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Select Team: Should India retain team for Ranchi Test?

October 17, 2019 08:38 IST
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Having sealed the series 2-0, should India field Kuldeep Yadav in the final Test in Ranchi, asks Harish Kotian.

Umesh Yadav

IMAGE: Umesh Yadav picked up 6 wickets in the Pune Test to make a smashing comeback to the Indian team. Photograph: BCCI

India will aim to complete a series whitewash against South Africa in the third Test, which begins in Ranchi on Saturday.

It will be interesting to see if captain Virat Kohli retains the winning combination for the Ranchi Test or continues with his 'horses for courses' policy.

The Jharkhand Cricket Association International Stadium in Ranchi has hosted only one Test so far, against Australia in March 2017. Australia held off Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on the fifth day to escape with a draw.

Going by how South Africa's batsmen have fared in the first two games, it would be difficult to bet against another India victory.

While spinners Ashwin and Jadeja with 14 and 10 wickets have once again been the key bowlers for India against the Proteas, the fast bowlers have also made crucial contributions.

Mohammed Shami has grabbed 8 wickets at a strike rate of 41 and Umesh has 6 wickets at an even better strike rate of 21.

The pitches in Vishakapatnam and Pune have not been the rank turners the South Africans encountered on their 2015 trip, but their batsmen have struggled.

With the top and middle order batsmen amongst the runs and Jadeja also getting runs at No 6, India are likely to retain their five bowler combination for the Ranchi Test.

The only change India could consider is bringing in spinner Kuldeep Yadav to replace a fast bowler if the conditions so dictate.

Or with the series sealed, the team management could give the young left-arm spinner a look in with an eye on the future.

Do you think India should continue with the same combination?

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