Published: Thu, August 30, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Rejigged England face revived India in fourth Test

Rejigged England face revived India in fourth Test

India made a miraculous comeback against England, winning the third Test by 203 runs. And England's line-up, which they revealed on the eve of the match, contains as many as seven left-hand batsmen.

With a settled unit for the first time in the series, India will be coming hard at the Englishmen, who seem to have more problems than the visitors.

For the fourth of the five courses in this summer's banquet that is England's Specsavers Test series against India, a fresh item is going to be served on the menu, rarer than caviar and even later in the season than grouse: some decent batting. It's not a decision made on how he's gone in the two games.

The ECB's new eight-team tournament is set to begin in 2020 and sees each side facing 15 six-ball overs, culminating in a final 10 deliveries.

Inclusion of a second spinner may appear a little surprising, given that the Ageas Bowl pitch sports a green look on the eve of the Test and is renowned as one of the quickest wickets in England. However, lack of consistency and being out-of-form are two different things.

India have rolled the selection dice for some 46 Tests in a row in a run that stretches back to their 2014 victory at Lord's. Another policy that is being adopted is the "horses for courses" where the players get dropped if they perform badly for 2-3 matches.

On Wednesday, Kohli predicted spin would play a crucial role.

On the other, England have brought back Moeen Ali and Sam Curran back for the fourth Test while Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes misses out.

But even if Bairstow plays, the in-form Vince could still return in a bid to strengthen the batting - England have been 100 for four or worse in half of their past 62 Test innings. His bowling strike rate of 44.6 in this span is the 4th best for any bowler with a minimum of 30 wickets. They did it in 1986 under Kapil Dev's captaincy and they can do under Kohli's, too.

Kohli already represents India in tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s and plays in the Indian Premier League and said he did not want to be "a testing sort of cricketer for any new format".

Meanwhile, Jos Buttler will keep wicket instead of Jonny Bairstow after deputising when the Yorkshireman broke a finger behind the stumps at Trent Bridge.

"He is a rightfully right up there with the likes of Glenn McGrath as one the greats of the game", said Root of Anderson.

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