New Delhi: The battle of the third match of the 5-match Test series between India and England is about to start. There will be a toss in a while from now.
Headingley’s pitch helps bowlers
The conditions at Headingley are expected to be favorable for the fast bowlers and India can go with four fast bowlers. In such a situation, there will be no place for Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI again. Shardul Thakur has become fit but it does not seem that Kohli will make any changes in his fast bowling attack. Ishant Sharma bowled brilliantly at Lord’s and the senior pacer is expected to be preferred over Thakur. Thakur is less than Ishant in bowling but better in batting.
Hundred expected from Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli scored his last international century in November 2019. He failed to score big in the current series. However, big scores are always expected from him. He lost his wickets in the first two Test matches on balls going outside the off-stump. In such a situation, he is expected to bat with better technique in front of such balls at the handiangle.
Will Pujara-Rahane give strength?
The form of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane is also a matter of concern for India. Both of them, however, have indicated a return to form after batting for almost 50 overs on the fourth day of the Lord’s Test. Due to this the match dragged on till the 5th day after which the fast bowlers helped India win and lead the series 1-0.
India’s victory in the year 2002
Team India played the last Test in Leeds in 2002. Sourav Ganguly was the Indian captain at that time. Then the lions of ‘Dada’ had dusted the England cricket team by an innings and 46 runs. Rahul Dravid was given ‘Man of the Match’ for his century (148).
India has not lost in Leeds for 54 years
Team India’s record at Headingley ground is excellent in the last 54 years, India has not lost a single match on this ground. India was last defeated here in 1967. At the same time, England’s record on this ground has been very embarrassing. In the 2019 Ashes match, the hosts were reduced to 67 runs.
Indian Team: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Sauv, Suryakumar Yadav.
England Team: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, David Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson.