|Finished.365 - 205 & 135|
It’s rare for it to be justified to call an entire Test match a comedy of errors, but that’s what the third Test between India and England was, with the home side being the less erroneous. The teams came into the match with the series tied 1-1, and exited with India in the lead and England both fuming and hurting after having lost their chance of playing in the World Test Championship final. Now, India will be playing with the intent to draw or win, with either giving them both the series and qualification to the WTC final, while the only things England can achieve by winning are a draw for themselves and helping their rivals Australia get to the final instead of India.
Predicted XI against England
Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah.
Preview and form
It’s not easy to come back from 1-0 down to 2-1 up within two matches in a Test series, but India have managed to do so, and are well set to win the series. Bowling first in the first match, Axar Patel was devastating with the ball as he picked up 6 wickets, with Ravichandran Ashwin pitching in with 3 to lock England down for a dismal 112. However, despite a decent start, India fell pretty much the same way. Rohit Sharma’s 66 was the only decent score, with the second-highest score of 27 belonging to Virat Kohli as the Men in Blue were bowled out for just 145.
Thankfully, their second turn with the ball was even more devastating. Patel took another five and Ashwin picked up 4 this time as the visitors’ innings was demolished for just 81. It wasn’t long before Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill crossed the target for India for a memorable 10-wicket win.
India key players against England
Rohit Sharma: He may not be a regular Test player, but Rohit Sharma can hit a ball like few others.
Rishabh Pant: Putting Wriddhiman Saha out of business, Pant has taken over the keeper’s role with his unorthodox, aggressive brand of batting.
Axar Patel: After the shenanigans he pulled in the previous match, Axar will be the focus of every pundit and fan.
Ravichandran Ashwin: It’s rare for Ashwin to play second fiddle to another spinner, so we suspect he’ll be back all guns blazing.
Predicted XI against India
Joe Root (c), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Dan Lawrence, Dom Sibley, James Anderson.
Preview and form
The constant nagging feeling of having to play on a pitch specially curated for the home side can be disastrous for the mentality of a visiting team, and that’s exactly what’s going on in the English camp. Granted, the pitch isn’t ideal for cricket, but it’s hard to call it unplayable. In the first innings of the last match, Zak Crawley was the only batsman with a decent score (53) as the English absolutely crumbled for just 112. After what looked like a rescue that would turn the game competitive featuring Joe Root with a five-for and Jack Leach with 4, England managed to take India out for just 145.
Although just 33 runs separated them, England just couldn’t stop losing wickets, and while they did manage to take a lead, Ben Stokes’ 25 and Joe Root’s 19 were hardly enough for them to get to a fighting total. With just 81 on board, England had just 49 to defend and they simply couldn’t - losing the match before the second day was over.
England key players against India
Joe Root: If England are to mount anything of a fightback, Root will have to play a pivotal role.
Zak Crawley: Crawley showed some signs of brilliance last match, and hopefully for England, he’ll show up bigger and better.
Dom Bess: We’re pretty sure Bess will be called into the side considering the last match, and he’ll most likely make the best of the chance.
James Anderson: The big man will be back with his back bent to try and swing some batsmen to their doom.
India vs England pitch reports weather conditions
Following the sheer amount of criticism the curators received for preparing such a pitch, they have apparently turned it into a batting paradise with even bounce and none of the dusty turn of the previous match. Expect scores of 500+ to be normal, as we might see a high-scoring draw.
It’s going to be sweltering hot and dry in Ahmedabad for the next few days, with temperatures in the late 30s noon onwards, and humidity hovering in the 20s. As long as the players can handle that, however, everything else should be great with not a drop of rain in the forecast.
Can India take the series and ensure their presence in the WTC final with a win or a draw? Or will England break over a billion hearts to level the series and give their lifelong foes a chance to take on their own regional rivals? Find out if our India vs England predictions come true starting Thursday!
|IND Top Batsman:|
|ENG Top Batsman:|
|IND Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|ENG Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|R Sharma/R Pant/V Kohli (IND), J Root/Z Crawley/B Stokes (ENG)|
|Players to score a century:|
|R Sharma/R Pant (IND), J Root/Z Crawley (ENG)|