After making an impactful comeback despite being on the verge of facing a humongous series defeat, Team India will be looking forward to fluttering the English squad after defeating them with a huge margin of 203 runs in Nottingham. Virat Kohli and his men will take the field at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Thursday to level the 5-match series 2-2 as currently, they are trailing by 1-2.
The Indian team suffered morale-crushing defeats in the first two Tests (31 runs at Edgbaston) and (a defeat of an innings and 159 runs at the Lord’s), Kohli‘s men produced a splendid all-round performance to win the third Test at the Trent Bridge. Despite the fact that the visitors are trailing in the series, they are on the verge of emulating the work done by Sir Don Bradman’s Australia that won the 1936 Ashes after being 0-2 down.
Surprisingly, this will only be the third Test at the Rose Bowl Stadium as England had previously played Sri Lanka (2011) and India (2014), winning the latter game by 266 runs. The hosts will be considering the previous win as the morale booster in order to close out the series in Southampton itself.
With the Indian pacers delivering some deadly spells in the third Test which exposed the frailties in England top-order, the Indian team will also be hoping to witness another match-winning knock from their skipper Kohli, who scored 200 runs at the Trent Bridge. With the expectations of the green-top fourth Test, India will once again count on their triplet of pacers, backed by Hardik Pandya, who adequately proved his bowling worth in the previous game.
Menwhile, Indian captain Virat Kohli hinted that his side could remain unchanged for this crucial Test. It is to be noted that India have never gone in with the same XI for consecutive Tests ever since Kohli has led India in 38 matches in the longest format of the game. However, England has included Moeen Ali and Sam Curran, who will be replacing Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes in their playing XI for the Southampton Test, which means that they have gone with two spinners for the crucial game.
India’s predicted XI for the Southampton Test:
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.