Most of the focus between Test matches in the India vs England series has been on the state of the pitch at Motera Stadium.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Whatever the pitch is like, England will have to find a way to be competitive to prevent India from pushing home to a 3-1 win.
India vs England | Fourth Test | 4 – 8 March 2021 | Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad | 06:00
A win or a draw will be enough to secure India a place in the World Test Championship final, to be played at Lord’s later this year.
Virat Kohli is set to lead India for a record-equalling 60th Test match; the master batsman is also just 12 runs away from aggregating 12,000 runs across all international formats as skipper.
Ravichandran Ashwin could still break the world record for wickets in a four-match Test series but needs to claim a ten-fer in the final match.
Rohit Sharma meanwhile, is in a duel with Ben Stokes to see who will end the World Test Championship with the most sixes; the India opener has struck 27 maximums while the Englishman has plundered 29.
Ajinkya Rahane finds himself under pressure due to a lean season. He averages less than 20 in 2021 despite smashing a century in Australia.
Axar Patel’s progress will thrill India, who have been without spin-bowling allrounder Ravindra Jadeja.
England skipper Joe Root will also complete a milestone as he leads his team for the 50th time in Test cricket.
Stuart Broad needs just three wickets to become the third-highest wicket-taker among seamers in Test cricket but could miss out on the final match after two wicketless matches.
England have shown little faith in their spinners, with Moeen Ali rotated out of the squad, and Dom Bess going unused in the second and third matches. Jack Leach has been decent, but some way off the impactful displays of Ashwin and Axar.
An England win will send Australia into the WTC final to face New Zealand with Root’s side ruled out of contention.
England have made their feelings about the previous pitch known, but we are unlikely to see a vast improvement in the surface.
India should clinch this series in style.
Written by James Richardson.