Date: 4th-8th March 2021
Time: 9:30 AM (IST)
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
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It is time for the grand finale of the grueling Test series between India and England as both teams get ready for the final Test in Ahmedabad, starting on Thursday. The hosts destroyed Joe Root’s side inside two days in the Pink-ball Test and will look to come up with another comprehensive performance in this Test. England, on the other hand, will look to spoil India’s party, as a win for them could eliminate the hosts from the race of qualifying for the finals of World Test Championship. With so much to play for both the sides, it is expected to be a thrilling-end to this high-voltage Test series.
Since Jasprit Bumrah has been released from the squad due to personal reasons, Umesh Yadav is likely to come in. Washington Sundar, whose role was subdued in the previous match, could also make way for Kuldeep Yadav.
After England made a strategic disaster in the previous Test by including only one front-line spinner, they are likely to include Dom Bess for the final Test in place of Stuart Broad. While James Anderson is expected to keep is place, they might persist with Jofra Archer or include Mark Wood to give some variety to the 2-pacer attack.
After going down in the first Test, India have bounced back in the series in style with two comprehensive wins. The spin duo of Axar Patel (11 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets) completely destroyed the England batsmen in Ahmedabad as they dismissed England for 112 and 81 in the first and second innings respectively. Although the batting was a slight cause of concern, Rohit Sharma (66 and 25*) looked solid in challenging conditions. The hosts would be hoping that they can wrap up the series in the final Test and seal their spot in the finals of World Test Championship, alongside New Zealand.
England’s form has taken a nosedive since their impressive victory at Chepauk in the first Test. The batsmen have looked completely clueless against the Indian spinners in the last two matches and they would be hoping for a better display in the final showdown. Zak Crawley (53) was the only English player who showed some application in Ahmedabad and the Three Lions would be relying heavily on the opener to provide a solid platform. Meanwhile, skipper Joe Root would be hoping to continue his red-hot form as he tries to lead his side to a 2-2 draw. Root is currently the leading run-scorer in the series, with 333 runs.
With so much to play for both the sides, this is going to be a thrilling end to what has been a fantastic Test series.
Probable Playing XI
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (wk), Dom Bess, Jack Leach, James Anderson, Mark Wood
Wicket-Keepers: Rishabh Pant, Ben Foakes, Jonny Bairstow
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley
All-Rounders: Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Joe Root
Bowlers: Jack Leach, James Anderson, Ishant Sharma
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