New Delhi: A confident Team India take on a demoralised West Indies in the second Test on Tuesday, hoping to break a 58-year winless streak at the Kensington Oval and take an unbeatable series lead. Banking on the magnificent show by the bowlers and a century from Rahul Dravid, Team India wrapped up the first Test with a comfortable 63-run victory inside four days and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series at Sabina Park in Kingston.
Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has made little secret of his desire to win at a venue where India has lost five successive Tests since 1971.
The Indians have in fact never won at the venue since it first played host to them in 1953, losing seven while drawing a game here and that draw came way back in 1971.
India will be looking to line up three pacers on the hard and bouncy wicket at Kensington Oval as it will assist pacers more.
Munaf Patel who missed out of the first Test against the Caribbean side is on his way to hit the nets and being declared fit for the second Test. He will accompany Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar in the playing eleven who bowled exceptionally well in the first Test.
Praveen claimed six top order batsmen for 80 runs in the opening Test and Ishant also took six wickets for 110 runs.
But if Munaf is included in the team, it is likely that leg-spinner Amit Mishra will sit on the bench. Mishra picked two wickets in both innings of the West Indies.
Unless the wicket at Kensington gives Dhoni other ideas when he personally inspects it, the Indian attack may see three pacers along with Harbhajan Singh as the full-time spinner and Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli pitching in as part-timers.
In the Indian batting department all seems not too well expect for Rahul Dravid and Suresh Raina.
Indian openers Mukund and Vijay failed to impress in both the innings. Debutant Virat Kholi and veteran middle order batsman VVS Laxman also failed to shine.
Skipper MS Dhoni who got out for a duck in the first innings scored mere 16 runs in the second innings.
It was batting performances from Dravid, Raina and bowler Harbhajan who saved the match for India against the mighty Caribbean side.
On the counter part a troubled West Indies side thus sought the services of cricket's best-known psychologist Rudi Webster who, over the next five days, would try to get them out of a defeatist mindset.
Windies recalled Kirk Edwards and dropped vice-captain Brendan Nash for the second Test against India, which will get underway from June 28 at Bridgetown at Barbados.
Sammy however is hopeful of levelling the series when the two teams square up in Barbados for the second Test match starting from June 28.
But the problem with the Windies remains the same as they don’t have players who can take charge at key moments alike Indian middle order batsman Rahul Dravid and veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh.
The captain is looking for selfless attitude from the boys where the endeavour would be to put the team ahead of the individual goal.
However, West Indies batsmen played Indian spinners better than they did against Pakistan.
After missing the opening Test, Marlon Samuels will be back in action and is likely to play in the middle-order instead of Nash.
Nash has been out of form recently, scoring only 53 runs in his last six innings. He was dismissed in single digits five times in these innings. In the first Test at Sabina Park, Nash scored just one and nine.
Dashing opener and former skipper Chris Gayle once again was not considered and with him missing in action and now the exit of Nash, the onus will be on experienced batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan to share the burden of batting.
West Indies Skipper Darran Sammy, who himself like to bowl on hard surfaces, has roped in fast bowler Kemar Roach for the second Test along with Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul. This means they will have four pacers in the team along with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo who will be used in the middle over to give rest to the heavy pace battery.
Bishoo’s slow leg-breaks will be a major bonus for the host nation as he picked up seven wickets for 140 runs against the Indians in the first Test match.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh (wk), Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Kirk Edwards.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), VVS Laxman, Subramaniam Badrinath, Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Abhimanyu Mithun, Abhinav Mukund, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Ian Gould (England).
Match to start at 7.30 p.m Indian Standard Time (IST).
New Delhi: A confident Team India take on a demoralised West Indies in the second Test on Tuesday, hoping to break a 58-year winless streak at the Kensington Oval and take an unbeatable series lead.
Banking on the magnificent show by the bowlers and a century from Rahul Dravid, Team India wrapped up the first Test with a comfortable 63-run victory inside four days and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series at Sabina Park in Kingston.