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22-Aug-2019 02:31:00 GMT
WI v Ind - 1st Test, Antigua

India look to extend stranglehold over West Indies in first Test

Antigua: India look set to extend their dominance over West Indies when the first match of a two-Test series starts at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here Thursday.

Having swept the T20 series 3-0 and taken the ODI contest 2-0, Virat Kohli's India are bursting with confidence going into their first Test match since the historic series triumph in Australia at the start of the year.

In contrast, the West Indies have gone off the boil since dominating England in the home series in the Caribbean six months ago and then going toe-to-toe with the same opponents in the subsequent ODI series.

A whitewash in the tour-ending T20 skirmish, followed by the removal of controversial head coach Richard Pybus and a disappointing World Cup campaign has left Jason Holder's men with much lost ground to reclaim.

And on the evidence of the limited-over leg of India's visit, and especially Kohli's irresistible form with the bat, it will be asking a lot of the West Indies to get the better of the tourists and claim a first Test match victory over India for more than 17 years.

However, if the home team can recapture the Holder-inspired dominance of England achieved earlier this year, there is hope that they will be able to match up to an Indian team well prepared for the longer version of the game.

For India, Chesteshwar Pujara, who reeled off three centuries in the four Tests in Australia, has already picked up from where he left off Down Under in notching up three figures in the lone warm-up fixture against a regional representative team last weekend.

However, the outcome of the first Test could ultimately hinge on batting, and whether the West Indies can defy a determined, world-class bowling attack to post competitive totals.

West Indies on Wednesday were forced to call-up seamer Miguel Cummins to replace explosive 21-year-old all-rounder Keemo Paul who has an ankle injury.

Cummins, 28, made his debut three years ago against India in Jamaica. He had a memorable second match in Saint Lucia, when he had match figures of 9-102, including career-best 6-48 in the second innings.

Teams from:

West Indies
Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Shimron Hetmyer, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope(w), Rahkeem Cornwall, Jason Holder(c), Roston Chase, Keemo Paul, John Campbell, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel

India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli(c), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Pitch and conditions
West Indies' fast bowlers have enjoyed themselves at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium over the last couple of years, Kemar Roach in particular. The weather in Antigua is expected to be cloudy, with showers forecast on day three.

Stats and trivia
Holder is seven wickets away from 100 in Test cricket, while Mohammed Shami needs six wickets to reach 150, and Jasprit Bumrah one to reach 50.

Match facts
22-26 August 2019
Start time 9:30 Local (13:30 GMT, 7pm IST)


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