Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has termed the Indian side the favorites to win the two-match Test series against West Indies starting from October 4.
In his column for the Times of India, Ganguly wrote, "It's back to Test match cricket for India on Thursday, this time at home, against the West Indies which is definitely a shadow of the team it used to be. This is a West Indies going through a rebuilding process, and it takes a lot to get back to where you were. For this side, it will indeed be a mountain to climb; Jason Holder and his boys will surely have to play out of their skin to stand up to Virat Kohli's team."
"The West Indies have been playing good cricket in their backyard over the past few months and their showing has been appreciable. But in India, the dynamics of the game change. Their fast bowlers will need to toil more to get wickets here, their batsmen will have to show more grit and determination while facing the Indian spinners and, importantly, they will need to be mentally tough to stand up to situations," Ganguly added.
"The word is that there will be a lot of grass on this pitch, and this might be a bit of a relief to the touring team. Kraigg Braithwaite, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Kieran Powell, and Shane Dowrich will have to stand tall in order to face up to an Indian challenge at home. It will be important how they handle Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Not only that, the Indian fast bowling will also pose a threat because the likes of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will definitely be asking a lot of questions. The West Indies will miss the experience of Kemar Roach who will not be available till the second Test," Ganguly opined.
"India, on the other hand, will be playing this two-Test match series before their visit to Australia. It is an opportunity for them to try out a few young players. One of them will be Prithvi Shaw who is in the team based on his performances on the domestic circuit as well as with the India A team on various tours. Seniors like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will like to get their rhythm back before embarking on the next tour. For Virat, coming back from a break, it should be a start from where he left off in England. He will have to tighten up areas in the team which he might have felt needed a bit of re-organisation before embarking on that tour of Australia, and getting the right opening combination will be the most important thing," Ganguly signed off.