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Antigua Pitch Report: Hard Surface Welcomes India and West Indies in Opening Test

India and West Indies will begin their campaign in the ICC World Test Championship with the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground at North Sound in Antigua on Thursday (August 22). The visitors have happy memories of this venue with skipper Virat Kohli scoring a double century here and India recording an innings and 92 runs win in a Test match back in 2016.

Cricketnext Staff |August 22, 2019, 8:38 AM IST
Sir Vivian Richards ground in Antigua. (Pic: AFP)

India and West Indies will begin their campaign in the ICC World Test Championship with the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground at North Sound in Antigua on Thursday (August 22). The visitors have happy memories of this venue with skipper Virat Kohli scoring a double century here and India recording an innings and 92 runs win in a Test match back in 2016.

The home side though have won three out of the nine Tests here, including an impressive 10-wicket walloping of 2019 World Cup champions England in February this year. However, the pitch at Antigua received a 'below average' rating from ICC match referee Jeff Crowe after the completion of that Test match.

The Test match in February this year finished inside three days and variable bounce was evident throughout the game. Jason Holder's side however managed to bat 131 overs on that track and scored over 300 runs.

This time around, the curators will look to prepare a much harder surface, preferably one that lasts all five days of the Test match. A harder surface will be much to the liking of Indian pace bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, who is coming back after being rested for the limited-overs series, along with Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.

The track is expected to take turn after the third day when the spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin, Roston Chase and possibly Rakhim Cornwall will have a much bigger role in the game.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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