Indian skipper Virat Kohli believes there is no point in changing the ‘winning combination’ going into the third Test against England in Leeds. Hence, India may field with the same playing XI that played in the Lord’s Test.
India brought Ishant Sharma in place of injured Shardul Thakur in Lord’s who is match-fit before the Leeds Test. Also, several voices asked for the inclusion of India’s ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is yet to bowl his first ball in the five-match series.
On a contrary, Virat Kohli isn’t sounding like he is going to chop and change the winning combination, who put a remarkable turnaround in Lord’s to win the Test by 151 runs.
“We don’t have any reason to change anything (in terms of team combination). Unless anyone has a niggle, which hasn’t been the case over the past few days. There’s no reason to change a winning combination,” said Kohli in the pre-match press conference.
On the other hand, England are going into the third Test without the services of their several key players. Mark Wood is the latest casualty after Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes – who all are the first-choice members of the Test team.
This gives India a good chance to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in Leeds. But Virat Kohli turns down such talks and says the opposition’s strength doesn’t matter to his team.
“Does that depend on the strength of the opposition? Even when the key players are playing, we think we can beat anyone. We don’t wait for the opposition to be weak,” he said.
England will try to bounce back with a better performance in Leeds, which hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the hosts in the recent past. They have lost against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies in the last few years at Headingley. Joe Root’s team will try to make amends this time against India.