Toss West Indies chose to bowl v India .
West Indies won the toss on a warm morning in St Lucia and asked India to bat on the “best surface” in the Caribbean. The Darren Sammy Stadium track is expected to have pace and carry throughout the Test. Accordingly, they handed a debut to the Under-19 pace sensation Alazarri Joseph, who replaced Devendra Bishoo. Rajendra Chandrika, the opener who was left out of the squad after the second Test, was replaced by Leon Johnson.
India made three changes to their XI. Cheteshwar Pujara, who had averaged 33 over his last eight innings, was dropped. Virat Kohli, the India captain, emphasised that Pujara’s replacement, Rohit Sharma, can change Tests in a session, which could lead one to believe that Pujara’s strike rate of 41 over the last eight innings might have gone against him.
The other two changes were more along expected lines. Amit Mishra looked visibly spent when pushing for a wicket on the final day of the draw in Jamaica, and Umesh Yadav sprayed the new ball around when it was India’s last gambit. They were replaced by Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
M Vijay was back to full fitness, but was forced to sit out because his replacement in the last Test, KL Rahul, scored 158. Shikhar Dhawan kept his place possibly by virtue of being a left-hand batsman and the 84 that he scored in the first Test.
India 1 KL Rahul, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 R Ashwin, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Ishant Sharma
West Indies 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Leon Johnson, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Jermaine Blackwood, 6 Roston Chase, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Miguel Cummins, 11 Shannon Gabriel