India Vs New Zealand 3rd Test Match LIVE Score 08 Oct 2016

India Vs New Zealand 3rd Test Match LIVE Score 08 Oct 2016

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India Vs New Zealand 3rd Test Match LIVE Score 08 Oct 2016


Dead rubber matches carry an air of inevitability about them. The third Test between India and New Zealand, in Indore, might fall into that category.

The biggest context has been won by the hosts rather convincingly. Indore will be a test of India’s ability to carry forward the same momentum as displayed in the first two. For New Zealand, the challenge is to finish with more to show for than the duck in the scoreline against their name. They have had passages of play where they’ve looked quite up to task. Tom Latham has had a good couple of innings, Mitchell Santner has been filling in steadily, Matt Henry and Trent Boult had their moments in Kolkata, so did Jeetan Patel but none of it has translated into something more than a

fight. The absence of Kane Williamson, the batsman, was felt more in Kolkata. The likes of Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor have been way below par and most importantly, the bowlers have consistently allowed the Indian lower-order to take the game away from them. India have fared better in all aspects, with lower-order batting, bowling and the batsmen’s contributions coming in at various junctures. They are the No 1 ranked Test team at the moment. But to push that further and be ruthless for a 3-0 win will be a challenge.

Indore is the land of the Maharajas of Holkar. It’s a city filled with passionate people and hosting their first Test will be a matter of pride for the locals. The fans, who were allowed entry on the first day of practice but denied on the second, have already shown glimpses of how much they are looking forward to seeing their favorite stars up close. The people coming in, predominantly college students, are bound to fill the stadium up with energy and that in itself should push players out of complacency if any.

Kohli had spoken about how the fans pushed the pacers through some extra overs in Kolkata. Here they might even have to bide against distraction. But nevertheless, with the Test starting on a weekend, the turnout promises to be one that will make the organisers happy. Even as the hulabaloo surrounding the future of BCCI continues, the cricket is seemingly non-affected and that’s just the way it should be.

India will have a few changes in place given that both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan have been ruled out due to injuries. Gautam Gambhir is a certainty and Umesh Yadav, should take the vacant pacer’s slot.

New Zealand, Williamson conceded, were still undecided on their combination. Still in the process of figuring out the nature of the pitch, the visitors will probably have to decide between an extra seamer or a spinner. The captain himself has recovered from the illness that kept him out of the second Test, and is likely to turn up fit tomorrow. That takes Greg Nicholls out of contention. New Zealand might also be toying with the idea of getting back James Neesham as a possible replacement for Neil Wagner.

“Tough to say,” said Williamson about the team combination. “Looking at it (pitch) yesterday, it was certainly quite bare at both ends. In saying that, there was a lot of weather around, it was a little bit soft so we want to have another look today. We are yet to decide on the balance we’ll go in with.”

It has rained, albeit not too heavily, in the days building up to the Test in Indore. It might be a matter of concern for the groundsman but the pitch is expected to be one that isn’t too different from typical Indian pitches. There has been a tendency to make the pitches even more spin-friendly in recent times and it remains to be seen if Indore is an exception to that, like Kolkata.

India will be fielding another different eleven under Virat Kohli but that isn’t an indicator to an unsettled combination but rather a testament to their bench strength.

The Test will be filled with sub-plots to watch out for. The predicament of Gautam Gambhir, the historical significance of Indore’s maiden Test and a lot more.

The cricket in this series has been fascinating. We’ve seen Kohli being taken out with a short-ball plan, we’ve seen him respond with more aggression. We’ve seen the Indian lower-order’s batting growing into its pillar, led by Saha. The Indian spinners have outshone their counterparts through skillful use of the pitches. The pacers have found reverse swing whenever a ball has been replaced. New Zealand have worked tirelessly in trying to match up to the intensity under trying heat.

Indore is a culmination of all these battles and a lot more. If New Zealand have picked up on a few important lessons, they will be sure to give India a run for their money. And it couldn’t be a better setting for a first Test, dead rubber or not.
India (From): Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Karun Nair, Shardul Thakur
New Zealand (From): Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling(w), Matt Henry, Jeetan Patel, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Henry Nicholls