India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli should look to make up for missed hundreds in England – Sunil Gavaskar
India skipper Virat Kohli might have had a splendid tour of England, but there is no denying the fact that he missed out on at least one hundred when he was dismissed on 97 at Nottingham. And former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes that the West Indies series provides Kohli with an opportunity to add a couple of centuries to his current tally of 23 Test hundreds.
“The skipper Virat Kohli was imperious in England and will want to make up for those hundreds that he missed there. India, expectedly have made changes to the opening pair and whether Mayank Agarwal or Prithvi Shaw makes his debut will be known on Day One at Rajkot. Rahul has shown that he is in good touch with that effortless knock in the only One-day game that he got in the Asia Cup. For Pujara, it will be another chance to score big on his home ground,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Times of India.
But Gavaskar is a bit surprised by the selectors’ decision to rest both Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the Test series. He also wants to know if the bowlers had asked for the rest. “India resting both Bhuvaneshwar and Bumrah is a surprise, for it shows that Test matches don’t seem to matter for the selectors. Were both the bowlers asked if they wanted a break? If a break has to be given, do that in the limited-overs internationals, not Test cricket, for if Test cricket is to survive it needs the best players available all the time,” he said.
He also warned the Indians from taking the Windies players lightly as he feels that the current team has some quality players. “This West Indian team is a lot stronger than the one that toured India five years back for the farewell series for Sachin Tendulkar. The West Indian batting despite the absence of some T20 stars is a solid one and if the pitch at Rajkot is the usual flat one, then the Indian spinners may not find it easy to dismiss them as easily as they did in 2013.
“Brathwaite, Powell, Shai Hope, Sunil Ambris are attractive stroke players and Jason Holder down the order is a tough customer to remove. On a pitch that turns, they may find it a lot harder but going by past experience both the Tests are being played on pitches where the ball doesn’t turn from Day One.
“If anything, the pitch at Hyderabad has a fair carry that should help the West Indian pacers, especially Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach (if he is fit). Both have been bowling with hostility and have rocked batsmen even on the now slow pitches in the Caribbean and the West Indians will be hoping that they do so here again,” wrote.