The England team for the third Test against India in Ahmedabad has been announced. On expected lines, batsman Jonny Bairstow and pace bowler Mark Wood have been included after being rested for the first two Tests.
In a somewhat surprising move, all-rounder Moeen Ali, who picked up eight wickets in the second Test and scored a blistering 43 from 18 in England’s second innings, has been rested.
The pace bowling duo of James Anderson and Jofra Archer, who did not feature in the second Test in Chennai, are part of the 17-man squad. While Anderson was rested for the second match, Archer was ruled out due to an elbow injury.
England missed the services of both Anderson and Archer in Chennai. Stuart Broad went wicketless even as Olly Stone managed four wickets.
England went down to India by 317 runs in the second Test, and the series is now level at 1-1. Chasing a massive 482, the visitors were rolled over for 164 in their second innings as Axar Patel claimed a five-for on Test debut.
Need to learn to score in these conditions: England skipper Joe Root
Speaking after losing the second Test, England captain Joe Root admitted that India were too good for them under the given conditions and that England need to learn to adapt. He said:
“I think credit has to go to India, they outplayed us in all departments. We have to learn from this and find ways to score in these conditions and bowl six balls to one batter. On day one, we could have been tighter and made it harder for them to score freely as they did.”
The 30-year-old, however, expressed confidence that the team can fight back. According to Joe Root, the wicket was different from the first Test, and India adapted better. He added:
“We're 1-1 in the series and there are two important games in the series. We played very well in the first Test, so we're in the series. India went in with two seamers as well, it's always easy to see in the flipside of things. The wicket was dramatically different to the first Test match. We have to stay level and understand we have played good cricket in the recent past.”
The third India-England Test, starting on February 24 in Ahmedabad, will be a pink-ball encounter.
England squad for the third Test: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.