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IND vs ENG 3rd Test Pitch Report: How will surface at SCA Stadium in Rajkot play for India-England match?

India and England will be up against each other for the third Test in Rajkot starting Thursday, February 15. The last time these two teams played in a Test match at the venue, over 1400 runs were scored across five days in a game which ended in a dull draw. Will it be the case this time as well?

Anshul Gupta Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: February 14, 2024 15:07 IST
India and England will lock horns in the third Test in
Image Source : PTI India and England will lock horns in the third Test in Rajkot starting February 15

Team India will be up against England in the third and critical Test of the five-match series in Rajkot starting Thursday, February 15. The series is tantalisingly poised at 1-1 and this could prove to be a make-or-break game for either side. India are without their experienced middle-order lot while England have their batting issues to address and the team whose batters are able to make merry could be in a position to get the result in its favour.

England have already announced their playing XI with an extra seamer added to the attack which suggests that the wicket could be much flatter at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium than the previous two games. Hence, the hosts could stay with their two-pacer plan as well which means either Axar Patel or Kuldeep Yadav could miss out on selection with Ravindra Jadeja expected to return to the line-up for India.

Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot Pitch report

This will be only the third Test match to be played in Rajkot and in the first two instances, the first innings score increased from 537 in 2016 to 649 in 2018. It was this fixture only that played the very first Test in Rajkot and 1,457 runs were scored at the SCA stadium. England were in ascendency in that game and this could very well happen again but only quicker. The pitch this time, however, isn't as flat as Rajkot always is and by the looks of it, it reminds everyone of pitches in the first two Tests in Hyderabad and Vizag, but more of the series opener.

There are a couple of rough patches near the stumps while the rest of the pitch has a nice covering of grass, which suggests that it would remain good for batting throughout with the spinners coming into the game from Day 3 onwards with them expected to dictate the terms on the last two days. The team winning the toss would want to bat first and try to post a huge first innings score to get ahead of the game early. The effect or the after-effects of Bazball could very well decide the result of this game, similar to how England dominated on flat tracks in Pakistan.

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