The second Test between India and Windies begins from October 12 but the visitors are yet to find answers to some of their pressing issues.
To Windies’ dismay the Indian Test team is in terrific touch and the visitors must up the ante to challenge this mighty Indian team.
‘Spin to win’ is the mantra for success in sub-continent but that doesn’t underestimate the importance of pace department. The likes of Jason Gillespie and Dale Styen played vital roles in their team’s success in India and if Windies want to challenge India’s batting, the pace bowlers have to step up.
But unfortunately Windies have lost their ace pace weapon Jason Holder to injury and there is no reliable back-up available. Shannon Gabriel can be effective but he alone cannot create any magic.
Windies must find a way to have a pace bowling unit that atleast keeps a lid on the scoring rate.
Windies batsmen tried to follow the policy of ‘When in doubt, play to your strengths’ in the second innings of the first Test. It backfired horrifically as the batsmen kept attacking Indian spinners without understanding the variations or spin.
Stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite expected the batsmen to trust their defence and balance aggression with defence. However, this is easier said than done as Indian bowlers are highly disciplined and offer freebies rarely.
Windies batsmen will have to show immense character to survive the threat of Indian spinners. It will be interesting to see how they handle the temptation of playing attacking strokes.
The biggest challenge for Windies is to restrict India’s powerful batting line-up. From KL Rahul at the top to Ravindra Jadeja in the lower order, India have batsmen who can score big knocks on any given day. The likes of Pujara and Kohli are too good a batsman to get out to meagre deliveries.
Hence the visitors need to come up with a strategy that dries the runs and also claims wickets before any damage is done.