The Indian team are on a high after winning the third test at Trent Bridge and beating England in convincing style. They will play the fourth test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on August 30th and know that it is a must win game for them to keep the series alive.
While the Indian side looked a lot better in the third test, they still depended heavily on the performances of their captain Virat Kohli who was the man of the match with 97 in the first innings and 103 in the second. India did well in the first and third test because of Kohli’s performances and failed miserably in the second when Kohli got out cheaply.
Senior Batsmen Must Score Big
S Dhawan, C Pujara and A Rahane are now senior players in the squad. They found a bit of form in the third test and it will be up to them to carry on from there and make a three figure score in Southampton. Kohli need’s one of his senior players to carry the workload and give him a bit of a breather.
We all know that Pujara is capable of making lots of runs in sub-continent conditions but he needs to answer his critics with a century and show them that he can score big runs in overseas conditions. If these three big guns don’t deliver, India will once again find it difficult to go past the three figure scores.
The younger players like KL Rahul, H Pandya and R Pant can play freely and any contributions above 50 will be very beneficial to team India.
Will Kohli Stick With The Same Team?
Virat Kohli has changed his playing eleven in just about every test match that he has captained. It is quite possible that he retains the playing eleven for the fourth test as they did rather well. Ravi Shastri has confirmed that R Ashwin should be fit by August 30th. So if Kohli does decide to make a change it will probably be bringing in U Yadav for M Shami.
England Selection Critical To Success
Joe Root will have to make key decisions regarding his playing eleven and that could very well determine whether England win or lose the test. His decisions will revolve around whether to play J Bairstow as a batsman only, whether Moen Ali should replace A Rashid, whether C Woakes should be dropped in place of Sam Curran and whether J Vince should replace Keaton Jennings at the top of the order.