The fourth Test between India and England will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, and will be a regular red-ball affair. The series stands 2-1 in favor of India, who had won the previous Test at the same venue, which was a D/N Test in two days by 10 wickets.
India also needs to either win this Test or draw it in order to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship and face New Zealand at Lords, London in June this year. England, thanks to their loss in the third Test, are out of the race for the finals. However, if they win this 4th Test, they might spoil the party for India and Australia will go through.
Meanwhile, the fourth Test will be under the scanner of ICC and former England players due to the ongoing pitch controversy. The third Test surface spun from ball one and received flak from the likes of Andrew Strauss, David Lloyd, Michael Vaughan, and others. However, Kevin Pietersen and many more defended the pitch and blamed the batsmen for their poor performance.
India will be going into this Test match without the services of their star pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who has been released from the squad due to personal reasons.
The batting is expected to remain the same for India, despite the third Test match performances. Rohit Sharma had shined brightly with a half-century on that rank turner and his performance might inspire young Shubman Gill as well to do well. Cheteshwar Pujara’s bat has been silent for most of the series and he might love to score some big runs here.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, the two most experienced batsmen in the Indian line-up have shown brilliance with the bat, but need a big score in their kitty to ensure India qualifies for the WTC final. Rishabh Pant is expected to play the way he knows the best and entertain everyone.
Despite this not being a D/N, pink-ball encounter, India might look to go in with three spinners in Akshar Patel, R Ashwin, and Washington Sundar. Sundar is expected to keep his place, thanks to his superior batting skills and the fact he adds depth to the batting lineup as well.
Umesh Yadav is expected to replace Jasprit Bumrah in the playing XI, though Mohammed Siraj will also stake a claim given that he is the one who demolished Australia in their own backyard, while Umesh is coming off an injury layoff.
Ishant Sharma will once again lead the Indian bowling attack after he had nothing much to do in his 100th Test match.
COC Predicted Team India Playing XI for the fourth Test:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rishabh Pant (WK), Akshar Patel, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav