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IND vs WI, 2nd Test: It's Deja Vu For India As Kohli & Co Play Final Test Before Australia Tour

In 2011, India beat the Windies 2-0 before crashing to a 0-4 defeat in Australia. Similarly, in 2013, India won both Test matches against the Windies, before losing in South Africa.

IND vs WI, 2nd Test: It's Deja Vu For India As Kohli & Co Play Final Test Before Australia Tour
IND vs WI, 2nd Test: It's Deja Vu For India As Kohli & Co Play Final Test Before Australia Tour

It will be yet another one-sided affair when the top-ranked Indian side takes on an inexperienced West Indies outfit in the second and final Test match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad starting Friday.

India registered their biggest innings win, defeating the eighth-ranked side by an innings and 272 runs inside three days at Rajkot. Another clinical performance is expected from Virat Kohli & Co, who will take the match as their final preparation before the Australia tour.

It's a foregone conclusion that India will win the match unless something dramatic happens in Hyderabad. But, Kohli's team might not be able to escape a sense of deja vu as it goes into the match.

In 2011, India dominated the Windies 2-0 in a one-sided series before crashing to a 0-4 defeat against Australia Down Under.

Similarly, in 2013 when India won both Test matches well inside three days, the next tour of South Africa didn't pan out well as they lost the series.

It is just an indicator that the West Indies Test teams over the years have not been competitive enough to challenge the Indian team, which is any way formidable on home turf.

In contests like these, the focus is on challenging one's own self which skipper Virat Kohli did in the first Test where he scored 139 off 230 balls.

The lop-sided matches are hardly the kind of preparation the Indian team would have wanted before the big-ticket series against Australia starting December.

While 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw expectedly hogged the limelight with a smashing ton on debut, Kohli's innings was a master-class of how to set a different challenge for oneself as a batsman.

There were pre-match claims that India might field a weaken team to allow uncapped players like Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj match time but as the final 12 announced on the eve of the match showed that hosts will not let-up.

Add to it, windies skipper Jason Holder is still not 100 per cent fit and their only fast bowler of repute Shannon Gabriel is a doubtful starter for the encounter.

India, on the other hand, have not made any changes to the squad that won the first game inside three days in Rajkot.

The West Indies bowling, which at best can be compared to a lower rung first-class side in India, could have been taken to the cleaners but the Indian skipper hit only 10 fours in his knock -- significantly less than Shaw's 19 boundaries and Cheteshwar Pujara's 14 hits.

The bulk of the runs – 99 of them came in singles and doubles. Perhaps, he was trying to check if he curbs certain strokes, how his game will shape up. He showed a different facet to his batsmanship during the 24th Test hundred.

The only area of concern for India will be vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane's form, who was touted as the best player in overseas conditions back in 2013-14 season when he scored 96 at Durban, 118 at Wellington, 103 at the Lord's and 145 at Melbourne.

Rahane has gone without a Test hundred for nearly 14 months (last hundred came against Sri Lanka in August 2017).

His career has tapered off a bit in the last couple of years. And the second Test would be last shot to get back into a good frame of mind before the Australia series, which could be a make or break for him.

The Indian team has decided against any experiments with Mayank Agarwal failing to find a place in the XII for this game.

Bowling coach Bharath Arun put up a strong argument for the out-of-form KL Rahul (14 failures in 16 knocks this year).

The decision to play him for this Test is a fair enough indication that India will be looking at the Rahul-Shaw combination going into that first Test against Australia in Adelaide on December 6.

Shardul Thakur continues to be the 12th man as a 2-0 series win is paramount for the home team at this point in time.

Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will also like to use this opportunity well as they are unlikely to feature in the ODI series.

For West Indies, the aim will to at least put up some fight, unlike the Rajkot game where they didn't even last 100 overs across both innings.

Kieran Powell's 83 and Roston Chase's 53 were the only notable contributions from the Caribbean batting line-up in the first game.

In the second innings, it looked as if the batsmen were in a tearing hurry to hit every ball where the need of the hour was to show patience.

The West Indies' slide in Test is a combination of both lack of application and technique needed to compete at the highest level.

They would love to redeem themselves, which looks highly unlikely as of now.


India Final 12: Virat Kohli (captain), Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.

West Indies Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, and Jomel Warrican.

Match starts at 9:30am (IST).

(With PTI inputs)

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