India is gearing up for their second Test match against West Indies, commencing on 20th July. Having already secured a lead in the 2-match Test series with a convincing victory in the first game by an innings and 141 runs, discussions are rife about potential changes in the Indian playing XI for the upcoming match at the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain. Former India cricketers, Saba Karim, and Aakash Chopra, shared their insights, considering the pivotal role that pitch conditions might play in shaping the final squad.
Chopra expressed his belief that if the pitch resembles the one in Dominica, there might be a change in the pace-bowling department. He suggested that one of the fast bowlers could be rested, making way for Axar Patel in the playing eleven. However, he also acknowledged the possibility of more grass and moisture on the surface, which might prompt the team management to retain the same eleven that delivered a resounding performance in Dominica.
“I’m also expecting that there will be a bit more grass on the surface, there will be a bit more moisture on the surface. If that’s the case, it could be the identical eleven that played in Dominica, could be playing in the 2nd test match too,” said Aakash Chopra.
Saba Karim echoed Chopra’s analysis, suggesting that the pace-bowling department might witness alterations if the pitch favors fast bowlers. In that scenario, Shardul Thakur might be replaced by either Navdeep Saini or Mukesh Kumar.
“If a similar track like what we saw in Dominica is dished out for Port of Spain, then I do expect a third spinner Axar Patel to come in place of Shardul Thakur. If the West Indian think tank go with a pace-friendly track, then there is a strong possibility that India may well bring in Navdeep Saini or Mukesh Kumar in place of Shardul Thakur,” said Saba Karim.
India is aiming for a series clean sweep against Kraigg Brathwaite’s team, which has struggled in all facets of the game. The West Indies batting faltered in both innings while failing to withstand the pressure from the Indian batters in Dominica. With momentum on their side, India is eager to continue their dominant display and secure another victory against the hosts in the second Test.