All eyes on Tendulkar
All Eyes on Tendulkar, Preparations for Sachin's 199th Test, Sendulkar's Body Language. Before the interaction began, Dhoni criticised the CAB for a...
Cricket has been left overshadowed by the farewell carnival surrounding the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and India will have to keep emotions in check to ensure that they are not distracted from the task at hand against the West Indies in his swansong two-Test series starting here on Wednesday.
The centre stage will belong to Tendulkar, who will begin pulling the curtains down on his glittering career here. The 40-year-old veteran will call it quits after his 200th Test with the one starting on Tuesday being his 199th.
Amid an upsurge of emotions among fans and administrators of the game alike, Tendulkar would look to make it memorable through his bat against a team, which has promised to steal the limelight by thwarting him.
On the other hand, despite their big claims of playing hard cricket and spoiling Tendulkar's farewell series, the Windies did not quite show quality in a three-day practice match against Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association last week.
This will be a perfect dress rehearsal for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men before the tough away challenges in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia next year.
India's batting is in the groove and the return of Shikhar Dhawan will strengthen the middle-order.
India's middle-order would see a new face in Rohit Sharma when he makes his a Test debut at the Eden.
Dhoni may prefer left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha over leg-spinner Amit Mishra to partner Ravichandran Ashwin. West Indies have come with a pace attack comprising Kemar Roach, Tino Best and Sheldon Cotterrell and the last two did not have show much sting even against the UPCA in the warm-up tie here at Saltlake.
Like in the Indian camp, the Windies too have a milestone cricketer in their most capped player Shivnarine Chanderpaul who will play his 150th Test in Mumbai.
The left-arm batsman with an uncanny stance has been a proven performer against the Indians averaging 66, against his career average of 52.
Apart from Chanderpaul, Windies have a promising batsman in Kirk Edwards who had a successful tour captaining A side alongwith Narsingh Deonarine.
Chanderpaul has already shown his appetite when he sized up for the series with a hundred, while Deonarine was equally impressive with a 94 in the warm-up tie.