An even scoreline mid-way through the series is not what many expect when a side tours India.
England has done well to get to this stage, and with a pink ball Test, they have a great chance to go further up.
Pink ball Tests tend to allow swing as the grass is kept on the surface.
With England bowlers good at using the swing on offer, they may feel at home with the pink ball.
While the upcoming Test is a series-defining one, it is crucial in the World Test Championship context.
Both sides need a win, and a defeat will make it more challenging for them.
A defeat will be out of the race if they lose this Test, and Australia will be hoping for a favorable result.
The Test has further significance for two other reasons.
The first is the debut of the new cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
The stadium is known to have the largest seating capacity, with a unique lighting system.
The nature of the surface is still unknown.
Another essential milestone is Ishant Sharma becoming the second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to play a hundred Tests.
Indian Team News:
The Indian Team may continue to field five bowlers, but the composition may be a talking point with the pink ball.
Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ishant Sharma are given in the side, while Axar Patel is likely to stay.
This leaves Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, and Mohammad Siraj fighting for the final spot.
Kuldeep Yadav didn’t bowl much in the second Test, but with wrist spin having good numbers in day-night Tests, India may favor him ahead of the others.
Along with the above options, there is a possibility of bringing in Hardik Pandya to strengthen the batting while using him for a few overs if needed.
However, with the dew factor around, there could be a debate on whether to play a third spinner or a seamer, leaving the discussion open until the toss.
The batting line-up is likely to stay the same, with the batsman doing a decent job so far.
Barring Rohit Sharma, nobody managed a big score, but each member of the top six did get past fifty at least once over the two Tests.
The Indian batting line-up will come under the spotlight, with the memory of getting all-out for 36 still present in everyone.
- Rohit Sharma
- Shubman Gill
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Rishabh Pant
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Axar Patel
- Ishant Sharma
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Mohammad Siraj/ Umesh Yadav/ Kuldeep Yadav
England Team News
Jonny Bairstow returns from a break and is likely to come into the eleven, while James Anderson and Jofra Archer are other inclusions.
Jofra Archer was out of the second Test with a niggle, and looks to have recovered to make it back into the eleven, while James Anderson missed the second Test due to the rotation policy set by England.
With the two pacers coming back fresh and a pink ball in hand, England’s bowling attack looks formidable.
The seam on offer may tempt them to go with three seamers, leaving Jake Leach as the lone spinner.
Another inclusion could be Zak Crawley’s, as he has recovered from his wrist injury.
- Dom Sibley
- Zak Crawley
- Jonny Bairstow
- Joe Root
- Ben Stokes
- Ollie Pope
- Ben Foakes
- Dom Bess/ Chris Woakes
- Jake Leach
- James Anderson
- Jofra Archer
With the pink ball likely to move a bit, James Anderson and his experience may be a potent weapon for England.
He will be returning after a gap, and after his performance in the first Test, Anderson could well be hungry for more wickets.
India’s skipper Virat Kohli has not managed to get a century in a while but has still scored some wonderful half-centuries in the recent games.
He got starts in Australia and made two fifties in the two Tests, showing that he is still in form.
With Kohli finding some touch over the two Tests, a big score could well be on the cards, especially during a big occasion like the pink-ball Test.
Pitch and Conditions:
On first look, the pitch had some grass on it, possibly to help maintain the ball.
The grass will likely keep the pacers in the game, but with the nature of Indian pitches, spinners will enjoy some assistance later on.
The stadium has a capacity of 110000 but will be played at fifty percent.
Like the other day-night Tests, the Ahmedabad Test will be influenced by how the sides play in the twilight period.
There is likely to be some dew in the evenings, which will add to the bowler’s challenge.