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Will England play Anderson and Broad in Motera?

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 23, 2021 21:03 IST
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The skipper, however, hinted that there would be a bit more lateral movement with the pink ball which can 'work in their favour'.

 England captain Joe Root is all smiles after a practice session at the Motera Stadium on Tuesday

IMAGE: England captain Joe Root is all smiles after a practice session at the Motera Stadium on Tuesday. Photograph: Kind courtesy Joe Root/Twitter

England skipper Joe Root on Tuesday said he is yet to have "real clarity" on what should be his bowling combination for the day-night third Test against India starting Wednesday and will wait a little more before finalising the team.

India crushed England by 317 runs on a turner in Chennai to level the four-match series 1-1 and all eyes are now on the refurbished Motera pitch which will make its debut with the pink ball Test.

"We're going to take our time with the limited information we have on this ground and pink ball cricket. You know, we are going to make sure, we give ourselves as much (time) as possible heading into the game before we make a decision," Root said on the eve of the match.

 

The England think tank has a selection headache both in bowling and batting departments.

They have Jofra Archer fit and available along with veteran pace spearhead James Anderson, who is back in fray after workload management kept him out of the second Test. Stuart Broad is also in contention for a spot.

"It's great to see him (Archer) back bowling again, we are excited. He is a world class performer and have got all the skills...it's a very exciting place to be to have now a battery of fast bowlers to choose from," Root said.

Root hinted that they're weighing a three-seam option with the possibility of playing both Anderson and Broad together as the pink ball will have "a bit more lateral movement".

"Yeah, they have got a chance and as I say it's a great selection headache to have... The fact that there might be extra lateral movement will obviously work in our favour as well," Root said.

Senior wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow has also returned to the squad and it remains to be seen whether they can keep in-form Ben Foakes out or play both of them.

"We will get you the squad when we're ready... That's how we want to do things. We just want to make sure, we're really sure on everything. When we're absolutely ready we'll give you the full squad together."

"I think having a real good understanding what this pitch might look like tomorrow morning and ahead of that first ball...It has got dryer and dryer as the days have gone as you'd expect it to.

"So just need to have real clarity on what balance of attack we want and utilise this practice tonight to see how much dew it might play and how big a factor that might be and whether that alters things at all."

The skipper, however, hinted that there would be a bit more lateral movement with the pink ball which can "work in their favour".

The fourth and final Test, which will be a usual day match, slated from March 4.

Root expects the pitch to offer turn.

"I'm sure at some point the wicket will turn. It's just a question of when... will it happen off the straight, will it happen out of the rough, it might be that this pitch deteriorates in a similar fashion to the first one or it might not...

"We have just got to be ready to react to it. I think we still got to look to build pressure for long periods of time trying to squeeze the game, make it very difficult for the guys to score freely and score boundaries," he said.

Both teams crumbled to record low scores in their last pink ball Tests.

England got out for 58 in their previous pink ball Test against New Zealand in Auckland, while India were shot out for a record low of 36 against Australia at Adelaide.

"It seems to be a trend, and it's something that as a batting group you need to make sure that you stop.

"It's about making sure you get used to the track, get used to the conditions and be very aware of how things can change throughout the day," he pointed out.

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