With just four days to go for the third Test against England, India awaits the return of senior pacer Umesh Yadav to join the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma to bowl with the pink-ball. While BCCI has named Umesh Yadav in the squad for the last two Test, he will only join the squad after he passes the fitness test which is slated to happen after two days. Yadav had sustained an injury during the Test series against Australia and was subsequently ruled out.
Umesh Yadav’s return will be key to the Indian XI considering the stark green pitch at the grand Motera stadium. The pitch which seems to offer assistance to seamers with the pink ball will have all the eyes, especially after the noise over the Chepauk wicket. However, as per reports, the Indian team is keen on playing to its strengths and wants a dry wicket at the Motera as well. With Ashwin and Axar accounting for 15 of the 20 wickets in the second Test, India, keeping in mind the swinging pink ball under lights, might drop Kuldeep Yadav and include a third pacer.
“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. 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,” a former India spinner told PTI.
Announcing the squad for the last two Tests against England, the BCCI brought in Umesh Yadav to replace Shardul Thakur, who will be released for Vijay Hazare Trophy. Pacers Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan as well as Sandeep Warrier, and the spin duo of Krishnappa Gowtham and Saurabh Kumar has been roped in as the net bowlers whereas, wicket-keeper batsman KS Bharat, and leggie Rahul Chahar have been selected as Standby players. The Indian squad remains mostly unchanged going into the day-night Test at the Motera.
England squad for Third Test: Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Currently, the four-match Test series is levelled at 1-1.