India vs England 3rd Test preview: Captain Virat Kohli and team all set for pink-ball battle
AFP PHOTO

On Wednesday, 24th February, Team India after levelling the four match series 1-1 will take on England in the third Test at the Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad. The upcoming Test will be a day and night affair and will be played with the Pink Ball at the venue. Team India will aim to soar higher with the return of Jasprit Bumrah when they take on Joe Root’s England in the only day-night Test of the series.

Both India and England will be bidding to qualify for the World Test Championship final in the 3rd Test which is to be played in Ahmedabad. India will be playing with the Pink-ball for the second time after the BCCI had hosted Bangladesh for their maiden Day-Night Test, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, in November 2019.

The floodlights at the Motera Stadium have been programmed in a manner that there will be no shadows hindering sighting of the ball. "Shadow monitoring has been done for seven-eight months. The lights will come on in this Motera Stadium according to the shadow. Day-night matches have the twilight period and it is the most challenging. "During the sunset period, the lights are uneven. To maintain that, the floodlights are automatically programmed so that there are no shadows on the ground. There would be no shadows on show here. This facility is not present anywhere in the world right now," a Gujarat Cricket Association official explained.

England skipper Joe Root is impressed with the "phenomenal" stadium and said the atmosphere within the stadium will be "electric" when they take the field on Wednesday. While, India captain Virat Kohli in a pre-match conference today said that it would be best for a team to bat during the first session of a Pink Ball Test while the later sessions could get more challenging especially during the evening.

He further said, "I don’t think that is an accurate assessment (that bowl will not swing). The pink ball does tend to swing a lot more than the red ball. We experienced that when we played for the first time in 2019 (against Bangladesh)."

India may consider replacing Kuldeep Yadav with possibly Umesh Yadav to give them additional pace options with R Ashwin and left-arm spinner Axar Patel, in his second Test, manning the spin bowling responsibilities.

The third Test between India and England, which is also a pink ball test or Day/Night Test, will make it tough for both Virat Kohli and Joe Root to make a final call on their final playing XI.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Umesh Yadav.

England: Joe Root (Captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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