A little over a week after an embarrassing 10 wicket defeat at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, hosts India entertain England in the third Test, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The series is tied at 1-1 after two matches but the visitors will start the test with a great deal of confidence after a resounding defeat of their hosts, on spinner-friendly tracks.

Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen

There have been nine previous Tests between India and England at the Eden Gardens, of which the hosts have won three. The good news for MS Dhoni and his men is that they've only ever lost once... back in 1977, when Tony Greig scored a century to give England a 10 wicket win. The last time these sides played here, though, India won by eight wickets.


India vs England


The Eden gardens, Kolkata

Where to Watch

The third Test starts on 5 December and live coverage starts every day from 3.30 am GMT on Sky Sports 1 and Sports 1 HD from 3:30 AM BST.


Alastair Cook is in excellent form this tour, with a commanding 176 in Ahmadabad in the first Test and a match-winning 122 in Mumbai. Kevin Pietersen is also in fantastic form and his superb 186 set up England's win in the last match. Spinner Monty Panesar more than justified his call back with match figures of 11/210, almost winning the match single-handedly. Veteran Graeme Swann was equally incisive, picking up 8/113 in the match.

For India, the man in form is Cheteshwar Pujara, whose unbeaten double century (206) in the first Test handed them the win. He continued his brilliant batting in the second, scoring 135 in the first innings to give India the edge... which they then proceeded to lose dramatically.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Pujara will once again be key for India and his early wicket will give England much relief. Although, Cook will know the Indians have a number of match-winners with the willow, not the least of who are Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Also keep an eye out for opener Gautam Gambhir, who has threatened with decent starts but has yet to translate them into a big innings.

The Indian bowlers, in turn, will want Cook and Pietersen quickly. If those two should fall soon, the rest of the batting has offered little by way of resistance, with only Matt Prior anchoring the lower order and providing support.

England will be boosted by the return of seamer Steve Finn, who has replaced Stuart Broad in the side. The only other change the visitors have made is to recall Ian Bell in place of Jonny Bairstow.

Dhoni, meanwhile, has made one change. Spinner Harbhajan Singh, who failed to contribute in Mumbai, has been dropped in favour of seamer Ishant Sharma. This means the Indians will revert to a batting-heavy line-up, with only four specialist bowlers. This means all-rounders like Yuvraj Singh and maybe even Tendulkar will bowl a few overs, if only to give respite to the regulars.

The Pitch

There has been a lot of debate over the nature of the pitch for the five days, with curator Prabir Mukherjee refusing to oblige Dhoni and provide a spinning track. The freshly-laid Eden Gardens strip is a flat and comfortable batting track. Dhoni may not be happy about that... but the fact the Indians have won the toss and the fact the hosts have racked up 600+ scores in the first innings of each of their last three Tests here should put a smile on his face.

Match Summary

Day One

India 273/7 (S Tendulkar 76, G Gambhir 60; J Anderson 3/69)

Day Two

India 316 (S Tendulkar 76, G Gambhir 60, MS Dhoni 52; M Panesar 4/90, J Anderson 3/89)

England 216/1 (A Cook 136 not out, N Compton 57; P Ojha 1/65)