England and India will continue their thrilling series this Thrusday night as the tour heads to The Oval in London for the 4th Test! The series is sqaured at 1-1, making this one extremely important. Check out our full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
The Oval, Thursday 2nd September, 8.00pm (AEST)
Joe Root (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Craig Overon, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
England were absolutely dominant in the 3rd Test to level up the series, led by their fast bowling unit that rolled india for 78 in the first innings. James Anderson was at his brilliant best, picking up the key three Indian wickets in the first innings while newcomer Ollie Robinson took five in the second.
The changes they made at the top of the order also had a great impact, with the new look top three of Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan all all passing 50 in England's first innings on the way to a great total of 432. The form of Joe Root continues to dazzle, as the new No.2 Test batsman in the world scored a century in his third straight Test.
The only change I can see coming in the England line-up is if one or more of the fast bowlers need to be rested. Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are waiting in the wings to replace any of Anderson, Robinson, Overton or Curran should they need a spell.
Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumra, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ravi Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari, Umesh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav
It was a rare failure by the Indian batting line-up in the first innings. Rohit Sharma top scored with just 19 runs as they were caught off guard by the bouncy Headingley wicket. They were much better in the 2nd innings, with Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli all passing 50 on their way to a respectable score of 278.
Although KL Rahul had failures in both innings, he did score a hundred in the 2nd Test, so I can't see a change coming in the Indian top six heading into the 4th Test. Ishant Sharma bowled well in the 2nd Test but looked a little off the pace in the 3rd, I could see him making way for Shardul Thakur or Umesh Yadav.
First things first, it looks as though the weather will play minimal role in this Test, thankfully. Of the five scheduled days, there looks to be only a little bit of rain forecast on Day 3, so we should get a result here.
India being bundled out for 78 in the 3rd Test instantly takes me back to their tour of Australia last summer. India were rolled for just 36 in the 1st Test on the way to an embarrassing loss, what happened after that was one of the most thrilling and inspiring Test runs of the modern era. In their very next innings, India compiled 326 led by a brilliant hundred from Ajinkya Rahane and went undefeated in the next three Tests to pinch the series.
While the English batting line-up looked absolutely brilliant in the 3rd Test, they are still largely being held up by Joe Root alone. He is in great form, but it would only take one failure on his end to see the dam burst for England.
I think both teams opt for four fast bowlers and one spinning alrounder each in Ali and Jadeja once again for this Test since The Oval is condusive to pace bowling. I see the Indian collapse in the 1st innings in Headingley as a bit of an anomoly here, one I am expecting them to bounce back from in this Test. I like their fast bowling unit and I see this one as a bit of a 50-50, in which case i'm extremely happy to take the value in the Indians as underdogs.
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