Cricket: Underdogs Vs Marauders At Home




Though India’s performance in the Caribbean was not convincing enough considering the caliber of the team, they still managed a 1-0 victory in the Test matches. West Indies was only too happy not to get drubbed considering the poor batting order and off-field issues they had. India fielded a second-string side and the team was visibly exhausted coming from a really cramped schedule and they could not manage a whitewash as expected. But this time around they are fully prepared and backed by home support they are expected to win easily.

1st Test: India vs West Indies

1st Test: India vs West Indies

The West Indies have a goal of reaching the top 5 within 2015 and being a relatively inexperienced side they are slowly working their way forward if their series against Bangladesh was any indication. India on the other hand is back to full strength with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir back at the top of the order, looking to score big in their home ground. Yuvraj Singh and Ishanth Sharma are back from injury layoffs and Sachin Tendulkar is all set to join Dravid and Laxman in the middle order.

The whole nation will be expecting the maestro Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th international ton at the Kotla. And this will be the first time India will be without the great spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble in their ranks. The two have been instrumental in India’s victories on spin-friendly home tracks but it remains to be seen how well the youngsters, Pragyan Ojha and R. Ashwin fill the void.

West Indies on the other hand have a good pace attack in Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach and India’s susceptibility against the rising ball could work in favour of the Windies. Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be their key batsman and he has the ability to hold fort for long hours as he proved in his last test against India thwarting them for 8 hours and 21 minutes. Dwayne Bravo with all his IPL experience and all-round abilities will hope to make inroads in all departments.

India has a lot to play for – to retain their test ranking, keep up the record of losing just 2 games in 22 tests at home off late n to sustain their momentum. But West Indies on the other hand just have a win over Bangladesh to show in the last few years and they have only pride and long-term goals to play for. So they can afford to be more experimental and go all out to give their best, something India cannot so easily be over-ambitious about.

With such a temperament any vulnerable team becomes a threat to even the best in the business and what we can hope for is good competitive cricket to be played over the next month.

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