Team India captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday said that the side was confident of beating England in their own backyard. The remarks came ahead of the third Test between India and England, which will begin on Wednesday at Headingley.
England started the tour without key pacers Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and top all-rounder Ben Stokes. They have also lost the services of fast bowlers Stuart Broad and Mark Wood. With the odds favouring India, Kohli said that they are confident of beating even a full-strength England.
"Does it depend on the strength of the opposition? Even when the key players were playing, we think we can beat anyone," said Kohli at a virtual press conference ahead of the third Test.
India won the second Test played at Lord's by 151 runs, and are currently leading the five-match series 1-0. Kohli said that he plans to continue with the winning combination.
"We have got no reason to change anything, unless people have niggles which we have not encountered since we finished the last Test. You do not want to disturb the winning combination, especially when the team achieved such an incredible win in the second Test," he said.
Shardul Thakur had missed out on the second match due to a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Ishant Sharma. After Kohli's statements, it looks unlikely that Thakur will make a comeback at Headingley.
Also missing in action has been lead spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. India went in with a four-pronged pace attack in the first two Tests.
When asked if Ashwin could be brought in, Kohli said that they would take a call after seeing the pitch on matchday.
India's likely playing XI: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja/Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.