The first two Tests between India and England at the MA Chidambaran Stadium in Chennai saw the hosts go in for a three-spinner strategy on a track that is known to favour slower bowlers. Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar comprised the bowling line-up in the first Test with Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav replacing Bumrah, Nadeem and Sundar in the second Test. However, with the third Test at Ahmedabad set to be a day-night affair, it seems likely that India will end their reliance on a spin trio and instead revert to the traditional three-pacer model.
A report in Cricbuzz states that Umesh Yadav has cleared the necessary fitness Tests and is back in the scheme of things for the Pink Ball Test, which has led to Shardul Thakur being released from the side to play Vijay Hazare Trophy cricket for Mumbai.
However, the main reason for experimenting with a three-pace attack is not down to the movement the pink ball is likely to generate but instead the dew factor.
“We are exploring different scenarios about the Test and the main concern is neither twilight nor the pink ball. It is the dew factor that is a worry and we are thinking how to handle the situation. There is a lot of dew in the evenings and we want to make sure it does not become a major disadvantage,” a source told Cricbuzz.
Meanwhile, brushing aside the incessant talk around spin-friendly pitches in India, big-hitting England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that Test players should be proficient in handling all kinds of conditions.
Ahead of the day/night Test here starting Wednesday, Stokes wondered how the newly-refurbished Motera strip would behave but at the same time, stressed that top-flight cricketers should be able to deal with whatever they are faced with.
“The thing about being a Test batsman is that you need to be able to handle all types of conditions. India is one of the places where it is a lot tougher for overseas batsmen to come and be successful, but then so too is England,” he wrote in a column for the ‘Daily Mirror’.
“And that is part of the game, the challenges and why we love it,” he said.