India begins their journey in the ICC World Test Championship with an away Test against a resurgent West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground at North Sound in Antigua. The hosts had surprised everyone by beating England in the Test series earlier this year.
Although India head into the first Test as strong favorites, they should not take the hosts lightly, with the West Indies proving in recent times that they are a strong side in home conditions.
West Indies' pace bowling attack of Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Jason Holder are more than a match for the number one Test side in the World. The trio can be more than a match against any batting line up. India's openers are still new to international cricket and with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane going through poor form, the hosts will be looking to go for the kill.
All in all, it promises to be a fascinating contest between bat and ball with the context of Test Championship added to it.
Date: 22nd August to 26th August 2019
Time: 7:00 PM IST, 9.30 AM Local.
Venue: Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, North Sound, Antigua.
The first Test should not get affected by rain as ample sunshine is predicted for most of the days. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for Saturday but that should not be a worry as there are just 50% chances of rain.
Earlier this year, West Indies outsmarted England on green tracks with the Duke's ball moving around in the air, and off the seam. The Windies bundled out a strong England side for 187 and 132 runs in the last Test match played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. The hosts are expected to dish up similar conditions to test India’s vulnerable middle order.
Total matches played: 96
West Indies: 30
Expected Playing XI
It would be interesting to see if the Kohli-Ravi Shastri duo goes for an additional sixth batsman or an extra bowler for the first Test starting on Thursday. If the conditions are conducive to spin bowling, India might include both Ashwin and Jadeja in the playing XI. However, if there is a lively surface on offer at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Jadeja might make way for Mohammed Shami.
Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
For the home side, Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall could make his long-awaited Test debut as the match is scheduled at his home Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.
Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jason Holder (c), Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach
Live coverage and streaming details
The live action will be covered on the Sony Network through Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 3, and Sony Ten 3 HD.
The match can also be streamed live through the Sony Liv app.