While the debate over the pitch has taken the centre stage in the ongoing Test series between India and England, Virat Kohli’s men will be setting their eyes on only one thing — securing a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final — when they take the field for the fourth and final Test which begins here at the Narendra Modi Stadium from Thursday.
India only needs to draw the final Test against Joe Root’s men in order to seal a spot in the WTC final where will then take on New Zealand at the Lord’s from June 18-22. The hosts will be riding on the confidence following their back to back wins in the last two Tests after suffering a massive 227-run defeat in the first game in Chennai.
In the last Test played with the pink ball in Ahmedabad, India registered a 10-wicket win within two days.
Bowlers from both sides delivered stand-out performances in the game as 30 wickets fell within a little over five sessions in the third Test.
On the other hand, almost all the batsmen, barring Rohit Sharma and Zak Crawley, were found wanting as they struggled against the turning and skidding balls. The pitch for the fourth Test is expected to once again assist the spinners, thus making it more difficult for the visitors.
If England, somehow, manages to win the final Test and thereby draw the series, the WTC final will then be contested between New Zealand and Australia.
Meanwhile , England Test skipper Joe Root has urged his players to be free themselves from fear in the fourth and final Test against India. Root has said that if his side manages to draw the ongoing series then it would be one of his greatest achievements as a captain.
“You look at India’s record at home in recent times and it’s incredible. So, for us to come away with a drawn series would be a really good achievement, especially off the back of the last two games. We’ve had two challenging weeks but that doesn’t define us as a team. We need to look at this as a real opportunity to do something special. It would be a brilliant achievement to leave here two-all. It would be a monumental effort from this group of players. So there are loads to play for,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Root as saying.
“It would certainly be up there with my greatest achievements as captain. The progress we’ve made over the last couple of years has been really pleasing, especially away from home. If we end up winning this game it’d be four wins out of six Tests on this tour. It would be a phenomenal achievement from the players to have found a way in some very foreign and difficult conditions. So it’s a great motivator for us as a side and I’d be extremely proud of everyone involved if we managed to do that,” he added.