After a dismissive performance in the last test, the West Indian team comes into the 4th test match with all to play for – at stake is pride and a nation’s expectations relying heavily on the West Indian unit to show some signs of potential and a sense of comradery amongst themselves in the bid to prove that cricket in Caribbean is still very much of the international standard and while the 1st and 3rd test were lost badly by the team, the fight shown in 2nd is still being praised and that is going to be set as a benchmark coming into this test match.
The Indian team has very little to be worried about. Coming in of the new coach in Anil Kumble – who has not only gelled in with the players but is starting to call some brave shots. Sending Ashwin to bat up the batting order has already proved a massive success in this series, with the bowler cum batsman already getting 2 centuries under his belt – proving his mettle with the bat and this confidence is being translated into his bowling, wherein he’s giving match winning spells and showing an all-round excellence.
India’s batting order has looked incredible in some instance, while there are concern areas otherwise. The top order for one is where things need to be sorted. This series against West Indies is in fair terms the easiest wins as they come for this Indian side, in future – is Dhawan the right man to instill confidence in? Is Murali Vijay’s absence from the XI in the last test a justified move? If Dhawan and Vijay both play, will Rahul be forced to bat at no.3? These are pretty much the only tough questions posed at the Indian team right now, rest the bowling and batting unit seems to be flawless but can the Windies expose the Indian team’s weakness in the last test? Remains to be seen.
The Indian captain coming into the 4th test made a bold decision at the toss i.e. of playing an additional batsman in place of Ravindra Jadeja in Cheteshwara Pujara – perhaps handing him one more opportunity to really come into his own and show signs of the Pujara we know – bold and strong as a wall. Another change was to bring back Murali Vijay into the side in place of Shikhar Dhawan – something that we suggested in the last match itself. As for the West Indies, they gave Bishoo a chance to play and dropped out the young talent in Joseph – a shocking move to say the least, with the debutant from the last match grabbing Kohli’s wicket and showing tremendous skills with the ball.
The threat of rain ruining most of day 1 loomed large since start of play and it pretty much did ruin the most of day 1 but 22 overs were still managed to get in.
In the 22 overs that West Indies had to play, they lost 2 wickets of Johnson and Darren Bravo, it’s another failure at the opening slot for the West Indian team – with the opening duo averaging 12.14 in the series so far, with Brathwaite the only successor from the opening slot.
West Indies are currently placed 62/2 after 22 overs, with Brathwaite on 32* and Samuels on 4*.