About the Match
There was a lot of talk about how England was going into this last test without a single hit on the practice wickets but it clearly did not make any difference to the visitors as they cantered to 284 for 4 and put in their strongest batting performance on this tour yet.
The top run scorers for England were Moeen Ali, still batting on 120, and Joe Root, out for a fantastic 88. Ben Stokes is batting on 5 and will walk out with Ali to start day 2 tomorrow.
Things To Look Out for on Day 3
England has found itself in positions of strength before on this tour only to crumble and give India an opportunity to storm back. They would dearly love to deny them that same courtesy this time around and hope to pile on as many runs as possible.
The pitch at Chennai is a slow turner that is expected to only get slower as the game progresses. Taking wickets will not be easy on day 2, after which the increased amount of turn will help shift things in the bowlers favor somewhat.
In Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler still waiting in the wings, England has the necessary firepower to really make India pay. We think going aggressive on the total score for the innings is the way to go here and bet on England reaching 450 plus.
It will require Ali to go on and bat in the manner he did today as well as Stokes, Buttler and the rest of the lower order to chip in, but we think that the Indian bowling is the weakest in this match without the presence of Shami and Jayant Yadav.
For India, it is Ravindra Jadeja that took the most number of wickets and troubled the batsmen the most. His quick pace of bowling is a big asset and nullifies the slow nature of the pitch. He is an extremely safe bet for the highest wicket taker of the innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin is a champion bowler who has been having a fantastic series so far. He would be disappointed by his performance on Day 1 of his home test and can be expected to make some adjustments as he comes out tomorrow.
His form and performance will go a long way in determining the total number of runs that England scores. Another performance like the one he put in today and India are looking at a huge first innings total.
Amit Mishra, the third spinner and a surprise inclusion for this match will be under tremendous pressure. He was dropped in this series because of his poor bowling and his replacement Jayant Yadav impressed with both the bat and ball.
Mishra is drinking at the last chance salon and knowing his past record in the longer form of the game plus the manner in which he reacts to pressure does not give us much hope of improvement from him. He could be the bowler that England targets and take for most runs.
India will probably face a few overs in the last session and will need their openers Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul to set them up nicely. Vijay has a terrible record in the last innings of the series and betting on a below 20 total for him might be worth the risk.
A good day for England might set them up on course for a famous victory