Graham Thorpe, ahead of the third Test, stated that Jonny Bairstow did well in Sri Lanka and will be back into the mix for selection alongside the returning Zak Crawley. He also opened up on the training sessions that the visitors had, adding that pink-ball Test is an unknown quantity.
After a mixed result in the Chennai leg of the Test series, the shift of the focus would now switch to Ahmedabad, where the third and fourth Test would be played. The third Test, in particular, would be a day-night contest with the pink-ball, which would come as a challenge for both sides, alongside the fact that the venue would be a first for both of them. While fielding might be an evident concern, England face a larger issue, with their misfiring batting in the first leg.
However, the Three Lions’ batting coach Graham Thorpe, stated that Jonny Bairstow, who did well in Sri Lanka would return back into the mix, for the third and fourth Test of the series. Alongside that, Thorpe also hinted at a possible return for the top-order batsman Zak Crawley, who missed the first two Tests due to a freak injury.
“Jonny Bairstow did well in Sri Lanka, he will come back into the mix, as I said all the players will be available for selection. He is a good player against spin, we are still a day out from the Test, we still want to have a proper look at the wicket, he is with a shout to play the third Test,” Thorpe said in a presser, reported TOI.
“It is very important for others to step up, Joe Root has been in remarkable form this winter. We have always talked about building partnerships together and hopefully that leads to getting the first innings runs, clear in the mind, looking forward to the upcoming Test. Zak Crawley is looking really fit, he will be certainly in the mix and his injury seems to have healed,” he added.
India have only hosted one day-night clash in the country, with Bangladesh being the visitors in that clash, where India walked away as the winners. However, this time around, India would have a bigger challenge in the form of England, who have in the past done well in swinging conditions.
“Half-day and half-night. We have had our practice sessions, we had one in the evening and we had one in the afternoon. The challenge of facing the pink-ball in changing conditions, we will have to adapt to,” he added.
Thorpe, however, was quick to add that the pink-ball clash is still an unknown quantity, with the ball doing more in the evening, in comparison to the start of the day.
“It is an unknown quantity, pink ball does a little more in the evening as compared to the afternoon, we will have to take a look at the pitch as well when it comes to tackling spinners during the day-time,” Thorpe concluded.