Cricket has always been a game of numbers. As India begin their three Test series against the West Indies today, after a gap of five years, on a dampish pitch in Jamaica, we take a look at some Indian numbers that stand out:
1 – Number of spinners India WON’T be playing in the first Test. Amit Mishra impressed greatly in the ODI series (and the IPL) and fully merited his selection alongside the seemingly undroppable Harbhajan Singh
2 – Test series India has won in the Caribbean. The last time they toured in 2006, they managed a 1-0 series win (DDDW) Their first win was 1-0 in 1971 (DWDDD)
3 – Indian players making their debut in the 1st Test. Virat Kohli, Abhinav Mukund and Praveen Kumar. The last time they did so was in 2001 against England (Sanjay Bangar, Tinu Yohannan and Iqbal Siddiqui)
4 – Tests India have won in 42 games in the Caribbean. The first being in 1971, then 1976, 2002 and the last being in 2006
5 – First teamers missing in the Indian side. Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir and new ball bowlers Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth miss out due to injury, while Sachin Tendulkar has asked for some family time before the England series
6 – IPL games that Dwayne Bravo participated in before requesting rest till the Test series because he was ‘not happy’ with his game at the moment. That period of rest has now been extended
7 – The ICC Test ranking of India’s opposition. Only a pathetic Bangladesh and hapless New Zealand side rank below them
8 + 10 = 18 – Tests played by Shivnarine Chanderpaul against India where he averages 71.86. He has also never been dismissed by Harbhajan Singh after 567 deliveries
9 – Tests that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won as captain of India from a total of 13 games (69.23%) Just one loss, against South Africa in 2010.
10 – Tests played at Jamaica in the last decade. Surprisingly not a single draw has been recorded and the hosts have a record of six wins and four losses. It is also the number of Tests India has played against the West Indies overall, recording just one win.