IND vs ENG : Team India registered a thrashing 10-wicket victory in the pink-ball day-night against England inside 2 days in Ahmedabad to go 2-1 up in the four-match Test series. After that dominating win in the first India vs England Test match in Chennai, the visiting England team has been found wanting in the last two Test matches especially with their batters failing to show any kind of resistance in these spinning conditions as they have even failed to reach the 200-run mark in the last five innings. The fourth and final Test match is scheduled to start from March 4 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
With the amazing win in the 3rd Test match against England, India have kept their chances alive of sealing that crucial spot in the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) alongside New Zealand. In case, the Virat Kohli-led team are able to streak out a win or even draw the final Test match, they will certainly qualify for the finals. However, after the loss in Ahmedabad, England are now out of contention for the WTC finals.
More than India’s win, the pitch which was turning massively from Day 1 was at talks in Ahmedabad. On a track where batters from both the teams struggled against the spinners, India’s left-arm spinner Axar Patel took 11 wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 7 wickets in the match. It was a wicket where a part-time off-spinner in England captain Joe Root ended up picking his maiden Test five-wicket haul. England surely missed a specialist spinner in the third Test and therefore, Dom Bess is likely to make his return to the playing XI for the fourth Test.
Bess picked up a brilliant four-wicket haul in the first innings of the first Test including the wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli, however, the off-spinner was replaced by Moeen Ali for the second Test match as he lacked control and discipline in some helpful conditions. There are some talks doing the rounds that the track in Ahmedabad for the fourth Test between India and England will be a batting paradise which makes a case for speedster Mark Wood’s inclusion in the side.
Wood’s inclusion in the fourth Test will give Joe Root some extra pace to trouble the Indian batters on a flat deck. It is also a fact that Jofra Archer hasn’t been able to provide that extra pace so far in this series on a consistent basis. England is likely to go back to their previous bowling combination of two seamers and two spinners. James Anderson should get the nod ahead of Stuart Broad as the latter hasn’t looked much threatening in the last two games. Despite Jonny Bairstow bagging a pair in his first game and Ollie Pope’s struggles, England will certainly stick with the same batting line-up for the final Test match.
Joe Root (C)
Ben Foakes (wk)
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