the West Indies in its inaugural World Test Championship opener here on Thursday.
On paper, a batting lineup that has Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, K.L. Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the ranks should be termed clear favourite, but this West Indies team, led by Jason Holder, is no pushover.
England found that out the hard way at the start of the year when it lost a Test series 21 on some of the most lively pitches.
New ball challenge Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, who recently got a fresh contract, will be wary of the challenge that can be posed by the new ball pair of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel along with Jason Holder bowling his steady seamup spells.
If there is pace and bounce, Kohli is likely to go with four specialist bowlers in which R. Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav will be fighting for the lone spinner’s slot.
The three pacers, in all likelihood, will be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
On the batting front, Kohli wants the opening combination of Mayank Agarwal and K.L. Rahul to make the most of their chances in the series.
“We have selected only two openers, so the idea is to give them four innings, just let them go out there and ex-
press themselves. Mayank has done really well, KL [Rahul] has performed well in the past, he is looking forward to making things count in Test cricket again,” Kohli said on the eve of the match.
“At the end of the day, as much as individuals want to perform, it is about what you can do as a team. If you look at the Melbourne Test, how [Hanuma] Vihari and Mayank opened and though Vihari scored just 18 or 20 runs, he batted for 85 balls, tells you it is all about team, and he handled the situation so well that Pujara and myself could go out there and play the way we did and Pujara then went to get that century for us.”
The teams IND VS WI (from):
India: Virat Kohli (Capt.),Mayank Aagrwal, K.L. Rahul,Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldep Yadav, R. Ashwin, R. Jadeja,Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Wriddhiman Saha (wk).
West Indies: Jason Holderz(Capt.), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase,
Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul and Kemar Roach.
Match starts at 7 p.m. IST