MOHALI, India (Reuters) - England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to bat against India in the third match of the five-test series at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali on Saturday.
Cook's decision appears likely to have spared England the unenviable task of batting fourth on a spinning track, vital for the tourists as they attempt to overcome their injury woes and level the series.
England are without paceman Stuart Broad and left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari through injury, replacing them with Chris Woakes and Gareth Batty, while Jos Buttler returns to the test side after a year in place of the struggling Ben Duckett.
India also have their fair share of injury woes and Karun Nair was handed a test debut in place of opener Lokesh Rahul, who aggravated a hamstring injury.
The hosts have also brought in wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel for the injured Wriddhiman Saha and he will open the batting alongside Murali Vijay.
India lead the series 1-0 after they thumped England by 246 runs in the second test in Visakhapatnam on Monday after the teams drew the series opener in Rajkot.
India: Murali Vijay, Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Haseem Hameed, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Gareth Batty, James Anderson.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by John O'Brien)