HYDERABAD, Oct 11: India’s ruthless home run is unlikely to be challenged when the team takes on a below-par West Indies in the second Test starting Friday in what threatens to be another lopsided contest.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli (R) with team-mate KL Rahul during a practice session on the eve of the 2nd Test against the West Indies in Hyderabad, on Thursday. – PTI
After the hosts won the first Test by a record innings and 272 runs, there are hardly any signs that there will be a change in the script as the second Test promises to be another run-feast.
Add to it, skipper Jason Holder is still not 100 per cent fit and their only fast bowler of repute Shannon Gabriel is a doubtful starter for the encounter. India, on the other hand, have not made any changes to the squad that won the first game inside three days in Rajkot.
The lop-sided matches are hardly the kind of preparation the Indian team would have wanted before the big-ticket series against Australia starting December.
In fact, Virat Kohli’s team might not be able to escape a sense of deja vu as it goes into the second Test.
In 2011, India dominated West Indies 2-0 in an one-sided series before crashing to a 0-4 defeat against Australia Down Under. Similarly, in 2013 when India won both Test matches well inside three days, the next tour of South Africa didn’t pan out well as they lost the series.
It is just an indicator that the West Indies Test teams over the years have not been competitive enough to challenge the Indian team, which is anyway formidable on home turf.
In contests like these, the focus is on challenging one’s own self which skipper Virat Kohli did in the first Test where he scored 139 off 230 balls.
While 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw expectedly hogged the limelight with a smashing ton on debut, Kohli’s innings was a master-class of how to set a different challenge for oneself as a batsman. The West Indies bowling, which at best can be compared to a lower rung first-class side in India, could have been taken to the cleaners but the Indian skipper hit only 10 fours in his knock – significantly less than Shaw’s 19 boundaries and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 14 hits. – PTI
Match starts at 9:30 am