India's bid to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final were dealt a massive blow after losing to England in the first match. Virat Kohli & Co can still earn the right to face New Zealand in the Lord's final.
But the task is massive, and skipper made his point when he said after India's 227-run defeat to England in Chennai, "If rules suddenly change during lockdown, nothing is in your control." He was referring to the rule changes made by the ICC.
Another defeat in the three matches, and India are certainly out of the race, leaving England and Australia in a head-to-head fight. A 2-1, or 3-1 series win will see India making the final. For England, it's 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0. Australia will qualify if England win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-0; and if the series ends in a 1-1 of 2-2 draw.
Meanwhile, India are likely to make at least one change in their playing XI - with Shahbaz Nadeem making way for fit-again Axar Patel. Nadeem was among the wickets by ended up leaking more than 200 runs. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane failed to fire, but both are heavyweights, with the ability to play match-winning knocks.
England are likely to field the same XI, but don't be surprised if Stuart Broad replaces James Anderson, who triggered India's collapse on Day 5.
Here are the likely XIs:
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (w), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
Match and telecast details:
Match days: February 13 to 17, 2021
Start time: 9:30 AM IST each day/ 04:00 AM GMT
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chepauk), Chennai, India
TV Channels: Star Sports Network in India. Besides English and Hindi, Star Sports is expected to provide coverage in regional languages like Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.
Channel 4 in the UK.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP (Subscription required) in India. All 4 or TVPlayer.com in the UK to watch Channel 4 live (Need valid TV license).
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