On Thursday (4th March) morning, the hosts India and the visitors England will face each other in the fourth and final game of the ongoing Test series at Narendra Modi Stadium (Motera, Ahmedabad).
Currently, the home team is leading this Test series by a 2-1 margin. After England won the first game of this Test series by 227 runs, India won the next two games, including the last pink-ball Test match, by 317 runs and 10 wickets respectively.
India vs England 2021, 4th Test: Match Preview
The hosts India are now in a strong position in this Test series. Despite losing the opening game of this Test series by a big margin, they have maintained their dominant image by winning the next two Tests with big margins. While a draw will be enough for the Indian team to win this series as well as to reach the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the hosts are looking for another victory.
Indian batsmen are in good form, and most importantly, players are taking full responsibility in crisis moments as some are always ready to protect the team. Opener Rohit Sharma batted superbly in the last two Tests, where he scored 161, 26, 66 and 25*. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is playing crucial roles during the crisis period but he needs to perform consistently.
Indian cricket fans are waiting to see the centuries of Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli, as both haven’t scored an international century for more than a year.
Young opening batsman Shubman Gill has impressed in the early period of his career. Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is now improving in both batting and wicket-keeping roles. As a middle-order batsman, Pant is playing crucial game-changing roles.
Ravichandran Ashwin is currently in very good form both as a bowler and as a lower-order batsman. In the meantime, All-rounder Axar Patel has highly impressed in his early Test career as he has claimed three five-wicket hauls in the first four Test innings, including one ten-wicket haul.
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav
Recent Test forms (Oldest to latest): Draw, Won, Lost, Won and Won
Despite winning the first Test of this series by a big margin, the visitors England are now in deep trouble in this series by losing the next two games of this series. Though they have currently no chance to qualify for the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, a victory in the last game will help them to deny their away Test series defeat.
Captain Joe Root is still the leading run-scorer of this Test series (333 runs in 6 innings), but after scoring 218 and 40 runs in the first Test, he scored 6, 33, 17 and 19. The present England team is hugely dependent on his batting. So, his right form is very crucial for the visitors. In the last Test, Root stunned everyone by picking up his maiden five-wicket haul in his professional cricket career.
Returning to the squad after recovering from the injury, opener Zak Crawley scored a fifty in the first innings of the last Test. Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley both have scored one 80+ knock each in this Test series but they haven’t continued the same batting form in the other innings of this Test series. As a team, England are struggling in this Test series.
James Anderson is in very good form with the ball in hand. But the left-arm spinner Jack Leach has hugely impressed in this tour as he has picked up 16 wickets in 3 matches.
Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Recent Test forms (Oldest to latest): Won, Won, Won, Lost and Lost
India vs England 2021, 4th Test: Match Prediction
The hosts India are clearly favourite for the forthcoming last game of this four-match Test series. The visitors England need to hugely improve their performance as a team to put a strong challenge and change the fate of the upcoming Test match.