India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata November 5, 2013

Cricket sideshow takes centrestage

45

Match facts

Wednesday-Sunday, November 6-10, 2013
Start time 0900 local (0330GMT)

Big Picture

Darren Sammy and his men will take a look at the farewell euphoria in Kolkata and wonder if there's some karmic connection between West Indies and Sachin Tendulkar. 'When will he get his 100th international hundred?' was the refrain the last time West Indies toured India in late 2011. Tendulkar came close twice in that three-Test series, making 76 in a successful chase in Delhi and falling six runs short of the mark to the disappointment of hometown Mumbai.

That Wankhede match was only the second time a Test had been drawn with the scores level, India managing a single off the last ball of the game when two were needed. West Indies may have lost that 2011 series 0-2, but they had a 100-plus first-innings lead in Delhi which they blew, and were a wicket away from a win at the end in Mumbai.

It is important to revisit all this to remind ourselves that two teams played cricket - exciting cricket - then, during that long clamour for the landmark. And, regardless of how or why this series came to be, two teams are going to play cricket now, during the retirement.

West Indies may have one of the worst overseas records over the past decade or so, but they have batsmen such as Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo who have thrived in Indian conditions in the past. They have bowlers of extreme pace in Kemar Roach and Tino Best. They have capable spinners in Shane Shillingford and Veerasammy Permaul. And they have a captain who is as unassuming as some of the young Indian stars aren't.

MS Dhoni and his men haven't played any Tests since sweeping Australia 4-0 at home in March. They are about to embark on a succession of overseas tours starting with South Africa next month. They have an opener who, for all his world-conquering limited-overs form, is only one Test innings old. The other one hasn't been among the runs recently. Their No. 5 could likely become No. 4 after this series; they have been trying to find No. 6 since the end of 2008. Their fast-bowling unit is so unpredictable they are considering a debutant when they have someone who has played as many as 51 Tests. There is a lot to think about for Dhoni, even against West Indies and even as the goodbye carnival carries on.

Form guide

India WWWWD (last five games, most recent first)
West Indies WWWWW

In the spotlight

If it hasn't already been, 2013 may yet be declared the year of Shikhar Dhawan, for appearing out of the blue and producing one eye-catching performance after another. Four ODI hundreds to go with that pulverising 187 on Test debut against Australia in Mohali. Nearly eight months have passed since that innings, and Dhawan's form has kept pace in limited-overs formats. What will he have for us in his second Test?

In 2011, Darren Bravo made two big hundreds in Kolkata and Mumbai to tally over 400 runs for the series, by far the best West Indies batsman on that trip. He likes batting on the subcontinent; his other two Test hundreds have been scored in Bangladesh. He can be as soft with his hands in dealing with spin as he can be hard on fast bowlers.

Team news

The absence of Ravindra Jadeja, who has played all of five Tests, in a home series has disturbed the team combination so much that Rohit Sharma and Amit Mishra are competing for one spot. If Dhoni goes for a fifth bowler, Mishra will play his first Test since August 2011. If Dhoni goes for the sixth batsman, Rohit may edge out Ajinkya Rahane with his part-time offspin. If that happens, he would have played 108 ODIs before finally making his Test debut, easily the record.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Rohit Sharma/Ajinkya Rahane/Amit Mishra, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Pragyan Ojha, 11 Umesh Yadav/Ishant Sharma/Mohammed Shami

Even without missing Jadeja, West Indies are facing a similar predicament. In 2011, they played three specialist bowlers - two quicks and one spinner. This time, Sammy says one needs two spinners in India, which could mean a toss-up between Narsingh Deonarine and Veerasammy Permaul.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine/Veerasammy Permaul, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Shane Shillingford, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Tino Best

Pitch and conditions

Eden Gardens' chief groundsman, Prabir Mukherjee, has promised "a good, firm, even-bouncing wicket" but a day before the game, Sammy said it already "looks like a fourth-day pitch". While Mukherjee and Dhoni aren't exactly friends, it is Sammy's verdict that may excite the India captain, who has said in the past he wants Indian Test pitches to turn from day one. Peak temperature is expected to hover around 30 C. No rain is expected during the match, but the moisture previous downpours have left behind in the soil may slow down the pitch.

