Test series against West Indies will be India's first since their tour to Australia which began in December past year.
"It's more or less a choice between three quicks and a spinner, or two quicks and two spinners", Indian captain Virat Kohli said on the eve of the game. Returning to worldwide cricket circuit after a gap of seven months, Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will look to add some runs under their belt and maintain their dominance in the longer-format of the game.
A valuable 120 Championship points are on offer for the two sides who will both be itching to make a winning start on their return to the Test format after an extended period of limited-overs cricket.
Ajinkya Rahane, who came in at three down, led the middle order's fightback with 81, his best score since the home series win in October against the West Indies. Why is Test cricket still considered to be the best format of the game?
Lara added that the technical skills and work ethic was present in the squad, and one area where he identified for great greater growth was the mental preparation to play, compete and dominate for five days of a Test match. Rahane raised his 18th Test half-century in the minutes leading up to Tea. Earlier this year, West Indies thoroughly outplayed England to register a remarkable series win. "It's the right move and at the absolute right time", he said during the West Indies Players Association awards night on Monday.
A whitewash in the tour-ending T20 skirmish, followed by the removal of controversial head coach Richard Pybus and a disappointing World Cup campaign has left Jason Holder's men with much lost ground to reclaim. If the team loses 0-1 against the team from the Caribbean, India can get dethroned from the pole position in the ICC Test rankings.
In 11 Tests against West Indies, Ashwin has taken 60 wickets at 21.85, and has scored four hundreds to give him an average of over 50.