West Indies tour to India 2018 [Preview]
West Indies is all set to tour India in the month of October to play two Test matches, five one-day internationals followed by three T20I games. Jason Holder and co. will kick-start their tour with the Test series. The opening Test of the series will be played on 4th October at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. The second and final game of the series will be played at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad on 12th October.
India will be keen to start their home season on a right note after a disappointing tour to England. Test Captain Virat Kohli will be keen to make amends for their mistakes committed in the five-match series against England.
Shikhar Dhawan has been dropped from the Test side as Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal get their maiden call-up to the national side. Agarwal has topped the batting charts at the domestic level and richly deserved his inclusion into the Test squad.
Lokesh Rahul is a certain starter for the series as an opener after a marathon effort for India in the fifth and final game played at The Oval. Shaw might join at the top of the innings for the two-match Test series.
Hanuma Vihari also showed grit and determination in his debut game in England. Ajinkya Rahane has just managed to hold onto his place in the side and will be under the radar as he hasn’t done much with the bat over the past six months.
Rishabh Pant certainly has cemented his place in the XI after his blistering ton against England at The Oval. The wicket-keeper batsman will be keen to continue his good form in this series.
In the bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaspreet Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have been rested for the series. Mohammad Siraj and Shardul Thakur have received their maiden call-up to the national side. Siraj has done well for India A in the recent series against Australia A side.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravendra Jadeja are premier options in the spin bowling department. Kuldeep Yadav is also present in the squad as the third spinner.
Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami will frontline seamers for India for the Test series against West Indies.
On the other hand, West Indies completed a series win over Bangladesh at home. Jason Holder was the leading wicket-taker in the series with 16 wickets at an average of 8.93.
Kraigg Brathwaite has topped the batting charts for West Indies in Test cricket since January 2017. He has scored 1049 runs from 15 games at an average of 38.85 with three centuries to his name.
Shai Hope and Roston Chase are dependable players in the middle-order for West Indies and have chipped in with crucial performances for the side over past two years.
Shane Dowrich, Simron Hetmyer, and Jason Holder have contributed with crucial runs in the format.
In the bowling department, pacer Shannon Gabriel has been in phenomenal form in the five-day format. He has picked up 62 wickets in 14 games at an average of 22.82. Jason Holder and Kemar Roach have been equally good for West Indies in this 18-month period.
Devendra Bishoo and Roston Chase have been prominent spin options for the side in the format.
After the conclusion of Test series, West Indies will play five-match one-day series that will start from 21st October at Guwahati. The other four games will be played at Indore, Pune, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram. The one-day series will be followed by three T20I series that will begin from 4th November. The three games will be played at Kolkata, Lucknow, and Chennai to conclude the tour.
It is interesting to see how West Indies do in the subcontinent conditions that will be prevalent in India in the Test series.