The ongoing test series between India and England is evenly poised at 1-1 after the first two tests in Chennai. The visitors drew first blood by comfortably winning the first test thanks to Joe Root’s hundred. However, the hosts bounced back in the second test with a comprehensive 317-run win which was fashioned by a century and 8 wickets by hometown hero Ravichandran Ashwin, not to mention Rohit Sharma’s 161 in the first innings.
Now, the final two tests loom and are set to be played at the new Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. The upcoming test which begins tomorrow will be a day/night test played with a pink ball which would have the pace bowlers licking their lips. Therefore, India might be tempted to change their line-up from the second test. One thing seems almost certain: Jasprit Bumrah will be back and India also have a case for including a third pacer by removing one spinner.
We predict India’s playing XI for tomorrow’s third test.
Top Order: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara
The batting order is unlikely to be tinkered with and more so the top order which has impressed so far. Rohit Sharma would be looking to carry forward his form from the previous match where he scored a century on a raging turner. Shubman Gill who had a blip in the previous things would look to rectify things while Cheteshwar Pujara would want to stay solid as ever at the crease.
Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant
The middle-order is also certain to remain unchanged. Virat Kohli has displayed terrific skill and technique in the past two tests but has been unable to make a big score. He would be out to correct that while Ajinkya Rahane would want to add consistency to his hallmarks. Rishabh Pant on the other had, would once again be given the license to play freely and enthrall what would be a huge crowd.
Spinners/All-Rounders: Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel
The spin attack might be tinkered with a bit due to the fact that the match is a day/night test and hence, there would be movement for the pacers. India might take out Kuldeep Yadav and bring a pacer back in. This would mean Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel would be the only spinners for India. Further, the two will also be expected to come good with the bat as they are all-rounders.
Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav
This is where the two changes from the second test could appear. Jasprit Bumrah who was rested for the sake of the day/night test should be back in place of Mohammed Siraj. Ishant Sharma would be playing in his landmark 100th test tomorrow. The third pacer that India play could be Umesh Yadav who is back in the squad after clearing a fitness test. If his fitness isn’t up to the mark however, Siraj could play in his place. Further, if India decide to go with three spinners, Kuldeep Yadav would be expected to play in this slot.