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India vs England 2021: Key Battles To Watch Out For At Motera

India will clash with England in the big third Test in Ahmedabad from Wednesday. With the series tied at 1-1 both the teams will go all-out in the Pink Ball Day and Night Match at Motera. Within the larger battle on the field of play there will be a number of smaller battles that will define the outcome of the match. We look at 3 such key battles which can potentially decide the fate of the match.

India vs England 2021: Key Battles To Watch Out For At Motera

India will clash with England in the big third Test in Ahmedabad from Wednesday. With the series tied at 1-1 both the teams will go all-out in the Pink Ball Day and Night Match at Motera. Within the larger battle on the field of play there will be a number of smaller battles that will define the outcome of the match. We look at 3 such key battles which can potentially decide the fate of the match.

India vs England 2021: Top 5 Players to Watch Out For At Motera

1. Rohit Sharma vs James Anderson

Rohit Sharma scored one of the finest Test hundreds at home by an Indian batsman in the second Test in Chennai - his innings was the difference between the batting of the two sides in the contest. While other batsmen struggled to stay at the crease Rohit not only piled on the runs but did so at a very high strike rate. This makes him doubly dangerous at the top of the order.

But it will not be easy against the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket history. Anderson changed the course of the series opener with a devastating spell of reverse swing in the second innings and is well capable of repeating his feat with the Pink Ball. He will also be a handful with the new ball and is expected to get more seam movement and swing than the other bowlers.

Will Rohit be circumspect against the great fast bowler or attack him?

2. Cheteshwar Pujara vs Jofra Archer

Cheteshwar Pujara is India's New Wall in Test cricket and has been at his best when the team has needed his services the most - he has defied the best opposition attacks all over the world time and again, including in Australia most recently, rescuing India from difficult positions when others around him have failed. Pujara could well be India's most important batsman on a helpful track at Motera. If he can occupy one end for a significant period of time other Indian batsmen can bat around him.

Jofra Archer will be a handful to face under lights. He will pepper Pujara with the short-pitched stuff and then slide in the fuller length ball in between. Archer can bowl at pace and get the ball to rise from a length. How Pujara copes with the England fast bowler could set the tone for the rest of the match.

India vs England: Ahead of Motera Test, A Look Back at India's Previous Pink Ball Encounters

3. Joe Root vs Axar Patel

While every one has been harping on the Root vs Ashwin rivalry, there has been another fascinating battle which has gone unnoticed - between the England captain and Axar Patel. Axar dismissed the modern great in both the innings of the second Test in Chennai getting the ball to turn away from the right-hander. Root fell to his favourite sweep shot in the first innings and received a peach of a delivery which took off from the surface in the second. If Motera offers fast turn then expect Axar to be on top of Root again. What will the England skipper do to counter Axar?



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking