New Zealand will be playing for pride in the third Paytm test match tomorrow at Holkar Stadium in Indore after India secured an unassailable 2-0 series win against them at Eden Gardens.
Skikhar Dhawan’s injury to his thumb, coming in the midst of a poor run of form, gives the comeback man Gautam Gambhir a slot in the playing eleven.
“Gambhir is a natural replacemnet for Shikhar,” said the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
The 34-year old southpaw will be playing for India after a break of two years. He last played in India’s tour to England.
With the return of the Kiwi skipper Kane Richardson and few injury worries in the Indian camp, New Zealand will fancy their chances.
Buvaneshwar Kumar, who played a pivotol role in India’s victory in the last test, is unlikely to play due to a lower back injury.
KL Rahul, who gave good start to the Indian innings in the first test, will also miss the playing eleven due to a hamstring pull.
Cloud still looms over the inclusion of India’s frontline bowler R Ashwin who was complaining of a finger injury during the previous matches.
India has comfortably won both of its prevous two matches with marginS of 150+ runs.
Kohli has heaped praised on the performance of the comeback man Mohammed Shami in the first two test matches.
Shami bowled with aggression and used reverse swing to perfection to give good support to the spinners and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who scalped five wickets in the first innings of the Eden Gardens test.
With all of its batsmen looking in good touch and spinners spinning a web around the Kiwis, the Indian side will be looking for a whitewash in the third test to commence tomorrow.
For the Kiwis, Santner has looked very promising and a likely prospect to replace the retired Daniel Vettori.
Martin Guptil has not sparked in any of his innings whereas his opening partner Latham showed signs of improved form after he top-scored for his side in the second innings of the last match.
The “all time” reliable Wagner and Henry has put up a decent show for the Kiwis in the pace department.
The middle order batting has been a bit of worry for the Kiwis and their spin attack has not been ablle to reap the full benefits of the turning Indian tracks.
Meanwhile, expectations are that the Indore pitch will be a typical Indian turning track.