West Indies last won a Test match in India in 1984. The team does not have a very impressive record in recent test matches. They have nine series losses in their last 13 Test series while managing to win two and draw two.
The last time the two teams faced each other was in 2016 when India toured West Indies for a four-match Test series. India won this series 2-0. The difference between the number one ranked Test side and the number eight ranked side is quite telling.
However, West Indies have improved in the recent times. With batsman like Craig Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai hope and bowlers like Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo, they are capable of doing some damage to the Indian side.
India, on the other hand, will be on a look out to test players for the upcoming tour of Australia. Youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal have been given a chance in the Test squad to prove their worth.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for the Tests. In their absence, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will bear the responsibility of the peace attack while Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will act as spin bowling all-rounders.
The two-match series brings a great opportunity for players like KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara to have some runs under their belt before the all-important Australia tour.
Venue: The pitch at Rajkot is a batter's paradise but it will start to break, effectively from Day 1, and the spinners will feast on the dust bowl.
India- KL Rahul, M Agarwal, C Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Rahane, Pant, Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj
West Indies- KC Braithwaite, Sunil Ambris, K Powell, S Hope, R Chase, S Dowrich, J Holder (C), D Bishoo, K Paul, S Gabriel, SH Lewis
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions*
Who will win? – India
Head to Head – Test series 22, India 8, West Indies 12, Draw 2
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – KL Rahul (India), KC Braithwaite (West Indies)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Ravindra Jadeja (India), Shannon Gabriel (West Indies)
Most Fours – KL Rahul (India), Sunil Ambris (West Indies)
Team Scores Batting First at the end of Day 1 – India 250+ for 4, West Indies 200+ all out
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018