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies have won their last six Tests, two each against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and New Zealand
  • West Indies last won an away Test against an opposition other than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe in 2007. Before that, in 2000
  • Sachin Tendulkar is 163 short of 16000 Test runs and five short of 50 Test wickets

Quotes

"Last time we were bowling against Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman, Dravid, Sachin and Dhoni. And we bowled them out three [two] times with four bowlers. We are going to come confident and look to get 20 important wickets."
Darren Sammy

"First and foremost, we need to focus on cricket and look to win the series. Once we've won the series, we can decide on who to dedicate it to."
MS Dhoni

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 6, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Hope India will win the series 2-0. All the best team India.

  • on November 6, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    will Sachin ball first

  • on November 6, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    will MS give 1st ball to Sachin

  • Thyagu5432 on November 6, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    People who are asking for Vijay's head are doing that sheerly out of hatred and not based on facts. Vijay has failed in ODI and T20 but he was a big success in his last series. Now, where is the question of dropping him? If you analyze why he fails in the shorter form of the game, you will notice that he just doesn't know when to press the pedal. Most of the times he does it too soon and sometimes he does that when he scores a few in several balls and out of frustration goes against his nature. Whereas in test matches, he has realized that he can take his time to score. Loose balls will always be served at you as long as you have the patience to wait for it. Now, whether he has the technique to back up his patience is something one has to wait and watch when he plays in SA or Aus. But for now, he is in.

  • cricket_ahan on November 6, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Dhoni has said Ajinkya will play if they want a specialist batsman - I think he's just trying to be diplomatic. With Jadeja out, the only man I see as his replacement is Rohit Sharma. Given his recent success in ODIs against Australia, his confidence will be sky high, and we already know he has the talent to play good cricket. Sure his mental game may still need work, but no time like right now to develop India's next Test superstar. Second seamer position is very unpredictable at the moment - I'd stick with experience and go Umesh Yadav, who despite not taking many wickets has at least been playing in the longer format Ranji cricket in his time away from the national team.

  • on November 6, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    West Indies best 2 wicket takers missing. Sachin is not comfortable against Sunil. What a mistake again by the West Indies Selectors. It would have been a great duel.

  • asthomas911 on November 6, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    I think Rohit should given a chance ahead of Vijay and then put Mishra or Shami in as an extra bowler and it is better balanced that way

  • LUV4DGAME on November 6, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    India should go with 4 bowlers and 6 batsmen. With SRT leaving soon, they will have 2 openings in the test batting order. It is better to identify those two in India itself. Also, they must rest Bhuvi, who is more or less certain in SA. They must try new fast bowlers keeping the SA series in mind.

  • on November 6, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    @Rags57 on (November 5, 2013, 13:55 GMT): You said:

    "... India need five proper bowlers and 5 top class batsmen in addition to Dhoni to be a well balanced team. ..."

    Precisely. That is what I meant in my statement that India has to sort out issues both in batting & bowling.

    I don't want to state my concerns about each player, one by one, just when we are starting a test series in a few hours!

  • on November 5, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Why not let SRT be the fifth bowling option?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 6, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Hope India will win the series 2-0. All the best team India.

  • on November 6, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    will Sachin ball first

  • on November 6, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    will MS give 1st ball to Sachin

  • Thyagu5432 on November 6, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    People who are asking for Vijay's head are doing that sheerly out of hatred and not based on facts. Vijay has failed in ODI and T20 but he was a big success in his last series. Now, where is the question of dropping him? If you analyze why he fails in the shorter form of the game, you will notice that he just doesn't know when to press the pedal. Most of the times he does it too soon and sometimes he does that when he scores a few in several balls and out of frustration goes against his nature. Whereas in test matches, he has realized that he can take his time to score. Loose balls will always be served at you as long as you have the patience to wait for it. Now, whether he has the technique to back up his patience is something one has to wait and watch when he plays in SA or Aus. But for now, he is in.

