India vs England 3rd Test preview: How should Joe Root’s side line up?

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India take on England in the 3rd test at Ahmedabad, but how will Joe Root's side line-up?
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: England Captain Joe Root celebrates Moeen Ali taking the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane of India during the 4th Specsavers Test Match between England and India at The Ageas Bowl on September 2, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

How will England line-up at Ahmedabad?

There has been plenty of kerfuffle ahead of the 3rd Test between India and England.

Since England’s comprehensive decimation in the second Test at Chennai, Some have chosen to resort to the age-old “it was an unplayable pitch” excuse, while others – those with a better understanding of the game, mostly – have admitted that India were simply the better side.

Whether it was with the willow or the cherry, they found players who adapted to the pitch brilliantly and contributed to England’s downfall. It has to be accepted that the visitors were outplayed.

However, had anyone told Joe Root that his side would be on level terms with the hosts after two tests, he would have taken it – and happily. And that’s where we are right now.

Selection dilemma

England have themselves a cricketing equivalent of a penalty in the form of a pink-ball test, and it represents their best chance of taking the lead.

The pink ball offers more lateral movement, and well, generally, it does swing more. Obviously, no one has an idea as to what the pitch will be like but what seems likely is that it will be the pacers and not the slower bowlers who are going to have a bigger say.

That would mean wholesale changes to the team that took to the field in the 2nd Test. Also, let’s not forget that with Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood and Zak Crawley back into the squad, Root has a few selection dilemmas ahead of him. How will England line-up against India in the 3rd test?

Does he go back to the team that won the 1st Test? (with the exception of Jos Buttler), or does he ring the changes? All things considered, it should be the latter:

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JULY 17: Dom Sibley of England celebrates after reaching his century during Day Two of the 2nd Test Match in the #RaiseTheBat Series between England and The West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford on July 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Dom Sibley

Didn’t do well last time around but who did? His 87 off 256 in the opening test is his only real contribution but for now it’s likely to keep Chris Silverwood’s senses amused.

Zak Crawley

Fit and fine, he walks into the team. Rory Burns has been poor throughout the tour. England cannot continue with him. Crawley was by no means an epitome of a batsman tailor-made for the sub-continent against Sri Lanka but such is Burns’ form right now that anyone is a better option.

Jonny Bairstow

Big Jonny is back. He played reasonably well against Sri Lanka and is acknowledged as a very good player of spin – averages 40 in India – a commodity England could do with. One to watch out for.

Joe Root

No explanation required here, really.

Ben Stokes

No explanation here either. What else did you expect?

Ollie Pope

To choose between Pope and Dan Lawrence is going to be difficult. Pope was decent in the 1st Test and a part of the rare resistance England were able to offer in the 2nd Test. Lawrence seemed to get better, despite struggling initially. Many would feel he was the more solid of the two batsmen last time around but Pope still has a stronger case to being the “Golden Boy”.

GALLE, SRI LANKA – NOVEMBER 07: England batsman Ben Foakes celebrates reaching his century during Day Two of the First Test match between Sri Lanka and England at Galle International Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Galle, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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The debate between Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes

 

Ben Foakes

A shining light in a dark affair at Chennai. Foakes’ place should not be under any doubts for a while now.

Dom Bess

Poor Bess has had to endure a lot lately, but it’s good that he has a shot again now that Moeen Ali has returned to England. No doubt that Bess needs to play.

Jack Leach

England’s best spinner on the tour cannot and will not be dropped even if it’s a pink-ball Test. It will be a shock to see England – or even India – go with just one spinner. Again, you never know what the pitch will be like but surely, an extremely seam-friendly is unlikely, given what’s at stake?

Jofra Archer

Jofra’s fit and raring to go – as is evident from his social media. He surely has his eyes lit up already at the prospect of bowling the pink ball at 90mph.

James Anderson

Best that there is no explanation served here either, for it’ll be like impugning his ability. If there’s one player everyone – Indian fans included – has their eyes set on, it’s him.

We hope you enjoyed our article on the 3rd test preview between India and England.

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