India vs. West Indies, 1st Test: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
India vs. West Indies, 1st Test: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview
Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

I went to see a retirement party and a Test match broke out. That slightly altered Rodney Dangerfield joke pretty much sums up this two-match Test series between India and the West Indies which will see Sachin Tendulkar bow out from cricket.

Let's take a closer look at the first of these five-day contests which gets underway in Kolkata on Wednesday. 

 

Who will win the first Test?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 6th 2013

Start time: 03:30 BST

Live on: Sky Sports 1

Weather: Sunshine hovering between 27 and 28 degrees, according to BBC Weather.

 

Overview

On the one hand, this series is a good example of the scheduling issues plaguing the sport at the moment. A once mouth-watering Test match contest between two sides with vastly different styles of play is now having to be shoe-horned into the packed international calendar almost for the sake of it.

On the other, it's a chance for India to tune-up for an intense set of fixtures which includes clashes against South Africa, New Zealand, the ICC World Twenty20 and eventually a tour of England.

Despite not playing a Test match since March, India's batsmen will be full of confidence after an ODI series against Australia where their batsmen filled their boots. Obviously, Test cricket is a different beast, but with the likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and probable debutante Rohit Sharma in sensational form, runs shouldn't be hard to come by.

But wickets generated by pace bowling could. The expected return of veteran seamer Zaheer Khan hasn't materialised, so new ball duties will probably rest with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the out-of-form Ishant Sharma who was dropped midway through the ODI series with the Baggy Greens.

Fortunately for MS Dhoni's men, their phalanx of spinners tend to do the most damage at home and the usual suspects, Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, will be the West Indians' biggest problem.

Speaking of the Caribbean Islanders, Darren Sammy leads an interesting squad to Asia with the limpet-like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who scored a century in a warm-up game, adding steel to a batting lineup headed by the one and only Chris Gayle.

Kemar Roach and Tino Best are familiar names in terms of pace bowling, but the real interest is with the Caribbean Islanders' slow bowlers. Will Ottis Gibson go for a two-pronged spin attack? Shane Shillingford seems to be penciled in, but Sheldon Cotterrell and left-armer Veerasammy Permaul are vying to join him after both took wickets versus Uttar Pradesh.

India won by an innings and 15 runs the last time the sides met at Eden Gardens and haven't been defeated by the Windies in Kolkata since 1994.

 

Team News

India (from): MS Dhoni (capt. and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, M. Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma.

West Indies (from): Darren Sammy (capt.), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sheldon Cotterell, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Chris Gayle, Veersammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Chadwick Walton.

 

Key Players

For India, all eyes will be on one man, Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master's achievements are well-documented, but perhaps his most impressive feat is how he has handled the pressure of a nation throughout his 25-year career. Tendulkar has scored 1,546 runs at an average of 55.21 against the West Indies, with nine 50s and three centuries. Who would bet against him adding another triple-figure score to this tally in his final four innings?

The master blaster himself, Chris Gayle, seems to spend most of his time in India endangering the health of unobservant IPL spectators. But in the longest form of the game he is still regarded as a mere mortal. While still carrying a healthy average of 42.45, the Jamaican will be hoping to do some red-ball damage in a country and conditions he knows well.

 

Prediction

It is hard to look past India, who always seem to keep their focus with MS Dhoni's hand on the rudder, but even for them, the hype surrounding Tendulkar's final appearances could be a test. However, even with this distraction, they should have too much for the West Indies' fragile batting lineup, thus an innings win for the hosts is expected.

 

Load More Stories

Out of Bounds

Cricket

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.