West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite won the toss and elected to bat first against India in the first Test of the two-game series at Windsor Park, here on Wednesday.
Left-handed batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ishan Kishan are making their Test debuts for India. While Jaiswal will open the batting alongside India captain Rohit Sharma, Kishan will bat in the middle-order and be the wicketkeeper too.
For the West Indies, left-handed batter and local lad Alick Athanaze is making his Test debut.
"Surface is generally dry, but there's moisture in the first hour. We had a ten-day camp in Antigua. (Brian) Lara (performance mentor) was there, that was good for our young batters. We had seen ourselves in good positions in the last (two WTC) cycles. What we need is consistency and putting it together. Want the boys to be positive," said Brathwaite at the toss.
Through the two-match Test series, both India and West Indies are kickstarting the 2023-2025 ICC World Test Championship cycle.
"The championship final is still a couple of years from now. We've played some consistent cricket that's why we've played two finals. This is something we can take forward. Lot of new guys in the squad, so hopefully, we can get a good perspective from the last two cycles. This cycle will be no different," said Rohit.
Asked about his preparation for the Caribbean tour, Rohit said, "We started off with Barbados, played a practice game there. We've had good prep here even though rain played spoilsport a little."
Talking about his message to debutants Jaiswal and Kishan, the Indian captain skipper said, "Just want them to enjoy. They will have nerves but it's our responsibility to make sure they enjoy it. Those guys have the potential and I hope we can give them all the comfort and happiness they need on the ground."
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood, Alick Athanaze, Joshua Da Silva (wicketkeeper), Jason Holder, Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach and Jomel Warrican
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