Rajkot: India and West Indies gear up for the first Test in Rajkot, starting October 4. Men in Blue will be looking to bounce back from the 1-4 series defeat against England.
Virat Kohli is all set to lead the side for the two-match Test series. He has been in amazing form with the bat. He has already amassed 879 runs this year in Tests.
18-year old opening batsman Prithvi Shaw is set for a Test debut in Rajkot after being named in a 12-member shortlist on the eve of the opening Test. And they left out Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj from their 15-member squad.
Spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are a formidable force on home turf and to provide back-up is youngster Kuldeep Yadav.
India have enjoyed a superb record at home against visiting teams since the last couple of years and West Indian batsmen will find it hard to play quality spin.
Further, pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have the attributes to pick crucial wickets.
On otherhand, the West Indies team led by Jason Holder will be going with the mindset of making an upset against India and to give a message to not take the team lightly.
The experienced bowler Kemar Roach is set to miss the first test due to the sad demise of his grandmother. The all-rounder KC Braithwaite would be pairing up with Sunil Ambris to open the innings with Kieran Powell coming at number 3.
Shai Hope, Roston Chase, and Shane Dowrich are expected to come down at number 4, 5 and 6 respectively. Devendra Bishoo may be the lone spinner in the lineup.
In the absence of Kemar Roach, SH Lewis is set to make his test debut for the West Indies. The pace attack would be led by captain Jason Holder with S Gabriel, K Paul and SH Lewis supporting the skipper.
India announces 12-player: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (Capt.), Keemo Paul, Sunil Ambris, Shannon Gabriel, Devendra Bishoo, Jahmar Hamilton, Sherman Lewis, Jomel Warrican
Pitch and conditions
There is no rain expected during the match as the temperatures are set to soar high. The heat levels will test the players on all five days.
Stats and trivia
4-8 October 2018
Start time 0930 local (0400 GMT)