  • cricket_ahan on November 6, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Dhoni has said Ajinkya will play if they want a specialist batsman - I think he's just trying to be diplomatic. With Jadeja out, the only man I see as his replacement is Rohit Sharma. Given his recent success in ODIs against Australia, his confidence will be sky high, and we already know he has the talent to play good cricket. Sure his mental game may still need work, but no time like right now to develop India's next Test superstar. Second seamer position is very unpredictable at the moment - I'd stick with experience and go Umesh Yadav, who despite not taking many wickets has at least been playing in the longer format Ranji cricket in his time away from the national team.

  • on November 6, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    West Indies best 2 wicket takers missing. Sachin is not comfortable against Sunil. What a mistake again by the West Indies Selectors. It would have been a great duel.

  • asthomas911 on November 6, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    I think Rohit should given a chance ahead of Vijay and then put Mishra or Shami in as an extra bowler and it is better balanced that way

  • LUV4DGAME on November 6, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    India should go with 4 bowlers and 6 batsmen. With SRT leaving soon, they will have 2 openings in the test batting order. It is better to identify those two in India itself. Also, they must rest Bhuvi, who is more or less certain in SA. They must try new fast bowlers keeping the SA series in mind.

  • on November 6, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    @Rags57 on (November 5, 2013, 13:55 GMT): You said:

    "... India need five proper bowlers and 5 top class batsmen in addition to Dhoni to be a well balanced team. ..."

    Precisely. That is what I meant in my statement that India has to sort out issues both in batting & bowling.

    I don't want to state my concerns about each player, one by one, just when we are starting a test series in a few hours!

  • on November 5, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Why not let SRT be the fifth bowling option?

  • on November 5, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    May be someone will break Sachin's Records... But no Mom's will say again to their Kids "Oye Sachin got out now go and sleep" ..This happened to me in my schoold and college days.. Sachin you are great.. My Mom or even my 90 year old grand mother knows cricket as Sachins game...

  • Ncnotorious on November 5, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    @manoj Narine and Rampaul are said to be limited over bowlers (disagree with that completely). Both are wicket takers and produce wicket taking deliveries all the time so I dont see why the selectors dont want to play them. Narine had one dry series in terms of wickets vs England, but what no one saw was that Swann also didnt take much wickets in that series.

  • Ncnotorious on November 5, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    WI should try to play both permaul and shillingford. The toss-up between Permaul and Deonarine is a tough one. Deonarine made 90+ in the tour match and Permaul took wickets. In the end I think WI will go with Deonarine because he can bowl spin as well but my personal choice in that decision is Permaul.

  • on November 5, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    My playing 11 along with bench strenth are: 1. dhawan 2. vijay (rahane) 3. pujara 4. tendulkar ( kohli in s africa) 5 kohli ( rohit/raina in africa) 6 dhoni 7 sir jadeja ( mishra/irfan pathan) 8 ashwin ( bhajji) 9 bhuvneshwar 10 ojha 11 shammi ( umesh / zaheer)

  • on November 5, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    where is sunil narine and ravi rampaul????

  • binu.emiliya on November 5, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Whoever crying for Rahane, should watch his debut test match vs Aus , he was very low on confidence simple poking and missing , He is very good when he is in good flow but I think we should give Rohith a chance at number Six, Vijay was very good vs Aus so he should open the batting. Since WI is playing 5 or six left handers in their lineup i prefer a wrist spinner (Amith Mishra) in place of sla finger spinner (Ohja) because he is having a good googly .I prefer Shahbaz Nadeem in place of Ohja because Nadeemis the best Sla spinner now in India, he can bat and he is a good fielder also

  • Vishal63 on November 5, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Pragyan Ojha, 11Mohammed Shami

  • amitpat79 on November 5, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Hoping for MS DHONI to win toss . and put india at bat first very exciting can't wait for test series to start . wish i was in india so i could have went to see sachin for last couple mathces

