Ahmedabad: Virat Kohli-led Indian team will take on England in the fourth and the final Test of the series starting on Thursday in order to make it to the final of the World Test Championship, here at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
India need to avoid the defeat to enter the final of the Test Championship. The home side are leading the the four-match series by 2-1.
If England defeats India at the world’s biggest cricket stadium then Australia will face New Zealand at Lord’s on 18th June.
In the previous Test at the same stadium, the host outshined Joe Root-led side to register 10 wickets win. The match was finished within two days.
On Tuesday, addressing to a virtual press conference, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said: “The pitch for the fourth Test will be similar to the second Test match held in Chennai, which will help the spinners.”
According to the English captain, it would be big achievement for the visitors if they ended the series draw by winning the last match.
However, it would not be easy for the visitors to keep the Indian spinners at bay at the refurbished stadium. At home, India has not lost any Test series since 2012.
In 2012, Alastair Cook-led England had defeated the home side. Joe Root had made his Test debut in the series.
According to Rahane, the pink ball made the difference in the previous Test as it came much quicker off the pitch compared to red ball, forcing the batters to make some adjustments. But this time, the game will be played by the red cherry which will make the contest interesting.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel took six wickets for 38 runs in the first innings and five for 32 in the second inning of the pink ball Test, becoming the first bowler ever to pick up 11 wickets in a D/N game.
The English team have not critized the pitch even losing badly in the previous two games.
India pacer Jasprit Bumrah will not play in the Test. In the absence of him, right-arm speedster Umesh Yadav may be picked for the crucial game. It will be interesting to see whether Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav will make the cut as third spinner along with Patel and off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin. Kuldeep missed out the Test test.
In batting department, except opener Rohit Sharma, Indian batsmen have not shown their best in the series. Indian batters need to fire to put more pressure on the opposition.
England have Jack Leach as the left-arm spinner, while Captain Root can bowl as part-time off spinner. Root took five wickets in the first innings of the third Test with a pink ball which was the first five wickets haul in his first class career. Dominic Bess is also provide another off-spin option. England will expect a big innings from their captain Root in front of the Indian spinners and Root has indicated that Bess will return to the playing XI in the fourth Test.
Both teams have not announced their respective playing eleven.