New Delhi: Following an emphatic 317-run win over England in the second Test at Chennai, India would be high on confidence heading into the third game of the series – the Day/Night Test match at Ahmedabad’s newly-constructed Motera stadium. It will mark only the second Pink ball Test match in the country and team combinations are sure to alter a little for the much-anticipated fixture.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar weighed in on the team changes that India might employ, believing that the pink ball should open the door for Jasprit Bumrah’s return for the match. Gavaskar backed India to swap their combination and go ahead with three pacers and two spinners given the fact that it’s going to be a Day/Night fixture.
“Jasprit Bumrah will be there. You’re looking at three seam bowlers for sure. It’s a pink ball Test so maybe one of the spinners will find themselves out of the team. Most likely it will be Kuldeep, because he hasn’t had too many opportunities, and Axar and R Ashwin. Ashwin you can’t drop for the next five years. So that will be the attack,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
Kuldeep went wicketless in the six overs he bowled in the first innings and although the leg-spinner picked up 2/25 in England’s second innings, Gavaskar doesn’t see the wrist-spinner fit in the scheme of things. Bumrah, who was rested for the second Test, is likely to return and Gavaskar feels he will be paired with Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj as India’s three pace options, while also talking about the possibility of Hardik Pandya getting a game.
‘I’m not sure if Hardik Pandya is fit enough to bowl, because if he is, he can also slot in and India might actually go with a combination depending on the surface. I don’t know what the surface at the new Motera will be like, but my feeling is that they will definitely go with three seam bowlers and two seamers,” the former India captain stated.
“Bumrah for sure will be back in the team. You’ll probably have a new-ball attack in Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj as your three new-ball bowlers, and Kuldeep… he may find himself out of the team because it’s a pink ball Test. The ball does tend to do a little bit more as evening approaches. And once you play under lights, it’s a completely different seam so I would imagine that would be the only change, Bumrah coming in place of Kuldeep.”