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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Test Captain Kraigg Brathwaite Declares West Indies Must Demonstrate A Fight Left In Them

The West Indies test team is distinct from the Twenty20 or one-day international squads.

In an effort to contrast his team’s chances with the shortcomings of the national short-format teams, Test skipper Kraigg Brathwaite has stated the obvious ahead of their two-test series against India.

For the first time, the ODI squad missed out on qualifying for the men’s World Cup last week. That came after the T20 team’s late-year World Cup failure to make it past the group stage for the first time in fifteen years.

Brathwaite said his squad must do its share while pushing Dominicans to get tickets for the first test, which begins on Wednesday at Windsor Park.

We need to fight hard, and it all starts with our mentality, he stated. It all depends on your mindset as to whether you want to stop the ball before it reaches the boundary even when you are chasing it toward the boundary. Simply said, we just want to fight.

In the past two years, West Indies hasn’t dropped a home test series. But in the past ten years, they have only succeeded once at spin-friendly Windsor Park.

Although spinners have always been prominent at Windsor Park, tests haven’t been held there since 2017.

Spinners accounted for seven of the eight top test innings figures. Right-armer Rahkeem Cornwall and left-armer Jomel Warrican were chosen by West Indies to take the place of injured spinner Gudakesh Motie, indicating that both may participate.

Their last tests were in 2021 in Sri Lanka.

Alick Athanaze, a Dominican, and opener Kirk McKenzie, both uncapped bats who each hit two half-centuries on the A tour of Bangladesh in May, are also in the team.

In his lone ODI for the West Indies last month in the United Arab Emirates, Athanaze recorded a 45-ball score of 65.

Brian Lara, a team performance mentor, praised their mannerisms and outlook but cautioned that it could take some time for them to keep their word.

All-rounder Jason Holder and fellow bowler Alzarri Joseph were sent home early after the ODI team’s disastrous performance in the World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe to get ready for India’s month-long all-formats tour.

In place of No. 3 batter Cheteshwar Pujara in the Indian top order, Yashasvi Jaiswal is expected to make his debut.

Pujara finished second in runs scored for India during the last World Test Championship cycle, but it seems like Australia has made him the scapegoat after Australia bowled India out twice in the final last month at the Oval.

Jaiswal, a 21-year-old opening hitter for Mumbai, has nine hundreds and a first-class batting average of 80.21 in 26 innings.

Umesh Yadav, a fast bowler, was also benched in favor of Navdeep Saini, who participated in two tests during the 2021 Australian tour.

Mohammed Shami was rested, making Mohammed Siraj the fastest bowler with the greatest experience (nineteen tests). Saini, Thardul Shakur, Jaydev Unadkat, and uncapped Mukesh Kumar played a total of 13 tests together.

Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s top-ranked test bowler, was passed over for the WTC championship. However, Windsor Park’s preference for slow bowling may make Ashwin more important than spin all-arounder Ravindra Jadeja.

The last four Caribbean series have been won by India. The second test between the teams will take place at Port of Spain the following week.

Vice-captain of India Ajinkya Rahane remarked, “We are not underestimating West Indies.” “Over the past one to two years, they have performed well on tests taken at home. We were fully prepared in Barbados before here, so we are protected. Now is the time to get off to a good start.



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