  • on November 5, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    My Indian playing 11 lineup 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7.Amit Mishra, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Pragyan Ojha, 11 Mohammed Shami

    In future No.4 will be the prince Virat Kohli

    And of course Sir Jadeja can take his No.7 So Rohit/M Vijay and Rahane/Raina at 2 and 6 will be captains call

  • on November 5, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    @Rajendran, Rajesj & others trying to back M Vijay, Facts - 1) Selectors chose Rohit above Vijay to open in ODI's, though Vijay is the recognised opener, Rohit is not....If these tracks are batsmen friendly, why did selectors pick middle-order batsman Rohit to open, leaving out recognised opener - Vijay ?...With CSK's MSD captaining India & N Srinivasan being president of BCCI, regional bias is out of the equation. 2) Rohit's bat has proved the selectors right. For now, on cricketing merit - it would be unreasonable to drop Rohit & make way for Vijay. Vijay might have got a lot of runs 6 months ago, but he has not been in the game of late & therefore, bringing in an undercooked Vijay could be a disservice to Vijay as well. If Undercooked Vijay fails & India gets into trouble, the discussions about how CSK's management dropped a performing Rohit for another CSK player will start. Better - remember, MSD knows more about cricket & his cricketers than all of us, let him do his job.

  • on November 5, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    I can't wait for a moment when toss happens and India win it. If Dhoni chose to bat first, we may see that SRT will bat in same day and we can have some memorable inning from him as he is looking for his 200th Test match. I do not want him to make a 100 but want to see at least adding 50 odd runs in his belt.....that is far far enough for Indians.

  • blthndr on November 5, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    You just cant judge rohit on basis of his one day record...and test cricket is far more diffrent than odi, not everyone can play at this level....ie "raina,yuvraj"..If you think selection for test cricket should be based on first class performance than rohit is right there on top the table with other candidates waiting for his chance...hav 60 avg and a trple century...so lets just give him a chance then evaluate.....

  • IndTheBest on November 5, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    India team certainly need 5 bowlers as test matches are won by the bowlers. At the most batsman can draw the match. My personal preference is to get left arm fast/medium pacer either Zaheer or Irfan but none of them are in team so right now best choice is to get Amit Mishra. He was expensive in ODI but don't get carried over on his ODI performance. he is a decent bat and good leg spinner who can win match for you. Ashwin/Mishra together can give you one extra batsman. Dhoni has to be brave to analyze Vijay vs Rahane on top to open the inning with Dhawan followed by Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli and himself.

  • on November 5, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Veerasammy Permaul might be a game changer....

  • dadasupporterNO.1 on November 5, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    i do belive rahane is better than rohit and vijay coz on his debut(t20 and one day) he played well in england against england (pithces in england had green tinge at that time) As far as dis series is concerened any of them will do good but against SA rahane can do better. sadly rohit and vijay will get selected they will perform well in dis series on flat tracks and get nod for series against SA.

  • rohan8579 on November 5, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    @Rajeshj, i do understand your concern, but please do not bring southies, or northies or westies or easties please in your concern coz once you bring that in any debate you just loose the debate, we are one country and to address your concern, though i completely agree with you that Vijay needs to perform in order to save his place in the test side even though he did perform great in his "last" series...if you notice i specifically mentioned "last" series...in a way it is good and it shows how strong our bench is in batting department...also when you mentioned your concern, in a way you answered yourself by mentioning "rohit/dhawan/rahane" euphoria...that is bcoz they have been performing consistently in international matches and performing very well....good luck to vijay though...i love this competition ....as a Indian Cricket fan

  • on November 5, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    If the pitch looks like a 4th day pitch, Mr Dhoni, pl don't get overexcited. Deonarine may not be a Sunil Narine; but he can 'maul' your boys like a Permaul. You throw Shillingford also into the mix, India can taste its own medicine. Of course, they may be able to take the side effects of the medicine better.

