Monday, June 20, 2011

WI vs India, 1st Test: Preview

Posted by Admin On 10:49 AM

Inundated with wound worries, world number one India take on the West Indies in the first Test of a three-match series, preliminary on Monday. Opener Murali Vijay and Munaf Patel are gravely in doubt for the Test and if either of the two misses out, it would be a enormous blow for a side which is already lacking senior batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir and pace lead Zaheer Khan.

Vijay was hit glaringly on his right forefinger in his very first net conference in the Caribbean and went for an X-ray on Saturday. Munaf has been inactive for the better part of this week, having injured his right elbow during the preceding one-day series which India won 3-2.

Vijay is our first choice as an opener but if he is unfit, then Parthiv Patel will open the innings,declared Dhoni while hoping Munaf will turn up fit on the morning of the Test. With substitute pacer Abhimanyu Mithun yet to arrive in the Caribbean due to visa issues, the guests are seriously damaged in the bowling section.

It now seem certain that Praveen Kumar will make his Test debut and give company to tall and gangling Ishant Sharma. Ishant has lately been a regular in India's Test eleven but he is far from being the spearhead.

India would have two spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra as its other vanguard bowlers which are ironical given the crying need for more paces on a hard and bouncy Sabina Park pitch. West Indies, on the other hand, could end up field four fast bowlers to make the most of the existing conditions and carry the late impetus of the ODI series forward.

West Indies could play Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul alongwith skipper Darren Sammy as its pace-bowling battery. Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo will be the lone sluggish bowler to offer relief to faster men.

The hosts thus have a tailor-made chance to catch the visitors napping as their fast bowlers can work their way past the untested openers and the batters can take advantage of a damaged Indian speed attack.

India's main power in middle order would be required to bat for long hours and score enough as a cushion for its below-strength bowling assault. The world's best side is lost three of its regular batter but still has enough class to post a healthy total on the board. In Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the tourists have two batsmen who have 270 Tests and 47 centuries, as well nearly 20,000 Test runs between them.

Squads:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Abhinav Mukund, Murali Vijay, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma.

West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Brendan Nash (vice-captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan.

 

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