India turned the tide with a dominant win that leveled the series in the second Test in Chennai. England must now win the remaining Tests to secure a place in the World Test Championship final.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The day/night contest will be the first Test played at the Motera Stadium since the completion of a massive upgrade to the ground.
India vs England | Third Test | Wednesday 24 February – Sunday 28 February 2021 | Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad | 11:00
To Win Match
India have already confirmed at least one change to their side with Umesh Yadav set to return in place of Shardul Thakur.
With Shubman Gill in a race to be fit, KL Rahul is on standby as a potential opening partner to second Test hero Rohit Sharma.
India may also axe third spinner Kuldeep Yadav in favour of the returning Jasprit Bumrah with the pitch set to be slightly more seam friendly in order to protect the pink ball.
Both sides will need to find a balance between swing bowlers and spinners, with finger spin the safer option with the pink SG.
England’s build-up has been marred by the handling of the rotation of Moeen Ali, with the spin-bowling allrounder sent home in line with a decision made pre-tour.
Mark Wood and Jonny Bairstow return to the fray with the former brought in to get the most out of the pink ball early on.
There are a raft of mooted changes for England but much will depend on player fitness. Zak Crawley could replace Rory Burns at the top of the order, while Bairstow is in line to come in for Dan Lawrence. Dom Bess should be the replacement for Moeen Ali.
England’s batsmen face the unique challenge of fronting up to the pink ball on a surface that is also likely to take turn even with a generous covering of grass on the surface.
Jofra Archer and James Anderson are set to return to lead the attack with the latter still England’s best exponent of swing bowling.
Verdict: India 13/20
The hosts have an edge here with almost all of their players familiar with how the pink ball behaves on the subcontinent.
Written by James Richardson.