Kolkata: Explosive Karnataka batsman Robin Uthappa is all set to make his comeback in the Indian team when the hosts face England in the lone Twenty20 match at the Eden Gardens on Saturday. (Agencies)
Apart from Uthappa's inclusion in the top-order, not much surprises are expected in the Indian line-up even as the English think-tank will ponder upon the availability of their star batsman Kevin Pietersen for Saturday’s encounter.
Uthappa, back in the team after waiting in the sidelines for more than three years, is all set to open the innings with Ajinkya Rahane.
Eyes firmly set on a complete whitewash, India are also likely to field a spin-heavy attack against England on Sunday, the indication of which was visible in practice session.
On a slow Eden strip, Ravichandran Ashwin is likely to lead the spin attack alongside left-arm orthodox bowler Ravindra Jadeja, who, with 11 scalps to his name, emerged as the highest wicket-taker for India in the just-concluded ODI series, which the home team won 5-0.
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who warmed the bench in the entire ODI series, might also get a look in place of one of the fast bowlers -- Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar and Varun Aaron.
Uthappa was also full of praise for his IPL side Pune Warriors teammate Sharma.
“He (Sharma) is a very good bowler. He was one of our main strike bowlers for Pune Warriors. He is not easy to hit and has a lot of variation. I am sure he has improved a lot more,” he said of the lanky Punjab spinner.
Ashwin did not come for the practice today but Uthappa said there was nothing to worry about and the Tamil Nadu off-spinner opted to rest as it was a "optional session".
For England, as if the drubbing in the ODI series was not enough as going into the last match of the tour, the visitors have been hit hard by Pietersen's injury.
Pietersen, who fractured his left thumb and missed the fifth and final ODI against India here, is still not certain for tomorrow's encounter, what if he had a rigorous day out in the practice session today.
Stand-in England Twenty20 skipper Swann, however, seemed optimistic about Pietersen's chances of playing on Saturday.
“I don't know at the moment. He just had a pretty tough work out. We will see on Sunday morning but he looked positive at the practice,” Swann said.
Kolkata: Explosive Karnataka batsman Robin Uthappa is all set to make his comeback in the Indian team when the hosts face England in the lone Twenty20 match at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.