Updates, analysis and colour from the first day of the third Test
Welcome to day one of our live report of the third India-England Test from Ahmedabad. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here
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2.30pm: England win the toss, changes galore
Good afternoon all, and welcome to a whole new ball-game. In Chennai last week, England endured a familiar fate in Asian conditions, as R Ashwin spun a web around their techniques to deliver India a series-levelling 317-run win. But we’ve crossed the country from East to West now, and fast-forwarded the hours of play by five hours too, to bring the brand-new floodlights of Ahmedabad’s 120,000-seater stadium into play. Oh, and there’s a pink SG ball in the mix too, which England’s bowlers are “licking their lips” to get hold of, according to Ben Stokes. I imagine Ishant Sharma, in his 100th Test, and the fit-again Jasprit Bumrah might be feeling similar sentiments. Whatever happens over the next five days, I daresay it won’t be standard Test fare.
And as if to prove the point, we have wholesale changes on both teams, as England win a very useful toss, and get first use of the pitch while the afternoon sun is at its brightest. England, as expected, have made four changes – James Anderson and Jofra Archer return to lead the attack, although Stuart Broad retains his place, which is intriguing. Olly Stone and the home-again Moeen Ali make way, as do Dan Lawrence and Rory Burns with the bat. Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley are in. Crawley’s top score on tour so far is 13… a big ask to open up today.
India have two changes, Bumrah is joined by the spin-bowling allrounder Washington Sundar, in place of Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammad Siraj.
“It looks pretty dry, hot and humid,” says Virat Kohli, who is full of praise for the new stadium – which may only be half-full but 60,000 fans is still a larger capacity than pretty much every venue outside of the MCG.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @miller_cricket
Source: ESPN Crickinfo