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India vs England: India’s predicted XI for the third Test

While there are several careers at stake in the third Test, Kohli might still stick with the same batting line-up at Trent Bridge, there might be changes made to the bowling attack.

cricket Updated: Aug 17, 2018 11:22 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
virat kohli,india,england
Virat Kohli confessed after the Lord’s debacle that he got the combination wrong and hence it would be interesting to see the players he opts for in the third Test.(Reuters)

Virat Kohli is under pressure, as a batsman, as a captain. His team has faltered and his team looks out of sorts. They trail 2-0 in the five-match Test series and have all the running to do when the third Test commences at Trent Bridge.

There are question marks over the technique and temperament of the batsmen, while the balance of the bowling attack is under scrutiny. The skipper will be under pressure to pick a side which ticks all the boxes. (FULL IND v ENG COVERAGE)

He confessed after the Lord’s debacle that he got the combination wrong and hence it would be interesting to see the players he opts for in the third Test.

While there are several careers at stake in the third Test, Kohli might still stick with the same batting line-up at Trent Bridge but there will likely be changes made to the bowling attack.

We take a look at the predicted XI ahead of the Nottingham Test match.

Murali Vijay

Against the seaming ball at Lord’s, Murali Vijay bagged a pair and never looked settled. He has been very iffy in the recent past and has chased deliveries outside the off stump which is a strict no-no in English conditions.

A jittery Vijay at the top of the order has exposed the middle order to the brand new ball. He is on thin ice, but the team management could well give him another opportunity to potentially save his career.

KL Rahul

There is so much noise around KL Rahul, but the young man has only flattered to deceive. He keeps playing loose strokes and continues committing the same careless mistakes which lead to his downfall.

However, he has the talent and one hopes that his Test career takes off if given a fairly long rope.

ALSO READ: England crisis chance for Virat Kohli to reinvent captaincy

Cheteshwar Pujara

After much debates and deliberations, Cheteshwar Pujara was included in the playing XI at Lord’s. The conditions could not have been more notorious, but Pujara looked relatively secure.

He was run out in the first innings and was deceived by an absolute corker by Stuart Broad in the second, but Trent Bridge swings and seams and the team needs the solidity of Cheteshwar Pujara at number 3.

Virat Kohli

He is no longer the number 1 Test batsman, he is hurt as a Test skipper and when Virat Kohli takes the field on Saturday, he will have wagging tongues accompanying him.

He is not only fighting a stiff back but has to put his head down and galvanise an entire batting order. Plus as captain, his changes and tactics on the field will be forever under the scanner.

Watch: ‘Thinking only about making a comeback’, says Virat Kohli after crushing Lord’s defeat

Ajinkya Rahane

For a very brief moment on day 4 at Lord’s, India looked secured. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were battling hard and kept the English attack at bay for around 45 hours when Rahane was lured into a loose drive outside the stump.

He perished, looked towards the heaven and dragged himself off the field. Rahane was India’s best overseas player back in 2014-15 and the captain needs his deputy to put a bigger price on his wicket.

ALSO READ: It’s too early to talk about 5-0 win over India, says England keeper Jonny Bairstow

Rishabh Pant

The young man from Uttarakhand could be handed a debut at the expense of Dinesh Karthik, who has looked woefully out of form both with the bat and with the gloves.

Pant impressed Rahul Dravid, the India A coach when he played few innings of note against the England Lions last month in these conditions. A dilapidated Indian side could do well with the spunkiness of Pant.

Ravichandran Ashwin

He was the highest scorer for India at Lord’s and looked to play his strokes against the moving ball. He could see a promotion to the number seven slot at the expense of Hardik Pandya.

However, Ashwin the bowler could not extract any assistance from the Lord’s Test and the conditions at Trent Bridge, which are more prone to seam and swing, will pose a challenge for him once again.

Mohammed Shami needs to be more consistent with his performances. ( Reuters )

Mohammed Shami

On his day, the Bengal pacer can run through sides with ease but Shami has blown hot and cold so far. He ripped the match open at Lord’s in a decisive spell before Lunch on day 3, but then could not get any wickets after the break.

He has the wicket-taking ability, but then is also very inconsistent and this is where he has to tighten his game.

Ishant Sharma

There is a visible change in Ishant Sharma’s bowling this series. He is looking to pitch the ball further up and is challenging the stumps and the outside edges of the batsmen.

He has troubled the England batting, and now he needs to pick up more wickets and apply more pressure. With their backs against the walls, India need their experienced players to step up and take control.

Umesh Yadav

He was dropped for Kuldeep Yadav in Lord’s and the move backfired spectacularly. He should walk back in the team for the third Test and Virat Kohli would hope he ruffles a few feathers with his pace and movement.

Jasprit Bumrah

He is fit and available for selection and Virat Kohli should pick him to bolster the pace bowling attack. Going in with four seamers and a specialist spinner is a positive move and India should look to attack right from the outset.

Bumrah was impressive in South Africa and has the ability to extract assistance from the surface and this is where he will add more variety to the bowling attack.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 13:35 IST