Test Cricket: West Indies won the toss and chose to field in second Test against India
As India stand on the brink of another series win in West Indies, they’d be resting easy given their commanding performance in the opener. So much so, that even a transitioning Indian team start as favorites once again in Trinidad. It has been 21 years since West Indies last failed to lose a Test series against India, and with the odds heavily stacked against them once more, the hosts would be pleased if they do manage to square the series.
It’d be easier said than done, for West Indies’ batting woes were only exacerbated in Dominica where the conditions too were right up the alley of India’s masterful spinners. The challenge in Trinidad could be different if the hosts decide to back their strengths, which has been the pace attack, over the last few years.
Their bigger concern though would be that of a faltering batting order. The tone, usually set by skipper Kraigg Brathwaite at the top, has been off-key. Brathwaite was done in twice, adding to the four times previously, by Ashwin in the first Test leaving a rocky ship without an anchor. The inclusion of fresh faces in the line-up though offers West Indies a way out from the burden of previous losses.
On the other hand, India’s boxes were ticked off with Yashasvi Jaiswal’s stunning debut, and even as the openers papered over the middle-order cracks, their confidence would be on the higher side. A track offering a bit more pace also ought to aid some of their stroke makers in search of form.
No bowling issues were shown up as Ashwin and Co. wreaked havoc but India’s challenge of finding the next generation of pacers could be a challenge they set themselves. It could mean trusting a younger seamer with the third pacer’s role. It’s a question that could follow them right through the new World Test Championship cycle and the temptation to find the answer could be the only reason to make a change to a winning combination.