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India vs West Indies: India break from tradition, announce 12 for first test; Prithvi Shaw to debut

A close look at the probable XI India to field against the West Indies at Rajkot

Bengaluru, October 3: India will face the West Indies in the first Test at Rajkot from Thursday (October 4). India led by Virat Kohli will be the overwhelming favourites to win the match and the two-Test series.

No longer the big boys of world cricket, West Indies have some good talents among them but challenging India in their conditions will be a hard task. India have some real quality players in their ranks who strength will be enhanced by familiar environment. Here's MyKhel gives India's Playing XI for the first Test.

1. KL Rahul

1. KL Rahul

The hundred against England at the Oval saved a fledgling career and now he has an option to build on it against the West Indies. Conditions are familiar and the opposition are not of top notch. It's a dream combination for a batsman who is seeking runs and confidence.

2. Prithvi Shaw

2. Prithvi Shaw

The prodigiously talented Prithvi Shaw is set to make his Test debut in Rajkot. Reasons are quite simple. At 18, Shaw has already shown that he is a long term horse and the team management want to invest in him. In that context, a rather low-profile series against the West Indies is the best place to blood a youngster. Mayank Agarwal is the third opener in the squad but Shaw is set to walk ahead of him.

3. Cheteshwar Pujara

3. Cheteshwar Pujara

Pujara had a lukewarm series against England. And India's No 3 will need some runs and confidence ahead of another gruelling trip to Australia. West Indies and Indian pitches offer him a perfect setting and it's up for him to grab the chance.

4. Virat Kohli

4. Virat Kohli

The Indian skipper Kohli was rested from the recent Asia Cup to avoid "mental fatigue" as revealed by coach Ravi Shastri. Kohli, who is in the midst of a bull run with the bat, would like to return with a bang. The break would only have been helped to burn the hunger for runs brighter.

5. Ajinkya Rahane

5. Ajinkya Rahane

Like Pujara, India's vice-captain too experienced a modest run against England. Rahane too will be keen to get some runs under his belt ahead of the tour of Australia. It's important from a personal level too as there have whispers about him being a deadwood in this India set up, however unfair that could be.

6. Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper)

6. Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper)

Pant was one the three players who made Test debut for India in England with Kuldeep Yadav and Vihari being the other two. His first scoring shot in Test cricket was a six and showed more clips of his talent at the Oval when the Delhi left-hander made a hundred along with Rahul. Back in familiar territory, Pant could be an even bigger threat.

7. Ravindra Jadeja

7. Ravindra Jadeja

His accurate left-arm spin will be one of India's often-relied-on weapons against the West Indies. Rajkot is a place where Jadeja played his cricket all along. On the ‘patta' pitch in Rajkot, Jadeja knows which length to bowl and what line to adopt. He showed that in the Asia Cup in Dubai.

8. R Ashwin

8. R Ashwin

India's premier spinner had a less than satisfactory tour of England. A hip injury saw him sitting out of the fifth Test at the Oval and since then he engaged himself in rigorous training at the NCA to regain fitness. Back in shape, Ashwin would look to find himself among wickets against the West Indies.

9. Umesh Yadav

9. Umesh Yadav

The right-arm pacer will play this Test basically because the selectors rested Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma got injured. He was dropped from the side after the Lord's Test and Umesh would be eager to keep himself in the mix with a few West Indian wickets.

10. Mohammed Shami

10. Mohammed Shami

Shami was impressive in England without having the number of wickets commensurate to his effort. In India, Shami will bring his late swing ability that can keep the West Indian batsmen guessing all the time. He also seemed to have recovered from his personal issues and hopefully he will apply some more of his mind while his turn to bat comes.

11. Kuldeep Yadav

11. Kuldeep Yadav

The left-arm wrist spinner made his Test debut against England at Lord's amidst lot of hype. But the outing was eminently forgettable as he struggled on a green pitch and conditions suited for pacers. But back on familiar environs against the less than formidable West Indies, Kuldeep could wonders.

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Story first published: Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 13:01 [IST]
Other articles published on Oct 3, 2018
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