    Let us not forget, both in batting and bowling, India have things to be sorted out. Hope they do so before embarking on the SA tour!

  • on November 5, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    @ Naresh28 on (November 5, 2013, 14:26 GMT):

    Mohamed Shami uses his brain better than both the self-proclaimed "spearhead" Ishant; and the supposed to be speedster Yadav.

    Both Ishant & Yadav sprays the ball all around. With either of them, you can already book some runs against Mr Extras (wides & no-balls). Both also do not adequately factor in the field placements. Shami, within his short international career showed better control over line & length. Showed better awareness of the field placements. Can bowl some yorkers -- the only Indian pacer who is doing it at the moment. It will be foolish not to have him in the playing XI.

  • jhabindradol on November 5, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Rohit should open innings with shikhar, Rohit is a player who does not get panic at all and always makes sure that team gets a good start. sometimes he could make just 30+ and get out but he always makes sure that team gets a good start. when the ball is new and swinging its rohit takes most of strike that means he takes all the initial pressure and shikhar from other side play his stroke.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on November 5, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Rohit took 100 odd odi matches to perform. So probability wise, if he gets a test cap he will take another 50 odd test matches to start perform.

  • Rajeshj on November 5, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Poor Vijay.. If he scores anything less than 50 in first test match could end his career quickly amidst this Dhawan/Rohit/Rahane euphoria.. and that in spite of being the top scorer against the tougher Aussie team in previous series.. this happens only in India.. People don't understand the fact that if he had played the last ODI series against Aussie team, he would have easily scored hundreds too.. such was the nature of the pitches.. I would say all three (Vijay, Dhawan and Rohit) are of the same calibre .. they have played well on flat roads and are untested in swinging and pacy conditions.. so all of them require a long rope to find their feet.. Unfortunately Vijay is a southie and so he wouldn't get as many chances as the other two...

  • on November 5, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    i tnk west indies hav a great chance of wrapping the series..if they played to their potentials..because they look more balanced than india

  • shaylin on November 5, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Both teams have not played enough test cricket this year to bring any momentum into this series. The key players for WI will be Gayle, Bravo, Shiv and Samuels (with both bat and ball). Tino Best and Roach were ineffective against Zimbabwe in March and both (if selected) will have to get new ball wickets for WI to have any chance of an upset. With the ball both Shillingford and Samuels will be a handful on these slow wickets.

    The ODI series victory against Aus will help bring a positive mindset into this series for some players. Whoever India chose, I feel Sharma deserves to debut at No.6 and Yadav should share the new ball duties with Kumar. On current form I don't think Ishant deserves to retain his spot...his test strike rate this year is one wicket every 14 overs.

    God bless Sachin to reach 16000 test runs this series! So happy this test series is shown live on pay-tv in Australia!!!!

  • Nirlep-Patel on November 5, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    I would like India to play Five bowlers and have three fast bowler like Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.

  • sss_m19 on November 5, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    @sivabala: You know our people have very poor memory! When jadeja was included in test..they were questioning, he is not even ODI player but is added in test..now the same people call him as allrounder in test even though he has performed only as bowler..ashwin is going to break the indian record to reach 100 test wkts ..but people question him every match...rohit was no-hit for these many years. Now suddenly he has become an extra-ordinary test player even though he hasn't played single international test...Vijay was the highest scorer, but they tell he is not fit to be test player seeing his T20 performance. Same knowledgeable people will tell test player should not be selected based on T20 (exceptions are for favorite players) they will voice for unknown spinner in domestic ..but question a spinner who proves in international matches. there is one part in our body the tongue which can change its word (revert back and forth) however it want ,same way are our knowledgeable commenters!

  • class9ryan on November 5, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    West Indies should look to at least draw this series. If West Indies stun India somehow, the farewell might turn to a bitter one. I hope things go well for India tomorrow, I don't know about Rohit but Shami deserves to get a test cap.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on November 5, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    for rohit sharma, form is temporary class is permanent. He is class player, no doubt abt that. That why i m saying, vijay deserved his place as opener, he scored nearly 450 runs against oz.

