Ajit Agarkar picks India’s playing XI for the third Test

Tanya Simon
August 18, 2018

It would be extraordinary, if in keeping with much of the England and Wales Cricket Board's handling of the saga since Stokes's initial arrest almost 11 months ago, were they now to leave him out of the final XI.

Preview, 3rd Test: A desperate Virat Kohli-led Indian team will be hungry to keep themselves alive in the five-match Test cricket series against hosts England when they square-off in the third Test at the Trent Bridge starting on 18 August. This is an important game and a loss will cost India the series.

Usually, there is only one player at the top of the rankings for batsmen released by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah. Three half-centuries in four innings for India A on their first-class tour of England this summer were encouraging, too. It's what any normal human being would think or feel if they went to work knowing full well that even if they did their job right they may not have a seat to sit in the following morning.

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Sunil Gavaskar had been quite vocal about India's lack of preparation going into the Test series in England. They can look to win 2 Tests out of the remaining 3 and then look at the way forward.

The Indian team arrived in England in late May and played the ODI and T20 series before the Tests. For Pant and the slip cordon, there is no room for error.

Kohli has made 37 changes in 37 Tests as captain and that trend looks set to continue when India meet England in a must-win third Test here on Saturday. A side like England, when they play like that, they can outplay anybody'. "If you say so yeezy", the ICC wrote alongside the pictures.

India coach Ravi Shastri was upbeat about Kohli's prospects on Thursday while urging a side with "no negative bone" to show some "grit" with the bat. Their concern is how they play seam, rather than bowl it.

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