On day 4 of the 4the test match, India will look to take England’s remaining two wickets and start their march towards 2nd Test victory to level the series at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. However, chasing anything over 200 would be not easy for India given the way Indian batting line-up crumbles against Moeen Ali. After the end of the 3rd days play England lead swelled to 233 with two wickets in hand. The onus is now on Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara as these two batsmen looked good in the first innings. Meanwhile, Southampton pitch showed good assistance for spinner as many rough patches visible outside off stump for right-handed batters as well left-handed. Moreover, there is only one instance when India successfully chased a fourth-innings target of 200 or more in Tests held outside Asia since 2000. Riding on Rahul Dravid’s unbeaten 72, they had hunted down a target of 230 for the loss of six wickets against Australia at Adelaide in 2003.
How Jos Buttler’s 69 and Sam Curran solid batting brought England back in the 4th Test
Jos Buttler led England’s fight-back with a 69 as the hosts reached 260 for eight in their second innings to take a 233-run lead over India on the third day of the fourth Test. India had England on the mat at 122/5 but Buttler shared two important partnerships — a 56-run stand with Ben Stokes (37 not out) for the sixth wicket before stitching a 55-run seven-wicket stand with Sam Curran. Resuming the day at 6/0, openers Alastair Cook (12) and Jennings started the proceedings on a steady note but Cook who seemed good in the middle was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah when the scoreboard read 24.
Moeen Ali (9) who was promoted up the order failed to utilise the opportunity and was sent back to the pavilion after two overs. He was dismissed by pacer Ishant Sharma in the 16th over as Lokesh Rahul took a low catch at the Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium. Root and Jennings then steadied the innings, forging a 59-run partnership for the third wicket but the last ball of the session saw Jennings heading back to the pavilion after being adjudged LBW against seamer Mohammad Shami, with the scoreboard reading 92/3 at lunch. In the first ball of the second session, Shami, resuming the over, removed Bairstow, who missed a pitched-up ball that rattled his stumps.
Unperturbed by the two quick wickets, Root played sensibly and rotated the strike. But just when things seemed good in the middle, a brilliant fielding effort from Shami saw the English captain going back to the pavilion as the hosts were reduced to 122/5. Shami made a direct throw from mid-on at the striker’s end as Root hesitated after thinking about a single. The wicket tilted the match in India’s favour as the hosts had a lead of only 95 runs. Later, Stokes and Buttler added 32 runs to the total when umpires decided to take the tea break, with England at 152/5. In the final session, India removed Stokes when a flighted delivery from Ashwin saw the left-hander edge it to Ajinkya Rahane at slip. It was an important wicket for the visitors as the partnership had extended till 56 runs.
After the fall of Stokes, with England at 178/6, Buttler was then joined in the middle by 20-year-old Curran. The pair played sensibly and went on to forge a 55-run partnership to take England well past the 200-run mark. Buttler was batting comfortably until India took the new ball. Ishant’s in-swinging delivery kissed his pad and he was adjudged out LBW as India once again got back in control. Curran continued to impress as he remained unbeaten with a 37, while Shami had Adil Rashid caught behind the wicket in the final delivery of the day. Check Day 3 highlights here
England batsman Jos Buttler has said that the hosts are in the driver’s seat to win the fourth Test and seal the series after taking a 233-run lead in the second innings. “Yes, definitely (we can win). You’ve seen the wear and tear in the wicket even in the first innings as well, there was quite a bit of rough outside the right-hander’s off-stump. That’s promising for Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and with the seamers, we’ve seen a bit of variable bounce. So I think it’s nice to have the runs on the board,” said Buttler on Saturday. Buttler scored 69 and put on vital lower-order partnerships with Ben Stokes and Sam Curran as England recovered from 122 for five to finish at 260 for eight eight at stumps.
Talking about his partnership with Stokes, he said, “We’ve batted together in quite a lot of situations in different formats, so that rapport is obviously comforting in a way and allows you to get the best out of each other. “We’ve got that right, left-hand combination, trying to rotate the strike and not let bowlers settle. We just went about it the same way trying to extend the partnership, and slowly and steadily building the lead.” England did benefit from a change in batting order, with Moeen Ali coming to number three and skipper Joe Root moving down to number four. He scored 48 and shared a half-century stand with Stokes before being run-out for the second time in this series. Buttler said Root’s demotion was a strategic move. “It was just a pure tactical decision Moeen has been in such fantastic form for the last couple of weeks, and bats at number three for Worcestershire. I’m not sure, moving forward, what will happen but tactically for today, it just felt like the right decision. Moeen knew last night, so turning up this morning he was going to bat (at three).”
Cheteshwar Pujara defended team-mate Ravichandran Ashwin after a poor outing by the premier off-spinner left India with the possibility of facing a daunting task in the fourth Test against England. England relied on Jos Buttler’s gutsy half century to take a competitive lead of 233 runs by stumps on the third day. In contrast to Moeen Ali’s five-wicket haul, Ashwin struggled to get going on Saturday and finished with 1-78 in 35 overs despite his good bowling form earlier in the series. Pujara though defended his teammate. “I don’t think he had a bad day. He didn’t get too many wickets but he kept on bowling in the right areas. Sometimes as a bowler you do have such days when you are bowling but you might not end up picking too many wickets,” Pujara said. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner couldn’t use the footmarks created by the trio of Mohammed Shami (3/53), Ishant Sharma (2/36) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/51 in 19 overs).
First-innings centurion Pujara said, “Someone like him, he is a clever bowler, and he has done really well for us throughout the domestic season as well as overseas. So, I don’t think he has bowled badly at all. “But yes the pitch has slowed down a lot and that could be the reason some of his balls (deliveries) didn’t go through as much he might have wanted. “It is their team combination. I don’t think it matters too much, but being an off-spinner, Ashwin bowls well to left-handers. I don’t think it makes a huge difference.” Pujara said that the key to winning the Test would be batting well on a slowing track in the second innings, especially against Moeen Ali. “The most important thing was scoring some runs in the last Test match. I had been batting well throughout the season although I didn’t get too many runs in county cricket. But I was playing on some challenging wickets. Sometimes even if everything is correct you do get out.
Here is the playing 11 of both the teams:
India playing 11: Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
India vs England 4th Test details
Match Date: 30 August- 3 September, Thursday
Match Time: 15:30 IST, 10:00 AM GMT, 11:00 AM LOCAL
Match Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton, England.
India vs England 4th Test match live streaming details
India vs England 4th Test match will be broadcast on Sony Six, Sony Six HD in English Commentary. India vs England fourth Test match will be available for live streaming on Sony Liv app. Tatasky subscribers can also live stream India vs England 4th Test match on Tatasky mobile app.
India vs England head to head in test matches
Matches played: 120
India won: 25
England won: 45
Matches played: 60
India won: 7
England won: 32
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes, James Vince, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Alastair Cook, Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid.
India squad: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Prithwi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari.