New Delhi, 21/7/2016- The Men in Blue are back in West Indies after a span of five years. The Indian team will play a four match Test series against Jason Holder and his boys commencing from 21st July where they will take the field against the hosts at Sir Vivian Richards stadium, Antigua.
A lot has changed in the gap of five years for both the teams. The hosts are coping with the players and boards disputes along with that they have three world champions trophy earlier this year to their name, which has brought a lot of positive signs for the West Indies Cricket.
But when it comes to Test matches, West Indies are yet to prove themselves as a competitive Test playing nation. They currently stand at number 8 in the ICC Test rankings and they had to taste the bitterness of defeat in their previous two encounters against the Sri Lanka and the Oz’s.
Former ex Indian cricketer Ajay Ratra, who hit a ton on his debut against the West Indies, recounts his experience of his first tour to West Indies. “It’s always difficult to judge a ball coming at you with a speed of more than 145 km/hour released from a height of 8 feet approx; It tests your actual technique and potential.
I remember facing my first International ball against Cameron Cuffy who was approx 7 feet tall, I was looking at his wrist and the release was just gentle and the ball pitched in the good length area, but the ball took a sudden pace and it was a bouncer for me. I somehow managed to duck that bowl. So in this manner I was welcomed to the International cricket and this is the nature of the pitch there”
Gone are those when the fast track pitches in West Indies would give a feeling of Consternation to the batsman. “The pitch has grass on it and we would not be surprised if it is left with some grass for the match, making it spinner friendly” said Sanjay Bangar about the pitch to be prepared for the first test match.
Though it is the first tour to West Indies for many players in the team including padrone Kohli, the experience of Jumbo and Murali Vijay will come in handy for them.
The West Indies team has always been a threat to their opponents on their own soil, but with a spinner friendly deck expected to be used in the match. The Indian bowling unit has the likes of Mishra and Ashwin and with the batting department headed by Pujara, Kohli and Murali Vijay, there is no doubt Indian curry will be dominating over the Caribbean cuisine in their home turf.