After two one-sided encounters, the series stands one-all. The caravan now moves to the revamped Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad for the final two Tests.
Between Tests, the surface in Chennai changed colours from being a flat abrasive one to being a rank-turner. It exposed the timid defence and patience of English batsmen and brought to light the quality of Indian spinners on such pitches.
As India eye a series win and a place in the final of the World Test Championship, we can expect the pitches to be turners for the final two Tests.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
GROUND DETAILS & TEAM COMBINATION
The third Test is at the revamped Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. The last Test played at this venue was way back in 2012. India played against the same team then. On the back of a double hundred by Cheteshwar Pujara, India earned a comfortable nine-wicket win.
The pitch at the Motera has historically been helpful for spinners. However, given it is Day-Night Test, the pacers will be in play as well. Hence, there a lot of variables involved with not a lot of data available to make a stats-based call for fantasy selection.
With two players, Virat Kohli and Joe Root, both at 10.5 credits, it’s quite a task to pick a team for this match on FanFight. In our suggested team, because of budget constraints, we couldn’t pick Ben Stokes which is a massive risk. But do remember to select your final XI only after the toss. If England opt to play Ollie Stone, he might be a decent pick especially considering he is at 8 credits. This should allow you to get Pujara and/or Stokes in your team.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
It is fair to say that Stokes is Ravichandran Ashwin’s bunny. In the last Test, Ashwin dismissed Stokes twice to take his tally against the left-hander to 10 dismissals. Stokes now averages a mere 17.8 against the Indian off-spinner.
James Anderson cartwheeled Ajinkya Rahane’s stumps in the second innings of the first Test. India’s vice-captain does not enjoy facing Anderson and has scored 44 Test runs against him with four dismissals.
In the seaming conditions during India’s first-ever pink ball Test, Virat Kohli displayed why he is one of the best batsmen in the world right now. While everyone around him found it hard to score, Kohli notched up a superlative 136. He has been among the runs in both the Tests so far but is yet to play a match-defining innings. Knowing him, he will leave no stone unturned in the Test that may decide the fate of the series.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Kohli could score 72-108 runs in this match.
Joe Root’s brilliance has hidden the flaws in England’s batting department in the subcontinent so far. In 2021, in three Tests before the last one, he has made three 150+ scores which include two double hundreds. Going into a must-win match, we can expect Root to put a price on his wicket and play a long innings for his side.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Root could score 141-212 runs in this match.
In the only Day-Night Test he has played so far, Ishant Sharma ended with nine wickets in the Test. Since 2018, Ishant has been prolific and has 76 wickets in 20 Tests. With conditions favouring him, he would push harder to be among the wickets in his 100th Test.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ishant could take 3-5 wickets in this match.