Sachin Test preview: India v West Indies


Unfortunately for West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who will play his 150th Test in Mumbai this week, there is no point in pretending anyone will be focusing on anything other than Sachin Tendulkar.

Unfortunately for West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who will play his 150th Test in Mumbai this week, there is no point in pretending anyone will be focusing on anything other than Sachin Tendulkar.

The Windies are one-nil down going into the second and final Test against India, but the Wankhede Stadium and most of the cricketing world will care more about the Little Master's historic 200th, and final, appearance.

This series was, after all, designed to give the 40-year-old batsman a finale in front of his home fans, and the pressure will be immense as he has not averaged more than 44 in a series in three years, and has not scored a ton since January 2011. He also only averages 28.85 this year, scoring 202 runs in five Tests.

Aside from his general form, following on from the 10 runs he made in Kolkata, Tendulkar has a good but not great record in Mumbai. He is second on the list of run-scorers thanks to sheer match numbers, but averages 47 and has just one ton here.

Still, there will be very few people hoping for a failure from the Master Blaster, and though the chances are statistically good he'll not do well (<a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>read why here</b></a>) the silence will be deafening if he's out soon after arrival in the middle.

As for Chanderpaul, it's been nearly 20 years since his debut against England in Georgetown, and he has proven himself to be one of the Windies' most stable and reliable performers, averaging nearly 52 as he edges closer to age 40.

Chanders has recorded six centuries in the time Sachin's made none, two of which came against India. In the first Test he made two scores in the 30s, and will need to pull out all the stops if the visitors are to level the series, given their dire batting at Eden Gardens.

Only all-rounder Marlon Samuels managed to score a half century as the Windies were rumbled for 243 and 168. India, on the other hand, batted once, thanks to big tons from Rohit Sharma, on debut, and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Speaking of debutants, a few eyes will be on fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who took nine wickets in the first Test, including Samuels twice. Given India's poor pace bowling in the ODI series against Australia, Shami's success was a big relief for the selectors and he'll be under pressure to back it up.

In the Windies' pace department, they have called up Shannon Gabriel in place of Kemar Roach, who was sent home to nurse his shoulder injury. Roach did not play in the first Test, leaving spinner Shane Shillingford to take most of the wickets (six).

<b>Key Men</b><br>In this case, 'key' is not the same as 'most anticipated'. SRT will obviously draw the crowd's roars, but <b>Virat Kohli</b> could well be the difference between a series whitewash and a draw. He only made three in Kolkata, but is still in great nick following tons in the ODI series.

The visitors will need their batsmen to come to the party, and if the top order fails again, it will be up to <b>Marlon Samuels</b> to again put some runs on the board. The veteran is rather good in pressure situations, and no-one in the ground will be wanting a Windies win.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2013: First Test: India won by an innings and 51 runs in Kolkata<br>2011: Third Test: Match drawn in Mumbai<br>2011: Second Test: India won by an innings and 15 runs in Kolkata<br>2011: First Test: India won by five wickets in Delhi<br>2011: Third Test: Match drawn in Roseau

<b>Probable Teams</b><br><i>India:</i> Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Pragyan Ojha.

<i>West Indies:</i> Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Veerasammy Permaul, Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel, Shane Shillingford.

<b>Dates:</b> 14 to 18 November<br><b>Morning session:</b> 09:30-11:30 (04:00-06.00 GMT)<br><b>Afternoon session:</b> 12:10-14:10 (06:40-08:40 GMT)<br><b>Evening session:</b> 14:30-16:30 (09:10-11:10 GMT)<br><b>On-field umpires:</b> Nigel Long (England) and Richard Kettleborough (England)<br><b>Third umpire:</b> Vineet Kulkarni (India)<br><b>Match referee:</b> Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)