Eng vs Ind, 4th Test: Umesh Yadav in for blow hot and cold Mohammed Shami?
Indian team's win in the third Test was a combined effort. Both batsmen and bowlers did an outstanding job to bring India back in the series. In fact, Indian bowling has been nothing short of excellent in this series.
It is a well-documented fact that Virat Kohli has never repeated his Test eleven and some might argue that this is the first time he should skip the trend.
For the first time in the series, Indian batting looks settled with openers getting runs during the third Test and rest of the batsmen also looking in good nick. Talking about the bowling department, Ishant Sharma has been a revelation, particularly against left-handers which England has in plenty.
Jasprit Bumrah showed why he is so highly rated in the Test arena. Ashwin has done a good job considering the nature of the wickets that are on offer during the series. He might sit out due to injury which will make Jadeja an automatic replacement.
Though Mohammed Shami has bowled at an excellent pace, his wicket-taking ability remains a concern. He is a blow hot blow cold sort of bowler, either he takes wickets in a heap or he goes wicketless. His three-wicket haul during the first inning of the first Test remains his best effort in the series. Considering the way Shami has bowled, the fourth bowler remains a bone of contention for the Indian team.
About a year back Umesh Yadav was also known to be an inconsistent bowler much like Shami, but, the recent history tells a different story. During IPL 2018, Umesh Yadav picked up 20 wickets in 14 matches. Most of his wickets in IPL came with the new ball during the powerplay.
He was consistently swinging the ball, he got the batsmen out rather than batsmen throwing away their wickets. During the first Test in England, he looked very much the part, with a return of 3 wickets, the same as Shami.
The good thing about Umesh is, he bowls a full length which gives the ball every opportunity to swing, which is very important in England. He also bowls at a fair clip like Shami. Lately, he has been very consistent with his line and length which prevents him from leaking runs as he used to do earlier. Also, he is a good reverse swing exponent like Shami.
The saying is, one should not change the winning combination, but, considering the conditions and the history of captain Kohli, it won't be a surprise if India makes this one change.