A resurgent India will hope to keep their world test championship final hopes alive as they take on England in the third test in Ahmedabad. The Virat Kohli led team lost to Joe Root led side in the first test but came out all guns blazing in the second test to draw 1-1 level. Now India needs to win the series for a place in world test championship finals and a draw will ensure that New Zealand takes on Australia in the finals at Lord’s.
The renovated Motera stadium in Ahmedabad which has now became the world’s largest cricket stadium with seating capacity of over 1 lakh spectators, will hold the third test match which will be a day night encounter with a pink cherry. Day-night matches have historically benefited the pacers and the task will be cut out for the spinners to eke out something from the surface. Going into the third test match, India may make few changes and on that note, we predict India’s playing 11 for the third test against England.
Openers- Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill
Gill impressed in the first test while Sharma impressed in the second test and it is likely that this Indian pair will retain their place in the team and open the innings for India.
Middle order- Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Pujara has been India’s pillar of strength in the overseas tour but his string of low score will not benefit the Indian team. His best innings of the series came in the first innings of the first test and the team management will hope that he can be amongst the runs in the 3rd test to take India to a consolidating position.
Virat Kohli has scored in difficult conditions in the two tests and he will hope to get a century in the third test to give himself some morale booster. Ajinkya Rahane played a masterclass innings of 67 runs in the first innings of 2nd test to put India in a commanding position and he will hope to replicate the performance when the team desperately needs it.
Lower middle order- Rishabh Pant(wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin
Rishabh Pant has been devastating with the bat and his wicket-keeping form in the 2nd test has been positive signs for India. He will continue to be the first choice keeper and continue to wreck havoc on the opposition with his batting performance.
Axar Patel impressed with the ball in his debut test and he will be preferred over Kuldeep Yadav, who looked ordinary in the second test. Patel’s ability to bat also puts him in contention for playing 11 in the third test. R Ashwin will continue to be the frontline spinner and possibly he has turned out to be India’s best match winner in the recent time. Some useful contribution in the lower order always benefits the team and his ability to bat make him a MVP in the team.
Lower order- Ishant Sharma, Mohamamd Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah
The day night test matches have historically assisted the pacers and India will go with a formidable three pacers attack in the Ahmedabad test. After rest in the second test, Bumrah will be fresh and raring to go. He may replace Kuldeep Yadav in the team to lead the attack.