About the Match
India wrapped up a 3-0 test series victory against England, which is their fifth series win in a row; the hosts are charged up for the 5th and final test to be played at Chennai from 16th December. With the weather affecting practice sessions, both teams will go head to head directly on the field; it surely will see lot of fireworks from both sides provided the ground conditions are well suited. The win is a big achievement for the men in blue, who hadn’t conquered the English in the longer format of the game since 2008; the visitors could be low on morale but could try to register a consolatory win.
Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to hit three Test double centuries, with the third one coming in the form of a career best 235 that earned him the Man of the Match award and also helped India take a lead of 231 runs in the fourth test. The captain can lead from the front yet again and he has the strong support of in-form batsmen like Murali Vijay, who scored 136 runs, Cheteshwar Pujara and the young all-rounder Jayant Yadav, who scored his maiden Test hundred in a very confident manner.
In Wriddhiman Saha’s absence, Parthiv Patel will be at the wicket yet again and can stabilize the innings from the middle order along with proven all-rounders like R Ashwin and Jadeja. Mohammad Shami has been ruled out of the last test due to injury and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is likely to be action in action; Ishant Sharma will provide the pace option along with Umesh Yadav while Ashwin and Jadeja, who are currently one of the strongest spin duos in the business, will try to demolish the visitors yet again.
They are a well-knit side that has been consistently performing well with bat and ball; the high morale in the team surely gives them the upper hand to win over the coming weekend.
Top-order batsman Keaton Jennings made a sensational test debut as he posted a well-made 112 to give the hosts a solid start in the fourth test as they batted first; however with Cook missing his half-century by 4 runs and players like Joe Root and Bairstow failing to impress, the burden to get the runs fell on Moeen Ali and Buttler. They built steady partnerships with other middle-order batsmen and took the first innings total to 400; the 2nd innings saw Root post a superb 77 while Bairstow made a comeback with a half-century but it wasn’t enough to overcome India’s challenge.
With the ball, spinner Adil Rashid was brilliant as he took 4 wickets in an economical way while Ali and Root supported well with their spin skills. However, paceman James Anderson, who led the pace attack, couldn’t pull off any dismissals and they failed to stop the hosts from taking a 231 lead. Ben Stokes is in good form while Woakes and Jake Ball can assist with their fast bowling skills.
While the team is down in spirit, they have young talent that can help them bounce back; they could strategize better here to keep a check on the hard-hitting Indian top order.
India is an energetic side with plenty of match-winners and a tough side to defeat in their own backyard; England could fight back harder here but we feel that a 4-0 win for India is more likely.