Agencies, Hubli (Karnataka)
With its batsmen including Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and skipper Cheteshwar Pujara struggling, India A will face a major challenge to level the series when it takes on West Indies A in the four-day unofficial test match beginning at KSCA stadium here tomorrow.
The senior openers, who failed to impress in the drawn second match played at Shimoga, after the visitors went 1-0 up winning the first match in Mysore, will get another chance to resurrect their chances of making a comeback to a national side with hectic season ahead.
Both, however, were not considered for the seven match one-day series against visiting Australia beginning on October 10. If they fail again, it is going to be a long struggle for the Delhi duo to keep hopes their nine for a birth in the national side again.
For India, which faces a must win situation to level the series against a talented young West Indies A, the batting line up has to perform to it’s potential and big scores from the blades of Sehwag and Pujara are required.
While West Indies top order Kirk Edwards, Kraigg Braithwaite, Assad Fadudin have been in fine form, spinners Nikita Miller and Veerasamy Perumaul have tormented the Indian batting line up. Fast medium bowler Miguel Cummins has been the find of the series.
Indian bowling, too, has failed to impres with Zaheer Khan returning to competitive cricket after six months was only able to scalp one wicket on a rather slow wicket in Shimoga. However, left Baroda arm spinner Bharghav Bhatt has been in elements claiming nine wicket haul in the second match while off spinner Parvez Rasool has toiled hard with long spells binding the batsmen to a large extent. Some changes can be expected with all-rounder Paras Dogra, middle-order batsman Sheldon Jackson or Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni making their way into the playing XI.