England will face off against India on Wednesday in the third Test match of their tour of India, 2021. The series is tied at 1-1, with both teams looking to grab the advantage in this fixture. The result of this game will have direct implications on the World Test Championship final. Both teams will want to play good cricket and will need a win in order to keep their hopes of facing New Zealand alive.
A 317 run win breathing fresh into Virat Kohli and company’s Test campaign versus England could play a big role in the first Test match at the world’s biggest stadium – Motera at Ahmedabad. With 55,000 supporters having their backs, the Indian team get into the pink ball game as favorites. It should be a really good cricket match and the fans will want to see some good cricket being played.
“To be honest, to be in the world’s largest stadium, we actually cannot wait to have the fans around and see the atmosphere, which will be tremendous,” said all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
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Talking about the squad, Umesh Yadav clearing the fitness test means he stands as a premier choice for the pace attack, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah the other two. But keeping that in mind, Virat Kohli would want to drop the idea of playing three spinners and let one – from Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel- warm the bench. The batting line-up isn’t expected to see a change.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav
The rotation policy adopted by the ECB has come with some cons. They benched the likes of Anderson and Buttler in the second test match, eyeing their participation at Motera. But now that Motera is here, the series stands at 1-1, the momentum is definitely with the hosts.
Moeen Ali was sent back after he picked a five-for and played a thrilling cameo in Chennai. Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood have joined the squad having been rested for the first two Tests.
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
India and England have faced each other 124 times in Test matches. India have won 27 matches, England have won 48 matches and 49 games have ended in draws.
An untested ground, with only one match – the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy final – played here post renovation, would offer Joe Root and Virat Kohli a daunting task in hand. While not many runs were scored when Tamil Nadu defeated Baroda only weeks ago, the evening dew could be a factor the batsmen might want to bank on. Taking into consideration the momentum, squads and also home advantage, India seem like the favorites. But one might want to see what Joe Root and Ben Stokes have to place on the table before betting either ways.
Date and Time:
February 24, 2021 (Wednesday)
Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad
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