Gambhir set for action, India eye clean sweep
The series already in their pocket and the number one ranking cemented, a dominant India go into the third Test against New Zealand in Indore on Saturday, aiming yet another clean sweep of a Test rubber at home.
Indore: The series already in their pocket and the number one ranking cemented, a dominant India go into the third Test against New Zealand in Indore on Saturday, aiming yet another clean sweep of a Test rubber at home. The Kiwis would hope that captain Kane Williamson, who missed the second game due to illness, regains full fitness to lead them for one last-ditch effort to score a rare victory on the Indian soil.
Williamson batted in the nets on Thursday and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said the signs were positive. Williamson is easily their most accomplished batsman to negate the twin threat of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as he showed in the lost cause in the series opener in Kanpur, making 75 and 25.
Although, the host will miss the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav is expected to be back to lend support to Mohammed Shami, who bowled well in Kolkata even when his daughter was in the ICU of a local hospital. And, of course, there are Ashwin and Jadeja.
The Kiwis, on the other hand, have depended on their pace attack led well by Trent Boult and Matt Henry who was brought in to play in Kolkata to make it a three-pronged pace attack after the visitors had gone in with a three-pronged spin formation in the series-opener.
Tom Latham and Luke Ronchi have shown the way to some extent in batting against the Indian spin-oriented attack, but others need to step up. For India in batting, Cheteshwar Pujara has been the man in form even as the team management would be pleased with Rohit Sharma for playing a responsible knock in the second innings of the Kolkata Test.
Gautam Gambhir is also set to return to the top of the order and play in his first Test after losing his place during the England tour in 2014. The forecast has said there is no threat of heavy rains coming in and spoiling the show although light showers have been forecast for the last two days of the game.
Teams (from)-India: Virat Kohli (Capt), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Karun Nair; New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner and BJ Watling.