India will be looking to extend their lead in the Test Series as they host England in the 3rd test starting in Mohali from this Saturday. The Indian team beat England comprehensively in Vishakhapatnam and will be eyeing another similar performance to impose themselves over their opponents.
Indian team have gone for a couple of changes in the last 3 tests. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back in the squad for the last three ties while a surprise inclusion of Parthiv Patel has been made as he has replaced injured Wriddhiman Saha who is out with a thigh strain. India have also harshly left out Gautam Gambhir from the team after the veteran missed out his opportunities in the first test.
England are without any injury problems, but have brought in Jos Buttler for Ben Duckett. They are expected to name their strongest squad ahead of the Mohali test.
India will be banking on their captain supremo Virat Kohli as he has been outstanding with the willow, scoring 337 runs so far. A lethal weapon in bowling Ravi Ashwin has imposed his impacts and will be looking to repeat the same. Pujara and Vijay also have been decent as the latter will be eyeing to convert his starts as big ones. Debutant Jayant Yadav impressed in the last match, but given the pitch history of Mohali, he might have to miss the game.
For the visitors, young opener Haseeb Hameed has been impressive for them but they will have to improve on their batting and counter the Indian spinners more efficiently, at least better than they did in Vizag. English spinners also have been decent so far as Adil Rashid tops the list of highest wicket takers list in this series with 13 scalps, with Moeen Ali not far behind as he grabbed 7.
Mohali is always different from the rest of India. It has the traditional pitch that gives a bit more purchase to the pacers. So England will be looking to exploit all the resources with their pace attack. India have brought in Bhuvneshwar, it’s a no brainer to guess what for. This time around with the temperature low in Chandigarh, ball is expected to do off the deck and the first session of first couple of days will be crucial to decide the fate of the 3rd test.
Possible Line-Up for 3rd test:
India: Vijay, Rahul, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Patel, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar, Umesh, Shami.
England: Cook, Hameed, Root, Duckett, Stokes, Ali, Bairstow, Rashid, Finn, Broad, Anderson.
3rd test TV coverage:
The match will be telecast from 9:30am IST in Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3 (last two Hindi commentary) in India. For other countries, here are the details:
UK: Sky Sports 2. Middle East: OSN Sports Cricket HD. USA, Canada: Willow TV. Australia: Fox Sports 1. New Zealand: Sky Sport 3. Singapore: Star Cricket.
What’s your prediction for the 3rd test? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo by nic_r