New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said that India should field five specialist bowlers by leaving out Stuart Binny from the playing XI if they want to win the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka beginning tomorrow in Colombo.
Gavaskar said swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be named in the team as India need to take 20 wickets to win the deciding Test.
"It is going to be the deciding Test and if you want to win, you need to take 20 (Lankan) wickets. To do that, India should play five specialist bowlers. In case some grass is left on the pitch, which is likely, I would prefer Bhuvneshwar in the team because you need a swing bowler to take 20 wickets in that condition," he said.
"With great respect to Stuart, he is not your five-wicket-an-innings bowler. He did a decent job in the second Test but he lacked penetration," the former captain said.
Asked about the indications that the pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club may have some grass left on it, Gavaskar said, "Indian spinners have been doing a great job against the Lankan batsmen. Only Rangana Herath did something against the Indians in the first Test.
"Sri Lanka do not have quality bowlers like India have and so it could be the logic of some grass leaving on the pitch. But on continental pitches, it happens that there's grass on the first day and gone next day, In case, some grass is left on the pitch, Bhuvi is the ideal bowler," Gavaskar told a news channel.
India are set to field at least two fresh players due to injuries to Murali Vijay and Wriddhiman Saha, but Gavaskar still feels that Sri Lanka are worse off than the visitors as they will miss Kumar Sangakkara who retired after playing the second Test.
"Sri Lanka are worse off than India. Sangakkara was such a big player and there will not be adequate replacement for him. Though he did not do that well in the series his influence in the team and in the dressing room will be missed. The Lankans lack in experience and except for Angelo Mathews, most of them have played very few Tests.
"On the other hand, India currently have little problem in batting and bowling. They are high on confidence after winning the second Test," Gavaskar said.
Asked what he would give to Cheteshwar Pujara if he makes the playing XI, Gavaskar said, "His intention should be to relish the opportunity of wearing the cap as he has been in and out of team for some time. It is a wonderful opportunity to grab for him. This is a game right up his sleeve.
"Pujara is also another uncomplaining player like Rahane, unlike some players of status, and who agrees to play in whatever position he is asked to. I wish him luck," Gavaskar said.