India vs England: Decisive Showdown in Round Three, Scores Locked

Young batters from India versus. Young spinners from England

India vs England: Like we’ve been here. Level scores. Expectations are high. One England player encountered visa concerns. India’s No. 4 failed. Late January 2024 again. What a time to live.

Stokes will play his 100th Test. R Ashwin may take his 500th Test wicket. James Anderson approaches 700. India’s domestic dominance is threatened. Bazball goes beyond hype. Reality is obsoleted by Apple Vision Pro. Advances in mind control continue. Dropped Deadpool 3 trailer. What more could anyone want?

Sarfaraz Khan may get his first India cap. The 26-year-old has toiled his whole life to become an international cricketer, scoring massive statistics in recent local seasons. He is finally about to make that most coveted step up. Though he averages and strikes at 70 in first-class cricket, he has great potential as a middle-order hitter in subcontinent conditions.

India vs England’s Unexpected Narrative

This means India will be dependent on a squad of batsmen still acquiring the Test cricket experience. The only greener thing is lunch menus or 6’4″ England’s spin attack leader. The host-guest rivalry has been one of the tour’s most intriguing and surprising subplots. In Rajkot, certain existing stars may gain prominence. India’s inexperience hurts them against James Anderson and Mark Wood’s skill.

Given how they’re leaving runs on the board. India needs to be more pragmatic, says Rahul Dravid. Stokes doesn’t seem to value such things. He kept throwing the ball to Tom Hartley despite being pummelling all over the ground, asking him to keep going. Both ways worked. A little patience helped Yashasvi Jaiswal score a double-century in an innings where no one else scored more than 34. Hartley became his team’s leading wicket-taker after two Tests after getting whacked for six first ball.

Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Ravindra Jadeja, and Stokes were scheduled to lead a series, but now they are not.

India vs England’s Unexpected Narrative

Form guide

India WLWLD (last five Test, most recent first)
England LWWDW

Starring: Rohit Sharma and Joe Root

The batter on both sides faced a huge challenge in the 2021 series. Only 19 of 156 innings played by both sets of batters went above fifty, and one stood out. Rohit Sharma went out onto a dust bowl in Chennai and unleashed an attacking hundred that seemed to have inspired his opponents this time around. Even if the pitches are better for batting, he hasn’t been able to generate the same otherworldly strokeplay this time, but he’s still optimistic with three games left. India will look to his experience for first-inning totals that can dictate terms.

Another 2021 top-scorer has more overs (64) than runs (52). Joe Root swept India to extremes to win the series three years ago, but he isn’t even getting those starts that specialists picked up on so regularly that it became a personality attribute. “You look up and all of a sudden Joe Root’s on 30 not out.” Jasprit Bumrah contributed to this. The head-to-head after two matches is 1 run off 10 balls and 2 dismissals. After a mid-series break, both guys will be reinvigorated, so this is just beginning.

Rohit Sharma and Joe Root

Team news: Jurel to debut, Jadeja to return

India’s middle-order lacks experience without Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul. Jadeja’s return might help—he has a good record in Rajkot, his home ground, and is certain to play. Rookies who have shown promise at home must now prove they can succeed here. KS Bharat’s front-stump output has also been a focus, bringing Dhruv Jurel into the picture.

India (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Shubman Gill, 4 Rajat Patidar, 5 Sarfaraz Khan, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dhruv Jurel/KS Bharat (wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj

England, who played the first two Tests with just one fast bowler, will go into this one with both Anderson and Wood. Their batting remains unchanged.

England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Rehan Ahmed, 9 Tom Hartley, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson

Team news: Jurel to debut, Jadeja to return

Pitch and conditions

Runs are forecast in Rajkot. The local boy Jadeja said the surface will start flat and then take a little turn as natural wear and tear sets in. The weather has been quite cool in the lead-up to the Test – early 20C in the mornings, rising to low 30C in the afternoons – and is expected to be so for the duration of it as well, so that’s another good sign for the batters. Without much sun, the pitch may break up slower.

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