Once again, India will bank on Kohli and Pujara. The duo is set to face some competition from Anderson and Woakes    AFP
Once again, India will bank on Kohli and Pujara. The duo is set to face some competition from Anderson and Woakes AFP

Having taken a crucial lead of 1-0 in their ongoing five-Test series after winning the second match at Visakhapatnam, the Indian cricket team will resume their intense rivalry with England in the third match at Mohali. The first Test of the series had ended in a thrilling draw, but India did well to hammer the touring side by 246 runs in the second match. The upcoming Test at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) IS Bindra Stadium will be the third clash between India and England at this venue, and the hosts will want to maintain their indomitable record. India and England have played three Tests so far at Mohali; with India winning two out of these and one match ending in a tame draw. LIVE SCORECARD, INDIA vs ENGLAND, 3rd TEST AT MOHALI.

The Indians will be happy with their performance in the second Test, after being made to work really hard for a draw in the first match at Rajkot. England have proven that they are the only side to challenge India in these conditions, as they have a few batsmen in their ranks who cannot be intimidated by the hosts spinners and their spinners can pose a lot of threats. In the last two games, India have had to work really hard to get into the position they find themselves in, and with three more Tests to go, this series is far from over and no team can be picked as real favourites.

For India, their spinners have not enjoyed as much success as they did against New Zealand. Their batting too has not clicked as a unit, and the team tends to depend on their maverick skipper Virat Kohli when the pressure is truly upon them. Kohli has been the reason why India find themselves ahead by 1-0 in this series, as his defiant 49 not out at Rajkot in the final innings and the scores of 167 and 81 not out helped the hosts eke out a victory.

With the third Test starting Saturday, the attention will once again be on specific set of players who can influence the outcome of the Test. Let s take a look:

Virat Kohli vs James Anderson: England may have played hide and seek with India till the build-up of the second Test, but finding Jimmy Anderson s name in the team sheet would certainly have surprised Kohli at the toss. However, Kohli is a big match player and he got the better of the English pace spearhead, playing two significant innings which helped his team win the Test at Visakhapatnam. The rivalry between these two masters will resume once again at Mohali, a place that is known to be the most pace-friendly wicket in India. However, the initial reports suggest there will be no grass on the wicket, so Anderson s mastery with the swing and seam will be tested against an on-song Kohli.

Cheteshwar Pujara vs Chris Woakes: The Indian run machine certainly enjoys batting against England, as the right-hander has so far struck four centuries, out of which two have come in this series. Pujara is certainly enjoying making runs against a team which exposed him with the moving ball in England, and on his home turf, the right-hander is making all the right moves. Pujara has been the best Indian batsman against the string of English spinners, but there is one bowler who has troubled the Indian No. 3. Chris Woakes struck Pujara early on in the first Test thrice on the helmet, and was able to cut down on the aggression which the Indian batsman had shown.

With Stuart Broad all set to miss the clash at Mohali, England are likely to bring back Woakes into their bowling attack. The right-arm pacer has been working up a lot of pace of late and he has been using the bouncers extremely well. Once again, Pujara versus Woakes battle will be the one to watch out for.

Haseeb Hameed vs Ravichandran Ashwin: If there is one English cricketer who has not just impressed but won hearts on this tour of India, it has to be the 19-year-old Haseeb Hameed. The right-hander played a fabulous 144-ball 25 knock in the final innings of the Visakhapatnam Test, which showed that the young batsman has all the ingredients to become one of the finest Test batsmen in a very less time. Hameed s technique is near-perfect against Indian spinners, thus, his battle with Ravichandran Ashwin who has dismissed him on two important occasions will be the one to watch out for.

Alastair Cook vs Mohammed Shami: In the first innings of the Visakhapatnam Test, the Indian pacer did something which not many bowlers in the world can do. Shami snuck the ball between Alastair Cook s bat and front foot, which was a delight to watch. Shami has exposed the England captain s vulnerability by proving that if the ball comes into the left-hander, he is fallible. Cook s manner of dismissal reminded many of the one which was witnessed in the Ashes 2013-14, when Ryan Harris got one into the England captain and the ball took away the bails in a flash. Shami, who can move the ball deftly, will once again be entrusted to get rid of Cook.

Jos Buttler vs Parthiv Patel: Well, these two cricketers might not face off literally during the India-England third match, but the fact that both have got Test recalls out of the blue presents a tough challenge. Buttler has played only one First-Class match in the last one year, whereas the 31-year-old Parthiv is back in the Test circuit after as many as 8 long years.

Buttler will be coming in for a struggling Ben Duckett, who is likely to be recalled once England are back in familiar territory. Hence, he will be determined to make a strong statement. On the other hand, Parthiv has got a chance ahead of the first-choice Wriddhiman Saha, who is injured. Parthiv too will want to ensure that he makes a strong mark and a case for himself.

(Devarchit Varma is a senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)