After a dramatic second Test match between India and England at Lord's where eventually it was the visitors who had the last laugh, the teams will lock horns in the third Test at Headingley commencing on August 25. While there were some experts which cited various reasons for the inclusion of veteran spinner R Ashwin in the Indian XI for the third Test, captain Virat Kohli has hinted that the team can go ahead with the same playing XI for the third Test. This implies Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj continue to be the team's pace attack along with a spinning option in Ravindra Jadeja.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of adding Ashwin to the team and added that maybe he can be included based on the reading of the conditions and if there is a slight niggle among the members, there could be a change. Kohli further said that one needs to keep one's ego in the pocket while playing in English conditions. He described how the conditions can be testing for the batters and the need to sometimes acknowledge the bowlers are in the middle of a great spell in conditions favourable to them.
Kohli's recent form hasn't been too encouraging
While there has been some talk regarding the form of batters like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both fought hard in the second innings of the Lord's Test and helped India make a match out of it which they later went on to win. While Pujara faced over 200 deliveries for his 40-odd, Rahane scored a half-century. Both have done enough to at least start in the third Test.
Kohli's own form hasn't been too encouraging and he is yet to score a century since November 2019. Moreover, he has got a few starts but has failed to get past even the fifty mark in the series so far. It has helped that India's opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul has given India solid starts more than not and prevented these batters low in confidence from facing the new ball with too many wickets down for a little score.
Indian fans would be hoping for a Kohli masterclass at Leeds which in turn leads to a win.