CAN THE INDIANS TURN THE TABLES IN THEIR FAVOR ONCE AGAIN?

After a shameful loss in the 3rd test, the Indian team will surely have to re-construct their top XI as the middle-order seems to be tumbling quite easily after a seemingly good start by the openers. 

India’s middle-order has always been known for their match-winning knocks, which hasn’t been the case for the past two years or so. The top 3 Indian Test batsmen, i.e. Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara & Ajinkya Rahane are not living up to the expectations that they had set of themselves. If we were to look at the stats for the past two years, we wouldn’t believe it for once.

VIRAT KOHLI

YEARMATCHESINNINGSNO100s50sHIGHESTRUNSAVG.S/R
2020360017411619.3340.99
20218130037235327.1543.58

CHETESHWAR PUJARA

YEARMATCHESINNINGSNO100s50sHIGHESTRUNSAVG.S/R
2020480015416320.3827.49
202110181059152630.9432.71

AJINKYA RAHANE

YEARMATCHESINNINGSNO100s50sHIGHESTRUNSAVG.S/R
20204811011227238.8642.37
202110170026735821.0641.87

Team India despite such performances from their most trusted batsmen has managed to win 6 out of the 14 matches played during this period purely on the performance of the bowlers. 

After such a long lean patch in not one, not two but the top 3 batsmen of a single team, the management definitely should try out new combinations for the future of the team. 

Major batting collapses in both the innings:

Well, the 3rd match went down pretty differently than everyone expected it to. The match was predicted to be a high-scoring one as the pitch seemed flat and was perfect for batting. Virat Kohli’s decision to come out and bat first after winning a toss after ages was surely not the right one. Virat and men couldn’t even reach the 100-run mark for the second time this year, with only two batsmen reaching the double-digit mark.

In the second innings, where the same XI appeared to put up a huge total at the end of day 3 once again fell apart as soon as the 2nd new ball was available on day 4. After a total of 220-2 at the end of day 3, the rest of the batsmen could only manage to score 63 runs in total.    

On the other hand, except for Joe Root, all the other batsmen who weren’t able to score in the previous tests managed to get some valuable runs for the team which will also boost up their confidence in the upcoming tests. English selectors decided to include Dawid Malan instead of Dominic Sibley adn=== turned out to be a great change as England’s top order managed to score decent runs. That’s what India is supposed to do for the 4th Test.

The bowling department for both the teams was as usual pretty amazing with their efforts. The star performer for England turned out to be Ollie Robinson who took a fifer in the second innings and put the last nail into the coffin.

EXPECTED CHANGES 

England:

Chris Woakes in place of Sam Curran. The 23-year-old left-arm all-rounder had a lot on his shoulders coming into the series which he couldn’t live up to. Due to his poor performance, Woakes will now be all set to make a comeback in the 4th test as a fast-bowling all-rounder. 

Ollie Pope in place of Jos Butler. The English wicket-keeper batsman is expected to have a break due to the birth of his second child. Due to this, Johnny Bairstow is once again set to have the gloves in his hands giving England a chance to play a specialist batsman in place of Butler. Ollie Pope is expected to be the first choice in his place.

India:

Ravichandran Ashwin in place of Ravindra Jadeja. It Is more of a forced substitution but seems like a pretty good one. After injuring his shoulder while saving some crucial runs, Ravindra Jadeja is probably going to miss out on the 4th test. Whereas Ashwin who has been a spectator for a while will now get to try his luck against Root, finally. We’ll see how this goes.

Shardul Thakur in place of Ishant Sharma. After playing a total of 104 test matches for the country, Ishant Sharma looked pretty exhausted in the 3rd test.

Pitch conditions:

Kennington has always been a batting-friendly pitch in the past and is expected to be so once again. The last time these two teams played over here, 4 hundred were scored. Apart from the hundreds, the pitch also supported the spinners. Because of this, the inclusion of Ashwin seems quite likely.

Possible Outcome:

After the series is tied at 1-1, this match will be the decider and both the teams will be in it to win it. Although toss will play a major role in determining the winner as the team batting first will have an advantage over the other. This is because the pitch will support the spinners a lot in the 4th innings because of the patches created and will result in uneven bounce or unexpected turn. 

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