Going by what we have seen in the two warm-up games the Indian team has played, the batsmen won’t have to worry too much about the West Indies bowling. True, they have not yet faced up to the ones who will be playing in the first Test but if the fringe bowlers aren’t posing too many problems, the spinners will need to be watched only while the ball is hard and new.
All the Indian batsmen have spent a useful bit of time on the field and got a feel of the pitches, so it’s only a matter of not losing concentration and capitalising on a good start. As for the bowling, the spinners have done most of the damage and that’s good news too, since the Windies players are not that adept at playing the ball that turns. Not that it will spin too much there but the way Ashwin, Mishra and Jadeja have bowled means that India could well go in with two seamers and two spinners.
In the first Test at Lord’s, Misbah-ul Haq got a hundred at the age of 42 and showed that while physical fitness is needed, it is mental fitness that is crucial. Yasir Shah then bowled exceptionally well to get his name on the honours board along with his skipper.
Afghanistan have been playing some terrific cricket and their clashes with Ireland are always spicy . The Irish team has just about every player playing in the English county championship, so have loads of experience. They brought that into play by batting sensibly to win the third game to tie the series at the time of writing this column. Ed Joyce, who has played for England got a century and Kevin O’Bri en, who was instrumental in beating England in the 2011 World Cup in India also batted and bowled well. Joyce and O’Brien for their performan ces are the Ceat International Cricketers of the Week.