England vs India: India’s predicted playing XI for the fourth Test
Ravichandran Ashwin's selection is a big talking point ahead of the fourth Test.
Updated - Sep 2, 2021 11:07 am
The Pataudi Trophy 2021 is well poised going into the fourth Test. England and India are all set to meet against each other at the Kia Oval in London. The match will start on September 2, 2021. The wicket is expected to be flat and fans can expect some runs from both sides during the course of this Test.
India would be under some pressure coming into this Test, having lost the last match at Headingley in Leeds by an innings and 76 runs. Most importantly, they had two collapses in that match as they were bowled out for 78 runs in the first innings and lost the last eight wickets for just 63 runs in the second essay.
Going into this match, there are a few questions in the middle and lower order. Prasidh Krishna, who was in the reserves has been added to the squad ahead of this Test. Ravindra Jadeja, who had faced an injury scare with his knees after the last match, has been ruled fit to play.
Here is India’s predicted XI for the fourth Test match against England:
Openers: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma has been quite solid on this tour so far. Every time he has batted, he has looked like getting in. This tour and his performance is a big feather on his cap, considering how his away records in Test cricket have been and how everyone had doubted his ability. There is a sense that a big knock is around and given a flat track expected for this Test, Oval could be the place he gets that.
As far as his opening partner KL Rahul is concerned, the Karnataka player had two incredible Tests in Trent Bridge and Lord’s. But, Leeds didn’t go according to the plan. There is no doubt that he is determined to do well and he should fancy his chances at the Oval, considering he has some good memories of scoring a hundred last time when he played here.
Middle-order and wicketkeeper: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant
Cheteshwar Pujara’s 91 in the second innings would be one of the few positives which came from the previous Test at Leeds. He was seen in much better touch than he had been right through the series. It would be interesting to see if he can back that up. As of the no. 4 and captain, Virat Kohli, it seems that the doubt of whether to leave or play hasn’t gone yet.
Kohli’s fifty in the second innings of Leeds can be termed as a positive as well, but it is very evident that the quarter seam delivery is still troubling him, which can be said about Rahane as well. Even though there have been calls of dropping him, India will back the deputy of Kohli for this tour. He has a fifty in this series and might hit form in this Test.
Now, Rishabh Pant is an interesting case. The young keeper-batsman is struggling against the moving ball, but if there is a pitch in England where he would fancy his chances, it is the Oval. He also scored his maiden Test century at the ground in 2018.
All-rounders: Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja
To simply put it, the Indian team management would shock a lot of fans if Ravichandran Ashwin doesn’t play the Oval test. The pitch is likely to turn and he has been in top form in the last year. On top of that, he had taken a seven-wicket haul in a county match earlier this season. It makes perfect sense for India to bring in Ashwin now.
Ravindra Jadeja is sort of undroppable. The problem is India can’t afford to play only Ashwin. Jadeja should retain his position as at this point, he seems like a better option at no. 6 or no.7 in England, than anyone who is sitting on the bench, partly because the benched guys can’t bowl as he can.
Bowlers: Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah
Ishant Sharma was quite poor with the ball in the previous match, to say the least. He had a horrible two days on the field in Leeds. If India is looking to bring in Ashwin at all, it has to be in place of Sharma. Siraj, Shami, and Bumrah were bowling well in the previous match in spells.
The wicket in Leeds didn’t offer much in the last Test when India played and given how the bowling unit performed, one can give some pats on the back. The wicket in Oval would be one where they would need to control the batters more than anything, as it is expected to be flat. The pace trio might turn out to perform their best.
India’s Predicted XI for the first Test match against England: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah