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India vs England Fourth Test Preview: Visitors facing for another spin trial
- India host England in Ahmedabad at the Narendra Modi Stadium for the fourth Test starting on 4th March
- India have won 11 of their last 13 home Tests with 7 coming via an innings margin
- The last 12 Tests between India and England have seen a winner, with India winning 7 and England winning 5
- Axar Patel has taken three consecutive five-wicket hauls
- England have failed to go past 200 in their last five innings
India will be confident of pulling another win over England (Getty Images)
India dominated and decimated England with a trial by spin in the third Test at the new Narendra Modi Stadium to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. The teams are now set for a traditional red ball Test at the same stadium starting from Thursday, March 4.
As far as the World Test Championship final is concerned, England are out of contention after the loss in the third Test. India need to avoid defeat here to make it to the final against New Zealand, while Australia will be praying for an England win.
After the Chennai leg ended 1-1, India took charge of the proceedings with an emphatic 10-wicket win in Ahmedabad. The match last just over five sessions after spinners wreaked havoc in the England ranks. Rohit Sharma was the only Indian batsman who looked comfortable on that track.
The opener is India’s top scorer this series with 296 runs, while questions over the form of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane continue to circle the side. Same goes with the place of off-spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar.
Jasprit Bumrah’s leave of absence due to family reasons opens the door for Mohammad Siraj, although Umesh Yadav’s reverse-swing could be an exciting option. Kuldeep Yadav could slot in place of Sundar, if India look for a better penetrative spin option.
England’s fortunes in the series have nosedived after a terrific first Test win. It coincided with their over-dependence on captain Joe Root for runs (333, Avg. 55.50) with the next best being Ben Stokes (146, Avg. 24.33).
Jack Leach (16 wickets) is having a great debut tour to India, but lack of support around him is a cause of concern. Having played with three seamers and just one specialist spinner in the third match, England would be keen to correct the narrative.
Dom Bess could come into the side in place of Stuart Broad. If rested, James Anderson could be replaced by Olly Stone. Dan Lawrence and Rory Burns are in contention in place of Ollie Pope and Dominic Sibley.
India vs England Head-to-Head
India extended their home dominance over England to 21-14. At this venue, the record is five wins, six draws and two Tests with all the previous coming at the old stadium. England’s record in Ahmedabad reads one draw and two losses.
India vs England Match Up
Although the pitch was promised to be one full of runs, it could take turn from ball one once again. India will hope to make their batting count after a Test to forget. Same goes for England who are searching for their best combination to challenge India.
India vs England Stats
- The last 12 Tests between India and England have seen a winner, with India winning 7 and losing 5.
- India have not lost a Test at home when batting first since 2012/13 winning 15 and drawing 2.
- England have failed to go past 200 in their last five innings.
- Ashwin has dismissed Stokes 11 times in his career – the most against any player.
- Axar Patel has taken three consecutive five-fors.
The pitch has taken England completely out of the equation as their batsmen struggle to adjust to Axar’s bowling. His straight ball seems to be a bigger threat and puts him in a strong position to record another five-for in this match. India are massive favourites to win this match, while a pick on Ashwin dismissing Stokes won’t go amiss.
27 October 2021
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