India will look to plug the holes and provide the finishing touches to their
preparation for the four-Test series when they take on West Indies Cricket Board
Presidents’ XI in the final warm-up match starting Thursday. Coach Anil
Kumble, who has a magnificent record in the West Indies, was seen bowling at
the nets to opener KL Rahul.The three-day match will more or less decide the
final playing XI for India and both the batsmen and bowlers will look to make
their performance count and earn a place when Kumble and Kohli sit down to
select the team for the first Test at Antigua starting July 21.India were far from
impressive in their last two-day warm-up game as their pace battery struggled
with their inconsistent show and it will be the last chance for Kumble’s boys to
make an impression.The Indian seamers, including Bhuvneshwar Kumar and
Mohammed Shami, who is returning to competitive cricket after a long injury
lay-off, began well but lost the plot after sometime as they struggled with their
line and length. They could not push the batsmen to play their deliveries and
bowled too wide outside the off stump, something which the pacers will have to
sort out in the three-day warm-up game at Warner Park.Ishant Sharma, who also
has had a long lay-off, and Umesh Yadav will also look to grind it out as the duo
is expected to be key members of Kohli’s gameplans.It will be interesting to see
if Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur gets a chance to roll his arms over in this
game. While the seamers were inconsistent, leg-spinner Amit Mishra was
impressive and made life difficult for the West Indies Presidents’ XI batsmen
and was on a hattrick after he dismissed Rajendra Chandrika and Jermaine
Blackwood in successive balls.Mishra ended with a four-wicket haul and will
look to continue his good run. Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra
Jadeja will also like to test their skills in the warm-up game, specially since the
pitches in the West Indies also assist slow bowlers.In batting, India’s top-order
looked solid as they spent enough time in the middle with openers KL Rahul
and Shikhar Dhawan scoring fifties.Dhawan, whose form in the longer version
has been pretty patchy, and Rahul will look for another good show before the
team management finalise the opening slot with Murali Vijay being the other
contender. Cheteshwar Pujara scored scored 34 runs in 102 balls before retiring
out, while Rohit Sharma too was impressive as he came up with a fluent 54 not
out in 109 balls.However, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were
dismissed cheaply and the duo will look to find their ‘A’ game as they are an
important cog in the India line-up.ndia: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan,
Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul,
Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra,
Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar
Kumar, Stuart Binny.WICB President’s XI : Leon Johnson (capt), Jermaine
Blackwood, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Jason Dawes, Shane Dowrich,
Shai Hope, Damion Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Marquino Mindley, Vishaul Singh,
Jomel Warrican.