INDvsENG：Glory 50 years, Great India Cricket Team
Today marks 50 years of India's historic Test series triumph against England on English soil. Exactly 50 years to this day, India recorded a historic win in the third and final Test at The Oval against England to seal their first-ever Test series win in the Blighty. It capped off a brilliant season overseas, one that saw India winning their first Test series in the Caribbean between February and April, followed by the triumph in England in July-August.
"The 1971 series win in England lifted the spirits of Indian cricket in a huge manner. It gave them the belief that they can go overseas and win. And to do it in England is always historic. 50 years have gone by, and those players really set the tone. Hats off to all of them." said the head coach of the current Indian side Shastri.
There is only one day left in the third test of the five-match series between England and India. The first test between the two teams ended in a tie, and in the second game played by Lord's, the Indian team won a thrilling match against the British team with 151 points. The third test of the series will now take place in Headingley, Leeds. Even with a 1-0 lead in the series, the Indian team's game will not be easy, because Headingley is the home court of British captain Joe Root. Joe Root hit the ball vigorously in all three games of the series and was the highest-scoring batter of the two teams. In addition, Root will be keen to show his leadership ability once again in order to equalize the British team that has fallen behind in the series.
Now the Indian team will continue their winning streak on the Leeds. India pace bowler Shardul Thakur is fit to be considered for the third Test that commences here at Headingley from Wednesday although he is not yet guaranteed a place in the playing XI. “Shardul is fit and fine. He is ready for selection. We just have to see what combination we are going with," said India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane to media in a virtual interaction. The middle-order batsman ruled out rotation policy saying all the bowlers have got a good break after the first Test which ended on August 16.
“About rotation policy, we got a very good break after the last Test match. So all the fast bowlers, they are ready to play. They want to play, which is a very good sign," added Rahane.
At the same time, all eyes will be on the composition of the Indian team, because if conditions allow two spinners to play, India may include R Ashwin. Ashwin, who led India to defeat England at home, did not participate in the first two tests because India prefers Ravindra Jadeja as the only spin bowling all-around player.
Take a look at India's likely playing XI for the third Test:
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who has done a great job together while opening the innings so far in the series, are certain to retain their spots as openers in the Indian team.
The middle-order of Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane has looked a bit fragile but their resistant performance with the bat in the second Test means that they are set to retain their spots. Kohli, however, would be eager to get back amongst the runs. Rishabh Pant too is expected to feature in the third match fulfilling his regular wicket-keeping role.
There might be a change here. Although Ravindra Jadeja has performed decently so far in the two matches, India might just hand Ravichandran Ashwin his first game of this series, in Headingley, mainly with the aim to add strength to the lower-middle order and also his variations, which can come to good use once the pitch wears out and the ball starts spinning.
It is unlikely that Virat Kohli would tamper with the bowling combination, which won him the match back at Lord's. The four fast bowlers-Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj are almost certain to feature unless the team management decides to play two spinners, in which case one of them might miss out.