Fit-again Ishant unlikely for first Test against NZ

Aug 23, 2012, 07:46 IST | Debasish Datta

UK-based former stumper Farokh Engineer reckons Dhoni's team will not miss batting stalwarts Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman since India's young guns can fire against New Zealanders

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.

Ishant Sharma (left) and Zaheer Khan at a training session. Pic/AFP

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.  

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