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  Sports   Cricket  04 Oct 2018  Talking points of low-key affair

Talking points of low-key affair

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUMIT SINGH
Published : Oct 4, 2018, 1:36 am IST
Updated : Oct 4, 2018, 1:36 am IST

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane would also be hoping for some runs before the Australia series.

Virat Kohli
 Virat Kohli

Bengaluru: The West Indies may not be a major force in Test cricket, but India's two-match Test series against the visitors has assumed a lot of importance. As the series would be a preparation for India's next overseas challenge - tour to Australia, here are a few talking points.  

Focus on skipper Kohli
Virat Kohli had a memorable time with the bat in England. And given the quality of attack the West Indies attack, rather lack of it, the series might see another run-fest from him. As Kohli was under the scanner for his lackadaisical captaincy during the England Test series, it would be interesting to see how he deals with the responsibility of leading a relatively inexperienced side against the Windies.

Opening puzzle
With an eye on year-end's high-profile series against Australia, the selectors have called up prodigious talent Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal for the top-order audition. The duo have been impressive in domestic cricket and a good show against West Indies will boost their chances of making the trip Down Under, ahead of M. Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan. Shaw is set to make his Test debut on Thursday. Opener KL Rahul who had a dismal outing in England barring a century in the second innings at The Oval would be shouldering bigger responsibility in this series.  Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane would also be hoping for some runs before the Australia series.

Spin to win
When India hosted the West Indies the last two times (2011 and 2013), it was Indian spinners who ruled the roost by taking almost 70 per cent of wickets. Kohli has a penchant for relying on his pace attack, where as his predecessors took the spin route to success. However, in the absence of Jasprit Bumarah and Ishant Sharma, Kohli might go in with three spinners.

Aiming for perfect start
Jason Holder's side is coming to India after their T20 party at home — the Caribbean Premier League. The in-experienced team have already suffered a setback when a bereaved Kemar Roach decided to fly back home. Windies had eventful outing against Bangladesh and would be hoping to replicate that performance. Their batsmen would be wary of R. Ashwin who has bagged 27 wickets in eight Tests against the Windies. An improbable series win would be a perfect parting gift for Windies coach Stuart Law who has decided to cut short his career with them.

Tags: virat kohli, test cricket, west indies, shikhar dhawan