India seem to be favorites considering the fact that all batsmen are in tremendous form and they will be playing in front of a full house. The Eden is so noisy that it acts as a 12th player whenever India plays a match here, and that might come into effect. As always is the case, India’s bowling lacks the bite and that is exactly where the West Indies batsmen including Gayle, Chanderpaul, Samuels and Bravo could cash in. The crowd wouldn’t be caring much about the result of this test, because all they have come to see is a glimpse of the little master, Sachin Tendulkar.
People may assume that India now does not have a strong middle order, but that is by no means true. In Sachin, Kohli and Rohit they certainly are one of the top 3 middle orders in the world. Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli and Pujara are in blistering form, which is very bad news for Sammy and his men. While the entire world wil be busy watching Sachin, these 4 can kock a few runs under their belly and take India to a huge total. Ashwin will have to lead the bowling attack, and he has to be back to his best if India are to have even the thinnest of chances of winning this game. Yadav should make it to the plaing 11 and be the pacer whom the West Indians should be scared about.
The West Indies top 5 look as solid as ever, but it is their No.6 and 7 that is the weak link in the team. Both are not the best of batsmen, and if India break into the middle order Sammy would be worried about his batting unit. That being said, Sammy himself is a useful all-rounder and he should contribute in both departments by leading from the front. Ramdin must also make useful contributions to ensure there is no lower order collapse which might give India a chance to win.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar (GOD), Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Dhoni (wk)(c), Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha
Under the hood: As much attention the crowd would be paying on Sachin, the selectors would be paying the same amount on Murali Vijay. He has always been a replacement opener for India, until Sehwag and Gambhir were forced out of the team. However, he has never made the position his own and there still lacks login as to how he holds his place. With Sehwag, Gambhir, Rahane, and others looking to break into the playing 11, it’s now or never for Vijay. He does receive the backing of the captain, but that is not enough as runs is what will help him retain his place.
West Indies: Kieran Powell, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Darren Sammy (c), Dinesh Ramdin (wk), Shane Shillingford, Tino Best/Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach
Under the hood: Darren Bravo is one of a kind player, has an awesome technique but lacks consistency. In any format of the game, he gets 1 or 2 big scores and then fades away for the other few games. That is not what the team expects from the next-supposed-to-be-Lara, and for the very same reason he must bat maturely and consistently. He is West Indies best bet in these conditions as he can play spin very well, but he must battle it out initially and settle in. He can be as dangerous as Gayle or Samuels at least in the test format as he can bat long.
Expected Result: India Win