Promising opener Lokesh Rahul is most likely to replace injured Murali Vijay, who has been ruled out with a sore finger, for the second Test against the West Indies starting at the Sabina Park in Kingston on Saturday.
Skipper Virat Kohli also hinted at picking Rahul, who has been in good nick after hitting two consecutive half centuries in the warm-up games before the first Test.
“Rahul has been in a very good zone. He scored runs in the practice games, he scored in Zimbabwe and he had a great Indian Premier League (IPL) season. I think that was the turnaround for confidence as far as he’s concerned. Last year, he had a good tour to Sri Lanka, got a hundred there, but again he didn’t play against South Africa,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.
Besides Rahul, the playing XI is also likely to see a change in the bowling line-up, considering the nature of the wicket which promises assistance to the pacers.
In such a scenario, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Stuart Binny might get a look-in in place of leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
Kohli, however, is happy with the track at the Sabina Park, calling it a result-oriented wicket.
“We’re not focussing on the opposition too much but we are happy that the wicket is going to have some bounce and carry. There was decent enough bounce in Antigua for us to exploit whatever help was there,” he said.
“Jamaica is going to be even better. It’s a result-oriented ground and we’re quite excited about it. We’ve got good pace, the bowlers are bowling good areas”.
Exuding confidence about his batsmen, Kohli said the plan is to play with the same focus and determination as in the first game, which India won by an innings and 92 runs at Antigua.
“We believe that our batsmen are good enough to tackle any pace and bounce that West Indies’ bowlers have. The plan is to go out there and play with the determination and focus that we showed in the first game. Obviously we need to be wary of the conditions a bit more because it is a ground that is result oriented,” Kohli said.
“It’s obviously going to take more application than we showed at Antigua. It’s going to take more responsibility and more concentration by the batsmen to get the job done. R Ashwin came good at six, Wriddhiman Saha played well and Amit Mishra got runs too. That just deepens our batting line-up and gives us the same bowling options that are required to take 20 wickets,” he added.