The first two Test matches between India and England produced some quality cricket, with the Englishmen coming close to victory in Rajkot, while Virat Kohli and his men emerged winners in Vizag to take 1-0 lead in the series. Both the matches went into the final day of the Test match, reflecting the tough contest the two teams have gone through in the series already.
With 1-0 lead, India should be confident going into the third Test, which will take shape at PCA Stadium in Mohali from Saturday onwards. England will want to strike back in the third Test and level it 1-1. With both teams possessing some big players in their camps, here is a look at players, who could play an important role for India and England.
The India skipper is the best batsman in the country, irrespective of the format. Kohli has already showed us why, in the ongoing series, scoring 337 runs in the first two Test matches.
India will always be in a strong position if he spends more time in the middle, as runs are guaranteed from his bat. The best thing about his batting is his positive approach, which can demoralise the opponent. However, he can also play the waiting game. Coming in at number four, he will have decent time to read the pitch from the pavilion, and make his batting plans. India are most of the times on the front foot, when Kohli scores good runs.
More often than not, Jadeja does not get the adulation he deserves as Ravichandran Ashwin, with his wicket-taking ability, always grabs the limelight in the spin department. But one should not forget his contribution as he does not give easy runs to the batsmen and Ashwin uses his wizardry to dismiss batsmen at the other end. The same is expected to happen in the third Test. He is the only left-arm slow bowler in the team, which also allows him to use the roughness in the pitch to his advantage as well. With good variation in pace, he can run through the lower order.
The left-hander is a run-machine, and being an opener, his role is not only to see off the new ball, but also score runs. Cook has been doing so for years, and that too quite successfully. He can grind it out in the middle and also score runs. Cook will want to provide a solid start with fellow opener Haseeb Hameed and form a base for players like Joe Root and Ben Stokes to get into the game. Cook's performance in the third Test could play an important part in deciding the fate of the match.
The English all-rounder is one of the important players for England in India, where the pitch suits his bowling style. Also, he has the batting technique to deal with the Indian spinners, and also score some important runs in the middle order for England, who will require his all-round skills in the third Test. With the pitch in Mohali looking quite dry, Ali could play an important role in the second innings, where the ball will grip the surface even more.