India vs England: India have levelled the series, but can they move on from Adelaide rout of 36 all out in Motera Test?

India vs England: India have levelled the series, but can they move on from Adelaide rout of 36 all out in Motera Test?

Dubai: After levelling the series 1-1, India and England are getting ready for the third Test on Wednesday in Ahmedabad.

The newly built Sardar Patel Stadium or Motera Stadium where the third Test is about to be staged is the world’s largest cricket venue with a capacity to accommodate 110,000 spectators. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 55,000 spectators will be allowed to enter the stadium and tickets for this much anticipated match were sold out weeks before.

Another important aspect of this match is that it's a pink ball Test, which means it will be played under the lights. India's last experience of playing the pink ball Test was nightmarish, to say the least. It was in the Adelaide pink ball Test during the Australian tour that the Indians were bundled out for a paltry 36 runs, their record lowest total till date. The scars of that Test match will always be there, especially for Virat Kohli who was the Indian captain in that ill-fated match. After the Adelaide disaster, India did bounce back against Australia and won the series but I can assure you that all the players who were part of that match will be licking their wounds and nursing their pride for some time to come.

Virat Kohli and his boys are waiting to get their record straight in this pink ball Test match where a lot pride is at stake. The series is tied at 1-1 and India cannot afford to lose another game as it would cost them a place in the World Championship of Cricket. Secondly, the pink ball swings more than the traditional red ball and England would definitely bank on the huge experience of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad who have 1000 wickets between them. Add to it the pace of Jofra Archer who is raring to be back on team after missing the second Test due to injury and it is evident that winning Motera is not going to be a walk in the park for the Indian batsmen.

Jofra Archer was delighted to see the grass on the wicket and went on to tweet "It's show time". However, I am sure the grass will be shaved off by Wednesday because it would help the spinners. And both Ashwin and Axar Patel would be hoping to get the same assistance they got from the pitch in the second Test match which helped them to steamroll the hapless English batsmen in Chennai.

The only thing which could hamper the spinners is the dew factor which might make batting easy but dew is as unpredictable as how your first date will turn out to be.

Virat Kohli has not scored a hundred for the whole of 2020 and also in the two Test matches played this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finally overcomes his dry spell and gets one in this most awaited Test match. It will lift not just him but whole countrymen who couldn’t wait to see their champion batsman at his audacious best.

Come Wednesday all eyes will be on the pink ball and how it behaves in the massive Motera stadium.

Indian team would be fighting hard to put the ghosts of Adelaide behind and bury the dubious record of '36 all out' – once and for all. Much like Amitabh Bachchan in the Bollywood movie Deewar, who tried hard to erase a shameful scar on his arm.

Anis Sajan

Cricket enthusiast and businessman Anis Sajan is the Managing Director of Danube.