After the dramatic collapse of the English batting lineup in the final innings of the second Test defeat, changes were expected and have been made.
Dawid Malan of the T20 fame has been recalled to the English squad at the expense of Dom Sibley, who was averaging a meagre 19.77 in his 10 Tests in 2021. Also missing will be Zak Crawley, and in their absence, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns are expected to open for England, with Malan likely to bat at one down.
Ollie Pope is also tipped to reclaim his role in the middle order.
One player whose participation is in doubt is Mark Wood, who is nursing an injury but is still retained in the squad. And another player whose participation is impossible is Chris Woakes, who is not in the squad, which means that Saqib Mahmood could get to play his maiden Test, if the management approves.
KL Rahul was named the player of the match for the second Test but some would argue that it should have been Mohammad Siraj.
The right-arm medium pacer claimed eight wickets in the match and was pivotal in cleaning up the English tail on the final day. The English should be wary of him again.
Despite the win, a few concerns remain for the Asian side and from sources where few would have expected. Their captain Virat Kohli has not passed 42 in his last three matches’ five innings. He couldn’t deliver big against New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship and is now struggling against England too.
The third Test comes at a time in the series when Kohli usually adjusts and produces the goods. It will, thus, be interesting to see how the superstar skipper responds.