Will Virat Kohli & Co. include R Ashwin, Suryakumar Yadav and Shardul Thakur? Predicting India's XI for 3rd Test vs England
With Virat Kohli & Co. leading England 1-0 in the five-match series, the visitors will hope to take an unassailable lead in the series as the third Test commences on August 25 (Wednesday) at Headingley, Leeds. Here's a look at India's probable XI -
Virat Kohli-led India are on cloud nine as they step into the third Test, of the five-match series, versus Joe Root-led England with a 1-0 lead. The second Test, at Lord's cricket ground, was a topsy-turvy ride before India stunned England with a terrific all-round display to win the contest by 151 runs on the final day.
Resuming Day 5 at 181-6, India had an overall lead of only 154 with Rishabh Pant and the tail-enders left with plenty to do. As India were reduced to 209-8, with both the overnight batters such as Pant and Ishant Sharma back in the pavillion, England lost the plot in trying to unsettle Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, with their overaggressive tactics, as the ninth-wicket pair added an unbeaten 89-run stand. As a result, India declared at 298-8, setting up a challenging 272-run target for the hosts in 60 overs.
Charged up by James Anderson & Co.'s aggressive tactics, Team India rose to the occasion and bundled out Root & Co. for 120 to win the Lord's Test by 151 runs. This became India's third win at the venue overall. While India also had a 1-0 lead after the conclusion of the second Test, at Lord's, during their 2014 England tour, it went all downhill for the then MS Dhoni-led visitors who lost the series 3-1.
Hence, Kohli-led India will be wary of not losing steam in the remainder of the series and will aim for an unassailable 2-0 lead. For the unversed, the likes of Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin and Mayank Agarwal are available for selection. While Vihari might be considered in place of underperforming Cheteshwar Pujara, the latter's vital 46 in India's second essay at Lords might help him retain his place.
It will be interesting to see if Ashwin gets a look-in. Many had touted him to be a part of India's XI at Lord's. While two spinners might also feature, given that India's 4-pace attack is doing wonders, Ashwin can come in only at the expense of Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja has been effective with the bat, but remains wicketless with the ball in hand.
If India need to add a swashbuckling batsman in their line-up and surprise the English camp, Suryakumar Yadav might also get a look-in.
India's predicted XI for the 3rd Test: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara/Hanuma Vihari/Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja/R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur/Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj