The 2-Test series between the West Indies and India begin today at Windsor Park, Dominica with both teams hoping for a fresh start.
There will be interest as well in some of the new players who are about to take their first steps in red-ball cricket.
India are in transition. The West Indies are in shock. The series is about two great cricket nations trying to capture their best form have to turn to the new players in their teams to lead the way forward.
Yashasvi Jaiswal is 21. He is preparing to open the batting for India on Test debut. Alick Athanaze is 24. He is preparing to live up to the faith that no less than Brian Lara has in him. There are others vying to prove themselves as well. Ajinkya Rahane is India’s vice-captain but he’ll know that only consistent runs will keep him in the team.
Rahkeem Cornwall comes with all the potential in the world and though he has lived up to some of it with his off-spin, a batting average of 18 from nine Test does not tally with just how good he can be.
Plenty of focus will be on the kind of pitches that will be used in the matches. Windsor Park in Dominica is hosting a Test match for the first time in over six years. And given the discrepancy between the two pace attacks, and with the West Indies being able to call on quicker, taller and more experienced fast bowlers through the course of the series, they have an excellent opportunity.
Another factor would be that fast pitches might help negate India’s biggest threats with the ball, off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm, leg-spinner, Ravindra Jadeja.
The West Indies haven’t beaten India in a Test series since April 2002. They’ll be hungry to change that.
It is a long time since the West Indies has been a fast bowlers’ paradise. Both venues for this series are more known for producing slow pitches that lead to attritional cricket. Weather wise, there is some rain forecast on the first, second and fifth days of the Test.
Play is scheduled to start at 10.00 a. m today.