When India will meet West Indies at North Sound on August 22, it will be the 24th time the two countries will be up against each other in a bilateral Test series and the 12th time in the Caribbean islands. The occasion becomes even more significant as this series would be part of the first ICC World Test Championship which is being played between 2019 and 2021.
The two teams will be playing for fetching a maximum of 120 points in the upcoming Test series. Sure enough, number 1 ranked Indian Test team will start as favourites against the number 8 ranked West Indies. But you never know with the Windies, when they will pull off their A-game.
Earlier in the year they beat England 2-1 in a Test series at home. They are a potentially dangerous side with superb performers who could turn the tide in their favour when they put up their A-game.
Comeback of the Test regulars (India tour on West Indies 2019)
India’s Test regulars like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma will make a comeback in this format. Both are top performers in their own right and could be called leaders in their respective disciplines in the Test format. Pujara is the vital engine on the basis of which the vehicle of Indian batting moves and Sharma has reluctantly albeit, become the leader of the pace attack of India over the years.
Pujara comes off the back of a wonderful series-defining performance against Australia in India’s last long format stint. He faced a record 1258 balls in the series and truly emerged as the new wall of Indian cricket. He top-scored as well for his team with 521 runs in the series. He also registered a hundred in India’s only tour game against West Indies A at Coolidge.
Going into the West Indies Test series, he will be sure to cash in on the opportunities to stay put and score big.
The West Indies have an able pace attack well led by their skipper, Jason Holder, experienced professional Kemar Roach who performed exceedingly well against England earlier this year. The likes of Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder will also put in their weight in this series to stop the Indian juggernaut. So, even though it may not be apparent the pace challenge will still be measurable for Indian batters.
The Indian pace attack will be led by India regulars Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. And, the likes of Umesh Yadav would also want to punch above their weight. Sharma and Umesh took three wickets apiece in the tour game at Coolidge while this piece was being written.
India and West Indies would want to go in with a positive mindset and start off their campaigns in the inaugural Test Championship with victories. Who manages to accelerate past the desired goals first would be entirely dependent on their performances on the turf.
Who stands where in World rankings
India’s captain Virat Kohli is the number 1 Test batsman going into the series while Pujara is at number 4. Ravindra Jadeja is the number 5 Test bowler and number 3 all-rounder. Windies captain Jason Holder is the number 1 all-rounder in the longest format.
History (India vs West Indies)
India have won 9 bilateral series against West Indies while the latter has won 12 with two series being drawn. The two Test sides have met each other 96 times in Tests with India winning 20 times as against West Indies being victors on 30 occasions; 46 matches have ended in draws. In West Indies, the sides have met each other 49 times with India winning on 7 occasions as against West Indies registering 16 wins with 26 matches being played out as draws.
India tour of West Indies 2019 Tests Full Schedule and Venue
India vs West Indies; 1st Test – North Sound on August 22-26
India vs West Indies; 2nd Test – Kingston on August 30 – September 3