Can The West Indies In March Last Year, India'is In The Top 3 In Search Of Parity? > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Can West Indies march past India's top 3 in search of parity?

Both Rahul and Kohli fired for India.

Both Rahul and Kohli fired for India.

As the West Indies caravan moves to Thiruvananthapuram, there remains a lot of questions to be answered, for both the hosts and the touring party; about their approach, their combinations, their experiments and the role for each player. Add some more queries about the unseasonal rains, the shelf life of the stadium and the general existence of life, and you are left with ample to answer already. But there's one more here - 'Will Sanju [Samson] play tomorrow'

No, maybe not. Doesn't seem like, for sure.

But try selling that to his hometown public that has already grown in anticipation of a likely disappointment. Thus, for all of Virat Kohli's plea to not chant 'MS [Dhoni]' in the stadium or Sourav Ganguly's expectation for Pant to get stronger with it, maybe the crowd won't be chanting 'MS' afterall. Maybe, there's something else 'nasty', as one of the KCA official claims, coming his way.

But in the midst of all this, the series is alive, with a conclusion possible on Sunday night. West Indies' power-power-power batting worked alright in Hyderabad but their bowlers, as skipper Kieron Pollard put, failed to execute the plans. And unless the bowlers find a way past the top-three quickly, there seems to be a very little way for either of the teams to find out what lies in store in the game.

For India, while their batting marched along well and the result fell in their favour, their non-top 3 are still short of game time. Can the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Pant, Shivam Dube and the deep lower order that has been constituted for 'balance' take up the responsibility of the side's batting fortunes? That is a matter of more serious interest. While the general make-up of the XI seems to be fixed for now, the combinations are still being tried on to find the most suitable spinners and pacers for the fit.

Whether the conditions will be as friendly for the batters even at the Greenfields Stadium will be tricky to assess. Even as West Indies and India played at the venue last year, it was on a rank turner that didn't get adequate preparation time due to floods earlier in the year. As a result, the 50-over contest wrapped up in 47, with India batting less than 15 of those. Even the only other international contest that took place earlier, a T20I in 2017, was rain marred into an 8-over-a-side encounter.

When: India vs West Indies, December 8, 2019, Sunday

Where: Greenfields Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram

What to expect: The weather will be hot and humid. Cloud cover and a possible short spells of rain are not out of equation. The good thing though is that the stadium has a state-of-art system to absorb water. So, play shouldn't halt for long even if it does.

Team News:

India: Even as the bowlers didn't have a good outing, the team management might look to continue with the same combination. Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav's wait on the bench might extend. And so might be the case for Samson.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal

West Indies: Nicholas Pooran has served his four-match ban for ball tampering and will be available for selection.

Probable XI: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell

What they said

"It's not the CPL (about Williams's celebration), it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I'll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end. That's what you want to see. Good competitive cricket but in the end shake hands and give a hi-fi. That's what cricket is all about. Play it hard but have respect for opponents." - Virat Kohli after his self-spurring antics in Hyderabad

"208 to defend, on any day, you'd take that 10 out of 10 times. Where we lost the game was the extras and our bowling. Our execution was poor. If we had executed the plans we had spoke about, despite the good batting wicket, it would have been a different scenario." Kieron Pollard after West Indies' loss in the first T20I.

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