PARTAB RAMCHAND | 20 AUGUST, 2019
Indians Have the Firepower to Win the Test Series Too
High quality players
Going by their recent record and the current rankings it was always on the cards that India would win both the T-20 and the ODI contests against the West Indies. But the emphatic manner in which they won both finishing with a 5-0 record with one no result augurs well for the visitors as they take on the home team in a two Test series starting on Thursday.
And going by the fact that India have won the last three away contests in this format there could be only one result – a fourth successive triumph unless the weather plays havoc.
Indeed if at all the West Indies were reckoned to have a chance it was in the shorter formats even if India are ranked much higher – No 2 to West Indies’ No 9 in ODIs and No 4 to West Indies’ No 9 in T-20. After all the team has explosive hitters who excel while representing the various franchisees in the shortest format all round the cricketing world. And they have a pretty good side in ODIs their disappointing showing in the World Cup notwithstanding.
But they were unable to draw any home advantage against an Indian team hungry for success with the result that Chris Gayle could not be given the kind of farewell he, his teammates and the Caribbean cricketing public would have liked.
What is most heartening from the Indian viewpoint is that the youngsters given their chance to come good in the shorter formats of the game did a commendable job. Shreyas Iyer for one performed well enough to indicate that he could finally fill the vexed No 4 slot admirably.
It was not just successive scores of 71 and 65 in the ODIs that caught the eye but what was more impressive was his approach – an ideal blend of attack and the delicate touch. In the T-20s medium pacers Navdeep Saini and Deepak Chahar performed admirably in their limited opportunities.
In the Tests however it will be the experienced, tried and trusted stars who will be expected to succeed. Virat Kohli is acknowledged to be the best batsman across all three formats and even though currently Steve Smith is the king in Tests Kohli remains in awesome form in ODIs as he proved with two successive hundreds. He and the team management will no doubt be hoping that the captain is able to carry on in this vein in the Tests too.
Examining both the squads it does appear that the Indian side scores on every count - skill, experience and of course ranking which has India firmly perched on the top while West Indies is languishing at No 8. The composition of the home team does not inspire confidence while the tourists have not done their chances any harm by their impressive showing in the warm-up match against West Indies A.
Indeed it could well be an embarrassment of riches for the tour selection committee for there are so many options when it comes to picking the playing eleven. There are high quality players to choose from – batsmen, pace bowlers, spin bowlers. Oh yes, viewed from any angle India’s Test squad does appear to have the firepower to repeat the feat of their three predecessors in 2006, 2011 and 2016.