Can the lowly West Indies challenge the mighty Indian team?
Bygone are the days when West Indies cricket used to be a challenging side. They were high and mighty many a decades back. In today's world, it merely seems as a folktale to the new generation.
The only format that they own today is the T20 version, in that too they usually miss most of their best players due to the mismanagement of the West Indies board.
Their current ICC rankings currently in Test, ODI, and T20 stand at 8th, 9th, and 7th respectively. Even their T20 ranking is languishing at the bottom of the barrel.
So, here they are in India to play 2 Tests, 5 ODI's and 3 T20's against a team's whose current rankings are 1st in Test's, 2nd in ODI's and 2nd in T20s. The Indian team of today has the potential to challenge and win against any team in the world. While playing in Indian conditions makes the team even more dangerous against any visiting side in the world.
After a two week rest during the Asia Cup, the Indian captain Virat Kohli is back to lead the Test side. While India has given rest to its two premiers fast bowler's i.e Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and an injury to Ishant Sharma would mean a bit of a change in the fast bowling department, but the spin bowling trio of Ashwin, Jadeja, and Kuldeep would give no respite to the West Indies team.
It is spin which is the Achilles heel of the sides visiting the subcontinent whether it's Australia, South Africa, England or West Indies. Thus to challenge the Indians the West Indies batsman would have to play by their skin to overcome the spin test from India.
The West Indies have just played a two-day practice match in India, where they did perform reasonably well but coming to the first test match on October 4th at Rajkot, it will be a different ball game altogether for them.
It has been a long 24 years since they won a Test in India. The last time when they visited here for Test matches was in 2013, notably the series in which Sachin Tendulkar retired. They were humbled in that series 2-0 by the Indian team. Thus they would prefer to definitely better there record this time.
In the end, the best format for them to compete against India will be the T20 series where most of their globetrotting marquee players should be back in action. While in the Test's and ODI's it seems a very huge task at the moment for them to cause upset against the Indians.
Thus in today's time, India is the Goliath and West Indies is the David in the cricketing world. Whether David can win against Goliath seems a massive ask as always.