Preview: West Indies look to avoid defeat as India eye a whitewash

India lead the two-match Test series against West Indies 1-0 having won the first Test by an innings and 272 runs. With the final Test beginning on Friday, the Men in Blue are favourites to win in Hyderabad, while the Caribbean Kings will hope to put up a fight.

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India will be confident after the first Test saw debutant Prithvi Shaw’s magnificent century and Cheteshwar Pujara’s gritty 86 propel India to a dominant total of 364 for 4 at the end of the opening day. Day 2 witnessed Indian skipper Virat Kohli score his 24th century and his 17th as Test captain, while also amassing 1000 Test runs for the third consecutive year. Kohli received support from young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, who came in at number seven to score his maiden Test century.

In terms of bowling, the Indian spinners ripped through West Indies’ batting. Ravichandran Ashwin was their main tormentor in the first innings, recording figures of 4-37 and Kuldeep Yadav’s maiden five-wicket haul in the second innings was enough to give India their biggest Test victory.

West Indies, meanwhile, have a lot of work to do as they face another whitewash. Given the squad depth they possess, the Caribbean Kings have shown previously that they can bounce back. But without their captain Jason Holder, West Indies were half the team they usually are. Stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite came into the series with 1049 Test runs since April 2017 but ended up managing just 12 runs in the first Test.

Kieran Powell’s breezy 83 in the second innings was the only highlight from West Indies’ batting department. He needs to replicate what he did at Rajkot in the second test if the tourists are harbouring hopes of any kind of fightback. As far as their bowlers are concerned, Devendra Bishoo managed to take four scalps albeit with an expensive economy rate. Pacers Shermon Lewis, Keemo Paul and Shannon Gabriel disappointed as the trio combined to pick up three wickets.

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LAST ENCOUNTER

India’s batting department hit 64 boundaries and 11 sixes en route to a dominant total of 649 for 9 in the first innings. The West Indian bowlers though were reeling and put on a below-par display to hand India the initiative in the game. With an enormous target in sight, the Windies could only manage totals below 200 in both innings as the Indian spinners caused all sorts of problems.

India

Opponent

Result

Margin

West Indies

Won

Innings & 272 runs

England

Lost

118 runs

England

Lost

60 runs

England

Won

203 runs

England

Lost

Innings & 159 runs

 West Indies

Opponent

Result

Margin

India

Lost

Innings & 272 runs

Bangladesh

Won

166 runs

Bangladesh

Won

Innings & 219 runs

Sri Lanka

Lost

4 wickets

Sri Lanka

Draw

-

PROBABLE 11

India will most likely stick with the same 11 that played in the first Test at Rajkot. KL Rahul, who had a disappointing outing last time around should keep his place ahead of Mayank Agarwal, who was tipped for a debut before the series. Meanwhile, West Indies will hope to welcome back captain Jason Holder and pacer Kemar Roach from injury. Jomel Warrican is another player who could be handed a chance for the West Indies in the second Test.

Words: William Paul

Images: PA

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