The third Test in Mohali may see a change in the ongoing India-Australia contest. For the first time in the series, talk is dominated around pace rather than spin. The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) officials have already declared that the pitch won’t be a turner as we saw in the Chennai and Hyderabad Tests.
Ishant Sharma, who has grabbed nine wickets from three Tests in Mohali, would fancy his chances in the third Test which starts on Thursday. Youngster Bhuvneshwar Kumar would also have high hopes especially after troubling the Aussies on Day One of the Hyderabad Test.
It was Ishant, who destroyed Australia’s batting cream in the second innings of the 2010 Test when he sent back Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke in the space of 10 runs while Australia looked to cash in on their 23-run first innings lead. Ishant played a sparkling role with the bat on the last day, hanging on for 106 minutes for his 31 with VVS Laxman at the other end. Ultimately, India achieved their 216-run target with one wicket to spare.
Unadkat, Trivedi should know...
MiD DAY spoke to Saurashtra medium-pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Siddharth Trivedi (who recently played a Ranji Trophy match against Punjab) to get an insight about what’s in store for the pacers in Mohali: “The wicket is a paradise for pace bowlers. It has good bounce and carry. I love to bowl there. Everyone (batsmen and bowlers) has something to look for on that track. The green tinge is always exciting for pacers,” said Unadkat, who is one of the fringe players for Team India.
Trivedi said the Mohali wicket has all the ingredients that a fast bowler looks for. “The atmosphere is very cool as compared to other parts of the country. The wicket has everything that a fast bowler wants — the moisture on the surface is a big help, the soil is hard and the grass cover aids the ball to move naturally,” said Trivedi, who claimed 5-64 and 1-23 in the last Ranji match against Punjab at Mohali.
However, the next Test may provide Australia, who have a better pace attack than India, a chance to change their fortunes in the series. “India will be worried. But they are leading the series 2-0 and the confidence level will be much higher than Australia,” said Trivedi.