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All eyes on young Yashasvi as Men in Blue board Caribbean cruise

Updated on: 12 July,2023 07:49 AM IST  |  Roseau (Dominica)

Jaiswal’s, 21, much-anticipated debut in focus as visitors begin transition phase with first Test v West Indies today

All eyes on young Yashasvi as Men in Blue board Caribbean cruise

India coach Rahul Dravid (left) with Yashasvi Jaiswal during a practice session in Dominica recently. Pic/BCCI

Team India are set to hit the transition button with the eagerly anticipated debut of Yashasvi Jaiswal in the two-Test series against a wounded West Indies. After their shock elimination from the ODI World Cup Qualifiers, WI will be eager to prove their relevance in world cricket. The Indian team have its challenges too.

Pujara’s vacant slot

Cheteshwar Pujara’s exit has created a slot in the top-order and the immensely talented Mumbai left-hander Jaiswal, 21, will hope to live up to the promise he has shown at the first-class level. Though Jaiswal usually opens for Mumbai, West Zone and Rest of India in red-ball cricket, to settle his nerves first up, No. 3 may not be a bad slot to begin with here. Against a bowling attack comprising of the seasoned Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Alazarri Joseph and Jason Holder, it will be baptism by fire for Jaiswal.

Meanwhile, in the absence of an injured Jasprit Bumrah, who may struggle to play Tests regularly and the skilful Mohammed Shami, rested, the Indian attack will lack the sting that has made the current team a world beater. Of the other two, who were part of the famed quartet, Ishant Sharma will be making his commentary debut here while Umesh Yadav at 36, might find it difficult to get a recall after recovering from a hamstring injury. Hence, the five-man attack, led by 19-Test old Mohammed Siraj and supported by Shardul Thakur with nine Tests in his kitty, looks thin on experience in comparison to their Windies counterparts—Roach (261 wickets), a veteran of nearly 15 years and Gabriel (164 wickets), who has been a potent new-ball enforcer. 

Also Read: 'Sky is the limit’ for Yashasvi Jaiswal

In India’s spin department, it will boil down to how WI measure up to the guile and artistry of Ravichandran Ashwin (474 wickets) and Ravindra Jadeja (268), who have close to 750 Test scalps between them. The choice of four bowlers is automatic, but picking one among Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat and Navdeep Saini may not be a easy proposition.

Windies wounded

Windsor Park hasn’t hosted a Test match in the last six years, but this is one format where the West Indians have been at their best in recent years. It will be foolhardy on India’s part to think that the West Indies’s World Cup qualifier show will impact their Test match performance.

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