India vs England 3rd Test Nottingham: The advantage with a five-Test series is that your bench strength gets tested, which is great in the longer run. With India trailing 0-2, it is time for the struggling visitors to make some changes and take some hard calls, which could reap rewards later.
It was a horrendous batting show from India that saw them lost by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test of the ongoing series at Lord’s. The hosts made optimum use of the overcast conditions to rattle a rich batting outfit to 107 and 130 in two innings at the home of cricket. None of the Indian batsmen looked settled in the trying conditions during the course of the game, with spin all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin (29,33) emerging as the highest scorer for India in both the innings.
India have a lot of thinking to do and the problem is they have just five days to do that before the Trent Bridge Test.
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So here are the changes that they can contemplate going into the third Test which begins on August 18 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Pujara, Dhawan Open Instead of Rahul, Vijay:
With the openers-Murali Vijay and KL Rahul failing miserably in the Lord’s Test, India might try to hand in the responsibility to Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara. Vijay bagged a pair and looked clueless, something that is not expected of him and his partner Rahul seemed to have been technically worked out by the English pace battery, it will not be a bad option to open with Pujara and Dhawan.
Not that it is guaranteed the makeshift opening pair of Pujara-Dhawan is bound to deliver. But with Pujara showing the temperament to stick around, it could turn out to be beneficial for the team if he can see off the new ball and thereby, make it a little bit easy for the likes of Ajinky Rahane and Virat Kohli to follow.
Give Pant a go:
33-year-old Dinesh Karthik failed to perform with the bat, like every other Indian batsman. But the one big problem that was visible in the Lord’s Test was that Karthik looked completely out of sorts against swing bowling. Also, considering that he might not be seen as a long-term wicketkeeping option, India should try to give rookie Rishabh Pant a chance, a thing which even former captain Sunil Gavaskar thinks the team management should consider.
Pant, has not faced red cherry at the international level, and hence, it might turn out to be a great opportunity for him to understand what Test cricket is all about. It will help him mature as a batsman. The left-handed batsman has shown that he likes the big occasion and that can be trusted in such conditions.
Ravindra Jadeja for Kuldeep Yadav:
It is not that the left-arm chinaman is not good, but nobody can deny to the fact that his selection for the Lord’s Test didn’t turn out to be a great one, a fact which even skipper Kohli admitted. Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, bowls quick through the air and that could act as a boon in England. He also bowls his overs quickly which always helps. Also, he and Ashwin have been a successful bowling pair in the past and that could be trusted. Jadeja can also wield the willow and hence if he does a Sam Curran with the bat, it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for India.
India, as stated by Kohli, have to be focused on improving in all the three departments and just aim to make it 1-2 when they take on the Joe Root-led side in Nottingham.