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West Indies Vs India, 2nd Test Preview: Focus On Ajinkya Rahane As India Look To Sweep Series

India and West Indies will mark their 100th Test as the two sides meets at the Queen's Park Oval with the visitors leading the 2-match series, 1-0.

Indian cricket team are eyeing a clean sweep against the West Indies.
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India and West Indies will mark their 100th Test as the two sides meets at the Queen's Park Oval with the visitors leading the 2-match series, 1-0. The focus will however be on Mumbai-born Ajinkya Rahane who will look to pile on the runs as the India aim to sweep the series against a weak West Indies side starting Thursday. After the game at the Queen's Park Oval, India play their next Test only on the tour of South Africa in December-January, leaving the likes of Rahane one more opportunity to make it extremely hard for selectors to overlook him for the away series against the Proteas.

Prior to the second Test, Rohit Sharma hinted to the press that there would be minimal changes to the playing eleven against the West Indies. Rahane, who was the stand out batter for India at the WTC Final, will look to make it count in this new phase of ICC World Test Championship. Rahane missed the chance to pile up more runs in the first Test on a slow and turning Dominica pitch.

Batting coach Vikram Rathour said in the lead up to the game that India would need an in-form Rahane for the South African sojourn.

"When it comes to technique, you constantly work on that but what stood out for me that he was much more calm in his approach. He was playing late and close to the body. He is still batting the same way in the nets.

"We hope he will do well. Conditions in South Africa, you will need somebody like him to come good," Rathour said ahead of the second Test.

Following an innings and 141-run victory in the first Test, Indian management might take no major changes in the playing eleven but it remains to be seen if left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat gets another opportunity. Unadkat bowled only nine overs in the first Test and did not pick a single wicket.

However, Indian management do decide to drop Unadkat, there might a be look-in for Axar Patel. Virat Kohli, who has not made an overseas Test hundred since December 2018, also will be eyeing a big knock after a dogged 76 in the opener.

After taking 20 balls for his first run in Test cricket, Ishan Kishan would be eagerly waiting for his chance in the middle after impressing the skipper with his keeping skills against Ashwin and Jadeja on his debut.

As for the home side, barring debutant Alick Athanaze, none of the West Indies batters were comfortable against high quality spin and are likely to struggle if the ball turns as much as it did in Dominica.

West Indies might be better off with a pitch that aids fast bowling, bringing Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph in the game. That could be the only way they are able to put pressure on the Indian batting line up.

Squads:
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Navdeep Saini.

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva (wicket-keeper), Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kirk McKenzie, Kevin Sinclair, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.

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