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Joe Root reveals why England have not yet decided on their playing XI for the third Test

Joe Root
Joe Root
Modified 23 Feb 2021

Joe Root went on to explain why England have not yet decided on their playing XI for the third Test. The skipper said they want to give themselves some more time to see how the pitch will look on Wednesday before the first ball is bowled.

Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will host its maiden first-class game since being rebuilt into the world's largest cricket stadium. Given that there isn't much data available on the way this pitch behaves, Joe Root said the visitors would wait until Wednesday to decide on their playing XI.

"We haven't (whether England have decided their playing XI), and we will take our time. There is limited information we have on this ground. Make sure we give ourselves as much information as possible going into the game before we make our decision," Joe Root said in a press conference.

The England skipper also pointed out that dew might affect the game. They will use Tuesday's last practice session to assess its impact on the upcoming Test match.

"We want a really good understanding of what this pitch might look like tomorrow morning ahead of the first ball. It has changed quite drastically over the last few days, probably been a bit more live grass than previous wickets we have seen out here. But it has gone drier and drier as the days went on as you would expect it to. Just having real clarity on what balance of attack we want. We will utilise the practice tonight and see how much dew will affect this Test," explained Joe Root.

"I'm sure at some point the wicket will turn"- Joe Root

There has been a lot of talk about the pitch in the ongoing Test series. Many experts believe the pink-ball Test is England's best chance to win another game in Indian conditions. Joe Root expects the pitch to spin at some point and thinks it will work to their advantage if there is any lateral movement.

"I'm sure at some point the wicket will turn, majority of the Test wicket do at some point. It might be that this pitch deteriorates in a similar fashion to the first Test, or it might not. We just got to be ready to react to it. The guys have full confidence and are really excited to have a big impact in India with the ball in hand as a seam group is really exciting," said Joe Root.
"How we operate doesn't change. We still got to look to build pressure to try and squeeze the game and make it very difficult for guys to score freely. The fact that there might be extra lateral movement will obviously work in our favor as well," Root continued.

Motera last hosted a Test match in 2012, between India and England, where the hosts went on to secure a nine-wicket win. It remains to be seen what kind of conditions will be on offer for the upcoming day-night Test.

Published 23 Feb 2021, 17:50 IST
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