India vs England 2021, 3rd Test- Match Preview

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India
India

After winning the second Test at Lord’s, India would look to continue the winning momentum as they will square up against England in the third Test at Headingly Cricket Ground, starting from 25th August 2021. The Lord’s Test victory would have given India a lot of confidence. It was a pure display of self-belief and the true character of India’s Test team.

India were at the top of the game right from the start of the first innings. After being put into the bat first, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma judged the line and lengths brilliantly and countered the new ball with perfection. The duo added 126 runs for the opening wicket to set the tone for the Test.

Rohit Sharma, unfortunately, got out after playing a mesmerizing 83-run knock of 145 balls. KL Rahul, however, went on to score a century and etched his name on the Lord’s honors board. Virat Kohli supported him well with 42 off 103 balls.

India vs England
India vs England (Image Credit: Twitter)

Valuable contributions from Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja helped India reach a morale-boosting 364-run total in the first innings. England’s lack of experience in the top order was once again on display as India picked the first two wickets pretty quickly. Rory Burns and Joe Root then led the recovery before the former was sent back to the pavilion after making 49 off 136 balls.

Wickets kept falling at regular intervals thereafter but Joe Root stood firm at one end. England made sure the game doesn’t go out of their hands as he played one gem of a knock. He scored 180 off 321 balls to help England score 391 in the second innings and take a 27-run lead.

During India’s second innings, England bowlers asked tough questions and didn’t allow the Indian batsmen to stay long at the crease. At 55 for 3, India were in deep trouble but Rahane and Pujara’s 100-run stand ensured the match remained evenly poised.

The duo, however, got out in quick succession, leaving the tail with a lot to do. At 209 for 8 early on Day 5, all India was hoping for was the tail to add 20-30 more runs to give their bowlers some chance of saving the Test, let alone winning.

However, Shami and Bumrah had other plans. The duo added 89 runs for the ninth wicket and took the lead past the 250-run mark. England looked frustrated as the duo scored boundaries for fun. England, eventually, needed 271 runs in not more than 50 overs.

Indian bowlers came out all guns blazing and went through England’s batting lineup. M Siraj took 4 wickets, while Bumrah took 3 as India bundle England out for just 120 runs to win the game by 151 runs.

India vs England 2021, 3rd Test- Match Preview

India:

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Given how the visitors performed in the second Test at Lord’s, they shouldn’t be thinking of making any change in the playing eleven. The four-seam attack has been working well for them and one shouldn’t expect India to drop any one of them. The only change that the Virat Kohli-led side would be tempted to make is to include Ashwin in the team. However, Jadeja’s batting prowess could make the decision difficult.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are in scintillating form. Virat Kohli is just one good inning away. Though, it has been a long time since we have been witnessing that. Amidst all, the biggest positive has been the runs coming from the bat of Ajinkya Rahane and Chesteshwar Pujara. All in all, India are sorted in all departments at the moment and looked favorites to win the game.

Full Squad:

Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (Wicket-Keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (Wicket-Keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Suryakumar Yadav (yet to join), Prithvi Shaw (yet to join)

England:

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Problems are aplenty for England at the moment. The lack of experience at the top-order is perhaps their biggest worry. They haven’t got the starts that they have been looking for. To resolve the issues, England had called up David Malan, who would be making his Test comeback after 3 years. The addition of Malan would certainly give England some stability in the batting lineup.

However, how he plays against the strong visiting bowling remains to be seen. Joe Root, thus far, has looked like the most assured batsman in the line-up. However, the experienced campaigners in Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow also need to come up with better performances if England fancies their chances in the important game.

Batting isn’t the only problem for England, right now. After Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad, Mark Wood has also been ruled out, citing a shoulder injury. Saqib Mahmood is likely to replace him in the playing eleven.

Full Squad:

Joe Root (Captain), Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (Wicket-Keeper), Sam Curran, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (Wicket-Keeper), Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton, David Malan, Saqib Mahmood, Moeen Ali

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