India and England will square up against each other in the third Test at Headingly Cricket Ground, starting from 25th August 2021. The Indian Cricket Team have been exceptional in all the department thus far in the series. They were brilliant in the first Test and could have won the Test, had rain not played spoilsport on the final day. However, nothing came in support of England in the second Test as the Men in Blue defeated them by 151 runs.
India batted first in the second Test and notched 364 runs in the first innings, thanks to a scintillating 129 from KL Rahul. Joe Root played another mesmerizing century in the Test to keep England in the game. He scored 180 off 321 balls and helped England take a 27-run lead. England bowlers bowled a lot better in India’s second innings and sent the top three early.
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara led the recovery and put on a hundred run-stand. The duo, however, went back to Pavillion in quick succession as India were on the backfoot after the end of day 4. England looked to get the tail out as quickly as they can early in the fifth day, however, M Shami and Bumrah had other plans. The duo added 89 runs for the ninth wicket to extend the lead to 271 runs.
Indian bowlers came out firing in the final two sessions and bundled England out for just 120 runs to win the game by 151 runs.
India vs England 2021, 3rd Test- India’s predicted playing XI
1. KL Rahul
Ahead of the start of the series, KL Rahul couldn’t have thought of opening for India in both the Tests. However, as fate would have it, he got the opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands. KL Rahul played with utmost grace and ensured India got off to great starts in both games. He is currently the second-highest run-scorer in the series, scoring 244 runs in 2 games at an average of 61.
2. Rohit Sharma
Expectations were high from Rohit Sharma in the Test series, however, his struggle against swing was a concern. Rohit Sharma, thus far, hasn’t disappointed, to say the least. He has played with a lot more control and left the balls more than he played on the offside. He would be gutted to threw away the starts he got but has been impressive in both games. In 2 Tests, he has 152 runs, averaging 50.67.
3. Chesteshwar Pujara
Pujara finally got to spend some time at the crease in India’s second innings of the second Test. These are ominous signs for India ahead of the third Test. After India were reduced to 55 for 3 in India’s second innings, Pujara and Rahane shared a hundred-run partnership to lead India’s recovery. Pujara scored 45 runs off 206 balls.
4. Virat Kohli
We are yet to see Virat Kohli coming back to his prime. His last Test century came in November 2019 in a day-night Test against Bangladesh. He played a good-looking 42 in the first innings of the second Test against England. Could we see Virat Kohli overcoming his century drought in their Test? We’ll have to just wait and see! Kohli has 62 runs in 2 Tests thus far.
5. Ajinkya Rahane
Once again in a crunch situation, Rahane became India’s savior in the second Test. He scored a vital 61 off 146 balls to help India get to a competitive score in the second innings. That knock would have reduced pressure on him. In the third Test, one could expect Rahane to play with much more confidence.
6. Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant has played both the Tests and kept quite well. However, he is yet to score a half-century in the series. He got out on 37 and 22 in India’s first and second innings of the second Test. Pant would be keen to convert the starts into big scores ahead of the third Test.
7. Ravindra Jadeja/Ravichandran Ashwin
There could be a toss-up between Ashwin and Jadeja for the seventh number position. Jadeja hasn’t been effective with the ball in the series thus far. But his ability with the bat could tempt India to keep him in the eleven. Having said that, not playing a match-winner like Ravi Ashwin for the third consecutive Test could be hard for the team.
8. Ishant Sharma
Sharma bowled much fuller lengths and exhibited better performance than the one in the WTC final against New Zealand. He has made a good comeback and the team management would be keen to persist with him in the eleven for the third Test. He picked five wickets in the second Test.
9. M Shami
M Shami has been in scintillating form with the ball. He has continued his fine performance and would be key to India’s fortune in the third Test. He picked three wickets in the last game and also scored a mesmerizing half-century.
10. Jasprit Bumrah
J Bumrah should lead the fast bowling department ahead of the third Test against England. He has been one of India’s biggest weapons in the series. Bumrah has got India vital breakthroughs in the series. His availability in the third Test should keep the team in good stead. He picked 3 for 33 in 15 overs in England’s second innings in the second Test.
11. M Siraj
It doesn’t look like Siraj has played not more than 10 Tests for India. He is bowling at some real pace and pitching the ball in the right areas. Siraj’s emergence in Test Cricket has only strengthened India’s fast bowling unit. Expect him to have another great outing in the third Test at Headingley. Siraj was the highest wicket-taker for India in the last game with 8 wickets to his name.
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