A high-octane encounter awaits at the Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad as both Virat Kohli and Joe Root are expecting a rank turner pitch in the third Test. However, the Indian captain is expecting the pacers to have as big a role as spinners.
Both teams have won a game each in the four-match series and ahead of the third Test here starting Wednesday, the talk has been incessantly focussed on the nature of the virgin track at the refurbished stadium.
Asked if the ball is unlikely to swing much in the third Test, Kohli said he expects the pacers to be in the game till the ball is "nice and shiny".
"I don't think that is an accurate assessment (that bowl will not swing). The pink ball does tend to swing a lot more than the red ball. We experienced that when we played for the first time in 2019 (against Bangladesh)," Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.
Kohli also rejected the assessment that England would have an edge if the pitch favours pacers.
"...not really bothered about what the strengths and weaknesses of the English team are. We have beaten them in their home as well, where the ball does way more and hold them out every time so we're not really bothered with that. It's just about playing well as a team," he said.
"And yeah, there are many, many weaknesses in the opposition side as well, if you are keen to exploit them. If it's a seamer friendly track for them it's for us as well.
"And we probably have, you know, among other teams, the best bowling attack in the world so we're not really bothered by what the ball might bring differently to the table. We're ready for anything that comes our way," he asserted.
India have played only two pink-ball Tests so far. They won at home against Bangladesh in 2019 but more recently, lost to Australia heavily in Adelaide, where they were bowled their lowest total ever -- 36.
A win at Motera will see Kohli surpassing MS Dhoni to become the most successful Indian captain at home. Kohli had equalled Dhoni's record of 21 wins in the second Test in Chennai.
"These are very fickle things which probably look great from the outside comparing two individuals and that's something that people on the outside love to do all the time.
Around 50,000 spectators will be allowed to watch the game in a facility which is capable of holding 1,10,000 and Kohli said their presence will make a massive difference.