Former Indian speedster Ajit Agarkar thinks India might deploy a fourth pace bowler in the World Test Championship finals against New Zealand should the pitch at Ageas Bowl, Southampton, turn out to be green. Agarkar has picked Ishant , Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah as the sure-shot starters.
Traditionally, cricket pitches in England are green and, more often than not, favour seam bowlers. The green wicket includes tall grass and an immoderate amount of moisture, and the ball gets more seam moment in such conditions, owing to which spinners taste minimal success.
New Zealand are implicitly clear to field a four-pronged pace attack consisting of Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee and rookie Kyle Jamieson, and all bowlers, barring Boult, started against England in the first Test at Lord's. But in the case of India, however, it still remains unclear as to who will start. All infomration points towards Virat Kohli fielding both Ashwin and Jadeja, but, according to former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar, India could field a fourth seamer should the Southampton wicket turn out to be green.
Agarkar picked the trio of Bumrah, Shami and Ishant as the sure-shot starters, but said that he won't rule out the possibility of the No.1 side potentially fielding a fourth seamer.
"The seamers will play a part and India has got as formidable an attack as any in the world. I think that's been their strength over the last few years. Whether it is a Bumrah, Shami - the No.1 bowler for me for a Test line-up for India and Ishant Sharma, he has gotten better over his career as he has played," Agarkar mentioned on Star Sports' Game Plan.
"So, those three certainly will start and if it is a green seaming wicket, you might see a fourth one for all you know. We still don't know what the conditions are likely to be but we presume in England, with the Dukes ball, in particular, there will always be help for the seam bowlers. You can't imagine a pitch being very dry in mid-June."
India have the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur as the additional pace bowlers in the squad. Siraj had a dream debut series to remember for ages, where he led the inexperienced Indian bowling in the decisive Gabba Test, while Shardul will give skipper Kohli some much-needed depth with the bat. Umesh, meanwhile, is the third most experienced seamer in the squad, behind Ishant and Shami.