3rd Test Preview: India aim for series against resurgent West Indies in the 3rd Test :- India hold a 1-0 lead in the four-match series after winning the first Test in Antigua by an innings and 92 runs, and would look to seal the series when they take the field at St. Lucia. West Indies will take a lot of heart from the spirited performance of Roston Chase and will be looking to bounce back and squaring the series in Saint Lucia. Sometimes when a side is down and out, all they need is one spirited effort to gain back the confidence. We could very well see a totally different body language from West indies in next 2 tests. India on the other hand will be disappointed with the draw at Sabina Park. But it’s a new day, new game and there is everything to play for!!
The last time these two sides met in Saint Lucia, Virender Sehwag smashed a hundred off just 78 balls, the fastest by an Indian vs WI. Rahul Dravid held the innings together with 146 while Mohammad Kaif registered his only test ton. West Indies were bowled out for 215 and were so behind in the game that they needed a Brian Lara Masterclass to save the test match. Sehwag also chipped in with 3 wickets with the ball.
Saint Lucia last hosted a test in September 2014 vs Bangladesh. West Indies won comprehensively by 296 runs. It was the 500th test in history of WI cricket. The West Indies vs India test match is the 4th test being played at Saint Lucia. Out of previous 3 West Indies have won 1 and drawn 2.
India have got a problem of plenty. If fit, Vijay is likely to make it to playing XI. Rahul has made a strong statement with 158 at Jamaica. Dhawan has done no wrong either. This means the axe could well fall on Pujara’s shoulders. Also given the fact that he failed to capitalise after occupying the crease for long. The pace department is likely to be the same. Bhuvaneshwar or Shardul Thakur may have to wait for some more time before making it to playing XI. Jadeja may get a look-in. Mishra looked little bit off-colour in 2nd innings.
West Indies have dropped opener Rajindra Chandrika and roped in Shai Hope. Also a talented bowler like Alzarri Joseph cannot be seated on the bench for long. That’s a call skipper Holder will have to take. Otherwise rest of the side is likely to remain the same. Again, their senior batsmen need to take inspiration from junior guys like Blackwood, Chase and Dorwich and put their best foot forward.
Will India clinch another win to take 2-0 unassiscible lead or will West Indies start from where they left and put another amazing performance?
– by Atharva Apte