Gareth Batty likely to make Test return at Mohali

Gareth Batty likely to make Test return at Mohali

England’s Gareth Batty. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

English off-spinner Gareth Batty is all set to make his first impression on the India tour. The 39-year old is likely to replace Zafar Ansari in the playing eleven for the Mohali Test. Ansari missed out the recent training session at the England camp. The sources reveal that it was a back injury that prevented Ansari from training.

Ansari’s performances in the first two Tests have not been great either. Amidst such backdrop and England already 1-0 down, Gareth Batty serves his case. Batty has played only one Test for England thus far. He had made his Test debut on the recent tour to Bangladesh when England won the first Test. In the county championships, he has been a good performer for Surrey.

Stuart Broad’s injury brings back pacer Chris Woakes in the line up. In addition to these two changes, England might be tempted to bring in Jos Butler in place of out-of-form batter Ben Duckett. Pacer Chris Woakes spoke about the England team combination recently. Mohali often offers bounce compared to most Indian tracks. Thus it serves as the best place for England to make a comeback in the series.

“I’m useless at reading pitches but looking at the wicket I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see that the ends are a bit more trimmed than the middle of the pitch so therefore we’re expecting it to spin. Whether that’s from day one I’m not too sure but at some point, it’s going to spin and we’ve gone with three and three in the last two Tests and the wicket doesn’t seem to look too different to those,” quoted Woakes on the wicket.

He cited that England have gone in with 3 spinners in the first two Tests. Despite rumours being England playing 4 pacers and 2 spinners for the Mohali Test, Woakes is unsure about the idea.

“Just off the top of my head I’m guessing we’ll go with the same. I know there has been talk of the fact that there’s generally a bit more here for the fast bowlers and talk about going four and two but I honestly don’t know if that’s what we will do or not,” quoted the pace bowler.