Ishant Sharma, who has recovered from his ankle injury that forced him out of action for six months, is unlikely to figure in the first Test against New Zealand at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal here today.
It is learnt that the team will go ahead with two pacers and spinners. Speedster Umesh Yadav, who did exceedingly well during the Australia tour earlier this year, claiming 14 wickets in four Tests, will share the new ball with pace spearhead Zaheer Khan. The spin attack will comprise of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha.
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will open the innings while Virat Kohli is likely to come in at No 3 followed by Sachin Tendulkar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, skipper MS Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ojha and Yadav.
“It important to start the Test on a positive note. We have not played a Test in the last six-seven months, so it’s important to get into the groove,” said Dhoni on match eve.
The strip at the newly built stadium, which is just one Test old, is likely to have some turn and bounce.