India’s trip to Caribbean land was expected to provide severe cyclones to the cricketing world. Unfortunately, until now, the fans have just witnessed occasional thunderstorms as the Windies have failed to match the intensity of visitors. Both the teams had their moments at Antigua but with their sheer determination, Virat Kohli‘s men prevailed in their inaugural tie of the Test championship. For the final showdown of the tour now they will take the field at the historic Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Team India has continued its dream run in the whites. More importantly, a couple of their underperforming stars raised their game when the team was in a spot of bother. Though the batting department was fidgety against the opposition’s fiery pace attack they didn’t capitulate under pressure. Above all, it was their bowling efforts which gave them an unassailable lead in the 2-match series.
In layman terms, one can say that the home side has lacked discipline in the entire sojourn. Windies have shown glimpses of their abilities but they have been unable to maintain their tempo for longer periods. Even their selection mistakes have cost them dearly. They will be disappointed with the result after keeping the Indian side in check for the first couple of days of the opening encounter. Still, they can only go upwards from here as there is enough talent in the squad to carve out a quality team.
It is a crucial game for the opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul as they couldn’t provide the team with a decent start. Cheteshwar Pujara will be trying to forget his twin failures and pile more runs at top of the order. Skipper Virat Kohli has been in good form and he will be eyeing another overseas series win. After returning to form with a century, Ajinkya Rahane will be looking to make up for his bad outings in the last 18 months.
Rishabh Pant has shown a lot of promise with his keeping skills but he needs to score runs to book a permanent place in the side. It will be difficult to drop Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja after their impressive performances at Antigua. Unless the team is presented with a dry surface the latter will also be the lone option. In the pace department, Mohammed Shami might be rested due to the upcoming long home season.
Probable XI: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja/ Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav/ Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
The openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell will be keen to rectify their mistakes and the former is known for his water-tight technique against the new ball. Darren Bravo will be desperate for some runs as he has not contributed much in the last year or so. Shamarh Brooks is likely to retain his place after making his debut in the last game. In the middle-order, time is quickly running out for Shimron Hetmyer who is yet to prove his mettle in the Test arena.
Due to his work behind the stumps, Shai Hope will be again pushed down the batting order and it might allow him to play freely. In Roston Chase and Jason Holder, the Windies have eminent all-round options but the latter needs to lead from the front. Kemar Roach was relentless in the first Test so he will be doing his part to motivate the bowling group. Due to his poor returns, Miguel Cummins is probably going to make way for Keemo Paul.
Probable XI: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Shamrah Brooks, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope(WK), Jason Holder (C), Roston Chase, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Shannon Gabriel.
Focus will be on
KL Rahul (India)
Right now the elegant right-hander has put the team management in a pickle. Most of the time he has successfully tackled new-ball spells but then he falters to convert his starts. He has been a given rope so now it is time for him to repay the faith shown on him. Irrespective of the format KL Rahul can be a dangerous player as he has all the shots in his armoury.
Roston Chase (Windies)
Though the consistency factor has eluded Roston Chase he has invariably enjoyed his time against the Indian team. Last time he stroked a match-saving ton at the Sabina Park when the visitors were on the cusp of victory. Even in the previous game, he was the most assured batsman for the home team. He has also improved his off-spin bowling which is a good sign for the Windies.
Head to Head
Matches played – 97 l Windies won – 30 l India won – 21 l Draw – 46
11 – Wickets were taken by Jason Holder when he last played a Test match at Sabina Park.
6 – Number of wickets Ravindra Jadeja needs to become the 10th Indian bowler to take 200 Test wickets.
TV – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match Timings – 20:00 IST and 9:30 local
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