The Indian cricket team management is reportedly hoping for a pitch that will assist spinners for the third Test against England starting next week. The hosts bounced back in the second Test after losing the series opener thanks to their spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel who accounted for 15 of the 20 England wickets in Chennai.Also Read - Harbhajan Singh Wants Team India to Have Confidence on Kudeep Yadav For West Indies Series, Says He Can Deliver The Goods
The third Test is scheduled to be played at the renovated Motera Stadium from February 24 and will be a day-night contest. Considering that the pink-ball used for such matches swings more, ideally the reliance should be more on strengthening pace-attack, Indian team wants to put its faith on its strength i.e. a superior spin attack. Also Read - Shane Warne Heaps Praise on Mohammed Siraj, Says I am a Big Fan
News agency PTI though quoted an Indian spinner as saying that as long as the pitch is dry, the extra lacquer on the pink ball won’t have any impact. “Look, it doesn’t matter if the ball is red or pink. If you keep a dry wicket, ball will turn and extra lacquer won’t be of any consequence,” the former India international said. “However, if there is dew then obviously the ball will start skidding and it might just be good for batting. So that can’t be discounted.” Also Read - Kapil Dev Requests Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly to Put Country Before Anything Else, Urges Them to Resolve the Issue
However, Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm spinner, could be a casualty to the day-night Test with India adding an extra teeth to its pace attack by including a third fast bowler unlike the first two matches where they went with three spinners. With Jasprit Bumrah expected to return after being rested for the second Test, either Umesh Yadav (subject to clearing a fitness test) or Mohammed Siraj could join the veteran Ishant Sharma in a three-pronged pace attack.
“Umesh’s fitness test will happen in a couple of days time,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
The four-match series is currently locked at one-all.