England versus India – Third Test preview
Andrew Strauss’s side take a 2-0 series lead into the Third Test against India at Edgbaston, with the match set to go ahead despite the riots in England.
An England win in Birmingham will confirm the English as the world’s new number one ranked Test nation, although Mahendra Dhoni’s India won’t be ready to give that crown up easily.
India have been the world’s number one side for the past 18 months but have so far been outplayed and outclassed by England.
However injuries haven’t helped the tourists’ cause and we know Dhoni won’t go down without a fight.
However, opening batsman Virender Sehwag is set to return to the side after a three-month absence due to a shoulder injury which should give them some substance at the top of the order, after some unconvincing displays with the bat so far this series.
Young leg spinner Amit Mishra could come in for the injured Singh, although Dhoni has hinted he could opt for four pacemen with RP Singh a chance of selection. However, there’s talk the Edgbaston pitch could be spin friendly, with little pace in it, although it’s abrasive enough to offer something to the seamers.
The hosts have only one issue and that’s who to replace the injured Jonathan Trott (shoulder) with. It seems Ravi Bopara is the likely inclusion to bolster England’s batting stocks and he’ll be keen to prove he’s developed his game to a consistent and solid level.
Big pace bowler Chris Tremlett is unlikely to shake off his back problem in time for this time, so Tim Bresnan should retain his place in the side, while Steven Finn will carry the drinks as the 12th man once again.
England Probable XI: 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 James Anderson.
India Probable XI: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Sreesanth
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