Home TEAMS ENGLAND India vs England 4th Test Preview: The Decider for India’s WTC aspirations

India vs England 4th Test Preview: The Decider for India’s WTC aspirations

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Axar Patel was the Man of the Match in the Pink Ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium | Image Source: Virat Kohli Twitter

India face England in the fourth and final test in Ahmedabad at the Narendra Modi Stadium which starts on Thursday. India already lead the series by 2-1 after winning the Pink Ball Test and the 2nd test in Chennai. The Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel have spun England out of contention for the World Test Championship final at Lords later this year in June. Rohit Sharma looks the batsman in good touch for India while Jack Leach is the in-form spinner for England. Zak Crawley looked in fine touch in the Pink Ball Test while Joe Root’s double hundred not so long ago in the 1st Test is still fresh in memory.

Jasprit Bumrah recently was withdrawn from the squad of the fourth test due to personal reasons for India. Umesh Yadav or Siraj could replace the Indian pacer. Dominic Bess is also in line to replace either Stuart Broad or James Anderson in the England line-up. There have also been suggestions that Dan Lawrence could make his comeback into the team replacing Jonny Bairstow.

 

PITCH

The pitch has been a talking point by multiple ex-cricketers, experts, officials, and fans over the last few days. The pitch for the 2nd Test at Chennai enabled the ball to spin from day one. A similar but more dusty pitch was on offer for the Pink Ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium which was only made more difficult for the batsman with the lacquer on the ball enabling it to slide quicker off the pitch. The pitch on the fourth test will be another talking point.

The Ahmedabad pitch usually has a few cracks and is dusty in nature due to the conditions in that part of India. It would be incredibly shocking considering what we have seen over the years and especially in the previous test if the ball doesn’t spin on day one. Spinners will be into the game from the first session itself. There is a decent covering of grass on the pitch as seen in the picture taken on Tuesday which is currently there to hold the pitch together but it will be trimmed off come Wednesday evening or Thursday morning making it spin-friendly.

The pitch for the 4th Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium as of 2nd March 2021 | Image Source: Twitter.com

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS

INDIA: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

ENGLAND: Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley, Dan Lawrence, Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (WK), Dominic Bess, Jack Leach, Jofra Archer, James Anderson.

Also Read: Reliving the 161 by Rohit Sharma – A Fan’s Point of View

 

PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

Rohit Sharma: India has been getting consistent starts in the last couple of tests by the opening batsman Rohit Sharma. Rohit’s 161 in the second test and a gritty half-century in the first innings of the Pink Ball Test was of great significance in India establishing the lead over England in the first inning. Regardless of whether India bat first or bat second, Rohit will be expected to give another 50+ score in the first inning if India wants any stronghold over England in the final test. Rohit has brought the sweep shot to the spinners and has been more positive since the first test.

Jack Leach: The English left-arm spinner has been in great form for England since Chennai. His release, pitch map, and the ability to deceive the batsman with the lengths and variations have been worth admiring from a visiting spinner. If the pitch is similar to the one in the previous test, Leach will definitely enjoy the conditions, and he along with Root and Bess (if selected) can create multiple problems for the Indian batsman.

Jack Leach has been impressive in the first three tests and will be looking to maintain his form | Image Source: Twitter.com

 

PREDICTIONS

As it stands, England cannot qualify for the World Test Championship Final while India needs a draw or a win to qualify for the final at Lords against New Zealand in June. Motivation can be a huge factor in favor of India but England would also want to improve on their disasters in the last couple of tests. India’s spin duo will very likely be able to spin a web around the English batsman in the fourth test unless England comes up with something out of the box and drastically improve their technique. The English spinners also have the ability to threaten the Indian batting line-up but it is more likely that the hosts improve their form here. If the Indian batsman bat well, it can be another tough test match for England and another victory for India is on the cards.

Stay tuned to The Sports Doyen for all the coverage of the England Tour of India!

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