India vs West Indies: Buoyant India aim to clinch series as third Test get underway
After a comprehensive victory in the first Test by an innings and 92 runs, India looked favourites to win the second one as well, but an outstanding batting display on the final day by West Indian Roston Chase (137 off 269 balls) helped the home side manage a draw and stay alive in the four-match series. It spoiled India’s wish to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
Keen to clinch the series , India will be heading to the third Test at St Lucia with confidence . The visitors can take heart from the fact that despite the draw in the second Test they looked a better side on paper to grab the series in the third match at the Darren Sammy Stadium .
India have previously played a Test in this ground in 2006 and the game ended in a draw.
With the batting line-up faring well and posting big totals on both the matches, India’s head coach Anil Kumble will have to sort few things in the bowling department and come up with answers why they could not pick six wickets on the final day of second Test.
Lokesh Rahul, skipper Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane have been in fine touch and striking big runs, there is not much to worry in batting.
With pace trio Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav contributing in both the matches, except the final day of the second Test, it is most likely that the combination will not be changed.
However a change can be expected in the spin department with left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja getting a chance in place of leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has already cemented his spot with a match-winning show in the first Test.
The hosts will aim to make a mark with the bat after failing to do so in the first two Tests.
Senior batsmen Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo will have to take the responsibility and score big o entyertain any hopes of staying alive in the series. Besides the experienced duo, the young batsmen in the side will have to step up and prove a point.
They have included 22-year-old Shai Hope, the opening batsman from Barbados, in their squad for the third Test.
Hope replaced opener Rajendra Chandrika, who scored 16, 31, 5 and 1 in the first two Tests.
In the bowling department, the major headache for the hosts will be their weakened pace bowling department after Jerome Taylor retired from Tests and Kemar Roach not considered for selection.
In their absence, skipper Jason Holder will have to take the responsibility to lead the attack again along with Carlos Brathwaite, Shannon Gabriel and Miguel Cummins while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo is the lone specialist spinner in the team.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capttain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Leon Johnson, Alzarri Joseph, Marlon Samuels.