The Telegraph
Saturday , July 26 , 2014
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Focus on final XI

Calcutta/London: India kept themselves busy in training on Friday, ahead of the third Test of the five-match series against England, which begins in Southampton, from Sunday.

The pitch at Ageas Bowl lacks the extremities of Trent Bridge and Lord’s.

To be precise, it is of the traditional type. It is supposed to be a hard and quick pitch, but it won’t have as much grass on it as Lord’s had.

There’s no reason why the Indians would be dissatisfied with the wicket, but they would still have a dilemma — whether they would continue with Stuart Binny.

The all-rounder, who bowls medium pace, has been given just 20 overs in the series.

He didn’t get a single over in the second innings at Lord’s when Ishant took seven wickets. He did play a match-saving innings at Trent Bridge, but will that be enough for him to keep his place in XI? Or will Mahendra Singh Dhoni go back to the more traditional strategy and play Rohit Sharma instead?

If net sessions are any indication, Rohit is very much in the scheme of things.

He has been allowed a lengthier period at the nets in the lead-up to the third Test and, importantly, he was the first one to get a net on Friday.

It will be interesting to watch what team combination Dhoni opts for.