When the England team missed out on a surprise victory in the first Test in Rajkot, many believed that their start on this difficult tour resembled to the one they had on the tour of UAE an year ago, where they narrowly missed out on the famous victory against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi Test, which followed by two thumping defeats in Dubai and Sharjah.
After the second Test in Visakhapatnam, it seems that Alastair Cook’s men are on the same route as they suffered a huge defeat in the second match, which clearly exposed their problems against spin once again.Come this Saturday, England will play in Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, which is traditionally one of the few pitches in the country which offer some assistance to the pacers in the past.
But for Cook’s men, things does not seem to get any easier, as they gear up to face the Indian side on the spin friendly track once again.The worrying sign for the visitors is that no batsman from the top six managed to score a big hundred in the second match, which was the need of an hour after the hosts smashed 455 in the first innings in Visakhapatnam.
The team will be heavily depending of captain Cook and Joe Root once again, whereas there is also a possibility of wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to be included in the playing eleven in Mohali.
Pacer Stuart Broad is highly unlikely for the match after sustaining foot injury during the second Test, whereas left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari is suffering from a soar back.
Broad is expected to be replaced by all-rounder Chris Woakes, whereas it is still not clear if Ansari will be replaced by fellow off-spinner Gareth Batty, or will the English team management opt to include another batsman to strengthen their batting lineup.
For hosts, things look as good as they could’ve been. They managed a hard-fought draw in the opening match, and were supremely dominant in the second Test, courtesy their captain Virat Kohli’s terrific batting performance.
One change in the final eleven is confirmed, as wicketkeeper batsman Parthiv Patel is set to make comeback in the five-day format after a gap of eight years in place of Wriddhiman, who was ruled out of the third Test due to injury.
Good performance from the bowlers in the previous match means there is no major shuffling expected in the bowling lineup, which means there will be no place for leg-spinner Amit Mishra once again.
The pitch is expected to provide a lot of assistance to the spinners, as there is no grass left on the track, but it is not expected to deteriorate much during the match, due to cool weather in the north of the country.