  • on November 5, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    come what may west indies will not go down without a fight, look out INDIA!

  • Naresh28 on November 5, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Vijay is a patient player but I feel Sharma should take his spot and Mishra Jadeja's one. With Ashwin and Ohja we can have the variety in spin. By playing Rohit who is in great form. Two pacers should be be Bhuvi and Yadav.

  • Siva_Bala75 on November 5, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Vijay was the top scorer in the last series- the last 4 tests against Australia. He outscored Pujara, Sachin, Kohli and Dhoni. People are asking Vijay to be dropped!!!

  • landl47 on November 5, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Sachin is going to need all his legendary tranquility to deal with the pressure in this series. Good luck to him.

    As for the series, WI has been playing its best cricket for years under Sammy. India might find they are a tough opponent.

  • kadera51 on November 5, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    it will be more interesting if rahane get a chance ahead of M Vijay...and play with 3 spinners,,,

  • Rags57 on November 5, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    It may sound crazy but I would be tempted to play Rohit Sharma as an opener in place of Vijay and play Amit Mishra as an additional bowler - considering Rohit's technique is no worse than Vijay's and his success at the top in the ODIs there is no harm in trying this out. If we don't try it against the WI at home when and where else would you try it? India needs five proper bowlers and 5 top class batsmen in addition to Dhoni to be a well balanced team. This combination would give them that balance.

  • on November 5, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    amazing... cant wait to see two legends go at it... :)

  • on November 5, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    i am sure the lineup would be if they decided to go with four bowler Vijay , dhawan, pujara, sachin, kohli, rohit, dhoni, Ashwin, shami, ojha n Umesh. or if they want to play an extra bowler, then ashwin can play the role of allrounder and in place of rohit they can either play mishra/bhuvi.

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  • on November 5, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    i am sure the lineup would be if they decided to go with four bowler Vijay , dhawan, pujara, sachin, kohli, rohit, dhoni, Ashwin, shami, ojha n Umesh. or if they want to play an extra bowler, then ashwin can play the role of allrounder and in place of rohit they can either play mishra/bhuvi.

  • on November 5, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    amazing... cant wait to see two legends go at it... :)

  • Rags57 on November 5, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    It may sound crazy but I would be tempted to play Rohit Sharma as an opener in place of Vijay and play Amit Mishra as an additional bowler - considering Rohit's technique is no worse than Vijay's and his success at the top in the ODIs there is no harm in trying this out. If we don't try it against the WI at home when and where else would you try it? India needs five proper bowlers and 5 top class batsmen in addition to Dhoni to be a well balanced team. This combination would give them that balance.

  • kadera51 on November 5, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    it will be more interesting if rahane get a chance ahead of M Vijay...and play with 3 spinners,,,

  • landl47 on November 5, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Sachin is going to need all his legendary tranquility to deal with the pressure in this series. Good luck to him.

    As for the series, WI has been playing its best cricket for years under Sammy. India might find they are a tough opponent.

  • Siva_Bala75 on November 5, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Vijay was the top scorer in the last series- the last 4 tests against Australia. He outscored Pujara, Sachin, Kohli and Dhoni. People are asking Vijay to be dropped!!!

  • Naresh28 on November 5, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Vijay is a patient player but I feel Sharma should take his spot and Mishra Jadeja's one. With Ashwin and Ohja we can have the variety in spin. By playing Rohit who is in great form. Two pacers should be be Bhuvi and Yadav.

  • on November 5, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    come what may west indies will not go down without a fight, look out INDIA!

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on November 5, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    for rohit sharma, form is temporary class is permanent. He is class player, no doubt abt that. That why i m saying, vijay deserved his place as opener, he scored nearly 450 runs against oz.

  • class9ryan on November 5, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    West Indies should look to at least draw this series. If West Indies stun India somehow, the farewell might turn to a bitter one. I hope things go well for India tomorrow, I don't know about Rohit but Shami deserves to get a test cap.