Jamaica: Having won the first Test quite convincingly at North Sound in Antigua, India will be eager to wrap the series when they face West Indies in the second Test at Sabina Park in Kingston here on Friday.
However, West Indies would relish the prospect of holding the world's No.1 team to a series draw, but for that, their batsmen need to come good big time. A victory in the second Test will not only help West Indies level the two-match series but will also be their first Test win against India in 17 years.
Another batting collapse, another defeat. Whether in limited-overs colours or in Test cricket, West Indies' batsmen have let the team down more often than they'd like to admit. It has undone a lot of the good work of a resurgent pace unit and been responsible for some inexplicable defeats. If West Indies are to bounce back and level the series, the mandate is simple, really: step up and put some runs on the board.
India are coming off their largest overseas victory in terms of runs. They have arguably their most well-rounded Test attack of all time, so their bowlers' brilliance in the series opener is something that has come to be expected of this outfit. What will perhaps please them the most is the return to form of Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 183 runs in the game, and middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari vindicating team management's faith with his second-innings 93.
These are still early days in the World Test Championship, but India, the No.1-ranked team on the MRF Tyres ICC Rankings, are already on top of the championship table. Another win would solidify that position, an ICC report on Thursday said.
Rahane rescued India from a precarious 25/3 to a first-innings total of 297, before Ishant Sharma's five-for sent West Indies packing for 222. Rahane followed that up with a century in the second innings ? his first in Test cricket since August 2017 ? and in the company of Vihari, gave India a 418-run lead, which proved to be surplus, as Bumrah ripped through the home team with a devastating spell of 5/7 and sent them crashing to 100 all out.
India captain Virat Kohli said, "For us it is about managing the best combination we can as a side, and feeling settled about it. We all have a discussion on that particular thing, and we go ahead with what is the best thing for the team. There will always be opinions on a team selected, but we all understand that whatever decisions are taken are in the best interest of the team."
Jason Holder, West Indies captain said, "We've been looking for solutions for a little while. Each batter's just got to look at themselves seriously in the mirror, and we've just got to find solutions."(UNI)