IND vs ENG: 4th Test Preview – India poised to achieve series victory in Bazball era

Having taken a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, Rohit Sharma and his men will take the field in the fourth Test determined to seal the deal. The fourth chapter of the enthralling series will unfold on Friday, February 23 at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi. The hosts showed great character in making a comeback in Rajkot on the last two days after England were 207/2 at stumps on Day 2.

In the absence of senior spinner R Ashwin, others took the responsibility and bundled out England to gain a significant first-innings lead. Later, the youngsters shone with the bat to help India take India to a point much beyond England’s reach, paving the way for their biggest victory margin in terms of runs in Test history.

On the other hand, England have been battered by their constant batting failures with their approach now being termed as ‘reckless’ by the same experts who called it ‘audacious’ until the first Test. The Ben Stokes-led side arrived on the Indian shores to make a statement that their Bazball style can bring success even against the most dominant Test team in home conditions for the past 12 years.

However, the notion is a far cry from reality as they are in a precarious state of being 1-2 behind. Stokes and his men can’t afford any more mistakes or else they will be handed their first series loss in the Bazball era. But the New England under Brendon McCullum’s regime don’t know how to tread lightly which makes the upcoming Test even more interesting.

Will England resist their ego and bat through the tough period in the fourth Test, or will the ‘wham-bam’ style continue to trigger a collapse for the visitors? With all the to play for in the upcoming game, one can expect a tough fight from England who will be reminding themselves that they managed to beat India after being 190 runs behind in the first Test. Whatever the result may be, the next five days will have the ingredients of an intriguing Test match.

Pitch Report

A total of two matches have been played at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi so far and only one has produced a result. The average first innings score at the venue has been 474. The last game in Ranchi was played way back in 2019 where India emerged victorious against South Africa by an innings and 202 runs.

According to reports, the surface for the upcoming game will be a bit more conducive to spin than seen in the first three games. Hence, spinners might be able to get a purchase from the pitch on Day 1 itself. The captain winning the toss will look to bat first and post a good score in the first innings to be in a commanding position for the rest of the match.

India Probable XI (IND)

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj

England Playing XI (ENG)

Zak Crawley, Ben⁠ ⁠Duckett, Ollie ⁠Pope, Joe ⁠Root, Jonny ⁠Bairstow, Ben⁠ ⁠Stokes (c), Ben ⁠Foakes (wk), Tom⁠ ⁠Hartley, Ollie ⁠Robinson, James Anderson, Shoaib⁠ ⁠Bashir