India has already wont the three test series against New Zealand after clinching the second test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and in doing so became the number one side in the ICC Test rankings. New Zealand will play for pride in the third test that is scheduled to start on the 8th of October at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore.
The Kiwis will most likely see their captain and best-batsman Kane Williamson return to the side after he was sidelined in the second test due to a virus. New Zealand will have their best opportunity in the third test as the Indian side has been hit with a number of injuries. K Rahul who played the first test is out due to a hamstring injury, B Kumar who played the second test and picked up five wickets in the first innings is also out due to a back injury he sustained in the test. S Dhawan who opened in the second test will miss out after suffering a hand injury at Eden Gardens and I Sharma has been unavailable for the full series due to dengue fever.
India will most likely use G Gambhir to replace Dhawan and U Yadav to replace B Kumar although Kohli might just decide to bring in a third spinner in A Mishra in order to give Jadeja and Ashwin a break, considering India have another 10 tests to play at home. The Indian captain has maintained that he wants his team to play an exciting brand of cricket and give the crowds the entertainment they pay for.
In a statement, Kohli said “You saw how engaged the crowd was (Eden Gardens), they like to see exciting cricket, and we have to provide it. You have to interact with them, you have to make sure they are a part of the whole thing. You feed off their energy. It happens so much in limited-overs, so why not in Test cricket?”
The pitches in both tests have been great for test cricket as they have been good enough for batsmen to score fluently and yet offered assistance for both the pacers and spinners. New Zealand will need their batting order to fire in order to support their bowlers who have performed really well. Vice captain Ross Taylor will be under pressure and so will opening batsman Martin Guptill who has got starts but failed to convert them into three figures.