5 Indian players for whom the West Indies Test series will be crucial
India’s home bilateral series against the West Indies will comprise of 2 Test Matches, 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is played through October and into November 2018, before Team India leaves for their next big overseas assignment, the tour of Australia in 2018-19.
While this home series against the West Indies is being dismissed by some quarters as merely an irrelevant, money-spinning exercise that won’t adequately prepare the side for their trip Down Under, it is still a highly important assignment for those Test players who couldn’t perform to expectations in England and those who’ve broken into the Test squad and would like to make their place more permanent.
With that in mind, these are 5 players for whom this is a crucial Test series and who would benefit greatly from a good display in Rajkot and Hyderabad against a relatively lacklustre West Indies XI:
KL Rahul is at a crossroads in his career at the moment. The initial talent he displayed to break into the Indian team has been backed up by some fabulous innings in international cricket, but not as consistently as most people would’ve liked.
A personally disappointing tour of England was bookended by a century in the 1st T20I at Old Trafford, and a century in the 2nd Innings of the Final Test at the Oval; but in between, was blighted by the inconsistency problems that have been a feature of his career in the Indian cricket team so far.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been perhaps the best opening duo in white-ball cricket over the last 5 years; so it’s no surprise Rahul hasn’t been able to get a look-in to open the batting in the shorter formats of the game. But with those two currently out of Team India’s plans in Test Cricket, Rahul has a clear shot to build a successful opening combination with debutant Mayank Agarwal, and be a staple of the Indian Test XI.
This series against the West Indies represents a good opportunity for him to make a real case for himself as India’s Test opener for the tour of Australia.