The five-matchTest series between India and England is at an interesting phase. After getting drubbed in the first two Tests the visitors have snatched back the momentum by winning the third Test and now would be eager to level the series in the fourth Test which begins on August 30.
However, before the Test commences both teams have plenty to ponder upon with the playing XI being a major concern. Injuries have affected both teams while lack of form might inspire some changes as well.
We take a look at the probable teams for England and India which could feature in the fourth Test.
The win at Nottingham might push Kohli to play an unchanged team in the next Test for the first time in his captaincy career.
The middle order has finally arrived to the party with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane finding some form. Hardik Pandya too has consolidated his position while Rishabh Pant is sure to don the wicket-keeping gloves.
The pace bowling arsenal should remain the same as Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami bring variety and are capable of bowling in different stages of the game.
This leaves two questions open. The opening slots and the spinner. R Ashwin was terrific in the first Test but since then his performance has seen a dip. His injury might worry the team management which means Ravindra Jadeja may play his first game of the series. But if fully fit, Ashwin will be preferred over Jadeja.
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan showed promise in the third Test and have almost booked a place for the fourth Test. The inclusion of Prithvi Shaw offers a choice but the team management might not play this gamble considering the significance of this Test.
This camp will have more to think as there are several holes to fill. The 18-member squad offers plenty of choices but it might confuse Joe Root.
Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings have been horrific so far but the team management seems to have confidence in them. Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Butler fill the middle order along with Oliver Pope with James Anderson and Stuart Board sphere heading the pace bowling department.
Courtesy of the defeat in the third Test, Root will bring back Sam Curran into team which means Chris Woakes could warm the benches. Moeen Ali might push Adil Rashid out of the team as well and if Root wants Rashid in the team, then Moeen could replace Jennings at the top.
The biggest question is Jonny Baristow’s injury. Butler would keep wickets if Baristow remains injured but England would want Baristow to play even as a specialist batsman. In absence of Baristow James Vince might come in to fill his spot.