A high on confidence Team India arrived in Headingley, the venue for the third Test, slated to get underway on Wednesday, August 25. The Virat Kohli-led side is leading the series 1-0 after picking up an emphatic win in the second Test. The first Test ended in a draw after rain played spoilsport on Day 5 in Nottingham, with the game set for a cracking finish.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 22, 2021
A win in the third Test will give India an unassailable lead, with England needing victories in the final two games to square the series. The second Test witness both teams engaging in a war of words. It all started with Jasprit Bumrah bowling a barrage of bouncers to James Anderson after which the England team tried to give it back to Bumrah when he came out to bat. The moved of bowling short backfired as Bumrah and Shami stiched a heft stand, leaving England bruised. Even Virat Kohli and James Anderson were seen having a banter. At the end of the game, opener KL Rahul said they don’t mind engaging in a war of words and giving it back to the opposition.
“Look, personally, it shows how badly both teams want to win. When both teams go at each other, it shows how badly both teams want to win and that is how Test cricket is played. We as a team are never shy to say a word or two, if someone goes at one of our players and the rest of 10 guys get pumped, that is the kind of team we are,” said Rahul during a virtual press conference.
“If you go after one of our guys, you are going after the whole team. That is why bowlers were really keen to go out there. This is what people come to watch and this highly speaks about how badly each team wants to win. We are looking forward to the next three games, both teams are going to come hard,” he added.
Meanwhile, the England players will also reach Leeds on Sunday (today). The hosts have made a few changes to the squad of the third Test with Dawid Malan and Saqib Mahmood added to the team. England are bruised at the moment and will be keen to give it back to India in Headingley but do they have the resources to compete with India? At the moment, they are too dependent on Joe Root and James Anderson, and only if other players can show some character, England can think of levelling the series.