India, which are currently trailing 0-2 in the five-match series, will have to come out with an improved performance in all the three departments when they face England in the third Test at Trent Bridge beginning Saturday. Also Read - Ben Stokes Questions India's Intent During World Cup 2019 Game vs England at Edgbaston, Says There Was No Intent From MS Dhoni And Kedar Jadhav
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 - Virat Kohli And I Would Have Been The Best of Friends, Feels Former Pakistan Pacer Shoaib Akhtar
India’s batting has been below par in the first two Tests, thereby undermining a decent performance put in by the bowlers. At Lord’s, India’s batting lasted just 82.2 overs both innings combined. In the four innings in two Tests so far, India put up disappointing totals: 274, 162, 107 and 130. Kohli scored a hundred in the first innings at Edgbaston and followed it with a half-century in the second innings. But apart from the Indian skipper, none of the other batsmen has been able to come out even with a decent performance. Also Read - Would Want to Take on The Challenge of Facing Jasprit Bumrah: Shan Masood
The Indian team management might be tempted to make a couple of changes in their playing XI-Jasprit Bumrah in place of Kuldeep Yadav and Rishabh Pant for Dinesh Karthik.
Bumrah had to miss the first two Tests because of the finger injury he sustained during the first T20I against Ireland last month. He was reportedly fit to bowl ahead of the second Test but as a precautionary, he was given more time to fully recover. And his presence was dearly missed in the two matches.
According to several media reports doing the rounds, the right-handed pacer, in all likelihood, will play the Nottingham Test.
Meanwhile, Pant, who was selected in the 18-man Test squad as a secondary wicketkeeping option, might also get a chance to make his Test debut at Trent Bridge, considering the lack of form of Karthik. 33-year-old Karthik has scored 0, 20, 1 and 0 across four innings against England on the ongoing tour and thus could make way for 19-year-old Pant.
Recently, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar also made a case for Pant and said that he might get a chance in the third Test. “It is an opportunity for sure and for the third Test he might get into the team. In fact, he might get in the team as a batsman down the order rather than as a wicket-keeper,” Gavaskar, an expert with official broadcasters Sony Pictures Network, had said.
Haridwar-born Pant got a maiden Test call-up after impressing selectors with his IPL performance, where he scored 681 runs from 14 games at an average of 52.61 and a staggering strike rate of 173.60. It included a century and five fifties.