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Sunil Gavaskar predicts changes in India's playing XI for 3rd Test

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav
Modified 17 Feb 2021

Sunil Gavaskar has predicted the possible changes in India's playing XI for the third Test in Ahmedabad. According to the former India captain, the hosts will likely bring back pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah in place of Kuldeep Yadav.

Bumrah was rested for the second Test in Chennai to keep him fresh and ready for the Ahmedabad game, which will be played under the lights with a pink ball.

In the second Test, Mohammed Siraj was brought in as Bumrah's replacement, while Kuldeep Yadav, who had missed the first Test, played for the first time in two years. Both Siraj and Yadav performed fairly well, returning figures of 1-11 and 2-41 respectively.

Speaking on the Star Sports network, Sunil Gavaskar said India could go for a three-pronged pace attack comprised of Bumrah, Siraj and Ishant Sharma. In that case, the hosts will have to leave out Kuldeep Yadav again.

"Bumrahm for surem will be back in the team. You'll probably have a new-ball attack of Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj, 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 the 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," said Sunil Gavaskar.

Jasprit Bumrah has played only one Test at home, which happened to be the first Test of the ongoing series, which India lost. He will be raring to play at his home ground next week.

Ishant Sharma has also been in good form after missing the Australia series. Sharma has pleasant memories of the pink cherry.

The last time India played a day-night Test at home, Sharma was adjudged the Man of the Match for his outstanding 9-wicket haul.

Hardik Pandya could also fit in if he is fit enough to bowl: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar believes all-rounder Hardik Pandya could also be a good addition to the team if he's fit enough to bowl.

Pandya was recently spotted bowling a near full-tilt spell for half an hour in Chennai. He also had a batting stint with the pink-ball. However, it's highly unlikely that India will risk him with the workload of Test cricket, especially when the team is coming off a win.

'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," said Sunil Gavaskar.

The third Test starts in Ahmedabad on February 24.

Published 17 Feb 2021, 15:12 IST
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