The World Test Championship is now in full swing, as the West Indies and India will be starting their campaigns tomorrow in the first Test at North Sound, Antigua.
The West Indies are a team in resurgence with players like Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and John Campbell, all proving themselves to be valuable players to the team. They are all brilliantly led by Captain Jason Holder, who has the most heart and passion of any cricketer I have seen in recent times.
The West Indies’ last Test series, was also their last Test series at home, against England, and not many would have given them much chance to compete, let alone win.
Despite their poor showing in the Cricket World Cup, they will be looking to start their World Test Championship on the right note by beating the current no.1 ranked Test team, India.
With pitches being more conducive to fast bowling in the West Indies these days, it is their fast bowling pack of Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder himself that will look to take advantage.
Since the start of 2017, the pace bowling averages of West Indian bowlers has been a wonderful 19.05, compared to the opposition (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & England) bowler’s 24.16 average.
India, are currently at the end of their 18 month-long away cycle, having lost in South Africa and England, but famously winning the Test series in Australia earlier this year.
With fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, and spinners such as Ravi Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav, India are ready for any pitch condition.
Cheteshwar Pujara has grown as a Test cricketer ten-fold after his incredible performance in Australia, scoring 521 runs at the brilliant average of 74, and we all know about Virat Kohli.
It is wonderful that Kohli was not rested for this series, but knowing his passion for Test Cricket, and with the World Test Championship beginning, he was never going to be rested. It is important for World Cricket for the best players to be playing the best format. Kohli is certainly one of the very best.
With the pitches likely to carry on being seamer-friendly, this will be a great test of the Indian batsmen’s abilities.
This is just a two-Test series, but it promises to be an exciting one.
The first Test kicks off on Thursday 22nd August at 3:30pm SA time.