Hello and Welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of first day’s play of the third Test between India and England at Mohali. I am Suvajit Mustafi and I will be bringing you all the updates of the day’s play. Having drawn the first Test at Rajkot and coming back strong to win the second one at Visakhapatnam, Virat Kohli and his men will look to take unassailable lead in the series at Mohali; a venue where they have not lost since 1994. On the other hand, they shall also be wary of England; a side that has beaten them twice coming-from-behind in the recent times. LIVE Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 3rd Test at Mohali.
The series started on a good note for England, where they could almost sniff a win on the final day. However, the Indian captain denied them of a win after he stood tall; true to his name. Gaining confidence from that draw, Kohli hammered a hundred and a fifty in the second Test and helped India go 1-0 up. The scoreline does not suggest one thing though, that England have played better than the result suggests. They were able to apply pressure on India and sustain it for longer periods. There were key moments which they won but lost out on overall basis.
Ahead of the third Test, both the teams have a few things to address. England need to reassess their three-spinner theory. Zafar Ansari has been ineffective thus far. His injury may eventually rule him out of the Test, but his performance has not been good either to allow him a place in the XI. England could either go to Gareth Batty or go for three-pronged pace attack. Stuart Broad’s injury too would mean that Chris Woakes returns to the game. Also Ben Duckett is likely to be replaced by Jos Buttler. ALSO READ: Preview: Confident India look to extend lead.
India too have their worries. Barring Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, other batsmen have not stepped up thus far. They would want others to get amongst the runs too. Also it will be interesting to see whether they stick to the same strategy as far as bowling goes.
Traditionally the Mohali pitch has always assisted the pacers. However, this time around, the early reports suggest it is dry and wears a shaven look. It is thus expected to be slow and conducive for spin bowling. The weather is pleasantly cool with the winters arriving, which means the pitch will not change much. It may also support swing bowling early on, with a nip in the air.
India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Karun Nair, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.
England: Alastair Cook (c), Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Steven Finn, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty.
09:30 am local time | 04:00 am GMT