England vs India 2018: 3 reasons why India's playing XI in the 3rd Test could be their best in the series
It could have been another day at the office for James Anderson and Co. if it was not for the intent, as often echoed by the team management in the various press conferences, shown by the two openers coming out with this unwavering confidence that also reflected in their stroke-making. Nonetheless, that struggle to contend with the relentless accuracy of their two old wily pacemen ended with Woakes sending them back in quick succession.
It never for once looked like the batsman did not show their intent to occupy the crease. They all watchfully countered the new ball threat until well after the lacquer from the ball had tapered off. It resulted in the batsman putting high prices for their wicket.
The instance of Pujara getting out to a horrendous shot did bring back the batting woes of the past. It may have been the same old script where India would have been out playing the wrong line or length, and their wickets column nosediving, but it was not to be due to the presence of the two senior men in the side, namely Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.
So, with that here are 3 reasons why India might actually have had played their best XI of the series in the 3rd Test.
#1 No chopping in middle order
It is true and very well documented that Virat Kohli likes not to stick with the same XI, the 37 tests that he had captained before this game bore testimony to that fact. The XI has been changed even in wins and losses alike. So it is was a welcome change that India's No. 4, 5 and 6 were not disturbed.
This also indicates the skipper's faith shown in Hardik Pandya and Ajinkya Rahane, especially given the latter's form of late. That seems to be paying dividends now as Rahane scored an important 81.