Windies may opt for all pace
Mumbai, India, IANS/CMC – West Indies appear poised to field an all-pace attack as they seek to stave off a series whitewash when the third and final Test against India starts here Tuesday.
The Wankhede Stadium pitch is expected to be seamer friendly, a fact that prompted West Indies captain Darren Sammy to hint at leaving out rookie leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo from the final XI.
“So far, the practice wickets have been good. There has been something in it for the fast bowlers and the batsmen seem to be playing their shots. Possibly we may have three fast bowlers and Ravi (Rampaul) might come in,” said Sammy.
In the previous Tests the Windies pacers have had to toil on pitches where India’s spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ravi Ashwin have reaped success, and will welcome the respite.
Curator Sudhir Naik confirmed that the Wankhede would be to the liking of the Windies fast men.
“It is a sporting track. There is some grass on it. On the first three days it will assist the seamers and will help the spinners on the fourth and fifth day. Even the West Indies bowlers would love bowling here,” Naik said.
Sammy said the aim was to be more consistent with both bat and ball.
“We just have to be more consistent, especially with the bat. If we bat well in one innings, we don’t bat well in the second,” the skipper pointed out.
“We have to find a way of pulling it all together, especially when it matters. During this tour we have learnt we have to be consistent as individuals and as a team.
“So, if there is one thing that I have learnt from this tour it is my mental toughness. Throughout the series, we have shown that we can be on par with India but we did not capitalise when we fought to get ahead of them.”
Former West Indies skipper Courtney Walsh visited the West Indies net session on Sunday and offered words of advice to the team. Walsh, the outstanding fast bowler, is the leading wicket-taker in West Indies history with wickets 519 wickets in 132 Test matches between 1984 and 2001. He is in India as a television analyst.
“He (Walsh) always has advice and he is always willing to share his experience with the team. He asked the bowlers that we have to be more patient. He told Fidel (Edwards) to take the lead, told him that sometimes, it is not about getting wickets every ball and that he has to be patient.
"It is always good when you have former players passing on their knowledge; that’s something we always welcome,” Sammy said.
India, entering the series with a 2-0 lead, will be looking for a clean sweep of the three Test series. They won the first Test in Delhi by five wickets before pulling off an innings and 15-run victory inside four days in Kolkata.