India v England 4th Test – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

The story so far…

The first test was won by England in thrilling style thanks to heroic efforts from Ollie Pope and debutant Tom Hartley. Some had feared that we’d have a rank turner for the second test in response – like England’s last tour here – but that was not the case as a good and fair batting wicket saw India post 396, mainly thanks to Yashasvi Jaiswal’s sensational 209, whilst other batters failed to make good of decent starts on a good pitch for batting, writes WILLIAM KEDJANYI

The magic of Jaspit Bumrah (6-45) with an all timer spell kept England to just 253, with only Zak Crawley (77) and Ben Stokes (47) able to make significant progress, and the visitors were always behind the pace despite a good effort in the field to limit India to just 255 in their second innings when Shubman Gill (104), Axar Patel (45), Shreyas Iyer (29), and Ravi Ashwin (29) came to their rescue.

England went hard at a target of 399 – which would have been the highest ever test chase in India – and performed with credit in posting 292, a number higher than the previous successful chase by a visiting team here but still 106 short. Some might even rue what could have been, with seven scores of 20 or more but only three above 30 – and a hugely frustrating run out for Ben Stokes when he was just getting set in.

Onwards then, to the third test, where big first innings runs were the name of the game as Rohit Sharma (131), Ravi Jadeja (112), Sarafaz Khan (62), Dhuruv Jurel (46), and Ravicandran Ashwin (37) all helped put a strong target on the board of 445.

England were well on their way to matching that as Ben Duckett rolled along, but after Ollie Pope and Joe Root went cheaply, only Ben Stokes (41) could really get on the board and a total of 319 was well below par. Things didn’t get better from here – the superstar Yashasvi Jaiswal made 214 despite retiring hurt at 105 during another incredible knock, and with Shubman Gill (91) and Sarfaz Khan (68) punishing the English bowlers, they set a target of 557 runs.

England’s attempted chase was a debacle – they were bowled out for just 122 – and Mark Wood’s 333 kept them just above 100 in a thumping defeat.

Information
4th Men’s Test, Anthony de Mello Trophy
Jharkhand State Cricket Association, Ranchi
Friday 23rd February – Tuesday 27th Febuary
Live on TNT Sports 1 and Discovery +1 from 3.30am

Pitch Report

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The pitches have been very fair – good for batting if batters can get set, providing typical spin (with more coming in the second innings), but also plenty for those who can engineer reverse swing as well.

Early reports suggest that Ranchi’s fourth test pitch could be much more spin heavy, with cracks already notable to England’s vice-captain Ollie Pope, although caution is advised.

In 2017 India and Australia played a draw on a pitch that had plenty of cracks in (and dark soil) in the days before the test, and in 2019 Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav took half of South Africa’s wickets when India did win by an innings and 202 runs.

Team News

⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MATCH MARKETS ⭐

England have made two changes to their team, bringing in Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir on for Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed. Robinson’s first start in the series comes not only due to Mark Wood’s game management – Ben Stokes will want him fresh and raring for the final test – but also his own skill and height, which would make him an asset with variable bounce. Bashir’s finger spin should be suited by the likely surface here.

India are keeping their team under wraps, but Jaspit Bumrah is rested, which gives Rohit Sharma some choices to make. Axar Patel could potentially return to the side and lengthen the batting, especially with more turn suggested. Mukesh Kumar could join Mohammed Siraj as another pace option.

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

India (possible): Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel (wk), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar

Verdict – Match

England are now behind in the series and under pressure after the massive margin of defeat in Rajkot, especially the capitulation of their second innings on what was a decent batting surface. The disconnect between the top order (799 runs @ 44.38, 2 fifties, 2 centuries) and middle order (478 runs @ 19.91, 1 fifty) will need to be fixed if they’re going to bounce back – as they’re more than capable of doing – and it’s hard to argue with India’s position as favourites, although a price of 4/9 makes no appeal given the frenetic nature of the games so far.

A market of interest is the final session of the test match. No test has reached a fifth day so far, with all three games ending in either the second or third session of Day 4. With the possibility of more spin – and indeed the general approach of England – those options are simply begging to be backed again, and 5/1 and 9/2 about them respectively make plenty of appeal.

Batters – India

Rohit Sharma roared back to form with a stunning 131 not out last week and with his eye in he’s got to be a major player, but Yashasvi Jaiswal has enjoyed a stunning series and bounced back from a disappointing 10 in the first innings last week with a stunning 214 in the second dig, despite being hurt after passing his century milestone. Able to play all kinds of bowling, he will have every chance if he’s able to survive the opening spells – and the absence of Mark Wood this week may be a blessing in disguise.

Back him up with Ravindra Jadeja, who has scored 87 and 112 in his two first innings knocks so far and has to be included at 6/1 given that form.

Batters – England

Joe Root’s struggles this series – he looks as if the pacing of his game isn’t suiting his technique, and many are calling for him to return to a more traditional approach of batting – leaves potential value in this market given his position as favourite.

The three first innings wins so far for English batsmen have gone to either Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett or Ben Stokes, and they look the three to concentrate on again here. Stokes has made 70, 47 and 41 in his three first innings starts – the second time being undone by a simply unplayable ball from Jaspit Bumrah – and he remains of considerable interest in this market.

Having one of the two openers onside looks like a must given their form and the pitches so far, and this might be the time for Zak Crawley to shine. He got some bad luck with the DRS system in Rajkot but had made 76 and 73 in the second test and has outscored Duckett – who may well be his main threat – in three of the last four innings between the pair.

Bowlers – India

Wide open even with no Jaspit Bumrah. Pacers have taken two of the three top first innings honours – Bumrah, and then Moahmmed Siraj last week – and there was a tie between Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the first test. The high strike rate of Kuldeep Yadav (lower than both Jadeja and Ashwin) made him of interest but this could easily be another tie and it’s a marginal call.

Bowlers – England

This has been a tricky market to call – Joe Root won the first innings wicket taker market for the opening test, and there’s been a three way tie in the next two tests. Spinners may have the advantage here as the first innings goes on and Tom Hartley looks about the right favourite but the percentage call is to miss the market.

Star Specials

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With no Jaspit Bumrah – and a series where India are missing KL Rahul and Virat Kohli – there’s a good case to be made for saying that Ravi Jadeja is India’s most important player, and he took man of the match honours last week with his first innings 112 and his 5/41 in the second innings. Jadeja achieved that on a good batting wicket but should there be more turn then he’ll have every chance of even bolder showings with the ball to boot.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI

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Author: Eugene Morris