India vs England 3rd Test: Preview and Prediction

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India to face England in the 3rd Test on February 15th

After a gap of 10 days, Rohit Sharma-led India is all set to take on Ben Stokes-led England Cricket Team in the third Test of the five-match series at Rajkot from Thursday.

The Indian Team, which slid to the fifth position in the World Test Championship (WTC) Points table following a defeat in the series opener against the visitors, surged to the 2nd spot after a resounding comeback in the Second Test at Vizag, levelling the series 1-1.

Injury concerns linger over the Indian Camp as middle-order batter KL Rahul, sidelined from the second test due to discomfort in his right quadriceps, has only attained 90 Percent match fitness and is consequently ruled out for the third Test as well. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s availability for the upcoming Test is also in doubt.

Adding to the woes of Indian fans, ace batsman Virat Kohli, who withdrew from the first two Tests citing personal reasons, will miss the entire series, while Shreyas Iyer has been dropped from the team due to his lacklustre performance in the last couple of Tests.

Headaches persist in England’s dressing room too, as their most experienced spinner, Jack Leach, has been ruled out for the remainder of the series due to a left knee injury sustained in the first test at Hyderabad. 

With England opting not to call up a replacement for Leach, it appears likely that the visitors will persist with the same spin attack. In addition to injuries, the poor form of batters Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow is also a cause for concern for the British contingent.

What have they done so far?

The 2023-25 World Test Championship Cycle has been a roller-coaster ride for both sides as India won their first away series 1-0 against West Indies followed by a 1-1 draw against South Africa. On the other hand, England started the ongoing WTC campaign with two losses and a draw in the first three matches followed by two wins drawing the 2023 Ashes 2-2 at home.

In the series opener of this series, England opted for a lone pacer in their playing XI and bestowed a debut cap upon Spinner Tom Hartley. Winning the toss, England elected to bat first and posted a modest score of 246 runs in the first innings. India, buoyed by 80-plus knocks from Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul, and Jadeja, amassed 436 runs, claiming a lead of 190 runs.

However, the true spectacle unfolded in England’s second innings, where Ollie Pope’s lone heroics stunned India with his gritty knock of 196 runs. With Pope’s resolute innings, England set a target of 231 runs to chase. Hartley clinched 7 wickets in the fourth innings, aiding in restricting India to 202 runs and securing a victory of 28 runs in the first test.

Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed 209 runs in the first innings of the Vizag Test

A few days later, the second test between both teams took place at Vizag, where India staged a remarkable comeback. This time, the hosts won the toss and elected to bat first. They capitalized on the opportunity, posting a first-innings total of 396 runs, courtesy of Yashasvi Jaiswal’s double century. In response, the visitors only managed to muster 253 runs, succumbing to Jasprit Bumrah’s 6-wicket haul.

With a first-innings lead of 143 runs, India piled on another 255 runs to the tally, this time with the aid of Shubman Gill’s century. The target of 399 runs set for England’s fourth innings was never easy. However, the Englishmen fought valiantly but ultimately fell short, losing by 106 runs in the end. 

Head to Head Record

In the longstanding cricket rivalry between India and England, a total of 133 Test matches were contested. England boasts 51 victories, while India trails closely with 32 wins to its name. Remarkably, the battle between these cricketing giants resulted in a stalemate on 50 occasions.

Interestingly, India and England met previously only once at Rajkot in the 2016 Test series, a match that eventually ended in a draw. However, this memorable encounter witnessed an impressive display of batting prowess, with six centuries being scored. Of these, four centuries were made by English players, including Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, and Alastair Cook.

Key Players 

Yashasvi Jaiswal (India): Yashasvi Jaiswal has left an indelible mark in his brief Test career, showcasing an impressive and aggressive batting style. With a remarkable total of 637 runs in only 6 matches, including 2 fifties and 2 centuries. The young Indian opening batter boasts an impressive average close to 58 and a striking rate of 63.57. 

Notably, Jaiswal has become the third youngest Indian batter, following in the footsteps of legends Sunil Gavaskar and Vinod Kambli, to achieve the milestone of scoring a double hundred in Test cricket.

In the ongoing series, Jaiswal has emerged as the highest run-scorer between both teams, amassing 321 runs in 4 innings with an outstanding average of 80.25 and a commendable strike rate of 75.35.

Zak Crawley has been in fine form during the ongoing Test series against India

Zak Crawley (England): Zak Crawley, the elegant opening batter from England has proven his mettle, building on his solid form seen in the Ashes 2023. His resilience at the crease makes him a formidable opponent, evident in the ongoing series where he accumulated 200 runs in 4 innings with an average of 50.

While Crawley started the series with modest scores of 20 runs and 31 runs in the first test, he would have been disappointed not to convert his promising starts of 76 runs and 73 runs into substantial hundreds in the second test, leaving him eager to make amends in the upcoming Test. 

Predicted XIs

India: Rohit Sharma ©, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Axar Patel, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes ©, Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Ollie Robinson, Tom Hartley, James Anderson


It would be unjust to understate Kohli’s absence in the upcoming match, as his contributions will be sorely missed. Nevertheless, India playing on home turf positions them as the favorites to seize a 2-1 lead in the series.