NOTTINGHAM: It took a long time but in the end there is a sense of acceptance in the Indian camp. Virat Kohli and his boys have realized that after their surrender in the first two tests they have to climb a mountain. But the struggle must be continued, at least until the series is alive, and the Indian team is now trying to set small goals for itself.
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"That has been our discussion the last few days, we have to split it into small goals and take it from there, about scoring hundreds of them, even a crucial 40 would do so as long as it helps the team move forward, "said Captain Virat Kohli of India prior to a practice session at Trent Bridge on Friday.
The day quickly changed from sunny and clear to cloudy and gray when India arrived on the ground on the eve of the third test match. The wicket had a dark brown look with a hint of green which suggests that there will be a little bit of sailors – although they may not get as much help as with the Lord.
But that should still be a pretty strict investigation for the Indian batsmen, who sought answers through the series. To give a bit of cover to this faltering setup, there might have been an option to add an extra batsman, but Kohli does not seem to be buying that idea. "If you do not take 20 wickets, you do not win test races, you need five bowlers for that," Kohli says clearly not too happy to sacrifice Hardik Pandya as a pure batsman.
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The captain is clearly trying to attack James Anderson and Stuart Broad at a location where they enjoyed bowling the years. The probable inclusion of Rishabh Pant at number 6 may be an attempt to add that little bit of firepower that can put the opposition under pressure. The Delhi boy is an unknown quantity as far as England is concerned and there is an element of daredevil in his game that can make a difference. "Here, even if you hit 100, you're not set up, there can be a single delivery with your name and acceptance, but the idea is not to be afraid of that one delivery and surrender even before you went inside, "Kohli said, trying to sound positive.
But for Kohli himself it was this positivity approach that was lacking. And that is an area where this English team has scored on India.
While visitors have struggled to find their best XI, despite a forced change in the second test, England has a better idea of what their best XI in the series is. And that's why Ben Stokes, who returned to the squadron after a court case in the Bristol court, will play. It means that all-rounder Sam Curran, who was the man of the match during the first test in Birmingham, must give way.
"It was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I had to take it in. Sam did a great job in the time he was with the team and he could come back later in the series, but for this Test Competition Ben is our best option, "said Captain Joe Root of England.
The captain of England is also adamant about the retention of Leggie Adil Rashid, who did not have to braid or throw on Lord's. Root believes that a spinner variety adds to the attack and he will have it in the XI, even if the leggie is used sparingly.
That is the kind of clarity that is sometimes lacking in the Indian thinking process. It probably has to do with the inability to deal with the circumstances, but three tests should have enough time to organize a kickback.