(During the course of the third Test between India and the West Indies at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai we'll post live updates, analysis, reader comments and reactions. Please hit F5 periodically for new posts.)
4:35 pm: West Indies 267/2 - End of Day 1
After being outplayed in the first two Tests, West Indies have made a strong comeback on Day 1 in Mumbai. The pitch has played out like a batting beauty and all four Windies batsmen have managed half centuries.
Meanwhile, South Africa's loss to Australia yesterday has brought about some changes in the ICC Test rankings. India have moved up to the Number 2 position. The Proteas had been ranked in second position but the 1-1 series result against the lower ranked Australia meant it lost one ratings point and fell below India.
3:45 pm: West Indies batting lineup isn't doing all that bad in the absence of Chanderpaul. Kirk Edwards has now made his way to his half century. This is Edwards 6th Test match and he has already made 2 centuries and 3 half centuries. His partner at the other end is Eden Gardens centurion Darren Bravo, tipped to be the next Brian Lara. Some good young batsman coming way for the Caribbean side.
2:15 pm: West Indies 161/2 at Tea on Day 1
Ashwin came to the rescue for India late in the second session, by picking up wickets of both Windies openers while in their 60s. With two new batsmen at the crease, India will hope to make more inroads in the final session of the day.
1:30 pm: West Indies are rubbing in the pain for India. With a hundred plus opening partnership under their belt, they have the Indians scurrying across the field in hunt of leather.
A look at the record books reveals that the highest total at the Wankhede was in fact scored by the West Indies. This was way back in 1965 when the Windies made 604/6 that included a double ton from Clive Lloyd. and went on to win the the game by 201 runs.
12:45 pm: A lot of responses coming in to the debate over the decision to play Varun Aaron over Umesh Yadav today. Here is what some of Yahoo! Cricket’s followers on Facebook think -
Shubham Hazra Yes, it is good call. Check your reserve bench before australia tour..when india already pocketed the series
Sam Extrovert I don’t think this is a relevant decision because Umesh just got the confidence to boost his game & career so instead of encouraging him they drop him. This is not fair in my view.
Arun Kumar Singh No, this is a wrong decision. I think Ishant needs to take the rest not Umesh.
Jeevan Jot Singh Ishant is not up to the mark , from last 1and half year why are selectors getting him back again and again? India need Praveen Kumar in every match, he can swing the bowl in every condition. According to me Aaron and Umesh are much better then Ishant, in pace. And both are attacking bowlers who use Yorkers and bouncers.
Rahul Saikia India are 2-0 up in the series, so they can afford to do some experiments. And they can’t play with two inexperienced bowlers, so they had to take Ishant!
Pawan Kirola As we know India won the series so in my opinion Ishant Sharma shouldn’t be there instead both the youngsters Umesh and Varun should play. But now what we can do, Varun is a talented bowler no doubt.
Rohit Bhojwani Rested after playing just 2 matches at 22 yrs. MUST B A JOKE!!!
Abhishek Shukla I would have from a personal point of view wanted that Ishant Sharma be rested as he'll be required to do a lot of bowling in Oz and both Aaron and Yadav should have been in the playing 11 at Mumbai.
12 noon: West Indies 80 for no loss at Lunch on Day 1
West Indies have made a great start in the 3rd Test. They desperately needed their openers to come good, especially with Shivnarine Chanderpaul having to sit out. Adrain Barath was fluent against the pace bowlers early on and that set the pace for the innings. The young Kraigg Brathwaite (he's just 18) also joined in and hit a few boundaries.
A brief introduction to debutant Varun Aaron – The 22-year-old medium pacer from Jharkhand first came into the limelight for bowling at a speed of 153 kmph at the first class level in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. After showing up for Delhi Daredevils and India A in the Emerging Players Trophy, he was up to the senior side for the ODIs in England in place of an injured Ishant Sharma. He had to settle with warming the benches in England but finally did get his chance for when England came to India in the 4th ODI in Mumbai. He made a dream debut picking up 3 English wickets.
When Varun Aaron spoke to Yahoo! Cricket in September he quashed rumours of any rivalry between him and Umesh Yadav – “I don't look at him, or for that matter any bowler, as a rival. I compete with myself. Umesh and I are good friends on and off the field. I don't see any rivalry between us.”
9:50 am: Twitter is abuzz with reactions to Umesh Yadav being rested -
SANJAYMANJREKAR Absolutely shocked that india decided to rest umesh yadav...
gauravCNNIBN Reward for 7 wickets in his 2nd test match- a spell on the bench!!! Come on, let him 'rest' for a few ODIs, yadav has to play test cricket!
SpiceBoxofEarth Chuffed to see Aaron playing. Not sure I'd have rested Yadav though. But I guess they want to make sure Ishant's ankle holds up.
9:30 am: News from the Wankhede - West Indies have won the toss and elected to bat first. Dhoni says he would have done the same but he isn't too upset about bowling first on a fresh pitch.
Interesting news on the playing XI. For the Windies, Shivnarine Chanderpaul hasn't been able to prove his fitness as he suffered from a calf injury so Kieran Powell to play in his place. Kemar Roach is another man who couldn't be fit for this Test as he is down with gastroentitis. Ravi Rampaul comes in to replace him in the pace attack.
The changes for India are even more intriguing. Virat Kohli will come in to take guard at the No 6 spot after Yuvraj Singh was dropped post the Eden Test. This is his 4th Test match and he will be looking to make amends and get a big score in order to make the No 6 position his own. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane who are in the 15 will have to wait for another day to make their debut.
The most debatable decision however is India's call to rest Umesh Yadav and bring in Varun Aaron in his place. With 7 wickets in the 2nd Test that was not expected. Dhoni's reasoning was that the pacer is fit but has been rested. If the team management did feel the need to blood in Aaron, then wouldn't Ishant Sharma be a better candidate for some much needed rest?
The teams -
West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite, Adrian Barath, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Kieran Powell, Marlon Samuels, Carlton Baugh, Fidel Edwards, Devendra Bishoo, Ravi Rampaul.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron.