After scripting a memorable victory at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, the Indian team came crashing down to a seriously humiliating defeat to England in the third Test in Leeds. The highlight of that defeat was that poor first-innings effort of just 78 runs as the England bowlers dictated the proceedings and dominated the match. The Indian batting order fell like a pack of cards in the first innings and no one really could arrest the slide. Rohit Sharma tried, but eventually, he too ended up throwing away his wicket. The wrecker-in-chief was James Anderson, who broke the back of the Indian batting with three quick wickets, which included that of Virat Kohli as well and the visitors never really recovered from that. Their bowlers were also made to toil really hard by the England top-order, with openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns all returning to form. Dawid Malan too impressed on his Test return while Joe Root did what he has been doing so far in this series–score big runs. India vs England 4th Test 2021 Preview: Likely Playing XIs, Key Battles, Head to Head and Other Things You Need to Know About IND vs ENG Cricket Match at The Oval in London
India did try to fight back with Cheteshwar Pujara (91), Rohit Sharma (59) and skipper Kohli (55) but it just wasn’t enough as Ollie Robinson ran through the Indian batting on the fouth day to win the match for his side by an innings and 76 runs. The series now, is locked 1-1, with two matches to play. The Indian team also looks to have some changes in the playing XI for the fourth Test, where they would aim to make a comeback and here is their likely playing XI:
Openers: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are expected to retain their spots as openers despite the first-innings collapse in Leeds. Rohit, in particular, was in good form during the second innings and he would once again aim for a good score alongside KL Rahul.
Middle-Order: The Indian middle-order has been criticised of late but despite the heavy defeat in Headingley, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli returned to form and that would be a big positive for the visitors. Ajinkya Rahane, despite being in poor form is expected to retain his spot and so is Rishabh Pant, although the wicketkeeper-batsman has been at the receiving end of a lot of criticism for his poor decision-making while batting.
All-Rounders: India might just name Ravichandran Ashwin in their playing XI ahead of Ravindra Jadeja, who was taken to the hospital for some knee scans after the third Test match. Many have called for Ashwin to feature in India’s playing XI in the fourth Test and his inclusion would possibly be one of the major changes India make in their team. Ashwin can also come in handy with his variations and with the England team featuring two left-handers in their top-order, the off-spinner might just prove to be useful if picked.
Bowlers: The bowling attack too is likely to see a change in the fourth Test. Ishant Sharma would probably be dropped to make way for Shardul Thakur. The Indian bowlers failed to restrict England in their first innings and Kohli would want his ace bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami to step up and repeat their Lords’ performance alongside Mohammed Siraj, who too is expected to remain in the playing XI. India is also unlikely to add Prasidh Krishna, who was included in the Test squad earlier.
India Likely Playing XI For 4th Test Against England: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Sep 01, 2021 04:16 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website freshheadline.com).