A win in the second Test that gave them the series lead they needed, India really do not need to make too many changes to their playing XI, apart from the one enforced one owing to the injury to Wriddhiman Saha. England, though, are set to make at least three, partly because of injury but mostly to try and inject some extra intensity and freshness to the side.
With KL Rahul and Jayant Yadav coming in for the second Test match, India looked a better all-round outfit, even if the former did not make too many runs at the top of the order.
There were suggestions Bhuvneshwar Kumar could come in for the third Test, considering many were predicting a much more pacer-friendly pitch in Mohali. But, what greeted the players was a dry-looking pitch. There were bits of grass on the wicket, but either ends of the pitch looked pretty bare, suggesting the slower bowlers are going to be crucial again.
That means Jayant should remain as the third spinner in the side – it would have been cruel to drop the off-spinner even if the pitch was set to be more conducive to pace, considering the encouraging debut he made in Visakhapatnam – with the only real decision that Virat Kohli has to make being if Umesh Yadav deserves another go in the playing XI.
After an impressive first Test match, Umesh was a lot more wayward in the second, and there is a chance of either Ishant Sharma, yet to play an international match after recovering from Chikungunya, or Bhuvneshwar, called in for the final three Tests after proving his fitness, coming in.
Parthiv Patel, of course, is set to play his first Test in eight years with Saha ruled out with a hamstring strain, and the left-hander, no doubt, will want to make his mark.
England will definitely make one change with Stuart Broad out with a foot injury. Chris Woakes, rested for the second Test match, will come in, while there is also a chance of an extra fast bowler – unlikely owing to the nature of the pitch – or Gareth Batty getting a place in the playing XI at the expense of Zafar Ansari, who barely bowled in the second Test and is currently struggling with a back injury.
Batty played the first Test against Bangladesh, before being dropped for Ansari. The veteran off-spinner will hope to lock his place in the playing XI, assuming he gets a look-in, for a longer period this time around. The pace bowling options for England are Steven Finn and Jake Ball.
In the batting department, Jos Buttler will replace Ben Duckett, who has struggled against the off-spin of R Ashwin.
England win the toss and will bat first.
Confirmed playing XI: India: Murali Vijay, Parthiv Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, R Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
England: Alastair Cook, Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Gareth Batty, James Anderson.