Slider

Preview: England vs India Third Test at Headingley

The England vs India third Test starts off on August 25, with the visitors leading the series 0-1. It is the exact scoreline as the 2014 series where MS Dhoni’s men won the second Test at Lord’s after a stalemate in Nottingham. England under Alastair Cook dominated the Indians in the remainder of the series and went on to win all three Tests post the Lord’s defeat.

Joe Root and Chris Silverwood would be hoping to repeat those heroics whereas Virat Kohli would be reminding his team that there is plenty of cricket to be played in this series. It is set up beautifully for the third Test at Headingley and here are the things to look forward to. 

INDIA LOOKING TO BUILD ON LORD’S WIN

India comes into the third Test on the back of a heroic performance at Lord’s. It wasn’t just the win but the manner in which they bundled England out on the last day in 51 overs that will be the morale booster for the side. So far in the series, India have played much better cricket than the home side and could have been 0-2 up by now if the last day of the first Test wasn’t washed off. The Indian openers look in solid form and the pace quartet have had the better of the English batters so far. They start the Headingley Test as favourites once again. 

DAWID MALAN AND SAQIB MAHMOOD CALLED UP

Throughout the series, England have had some key members of the squad missing and now Mark Wood has been officially ruled out of the third Test. Saqib Mahmood who was added to the squad as the replacement of Stuart Broad is all set to make his Test debut in the England vs India third Test at Headingley. 

Dawid Malan has been drafted into the squad in place of the out-of-form opener Dominic Sibley. Malan is expected to bat at number three and it means that Haseeb Hameed would be promoted to open the innings alongside Rory Burns. Ollie Pope would also be on the mind of Silverwood while deciding their XI. The question to answer is whether Pope is ready to bat in the top three and if the answer is yes then Pope should be drafted in front of Malan, given the hype around the young Surry cricketer. 

 

THE R ASHWIN DILEMMA

Since the start of 2000, in 18 matches at Headingley, spinners have managed to pick 87 wickets at a less than impressive average of 37.20. This includes just the one five-wicket haul and one ten wickets in a match. In the four matches England’s current spinner Moeen Ali has played at Leeds, the off-spinner has picked just 6 wickets. It gives the indication that Headingley isn’t conducive to spin bowling and having won the previous match by taking 20 wickets in the match, it seems unlikely that Virat Kohli would change his bowling combination. 

So will the world’s second-ranked Test bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin won’t feature for the third Test? The answer sadly seems to be yes. The only spot that Ashwin could compete for can be Ravindra Jadeja’s. But so far in the series, Jadeja has shown remarkable maturity with the bat and without him, the batting would be depleted greatly. Ashwin may have to wait till we reach the Oval for the fourth Test to make a mark in this series. 

 

LOOKING AT INDIA’S RECORD AT HEADINGLEY

India’s record at Leeds is one to take plenty of positives from. One of India’s most famous wins on English soil came at the same ground back in 2002 when Sourav Ganguly’s side won by an innings and 46 runs. Even though none of the current squad members was a part of that win, it will be inspiring to see their idols scripting an innings defeat victory on the same ground they are about to play on. 

Another interesting thing here is that India are unbeaten in their last three matches at Headingley. They won in 2002 and 1986 while managed to pull off a draw back in 1979. 

 

PREDICTED LINEUPS

England: Haseeb Hameed, Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (C), Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, Saqib Mahmood, James Anderson
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

 

●●●

VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT CRICKET NEWS STORIES & FEATURES

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.