The first Test between India and the West Indies kicks off at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua from August 22. The two-match Test series will mark the beginning of Team India’s World Test Championship campaign.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara justified his No. 3 position yet again by notching up a century. Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari churned out half-centuries each in the tour game against West Indies A. The million-dollar question now is who will make it to the playing XI. While numbers 3 (Pujara), 4 (Kohli) and 5 (Rahane) are sealed batting positions, the opening remains a matter of debate.
Opener Mayank Agarwal threw away his wicket cheaply (12 and 13) in both the innings in the warm-up game. However, he will be an obvious choice to open the batting, thanks to his well-made 76 against Australia on Test debut at Melbourne in 2018.
That means either Hanuma Vihari or K.L. Rahul could be a part of the opening combination. While Vihari looks in good touch, all eyes will now be on Rahul as the series might be a make-or-break moment for him.
Since his debut in Melbourne in 2014, the right-hander has amassed 1905 runs from 34 Tests with five centuries and 11 fifties.
India has played 48 Tests between December 26, 2014, and August 20, 2019. While Rahul has got quite a lot of chances, the flamboyant Karnataka batsman is yet to solidify his position in the Test squad.
His last outing in white was when India toured Australia last year for four Tests, where he managed only 57 runs in five innings. But with India’s youngest opening sensation Prithvi Shaw being suspended, Rahul will look to grab the opportunity.
Scoring a brisk 46-ball 36 including five fours and a six in the practice match against West Indies A, it remains to be seen whether Rahul will feature in the playing XI.