Shaw set for Test debut against West Indies

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A new look India squad will hope to bounce back and strengthen their status as the top-ranked Test team in the world, starting with the first of two Tests against the West Indies in Rajkot on Thursday, 4 October.

India named a shortlist of 12 for the Rajkot game on the eve of the match confirming a debut for the 18-year-old opener Prithvi Shaw. He will likely partner Lokesh Rahul at the top of the order.

Shaw had captained India to the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup title in New Zealand. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, earning his maiden call-up to the Test squad for the last two Tests in England but not getting a chance.

India remain undecided about their bowling combination: Three pacers and three spinners have been shortlisted – depending on the conditions, India will leave one of the group out.

Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have all been left out as India prioritise youth.  The Windies will have their work cut out for them though with the likes of captain Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja making this a very strong India outfit.

The Windies have quite an experienced unit as well. Jason Holder, the captain, has travelled to the sub-continent many times before, while Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Devendra Bishoo and Shannon Gabriel form a solid core.

Kemar Roach will be unavailable for the Rajkot Test, though, meaning the likes of Holder, Gabriel and Keemo Paul will have to shoulder the pace-bowling responsibilities.

It is spin, however, that could be the decisive factor on sub-continent pitches, and Bishoo’s leg-breaks will be crucial for the Windies. Encouragingly for the visitors, he picked up three wickets in the warm-up match against the Indian Board President’s XI.

Squads

India (shortlist of 12): Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav

Windies: Jason Holder (c), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican

Overview
India v Windies 1st Test
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot
Thursday, 4 October, 9:30 AM local time, 4.00 AM GMT

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