New Zealand A vs India A, 3rd Unofficial Test, Preview: Action moves to the decider with the series locked at 0-0

Will the teams be able to break the deadlock?

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The rain-hit series between New Zealand A and India A moves to the decider now with the series still locked at 0-0. While the first game was a high-scoring one, the second turned out to be a damp squib with the heavens opening up on every day of the game. With the series at stake, both the teams would love to give their best and hope that their performances help them escalate towards the national side.

India A will be looking to give chances to their remaining players before the series ends. The batsmen have done a fair job so far but with the players from the national side playing in the first game and then the rain playing its part in the next, no players in the current squad have managed to get game time in the middle. However, one would argue that the bowlers haven’t performed to the expectations. There have been moments of brilliance but they have been guilty of not being consistent enough.

The hosts would be happy with their show so far as they got a chance to prove their mettle against some of the best in the business. New Zealand’s bowlers especially have been spot on. But they will feel that the rain in the previous game robbed off an opportunity from them to put pressure on the opposition. It will be interesting to see if they make any change to their line-up from the next game.

Team Combinations

New Zealand A

New Zealand A made only a solitary change to their line-up for the second match and the same could happen in this encounter as well. Logan van Beek has warmed the bench so far and he could replace one of the all-rounders in this game if they are looking to give a game to everyone in the squad. Also George Worker’s availability is still not clear and Hamish Rutherford who is scoring runs in abundance can continue opening the innings.

Probable XI: Hamish Rutherford, Will Young (c), Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Cam Fletcher (wk), Logan van Beek/Theo van Woerkom, Lockie Ferguson, Seth Rance, Blair Tickner.

India A

India A usually make changes to their playing XI in order to try all the players in the squad. If that is the case, then the likes of Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill deserve to get a game. Having said that, even the other batsmen haven’t been able to get chances in the middle due to rain. In the bowling department, Deepak Chahar might come in place of Navdeep Saini who has played both the games on the tour so far.

Probable XI: Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ravikumar Samarth, Karun Nair (c), Ankeet Bawne/Shubman Gill, Srikar Bharat (wk), Vijay Shankar, Navdeep Saini/Deepak Chahar, Rajneesh Gurbani, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Nadeem.

Focus will be on

Will Young (New Zealand A)

Will Young slammed a sensational century in the previous game and the talented player will be looking to be consistent. His captaincy will also be under the scanner with the series at stake. A lot will depend on how he bats at the top of the order as the Indian bowlers are known to swing the ball a fair way in helpful conditions and on their day, can run through any batting line-up.

Mohammed Siraj (India A)

Mohammed Siraj has been one of the best bowlers at the domestic level for India in last 12 months or so. He has continued to impress on overseas tours and might not be far away from the national call-up in the longest format. With Team India playing in Australia from the first week of December, an injury to any of the fast bowlers, could work wonders for Siraj. However, for that to happen, he will have to keep bowling well consistently and stay in the radar of the selectors.

Match Timings – 3:30 AM IST; 10:00 AM local

Venue – Cobham Oval, Whangarei.

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