After losing the first two Tests, Team India would be hoping to come out with a better performance and register a win to keep the five-match series alive when they take on England in the crucial third Test beginning Saturday at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Also Read - Selection is Where India Have Gone Wrong in ICC Tournaments: Nasser Hussain
India had lost the first Test at Edgbaston by a narrow margin of 31 runs while chasing 194 for victory in the fourth innings. However, in the second Test at Lord’s, the number one side went down without showing any fight and suffered a humiliating loss by an inning and 159 runs to hand over England a 2-0 lead in the series. Also Read - Which Three Cricketers From India's 2019 WC Squad Would He Pick in his Team of 2003? Sourav Ganguly Responds
While concerns surrounding skipper Virat Kohl’s fitness are still rife, the team management would be aiming to get the team combination right after failures at Edgbaston and Lord’s. Also Read - Kohli vs Cummins, Smith And Warner vs Bumrah a Tantalising Prospect: Langer
Right-arm pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been declared fit and is almost certain to be included in the playing XI. 20-year-old Rishabh Pant is also likely to make his Test debut and replace Dinesh Karthik who has been out of form.
Kohli has already stated that the focus of the team is to come out with a better performance in all the three departments and win the Test. “The only thing we have spoken about is to focus on what the team requires. When your back is against the wall, you can’t afford to think of anything else. If you look at it from another point of view it is actually a good situation to be in because you literally have no room for thinking about anything apart from what the team requires,” Kohli said on the eve of the Nottingham Test.
The visitors could also go in with an extra batsman, a possibility the Indian skipper doesn’t deny. However, that option, he says, will depend on the conditions on offer.
Meanwhile, England have included all-rounder Ben Stokes in the side in place of Sam Curran for the Nottingham Test. The hosts require a victory to wrap up the series at the first time of asking and would be aiming to continue with their dominant run so far.
England skipper Joe Root said that his team is just aiming to make sure to play good, solid cricket throughout the match “As a team, we’ve just got to make sure we have five days of good solid cricket. We’ve got a huge opportunity in front of us, but ultimately – as we have so far – we’ve got to start well first morning, and then try to carry that forward,” he said.
England Playing XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
India Squad: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Shikhar Dhawan, Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Rishabh Pant