India vs England 3rd Test Preview: Team Changes, Pitch Report And More

Feb14,2024






India will need to be equal parts ruthless and clever to deal with an unpredictable England when the third chapter of an intriguing Test series begins in Rajkot on Thursday. After England shocked India in the series opener in Hyderabad, the hosts made a strong comeback in Vizag to equalize, making the five-match series all set. The brilliance of Yashasvi Jaiswal (321 runs) and Jasprit Bumrah (15) allowed India to make a comeback in the series, but concerns remain over the poor performance of the middle order, which will now depend on the young talent to perform well.

Captain Rohit Sharma's form with the bat ahead of the eight-day break has added to the growing concern about the Indian batting, which will be without KL Rahul in this game and Virat Kohli for the entire series.

In the last year or so, Rohit's aggressive approach with the bat has not helped him get big scores and due to the current situation the Indian captain should probably consider changing gears.

team changes

Rahul's unavailability for the third Test has created the possibility of Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan making his long-awaited debut in the longest format. The home run machine could team up with Rajat Patidar, a Test veteran, to occupy the two most coveted batting spots in the middle order.

India's apparent inexperience in the middle order would have been well noted by the English camp, whose strong research on their opponents and attacking play has yielded results time and again.

Wicketkeeper KS Bharat's consistent failures with the bat have increased India's chances of turning to 23-year-old Dhruv Jurel from Uttar Pradesh, who is known for his aggressive batting.

Rajkot pitch report

Jurel has performed well, averaging 46.47 in 15 first-class matches. With the Rajkot pitch not expected to be a rank turner, a debut here will help Jurel make a smooth entry into the world of top-level cricket.

With local hero Cheteshwar Pujara no longer in the selectors' plans, there will be high hopes from local hero Ravindra Jadeja to return to the ring and perform well for India, whose spinners were outclassed by England in the first two Tests.

The numbers tell only one side of the story and India's think tank won't be too concerned with how much their spinners collectively average (38.39) compared to England (33.90).

Unlike the past, where spinners dominated and fast bowling was reduced to a mere formality, this series has seen a surprising turnaround, which fortunately for India, has coincided with Bumrah performing at his best.

Bumrah's talent was at its peak in the first two Test matches and to some extent saved the trouble of the famous spinners who could not succeed in the absence of rank turners.

With the Rajkot pitch traditionally being batsman-friendly, India will have to choose between chinamen Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel, with who will win the vote based on their batting ability.

India's leading spinner R Ashwin, sitting on 499 wickets, will be expected to enter the exclusive 500-club during the game.

For England, it will be all about making the right moves as they have done in India so far.

Coming back from their Abu Dhabi base where the players spent time away from the game, the relaxed mood in the camp was easy to see.

Ever since Tom Hartley stepped onto the Indian shores, his confidence has increased manifold. His probing line and length have consistently posed questions to the Indian batsmen and his aggressive approach with the bat matches the team's philosophy.

It remains to be seen whether the spin bowling workload is going to be taken more from Joe Root, but England will have no other option but to rely on the most senior batsman for wickets, with Jack Leach out of the series due to a knee. Have become. Injury. He will also be expected to return to his consistent performance with the bat.

Ollie Pope played the innings of his life to lead England to victory in Hyderabad, but two failures in the second Test have put the focus on him as well as Jonny Bairstow.

On the cusp of his 100th Test, Ben Stokes would like to look back at his brilliant 128 at the SCA Stadium in the drawn Test of the 2016 tour. His leadership so far in the series has been inspiring and more bold calls can be expected from him during the next five days.

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal.

England: Ben Stokes (captain), Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Shoaib Bashir, Dan Lawrence, Jack Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Fox (wk), Tom Hartley, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root. , Mark Wood.

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