After being undefeated in the limited-overs leg, Virat Kohli and Co will look forward to the Test matches. But the Windies will pose a serious threat in home conditions with the red ball, as they did against England earlier this year. The two-match series will commence on 22nd August in Antigua and this also embarks the World Test Championship for both the teams.
The management is facing qualms over which spinner to include for the series opener. Ravichandran Ashwin has been India’s lead spinner in the last few years. But the emergence of Kuldeep Yadav has given the offie a run for his money. The visitors are still dubious about their spin bowling combination. But India’s former off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has voiced his opinion on who should be included in the playing XI.
According to him, Kuldeep Yadav should definitely start against the Caribbeans in Antigua. He feels the chinaman’s rarity and guile will come to India’s aid. Talking to Times of India, Harbhajan said, “On current form, my No. 1 spinner will surely be Kuldeep for the way he takes the ball away from the left-handers and his wicket-taking abilities.”
“Ravindra Jadeja, too, has made most of the chances that he has got in Tests. Probably the only thing working in Ashwin’s favour is his superb record against West Indies,” he further added.
Kuldeep shined in Ashwin’s absence
Ashwin was supposed to be India’s spin threat on overseas tour last year but got injured mid-way in England and Australia. In his absence, Kuldeep Yadav got a chance in the Sydney Test against Australia. He foxed the Aussie batsmen and took his career’s second 5-fer.
Although Kuldeep has been impressive in his short Test career, Ashwin’s record in the West Indies should get him the playing eleven. On India’s tour to West Indies in 2016, he bagged 17 wickets and scored two centuries. He was adjudged the Man of the Series in India’s 2-0 victory. Jadeja, who has been consistent with his performances across formats, will also be in contention for a spot in the team.
For the moment, the Indian team is playing a warm-up match against West Indies A. Cheteshwar Pujara scored a hundred in the first innings and then Kuldeep took three wickets by the end of Day 2. Kohli and Ashwin haven’t yet participated in the warm-up game.
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