Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
October 12 to 16; 09:30 IST
Live on Star Sports, streaming on Hotstar
The main picture
India and the West Indies contributed equally to the first Test finishing inside three days. India were ruthless, first with the bat by posting a big total and then their bowlers showed their class in taking 20 wickets in less than 100 overs (98.5, to be precise). The West Indies lacked the substance in the batting and bowling departments to provide the home team with more of a challenge. And, at the end of the Test, almost nothing felt surprising.
Speaking to the media after the Test, stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite alluded to the West Indies batsmen’s gung-ho approach, which clearly didn’t help their cause. “Going forward what we need to do is along with the attacking shots, trust in (our) defence. I think that’s the key.” However, other than Sunil Ambris, who got out trying to heave the ball, the visiting batsmen had little clue against the Indian bowlers.
Looking ahead to the second Test, the onus really is on the West Indies to up their game in the batting and bowling departments. India are an accomplished team who boast great variety in their bowling attack and their batsmen are more than capable of scoring 100s in these conditions.
Jason Holder didn’t play the first Test because an ankle injury and West Indies missed him big time. He has 28 wickets in five Tests this year and, with his batting, he adds depth to the batting line-up. If West Indies are to have a chance, Holder’s return to the playing XI is very much necessary, not least because he is the regular captain as well.
From India’s perspective, the question is whether they retain their playing XI or give chances to those who didn’t play the first Test. Mayank Agarwal is among those who can be played in Hyderabad, with local boy Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur also having chances of getting a look-in.
Pitch report and weather forecast
The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is likely to be good for batting again, but it has been slow-paced in recent times. Like with most other Indian pitches, the spinners will have a key role to play.
The forecast for the five days of the Test is largely clear, with patches of sunshine and cloud cover and the temperature hovering in the early-30s (degree Celsius).
India vs West Indies head to head in Test
The win in Rajkot was India’s 19th over West Indies and eighth on home soil.
India vs West Indies playing XI
Possible India playing 11: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Prithvi Shaw, 4 Cheteshwar Pujara, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant, 7 R Ashwin, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Umesh Yadav/Mohammed Siraj, 11 Kuldeep Yadav
Possible West Indies playing XI: 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Shai Hope, 4 Shimron Hetmyer, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Shane Dowrich (wk), 7 Sunil Ambris/Jason Holder (c), 8 Devendra Bishoo, 9 Keemo Paul, 10 Shannon Gabriel, 11 Kemar Roach
India will once again be the overwhelming favourite to win the Test, but whether West Indies make their life as easy as in Rajkot remains to be seen.