India’s overseas juggernaut came to a crashing halt with the defeat at Leeds. India had gone with an unchanged side for the 3rd Test. But their team selection invited widespread criticism. India’s ploy of fielding 4 seamers backfired at Leeds. Ishant Sharma, the team’s senior-most pacer struggled big time in the 3rd Test. The non-inclusion of the world’s leading spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin irked many cricket lovers. lets look at Will India Make Changes In Playing XI In Eng vs Ind 4th Test
How did the 4-seamer strategy affect India in the 3rd Test?
India’s persistence with the 4 pacers strategy meant that the team wore a thin batting outlook. In addition to India’s vulnerable middle-order, the long tail didn’t help matters much. The results were there for everyone to see as India crumbled for 78 in the first innings after opting to bat first. It is the top order that has largely shouldered the batting responsibilities during this tour.
In a rare batting failure of KL Rahul, the whole batting order stood exposed. Indian fans heaved a sigh of relief with India’s batting grit on Day 3. But come the new ball, the whole batting succumbed without a fight. It was India’s second innings defeat under Kohli’s captaincy. The absence of a solid batting option at number 8 hurt India big time in this game.
What changes can we expect India to make in the 4th Test?
#4 Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur is an honest trier. He has given more than 100% every time he has played for the country. His street-smart ability ensures that he stays in the game always. Thakur proved his effectiveness in the first Test itself accounting for big wickets. An injury ruled him out of the 2nd Test and the winning combination kept him out of the 3rd Test. But Thakur is certain to make a comeback at the Oval. He will beef up the lower middle order too. Thakur is quite likely to swap places with Ishant Sharma.
#3 Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav has remained on the sidelines right after he walked out from the field in the Boxing Day Test against Australia. He looked in great form in the warmup matches. Yadav’s skiddy pace adds a different dimension to India’s pace bowling. He is a genuine swing bowler and will be quite a handful in English conditions. Yadav can also use the long handle to good effect. He may get a look in place of Mohammad Shami as part of balancing his workload.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav
There has been a lot of chatter about India’s out-of-form middle order. Ajinkya Rahane in particular has struggled for form. He hasn’t inspired confidence batting at number 5. Rahane who used to be India’s premier overseas batsman has looked completely out of sorts in the last couple of seasons. Hanuma Vihari was expected to take Rahane’s spot but his game too is in the same mould as Rahane. India might try Suryakumar Yadav at number 5 instead. Yadav who is currently in the best batting form of his life might just prove to be the ideal batsmen coming in at number 5. It might be a left-field call but India doesn’t really have an option but to take this bait.
#1 Ravichandran Ashwin
There hasn’t been a bigger topic of discussion than Ashwin’s non-inclusion in the first 3 Tests. He was always expected to feature in the side at the Oval as the pitch is expected to aid spinners. But an injury scare to Ravindra Jadeja brings Ashwin right back in the equation. He will not just be expected to trouble England’s left-handers but also wrest control over India’s nemesis in the first 3 Tests, Joe Root. Ashwin might prove to be the missing link in India’s rich bowling arsenal.