Team India made a sensational comeback in the 3rd Test against England in Nottingham to keep the 5 match Test series alive. It required a big effort from India to win the 3rd Test especially after going down 0-2. It was a thoroughly professional performance from the visiting and after a long time indeed they might well be tempted to play an unchanged XI.
However given the injury concern to Ravichandran Ashwin, there might be a change. Barring that single change it looks highly unlikely that India will make any more changes. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul did just enough in Nottingham to keep their places for the 4th Test. Prithvi Shaw’s impressive form in England might tempt Kohli and Co to pick him but as of now, it seems pretty unlikely.
Now let us have a look at the Predicted XI for the 4th Test
The southpaw looked in great touch in both the innings of the previous Test. He scored a stroke-filled 35 in the 1st innings and looked in ominous touch especially in the 1st innings. He played some wonderful shots en roué to his 35. He went on to score another 44 in the next innings and hence sealed his place in the playing XI for the 4th Test. However, he will definitely look to make more runs in the last two Tests.
He also did enough to keep his place in the playing XI. He looked in good touch in both the innings and struck some wonderful shots in the process. He scored 23 in the 1st innings before being dismissed by Chris Woakes with a big inswinging delivery. He is having a few issues with the inswing delivery which he needs to address. He struck a few a fierce square cuts during his 30 odd in the 2nd innings.
The stubborn No 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara finally came back to some run-scoring form with a composed 72 in the 2nd innings. Though he didn’t look in great touch what so ever, Pujara did spend some good time in the middle. It will definitely give him a lot of confidence going into the 4th Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
He is in the form of his life. Before the start of the series, many pundits have predicted that he won’t be able to make a mark in England. Now after 3 Tests he is the only batsman to score more than 400 runs in the series. None of the other batsmen from both sides has even made 300. It shows the dominance of Kohli in the series so far. He has already smashed a couple of centuries and a couple of half-centuries. Kohli will definitely look to score some more runs in the next two Tests if India hopes to come back and seal the series 3-2.
The vice-captain was woefully out of form coming into the 3rd Test. However, after the end of it, he will definitely be on cloud 9 after a terrific innings in the 1st innings. More importantly, he looked in superb touch and scored his runs quite freely. He scores a brilliant 81 and shared a partnership of 159 runs with skipper Virat Kohli. Some of his backfoot shots oozed the class of Rahane of the past. His innings will definitely keep India in the perfect state going into the 4th Test.
After the brilliant debut performance in Nottingham, he is likely to be part of the playing XI even in the 4th Test. He looked solid as a batsman and also showed his power hitting skills. He was quite impressive behind the stump as well. He became the 1st Indian wicket-keeper to take 5 catches in a single innings on his Test debut. As a batsman, he also showed promising signs for the future.
Hardik had a tremendous match in the previous encounter. He was in contention to bag the Man of the Match Award. However, it was Virat Kohli who took it in the end. Pandya was superb with the ball in the 1st innings and bagged his maiden 5 wicket haul. He bowled in the perfect areas and returned with figures of 5/28 in just 6 overs. He came all guns blazing in the 2nd innings and smashed a run a ball half-century.
If Ravichandran Ashwin is not available, Jadeja will play his 1st Test of the season. He is a brilliant Test bowler and will be licking his lips to come out and bowl in England. He was impressive with both bat and the ball in India’s tour of England back in 2014. Jadeja has the ability to pitch the ball in the rough and do the talking. Hence he might be the trump card for India if the match goes to the 4th and the 5th day.
He is a spectacular bowler but lacks the consistency. Shami has the ability to become one of the finest bowlers in the world. However, he is someone who needs to be spoken with all the time. The captain needs to go up to him and tell him specifically that what he wants from him. At times he will bowl some exceptional deliveries. But at times he won’t be a shade of himself which the main drawback in his career so far.
He is a much-improved bowler now. With some many left-handers in the opposition line-up, Ishant becomes a lethal option for Kohli. He still has a few limitations in his wrist position and delivering the ball. However as far the tour of England is concerned, Ishant might just get away with his flaws. He has bowled quite impressively in the series so far and will look to continue the good run in the next two Tests.
He is the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack in all 3 formats of the game. In just 4 Test matches so far, he has established himself as the first choice bowler. Despite not being a predominantly swing bowler, Bumrah has been very intelligent which has given him so much success in such a short span of time. He has already bagged a couple of five-wicket hauls in Test cricket. In the previous Test, his sensational spell in the 2nd innings turned the game in India’s favour after a great partnership between Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.