India vs England – 3rd Test Tips and Betting Preview

The Test series between India and England resumes on Thursday when the two sides head to Rajkot for the third game of the scheduled five and proceedings could hardly be better balanced with the score at 1-1 after two matches.

With two matches to come after this one, both sides go into the encounter knowing that whoever comes out on top will be one up with two to play in the series and they would be in complete control of their destiny.


India were shocked by England in the opening game of the series but to their credit they held their nerve well in the second match and levelled things up in pretty comfortable fashion and now they have had a little over a week to dust themselves down and build themselves up to go again and look to seize control of the series with a win here. They will know a series win here, and an emphatic one at that, will have them very nicely placed in the World Test Championship standings.

The one concern, if there was one, from the previous match was that it was a seamer who took the majority of the wickets and you would imagine over five games if England play the spinners without them causing too much damage then they are going to be a tough nut to crack, so India will be looking at their spin department more in this match. India are just starting to gain an injury or two too many in the batting ranks and that might be significant by the end too.


When you consider that England were a mile back in the opening game, only to rescue it, they could be considered fortunate to be 1-1 heading into the third match of the series. In saying that, because they came from the clouds in that first match there were fears in the Indian camp that they would pull another rabbit out of the hat in that second game. They didn’t but they fact that they are living in the heads of the home side seemingly rent free could be significant moving forward.

England will be both pleased and disappointed with that second game. The pleasure will have come from the way that they bowled in the main and also how well they played the Indian spinners as the last time England were in this part of the world they couldn’t lay a bat on the ball against them. The flip side of that is the disappointing thing will come from how many wickets they lost to seam in that last game. There is no hiding from the fact that Jasprit Bumrah is a world class operator but England can’t afford seam to reign in this part of the world.

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Team News

The good news for India is that they are likely to have Ravindra Jadeja back to better balance their side here but the bad news is that Virat Kohli remains unavailable while KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are injured so there is an inexperienced look to the middle order outside of Jadeja.

England have already confirmed their XI for this match as they often do and they will make just the one change to the team which lost in Visag. That sees Mark Wood coming back into the side at the expense of Shoaib Bashir.


Joe Root hasn’t really delivered the goods with the bat that he and England would have expected so far in this series but with a week in the country to get into the nets and find some form and a potentially flat wicket to bat on for the first three days or so of this match I see no reason why that can’t change here and if it does then I don’t think the 113.5 performance line target for him is high enough given that he is going to bowl a fair bit too.

England have dropped a spinner from their ranks for this match so Root will offer the third spin option at worst in this match and with the pitch likely to cut up deeper into the contest that should help him gain some points. There is no doubt that Root is a class act with the bat though. He probably gets caught up trying to take too many risks but on a pitch where a huge first innings score is going to be vital he might just rein himself in a touch and ensure he gets in before expanding his repertoire, if he expands it at all. Therefore, I’m expecting a big innings from him and then with bowling and fielding points added to it I expect Root to surpass 113.5 points.


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