Ahmedabad: England skipper Joe Root on Tuesday said he is yet to have "real clarity" on what should be his bowling combination for the day-night third Test against India starting Wednesday and will wait some more before finalising it.
India crushed England by 317 runs on a turner in Chennai to level the four-match series 1-1. All eyes are now on the refurbished Motera pitch which will make its debut with the pink ball Test.
"We're going to take our time with the limited information we have on this ground and pink ball cricket. You know, we are going to make sure, we give ourselves as much (time) as possible heading into the game before we make a decision," Root said on the eve of the match.
The England think tank has a selection headache both in bowling and batting departments.
Some hard yards for our quicks in Ahmedabad pic.twitter.com/71l8ZB76j1
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 19, 2021
In bowling they have Jofra Archer fit and available along with veteran pace spearhead James Anderson, who is back in fray after workload management kept him out of the second Test. Stuart Broad is also in contention for a spot.
"It's great to see him (Archer) back bowling again, we are excited. He is a world class performer and have got all the skills...it's a very exciting place to be to have now a battery of fast bowlers to choose from," Root said.
Senior wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow has also returned to the squad and it remains to be seen whether they can keep in-form Ben Foakes out or play both of them.
"We will get you the squad when we're ready... That's how we want to do things. We just want to make sure, we're really sure on everything. When we're absolutely ready we'll give you the full squad together."
"I think having a real good understanding what this pitch might look like tomorrow morning and ahead of that first ball...It has got dryer and dryer as the days have gone as you'd expect it to.
"So just need to have real clarity on what balance of attack we want and utilise this practice tonight to see how much dew it might play and how big a factor that might be and whether that alters things at all."
The skipper, however, hinted that there would be a bit more lateral movement with the pink ball which can "work in their favour".
The fourth and final Test, which will be a usual day match, slated from 4 March.
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India trounced England by an innings and 25 runs when at one stage the hosts were 121 for five but ended up taking a 160-run lead which proved to be match-winning.
England, level at 1-1 in the series before the third Test, won the toss and were 74 for 2 before collapsing to 112 all out in the first innings and then 81 in the second innings.
India vs England, Live Cricket Score, 3rd Test Live Updates: STUMPS! Leach provided arguably England's big breakthrough in the game when he saw off Virat Kohli for 27 in the night's final over, but altogether, India would be satisfied with how the opening night panned out. England were bowled out for 112, and India are 99-3, trailing by 13 runs. Just that one run from new batsman Rahane came off the final over, with in-form Rohit Sharma (57*) looking quite promising.