Going into the first test as favourites, India came close to having the rug pulled from below their feet, at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, after their much-vaunted batting line-up collapsed to be all out for 209 in the first innings. But in the manner in which they fought back to win the match on the fourth day, India showed the toughness you’d associate with champion teams and that should stand them in good stead at the Eden Gardens, where the pitch conditions is likely to be similar to those encountered at Delhi.
As in Delhi, expect the spinners to call the shots, from day three onwards. For India, their bowlers rose to the occasion, in the first test, and though their batting let men them down, in the first innings, all their batsmen, barring Yuvraj, showed signs of good form. Yuvraj could be under pressure to perform, with youngsters like Kohli and Rahane, waiting their turn, in the wings. While Yadav, Ashwin and Ojha appear to have established places for themselves, in the test eleven, Ishaant Sharma’s spirited showing was a cheery sign, for the home team.
The West indies also had many positives to take home from Delhi. Never expected to trouble India, the visitors came close to pulling off an upset, in the first test. Much credit must be given to their bowlers who bowled steadily to a plan and gave their side a 95-run first innings lead. Bishoo’s caused the Indan batsmen some bother with his spin, while Sammy’s gentle medium pace, and Fidel Edwards express pace, coupled with Rampaul’s intelligent use of the new ball, kept the visiting team in the business, longer than most would have expected.
Among the batsmen, Chanderpaul stood out, while the likes of Samuel and Bravo failed when it mattered, and like the West Indian batting, in general, failed to come to terms with the spin and guile of Ojha and Ashwin. Kieron Edwards who scored consistently, on the Bangladesh tour, gave enough indication that he is going to be around, with the Windies team, for a long time to come.
What can we expect from the young Caribbean squad at Kolkata. As in Delhi, the visitors’ interests would be best served if they were to bat first and use the best batting conditions in the early part of the match. Once they have the runs on the board, their bowlers could come to the party, as they did in India’s first innings, at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.