England vs India, 4th Test, Preview: Virat Kohli's side surges in with a chance to change history

England vs India, 4th Test, Preview: Virat Kohli’s side surges in with a chance to change history

Kohli and Co would've to repeat the heroics of 1986 in order to draw level in the five-match encounter.

England vs India
James Anderson of England shakes hands with India captain Virat Kohli. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

India are currently playing their 18th Test series against England on English soil. Virat Kohli’s men won the previous match against the Brits at Trent Bridge in Nottingham and kept themselves in contention for a series victory. More than the series, the victory was necessary for the reason that the Indian players were mentally rattled following their defeats at Edgbaston and Lord’s respectively.

However, history doesn’t quite favour the visiting team as far as the next match is concerned. Back in 1986, India, captained by the legendary Kapil Dev, won two consecutive Tests in England and that was the only instance when India rolled over the Brits on back-to-back instances in Test cricket. Kohli and Co would’ve to repeat the same in order to draw level in the five-match encounter.

The Rose Bowl in Southampton has been a witness to only a couple of Tests since 2011. The Three Lions are yet to lose a match at the venue. On the contrary, India lost at the ground by a mammoth 266 when MS Dhoni’s troops toured the nation back in 2014. Nevertheless, bearing in mind England’s woes in their batting lineup, an Indian triumph doesn’t quite seem to be a far cry by any means.

Team Combination   

England

The Poms, after their defeat at Trent Bridge, would be making a couple of changes. Sam Curran, who didn’t play the last match, would come in place of Adil Rashid. Moreover, Jos Buttler will keep wickets in place of Jonny Bairstow, who will play as a specialist batsman. Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings haven’t had the best of series and they would be hoping to turn their fortunes around.

Surrey batsman Pope hasn’t quite made the opportunities count and he would be desperate to get a decent score under his belt to get going his Test career. Buttler’s return to form would be a massive boost for the English camp. Broad and Anderson will again be entrusted with the new ball. Chris Woakes, Curran and Ben Stokes are the other seam bowling options.

Predicted XI

Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (C), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

India

India may need to make one alteration in the form of off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, who suffered a groin injury during the fourth Test. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who is yet to play a Test on the current tour, is likely to get his maiden chance. The batting lineup returned to form in Nottingham and the management won’t want to tinker with the same.

The onus will be on the likes of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan to get their team off to a decent start. Pujara would want to replicate the touch he showed in the second innings of the previous match. Kohli remains to be the stalwart of their lineup. In the bowling department, the likes of Bumrah, Shami, and Ishant need to step up. Hardik Pandya’s usefulness with the leather can’t be undermined either.

Predicted XI

Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Players to watch out for  

Joe Root- England

Root played an outstanding knock in the first innings of the Birmingham-Test, however, couldn’t play a knock of substance thereafter. The Yorkshire-born batsman has got into double figures on four instances in the series and he would be desperate to carry on and get a substantial knock at the top of the order. The home team would want their captain to deliver.

Cheteshwar Pujara- India

Ever since his county stint with Yorkshire, Pujara has had a horrendous run in England. Nevertheless, he was eventually able to end his run-draught in England with the knock of 72 runs. The Rajkot-born 30-year-old batsman can’t afford to let complacency sneak in though and need to contribute as India would be looking to maintain their dominance over Joe Root and Co.

Stat Attack

1– India have lost their only Test at The Rose Bowl in Southampton back in 2014.

6– Runs needed by Virat Kohli to accomplish 6,000 runs in Test cricket.

Head to Head

Matches – 120 | England Won – 45; India Won – 26 | Draw – 49

Broadcast details

TV – Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD, Sony TEN 3

Live streaming– Sony LIV

Match Timings – 3:30 PM IST

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