Virat Kohli is a man loved both by Indians and the West Indians but the place has not been such a happy place for the player in terms of scoring. Kohli last toured these grounds in the year 2011 when his batting average was just 15.20 in the five innings that he played. After a dream run with the bat this year, Kohli will be confident and looking forward to score in the first match itself. Even though, he stands as a giant in the ODI and T20 formats and not being such a champion batsman in Tests, his capability to adapt to different conditions is known by everyone. With slow pitches, perfect weather and pristine beaches, the Carrebean has beautiful grounds to play. Added to that West Indies not being a formidable side in Tests, conditions are more than perfect for India to take it’s T20 world cup revenge. With 17 tests in 9 months from october to march, West Indies is just the start of a tough season for Indian cricket; and with a very young side, it is to be seen if this team can dominate world cricket. But if history is any proof, underminig any team can prove to be fatal in cricket, and if West Indies can play better cricket in their home conditions, a fascinating team awaits us.
On the other hand, India in it’s new coach Anil Kumble has found new vigour and will be looking to win all the test matches. It will be a tough time for bowlers in these slow pitches, and batsmen will be needed to score faster. With Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahne in the line-up, India will need to figure out their opening pair quickly so that there is a place for another bowler and an all-rounder. Virat Kohli after his tremendous run in Australia will be looking forward to make the most of this tour to shoot up his batting average of 44. Pujara needs to be back to the form where he played like a dream. Rahane on the other hand has been quite consistent, but if he has to fill the shoes of Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman, he must step up his game, and this is an excellent opportunity to warm up for a long season ahead. Among the bowlers, India will look to attack with more spinners in the dead tracks, and maybe with two spearheads, which likely will be Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. The tactics used by coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli in these tests will depict their approach for the season ahead.
Here are some trivia before the match which may change in the course of time:
1. India has never won more than one Test match in a series in the West Indies.
2. Virat Kohli has scored less than 3000 runs in tests at an average of 44 and has never scored a century in the Carrebean, and this is his first series as a test captain for India.
3. India has played 27 internationals matches of ODIs and T20s since their last Test, in December 2015. West Indies last played a Test in first week of January this year, and since then has played only 13 international games.
4. Current Indian team has scored 40 Test hundreds whereas West Indies have 20 among themselves.
5. West Indies’ most experience player Marlon Samuels hasn’t scored a test century in the last three years, and not scored more than 20 in the last 10 tests.