After a gap of 4 years, ‘Test Cricket’ is returning to the Wankhede Stadium, a ground which saw Team India lifting ICC Cricket World Cup trophy this year. Third and final test match between India and West Indies will begin tomorrow at this historic venue and Team India will aim for the white-wash.
At the moment Team India is dominating the series with 2 assailable wins and series is already pocketed by Dhoni and his men. So what lies ahead for Team India to achieve in this final test match. Well it’s a good time to test the bench strength.I think selectors have done good thing by dropping Yuvraj Singh and included Rohit Sharma, who is in sublime form at the moment. Sharma has done no harm to his reputation this season, as he scored two magnificent big hundreds in Ranji Trophy, so it is good time to get him in the playing eleven. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane also deserves the chance but only one of them can be included but for that team management have to rest either Dravid or Laxman which is highly unlike but if it happens then this move will give clear idea about the selection for Australia tour. Kohli got his chance in West Indies as he played 3 test matches their but failed to deliver that time, so it is right time to test him in the final test match before selecting the team for Australia.
Experiment can be done in bowling as well, if Dhoni and Fletcher wish. I think it is wise to give chance to Varun Aaron by replacing him with Ishant Sharma who failed to grab the opportunity in two games played so far. Aaron have the pace and he has already promised a lot during the ODI series against England. In spin department, I think Rahul Sharma must be included in place of Ojha or Ashwin. So good time for experiment, if team management wants to do. Third test match is equally important for Sachin Tendulkar as well. So far Tendulkar has managed only one century on his home turf in his illustrious career. Tendulkar is also on the verge of creating history. His epic 100th ton is much awaited in cricketing fraternity, as well as among the fans and everybody hoping that it will come in Mumbai, but I think we have to wait till One-Day series because it is highly unlike that his epic hundred will come in this test match looking at his performance on Wankhede in past, so we have to wait for sometime.
I think Team India must try youngsters in this final test match. Look at Umesh Yadav and Ashwin, both grabbed the opportunity with both hands and performed very well. So I think we can trust on youngsters and must blood them in.
As far as pitch is concerned, it is going to be fairly quick at Mumbai as per curator but remember in Mumbai pitch is made of red soil which have little carry initially but from Day 2 onwards it becomes dust bowl and support spinners. Who can forget test match between India vs Australia four years back on this venue. Pitch turned square in that match and troubled the mighty Aussies, so I don’t go by curator’s word and I firmly believe pitch is going to be a turner with little carry initially. Dhoni’s injury scare is also a worry for Team India as he skipped the morning practice session. Let’s hope Dhoni gets fit in time to lead the team at Wankhede.
As far as West indies is concerned they are coming in this match with series loss, so they will definitely try to redeem themselves and will look to save some pride. Second innings of last match must have given them some confidence of how to tackle the Indian spinners. But they have to work hard on their basics if they want to win the final test match. They have very good young and talented batsmen, who can do well but these youngsters have to show application like Darren Bravo showed in the last match. Bravo scored brilliant hundred at Edens and took Windies score past 400 hundred. If West indies have to win this test match then their bowlers have to bowl in channel otherwise strong Indian batting line-up will eat them.
West Indies also looks in little trouble as Shivnarine Chanderpaul picked up calf injury in last match and that has not healed yet, so there is suspense on his inclusion in the final eleven. if Chnderpaul don’t take the field tomorrow then it will dent the Windies chances of winning the final test match of the series.
So far this test series remained one-sided, let’s hope Windies give some fight and make the final contest exciting enough to watch.