Agarwal steers India after Holder, Cornwall strike

India

Toss West Indies opt to bowl v India

West Indies handed Test debuts to Rahkeem Cornwall and Jahmar Hamilton as their captain Jason Holder chose to bowl in the second Test in Kingston. Needing a win to share the series with India, West Indies brought in Cornwall for fast bowler Miguel Cummins while a late injury to wicketkeeper Shai Hope made way for Hamilton.

India captain Virat Kohli named an unchanged XI, which left R Ashwin without a Test on the tour.

The toss took place under blue skies. The pitch looked distinctively different from the one in Antigua, with a fair amount of grass spread evenly. Traditionally, that means pacers could find some extra rewards, and spinners may find less purchase for the first half of the Test.

Holder said that the pitch played a role in his decision to bowl while outlining the team’s outlook for the Test.

“[We] wanted to make use of the grass, moisture and try to get into India’s middle order,” Holder said. “We have decided to not focus on the end result, but instead focus on the processes and once you focus on that the end result takes care of itself. Batting is about patience, we get through the tough periods. [We] need to find ways to form partnerships. We expect good things from Cornwall, [he] can spin the ball on all surfaces.”

Kohli assessed the opportunity to bat first as “challenging”.

“The first session will be tough like Antigua,” Kohli said. “But the advantage is that you can put runs on the board and put pressure on the opposition. That follows the template we play with, so happy to bat first. In and out of the breaks, we need to be more focused and precise, and avoid the soft dismissals. The 70-80 partnerships need to be bigger to capitalise in the game. Our bowling has been fantastic, so nothing much to add there. But there’s something for the batsmen to learn from every innings.”

West Indies: 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 John Campbell, 3 Shamarh Brooks, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Jahmar Hamilton (wk), 9 Rahkeem Cornwall, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Shannon Gabriel

India: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Hanuma Vihari, 7 Rishabh Pant (wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

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