So IPL is over and its time for International Series. Sri Lanka already playing in England and lost the first test match dramatically and after that loss Sri Lankan media held IPL responsible for that loss. Now all eyes on 2nd test match starting tomorrow at Lords. Pakistan already played series in West Indies and Ireland. In West Indies Pakistan won the ODI series by 3-2 and square the 2 test match series. They white-washed Ireland in 2 match ODI series.
Another series will start in couple of days, between India and West Indies. This is first international series for Team India after their World Cup triumph. Indian team already reached West Indies where they will play 1 off T20, 5 ODIs and 3 test matches. Indian team which play in this tour will not have the services few seniors who are out of the series. Some of them will skip T20 and ODIs. Some of them decided to skip entire tour on the account of injury and fatigue. Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag will skip entire tour due to injury while great Tendulkar decided to skip the entire tour for spending time with his family. Regular Captain MS Dhoni and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan will skip only T20 and ODI series. They will join the team for test series alongwith Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. s.Sreesanth is selected only for the test series.
It is fact that West Indies team is not that great as it was in 70s and 80s. This West Indies team is one of the weakest and leaving out Taylor, Gayle and Pollard will certainly make it more vulnerable but Indian team is also not playing to its full strength, so contest will be even. Also it is difficult to beat any team in their home conditions is always a challenge, so in that sense series becomes interesting. It is chance for Indian young guns to show their talent and pose big challenge to senior players position who opted out of this tour for various reason.
It is also interesting that none of the players will make debut in ODI series because all of them played for India in the past and didn't perform well. Shikhar Dhawan, Manoj Tiwary, R.Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha played for India earlier but failed to impress so its a second chance for them to prove their worth in the absence of seniors. Good performance in this series will certainly help few youngsters to feature in the series against England which will follow this series.
Selectors have selected best possible team and good thing is that they did not selected players on the basis of IPL. Its good that players selected on this tour had very good domestic season behind them. However, Saurabh Tiwary of Jharkhand, Manish Pandey of Karnataka and Deepak Chahar of Rajasthan missed out unfortunately. These three players had a great domestic season but fortunes didn't favoured them because of the limited berth. Saurabh Tiwary also led the Jharkhand successfully in Vijay Hazare Trohpy and scored lot of runs in last season in domestic cricket.
India have the great chance of beating West Indies if they will play to their potential. I don't think this Indian team is second string team because all the players except Abhinav Mukund played in the past for the country and looking at West Indian team they are in process of rebuilding their team, so great chance lies ahead for Team India in Caribbean. Leaving out Chris Gayle will certainly going to hurt West Indies because he is a big player and he is in scintillating form right now.
So Indian team is ready to dance on Calypso music? With this series India's new coach Duncan Fletcher will also make his debut as a coach of Indian Team and there is lot of hope in cricket lovers that will carry on the legacy of Gary Kirsten successfully. Suresh Raina also have lot to prove about his leadership skills in this series because last time he failed to lead this team successfully in Zimbabwe. Great challenge ahead of new coach and new captain.