Hubli, Oct 9: It will be a litmus test for the out-of-favour batsmen - Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir - as India A need nothing less than a victory to level the three-match series when they take on West Indies A in their third and final unofficial 'Test', starting here today.
Having won the first match comprehensively, West Indies A drew the second game to lead the series 1-0 and the hosts would quickly need to make amends to get back to winning ways in a must-win encounter.
All eyes will be on Sehwag and Gambhir, both of whom require to shine with the bat in order to create a chance for themselves to make a comeback to the national side.
The show put up by the duo in the previous unofficial 'Test' at Shimoga was disappointing with Gambhir scoring 11, Sehwag managing only seven.
Sehwag has not scored a century in 30 Test innings, while Gambhir's dry run with the bat has seen him without a hundred in 40 innings since January 2010.
Even pacer Zaheer Khan, who is also trying to get back into national reckoning, had a dismal outing in the last match with figures of two for 93. But the fact that it was a slow pitch, which hardly helped the seamers, and also that Zaheer was playing his first match after an year's gap could be taken into consideration.
Zaheer has failed to take five wickets in a Test innings since October 2010, and his fitness and endurance have also been a concern. After the 2011 World Cup, he played just seven Tests. The trio would be keen to go out in a positive frame of mind and make a mark.
India 'A' captain Cheteshwar Pujara, besides motivating the team, would also be looking to put behind his own disappointing performance in last two matches where he managed just 45 runs from three innings.
The Saurashtrian knows the importance of tomorrow's tie and would try to repeat what he did during the South Africa A tour, where he scored a blistering century.