India vs England 2021: Two key changes expected in Bumrah’s absence as we look at the ideal playing 11 for Team India for the 4th Test match.
Team India strengthen their lead over England after their 10-wicket win over England in the third Pink ball Test match at Ahmedabad. The match might be known for all wrong reasons as it became the shortest Test match ever to have been completed since 1935. But, that doesn’t take away the fact that England didn’t apply their skills properly, whereas Team India applied themselves well.
There was nothing wrong with the pitch that could ignite the demons. The turn in the pitch was less than what we saw in the second Test match in Chennai. The players simply played for the turn, and most of the wickets were built around straight balls. Just goes on to show it was all in the mind while batting.
Nevertheless, the result of the match is that England are now eliminated from the race of the World Test Championship final. India will now have to make sure they either win the last match or Draw it to ensure they are qualified for the finals of the World Test Championship alongside New Zealand.
Squad Update for Team India:
As we head into the 4th Test, important news that has come out is that of Jasprit Bumrah, who has made himself unavailable for the 4th Test citing personal reasons. Looking at how the third Test fared, Bumrah’s absence might not affect India much, but he is still a quality bowler, and would definitely add more value than his replacement.
So, looking at how pitch behaved in the third Test and the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, what could be the ideal playing 11 for Team India for the 4th Test match vs England? Let’s find out in this article. Before that, let’s also quickly go through Team India’s complete squad for the last Test.
Team India’s Squad for the last Test vs England:
Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Axar Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant (WK), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar & Wriddhiman Saha (WK).
Ideal Playing 11 – Team India
Openers: Rohit Sharma & Shubman Gill
Rohit Sharma continued to build on his stunning form from the 2nd Test match as he once played a match-defining knock that made the whole difference between both the teams. He made a crucial 66 in the team’s tally of 145, which acted as the differentiator. He showed the players of both the teams how to bat on this surface.
Meanwhile, his counterpart, Shubman Gill couldn’t do much in the first innings, and landed up another low score. He might not be dropped from the squad, but the team expects a lot more from him. Gill can certainly do it. He just needs to make sure he has clarity of thought while playing.
Middle-order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C) & Ajinkya Rahane
The trio of Pujara, Kohli, and Rahane failed to make an impression with the bat in the third Test match. While Kohli looked decent in his 20 odd runs knock, Pujara and Rahane stumbled to low scores. With the World Test Championship final under the scanner, the team would need this trio to perform well. More so with Kohli, who is yet to hit an International century since Dec 2019.
Lower-order: Rishabh Pant & Mayank Agarwal
The main problem that we witnessed in the third Test match was the batting of both teams. If the conditions are expected to favour the bowlers, it would be wise for Team India to play an extra batter in place of Washington Sundar, who didn’t impress with the bat, and wasn’t given much to bowl.
Looking at the options, Mayank Agarwal seems the best bet to play in the lower-order alongside Rishabh Pant. Adding Mayank would also ease the burden off Pant’s shoulders as he can play with freedom; thus being more efficient. Looking at the situation, Mayank can play at 6 or 7.
Spinners: Axar Patel & Ravichandran Ashwin
Axar Patel created havoc with his arm balls, which felt like the best way to exploit the surface. He was simply unplayable in those conditions. If the conditions are similar, then Axar alongside Ashwin would be too hot to handle for the visitors, England. Meanwhile, looking at the performance of these two, Team might look to rest Sundar, and play an extra batter instead.
Pacers: Umesh Yadav & Ishant Sharma
The absence of Jasprit Bumrah means one of Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Siraj is most-likely to play as the second pacer of the squad alongside Ishant Sharma. While Umesh’s fitness is still a question mark, if he is fit, he should get an edge over Mohammed Siraj being one of the most successful bowlers on Indian soil in the last 5 years. It not, Siraj would be the man then.
So, that completes the ideal playing XI for Team India for the 4th Test match vs England. Team India would face a dilemma for two spots depending on the pitch conditions. If the conditions favour batters then India might keep Sundar, else Mayank should get a game.
India vs England 2021: Ideal Playing 11 for Team India for 4th Test Match:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant (WK), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav & Ishant Sharma.
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Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.