India will play their first match of the World Test Championship against West Indies in Antigua where the hosts have won last two Tests. It will be a direct tussle between both teams’ pacers. Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Jason Holder are in the top 15 of ICC Test Bowlers Rankings. It will be intriguing to see the approach of Indian batsmen, especially the openers, and Ajinkya Rahane against them.
The victorious team will get 60 points in the World Test Championship competition. But before that, let’s take a look at few of the stats and facts related to the series.
The last time when India lost a Test against West Indies was back in 2002 at Kingston. India have won each of the last seven Test series’ that they have played against the West Indies.
Jasprit Bumrah will be key for India alongside spinners in the Test series. Bumrah had a chance of becoming the fastest Indian pacer to take 50 Test wickets, but the record still belongs to Ravichandran Ashwin. Currently, he has taken 49 wickets from 10 Tests at an average of 21.89.
If Virat Kohli registers one more Test win, he will become the most successful Indian captain in away Tests. Currently, he has equalled Sourav Ganguly’s tally of away Test wins.
Virat Kohli has amassed 686 runs from 12 Tests against West Indies at an average of 45.73 which is the lowest for him against an opponent. His Test average of 36.33 in the West Indies is also the lowest for him in a country where he played more than one innings.
This series will be a make or break for Ajinkya Rahane’s Test career. In the first four calendar years of his Test career, he averaged more than 40 each year, but since 2017, it has not crossed 35. He needs to elevate his game as there are many players waiting in the wings. He showed signs of coming back into the form by scoring a fifty in the practice game.
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Virat Kohli on Thursday said his teammates have become "acceptive" of living in the IPL bio-bubble and there is no "desperation" for a change of environment as they approach the tournament proper from 19 September.
Kohli, a fitness freak, also said that he himself felt good from the first training session after landing in the UAE.
Although Malan’s numbers have been improving, his average is still not at India skipper’s level as Kohli averages at 50.8 and is also the highest run scorer currently in T20 internationals with 2,794 runs in 76 innings.