India’s captain Virat Kohli (left) will rely on the spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin (right) and Axar Patel to deliver the goods in the final test. – PTI
Despite India’s repeated attempts to move the narrative for the third Test from a subpar surface, the pitch will continue to take center stage on the first morning of the fourth Test against England in Ahmedabad. Although the visiting team reacted cautiously on the pitch, it will be interesting to see if Joe Root and Co. can have at least one fight after being destroyed in the last two Tests.
The performance of spin bowlers Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel in the second and third Tests erased memories of England’s victory at the start. The English have a monumental task ahead of them as Ashwin and Axar test their skills and thinking at Motera over the next five days. In addition to the onslaught of weirdos, England literally has to face the dry heat with the mercury, which is rising every day. The rising temperature can also cause the pitch to collapse faster than expected.
Kohli says too much noise about spin friendly playing fields, urges them to get on with the game
If England can pull itself together it can ruin India’s race for the World Test Championship final. Virat Kohli’s men will have to win the final Test to prepare for the grand final against New Zealand at Lord’s in June. Kohli in the WTC corner during his media interaction on Wednesday. After veterans Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma equate the championship with the world championship, the Indian camp will strive to secure last place in style.
In its quest, India will forego Jasprit Bumrah for the second time in the series . He’s on vacation to prepare for his wedding. Umesh Yadav will return in white in Bumrah’s absence. The Vidarbha Pacer joined the squad ahead of the Pink Ball Test after recovering from a calf injury in Australia. With his excellent record in India, he is likely to be preferred to the young Mohammed Siraj. Although Washington Sundar did not play a major role in the Pink Ball Test, he will play in the series finals.
Apart from Rohit Sharma, no other Indian batsman has been able to achieve consistent runs under the challenging conditions. They’d like to turn the tide.
Meanwhile, England has no way of recalling off-spinner Dom Bess at the expense of one of his pacemakers. It remains to be seen who will be Jofra Archer’s partner on Thursday. As for the batting department, England will be tempted to replace Jonny Bairstow, who returned with a couple in Motera last week, with young Dan Lawrence. However, due to their rotation policy until 2021, the combination can be difficult to predict.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), K.L. Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
England: Joe Root (Capt.) , Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Dan Lawrence, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (week) Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
Referees on the field: Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma; Third Referee: Anil Chaudhary; Fourth referee: Shamshuddin; Referee: Javagal Srinath.
Hours of Operation: 9.30am to 11.30pm; 12:10 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.; 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. (can be extended to 5 p.m.)
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