Hosts India take on England in the third Test of the 4-match series at the newly renovated Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, starting this Wednesday afternoon. It will be a pink-ball Test.
The series is well poised as both teams won a Test each at Chennai. India came back strongly in the second Test to beat England by a big margin of 317 runs in front of the home crowd, who came in to watch cricket after a long time.
R Sharma and R Ashwin led the team with their centuries in the first and second innings respectively. Skipper V Kohli, A Rahane, and R Pant all played vital knocks at crucial moments on a wearing pitch. Ashwin was at the forefront of the bowling attack, taking 8 wickets in total on a spin-friendly track. A Patel had a memorable debut with a match haul of 7 wickets, including a 5-wicket haul in the second innings. J Bumrah and U Yadav are expected to replace K Yadav and M Siraj for this Test.
England will be dejected with their performance after being completely outplayed in the second Test. Nevertheless, they will be eager to play this match under the lights, which will resemble the English conditions.
The visitors were bowled out for 134 and 164 in the two innings of the last Test. No player managed to score a half century in the game. One big positive from the last Test for them will be the impressive keeping and batting skills of B Foakes. J Anderson and J Archer will return to the playing XI, with a toss-up between Broad, Woakes, and Olly Stone for the third seamer’s position. J Leach might be the lone spinner for England if the team goes in with 3 seamers for the match. J Bairstow is expected to come in place of D Lawrence in this game.
With both teams needing to win this match to stay in contention for the World Test Championship Final, expect an exciting and enthralling pink-ball Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
- Match: India vs. England, 3rd Test
- Venue: Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
- Date & Time: Feb. 24, 2020, at 2:30 PM IST
Probable Playing XI
S Gill, R Sharma, C Pujara, V Kohli (C), A Rahane, R Pant (WK), A Patel, R Ashwin, I Sharma, U Yadav, J Bumrah
R Burns, D Sibley, J Bairstow, J Root (C), B Stokes, O Pope, B Foakes (WK), S Broad, J Leach, J Anderson, J Archer
Weather and Pitch Report
The weather is expected to be hot and humid on all the days of the match. No rain interruptions are expected. The temperature is expected to be around 34 degrees during the day and will drop down to 27 degrees during the night.
The wicket at the Motera stadium is likely to assist the bowlers. The batsmen will find it hard to score easily on this lively track. The pink ball swings under the lights, and both the sides’ pace bowlers will look to dominate in that period. Expect the first innings score to be around 300 runs.
There is no significant advantage of either batting or bowling first in a pink-ball Test. But given the subcontinent conditions, expect the captain winning the toss to opt to bat first.
- R Sharma was at his scintillating best in the last Test, scoring a masterful 161 runs on a difficult pitch. His innings was the cornerstone of India’s win. He will be high on confidence and will look to put the visiting bowlers under pressure right from the start in this Test.
- V Kohli has played crucial knocks of 74 and 62 in the second innings of the last two matches. He will look to score a big knock in this match to end his century drought of more than a year.
- R Ashwin is having a dream series, with 17 wickets and a century to his name in this series so far. He needs 6 wickets to reach the 400-wicket milestone and will be looking to achieve it in this match.
- J Root faltered in both the innings of the last game. He has been the batting stalwart for England in the Asian conditions, with 684 runs in 3 matches, but failed to score a fifty for the first time in 8 Test matches in India. He will look to score a big knock in this crucial third Test.
- J Bairstow missed the first two Tests of this series after playing two Tests in Sri Lanka. Although he did not score a half century in the four innings of those two Tests, he was consistent and scored 139 runs at an average of 34.75. He will be an ideal partner for Root in the middle order.
- J Anderson is one of the deadliest exponents of swing and showed his reverse swing skills in the first Test. With a pink ball that is expected to swing well under the lights, expect him to trouble the Indian batsmen consistently.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeeper: R Pant
- Batsmen: R Sharma, V Kohli, J Root, J Bairstow
- All-rounder: R Ashwin
- Bowlers: U Yadav, J Bumrah, I Sharma, J Anderson, J Leach
- Captain: J Bumrah/R Ashwin
- Vice Captain: V Kohli/R Sharma
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.
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