India and England are set to square off in the third and penultimate Test of the four-match series on February 24 (Wednesday) at the newly-renovated Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad. With the series levelled at 1-1 and plenty to play for with regard to contesting for the second finalist spot for the ICC World Test Championship final, both sides will like to put their best foot forward in the pink-ball encounter.
While India won the second Test to gain some momentum going into the penultimate contest, England captain Joe Root triggered mind games as he reminded Virat Kohli-led India on how they fared in their last encounter under lights in the purest format.
India met Australia in the series opener of the four Tests, in Australia, in Adelaide, which was played with the pink-ball. Despite a 53-run lead heading into Day 3, India collapsed for 36 all-out, their lowest-ever Test innings total, to lose the fixture dramatically by 8 wickets. While they did pull off a stunning comeback to win the series 2-1, without Kohli, Root believes the infamous 36 all-out might play at the back of Team India’s mind.
“If we can exploit that [events in Adelaide] then that’s something we will look to do. But you have to earn the right, make early inroads, build pressure for periods of time and put balls in good areas, challenging defences. That will be our focus; [36 all out] is more for them to worry about, for it to be in the back of their minds,” Joe Root said during a virtual-presser.
“We are 1-1 with a pink-ball game two days away, It’s a great position to be in from our perspective. It’s a very exciting prospect for the group. Playing against India in the subcontinent, you expect the ball to spin, and I’m sure at some point it will,” said the England captain.