The hosts India will now face the visitors England in the third game of the Test series from this Wednesday (24th February) afternoon at newly re-build Sardar Patel Stadium (Motera, Ahmedabad). It will be a day/night pink-ball Test match which will be India’s second home pink-ball Test match but third overall pink-ball Test match.
Currently, the ongoing Test series is in the level position with the 1-1 margin. After losing the first Test of this series by 227 runs, India won the second Test of this series by 317 runs.
India vs England 2021, 3rd Test: India’s Predicted XI
Opening batsman Rohit Sharma has finally returned to the form as he scored a crucial century during the first innings of the previous Test match to provide a strong start for the hosts. His 161 off 231 balls knock helped the hosts to manage the good first innings total that ultimately helped them to claim a comfortable victory on that turning track.
Young opening batsman Shubman Gill has already impressed with his early opportunities. In the opening game of this Test series, Gill scored 50 runs during the tough fourth innings. While he didn’t score much runs in the last Test, it will not hamper his position in the Test squad.
The top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is one of very important batsmen in the present Indian Test batting line-up. From the long time, his strong defensive batting approach is working for the Indian team. While he started this Test series with another patience knock of 73 runs, he didn’t score big runs in the next three innings (15, 21 and 7). But more importantly, everyone is waiting for his first Test century since January 2019.
Virat Kohli (C)
Just like Cheteshwar Pujara, Indian captain Virat Kohli is also struggling to score an international century in every format since November 2019, during India’s first-ever pink-ball Test (against Bangladesh at Kolkata). Kohli is also in some good touch, especially in their second innings of the Test match, where he scored 72 and 62 runs in their last two Tests.
While many were criticizing the Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s recent inconsistency with the bat, he scored the crucial 67 runs during the first innings of the previous Test match, when the Indian team hugely needed his support. During the recent Australia tour, stand-in captain Rahane also scored a century during the second Test of that series, which helped the visitors to make a great comeback in that Test series.
Rishabh Pant (wk)
Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is now impressing with his performances both as a wicket-keeper and as a batsman. The last Test was really memorable for him where most of his performances were impressive. The left-handed batsman is now very consistent with the bat as he scored one half-century each of the last four Tests but he still has to prove his consistency with the gloves behind the stumps.
All-rounder Axar Patel finally made his Test debut in the last game and he impressed that Test match with his bowling performances. After picking up two wickets during England’s first innings, he claimed a five-wicket haul in the fourth innings of that Test match. In both those innings, Patel dismissed the English Test captain Joe Root.
Ravichandran Ashwin is currently in outstanding form, who won the Player of the Match award for his impressive all-round performances in the last Test that India won by 317 runs. The off-spinner not only bagged eight wickets (5/43 & 3/53), including recording his 29th Test five-wicket haul, but the right-handed batsman also scored his fifth Test century when the other batsmen were struggling.
After India’s victory in the second Test in the last Australia tour, the Indian fast-bowler Umesh Yadav has missed out the cricket due to his left calf muscle injury. He has now added in the Test squad after passing the fitness test. Umesh is the leading wicket-taker for India in the day/night pink-ball Test match as he has taken 11 wickets in two Tests. So, he can return to the Test playing XI squad for the upcoming Test match.
The tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma will play his 100th Test during this upcoming historic day/night pink-ball Test match. While he just returned after recovering from the injuries, he has impressed with his bowling performances in this Test series. Ishant has taken 5 wickets in 2 Tests of this series.
The right-arm fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was rested in the previous Test. So, he can start this pink-ball Test match in fresh way. Bumrah has mostly impressed with his bowling performances in most of the venues.