England won the toss and decided to bat first against India in the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
Here is what the captains said:
Root: We’re going to bat first. Looks a good pitch. Sun out here at the moment. Two changes, Woakes is unfit so Curran comes in, straight swap. To win a five match series you have to rely on the whole squad. Opportunity for Moeen to come back in and prove the form he’s had the last couple of weeks. Obviously a fine player. Bairstow will be fine at four. Class player himself. Message after Trent Bridge is to stay calm.
Kohli: Would have batted first as well. Good grass covering, nice and even, probably the best pitch of the series. Good thing about it is that it’s hard. We have an unchanged XI. First time in a long time. Rightly so as well. Don’t think we need to change looking at the conditions. Ashwin is ready to go as well. He was 70% in the last game.
The five-match Test series is set for a thrilling end. The way the series had started, many had predicted that it would be an one way traffic in the favour of the hosts.
England thrashed India at Edgbaston and Lord’s to go two nil up in the five-match series. But just when a comeback looked out of India’s clutches, the visitors bounced back in style at Trent Bridge. Riding on their skipper Virat Kohli’s splendid knocks and some fine bowling, India blew away England by 203 runs to keep the series alive.
The win has now set up an interesting finish to the series. All the eyes are now on the upcoming fourth Test at Ageas Bowl. The world is keen to see whether India make the most of the momentum and level the series or England bounce back and wrap up the series with a game to go.
England (Playing XI):
Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root(c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
India (Playing XI):
Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah