Perth: Despite failures in the first two Tests, India are unlikely to change their batting line-up for the Perth Test starting from Friday.
That means, under-fire Virat Kohli may retain his place and Rohit Sharma will have to wait further for his maiden Test outing. After the bashings at Melbourne and Sydney, there was a clamour to drop Kohli, whose scores of 11, 0, 23, 9 in four innings in the series so far suggested that the Delhi batsman was still unable to gauge the conditions Down Under.
Rohit Sharma, like Kohli, has been a consistent performer in limited-overs for India and it was hoped that the poor run-of-form of the latter would give the 24-year-old Rohit a chance to make his debut at Perth. However, according to sources, the team is likely to give Kohli another chance. In case he is persisted though, Kohli's technique will be tested once again at the bouncier WACA track.
It will also be a test of character for opener Gautam Gambhir. Despite scoring an 83 in the second innings at the SCG, he has not looked as compact as he has been over the years, and his tendency of poking at deliveries outside the off-stump has brought about his downfall.
India are still undecided about their bowling line-up and the grass left by the curator at the WACA pitch could tempt the team management to go for an all-pace attack.
"We have to see how much grass is there (in the morning), and whether the spinner will get any kind of assistance," Dhoni said when asked if the nature of the pitch, which is expected to be about 20 per cent quicker and bouncier than when India last played a Test in Perth in 2008, would result in a change in the team combination.
"Accordingly, the bowling department will be structured depending on the wicket," he added.
Vinay Kumar or Abhimanyu Mithun may get a nod ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin if India decide to go with a four-pronged pace attack. In spite of spin-friendly conditions in the first two Tests, Ashwin's performance has been below-par so far in the series with the ball.
India trail 2-0 in the series, with two Tests remaining in Perth and Adelaide.