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Monday, September 20, 2021
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India v England: James Anderson and Stuart Broad could play together, says Joe Root

Joe Root says that both James Anderson and Stuart Broad have a chance to play in the third test against India
Venue: Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad Date: 24-28 Feb Time: 09:00 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary plus analysis and debate on The Cricket Social on the BBC Sport website and app. Daily Test Match Special podcasts.

England captain Joe Root says he has a “great selection headache” in whether to pick both James Anderson and Stuart Broad for the third Test against India.

Anderson and Broad, England’s top two Test wicket-takers of all-time, have only taken to the field together seven times in the last two years.

They have featured in alternate Tests so far this winter.

“I think you’d be wrong to write off those two to do anything, with the records they have had,” said Root.

The series is level at 1-1 going into the day-night third Test, which starts on Wednesday.

Anderson, 38, said recently he thought that he and Broad, 34, had played together for the last time, but captain Root played down that suggestion.

“They have got a chance,” Root said. “The things they have produced, especially in the last couple of years, have been a reason they are up there with the top three bowlers in the world.

“They are consistently getting better, the older they get.

“They are using their experience to their advantage all the time. I’m sure there will be opportunities where they get to play together in the near future and much further down the line as well.”

Pace bowler Jofra Archer could also return for England after having a cortisone injection in his elbow, an injury to which forced him to miss the second Test in Chennai, which India won by 317 runs to level the series.

Root is also considering whether to bring back Zak Crawley, following his recovery from a wrist injury, or Jonny Bairstow, who missed the first two Tests as part of England’s rest-and-rotation policy.

Twilight challenge

This match will be the first time India and England face each other in a day-night encounter.

Both captains have warned of the challenges of playing in fading light in the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

“As a batting team, you are starting your innings under lights, then that one-and-a-half hours is challenging,” said India captain Virat Kohli.

“When it starts to get dark, especially during that twilight period, it gets very tricky. Light changes. It’s difficult to sight the ball and being under lights is like playing the first session in the morning in a normal Test match. The ball tends to swing a lot.”

Root suggested that the bowlers can use the light to their advantage.

“I think there’s been a trend in all the pink-ball Test matches of collapses on occasion,” said Root.

“When you get that opportunity and you’re on the right side of it, you’re in the field with a ball in hand, you really get and roll with it. You take every opportunity and chance and you make that really count in your favour.”

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