England vs India 2018: India's Predicted XI for the fourth Test
India will be going into the fourth Test with a lot of belief. Just a few weeks back, the series looked bound for a whitewash after a disastrous Indian performance in the second Test. But everything has changed after a stunning victory for Team India in the third game, where they convincingly outplayed England in all departments.
Now, the visitors will be looking for a repeat of their heroics at Trent Bridge as they set out on levelling the series 2-2. But the team will be aware that there still exists a lot of room for improvement as a few players have disappointed throughout the tour.
And with a possible injury in the squad as well, this is how India might line up in the all-important fourth Test.
Dhawan showed vast improvement in the third Test after a disastrous tour with both bat in hand and on the field. But with a solid performance at Trent Bridge, he should keep his place in the team.
Rahul finds himself in the same boat as Dhawan. He has been disappointing throughout the tour as runs have been hard to come by. But he did somewhat better in the last match and will most likely play in the fourth Test as well due to a lack of experienced options in the squad.
Pujara is one of the few batsmen in the squad who can be relied upon to get runs in English conditions. In an era of hard-hitters, Pujara is a throwback to the old times with his patient approach to the game and will surely be in the team.
Kohli has been on fire throughout the series. His 440 runs is the highest of any batsman from both teams and he will expected to score big again when he takes to the crease in Southampton. The captain will have a lot of hopes riding on him as India try to beat the hosts for the second game on the trot.
Over the past few years, Rahane has become an integral part of the team. And after an impressive performance in the third Test, he will be expected to deliver in the next match as well.
It has been fascinating to see Pandya's transformation into a truly world class all-rounder through the course of this series. His talent has never been in question but now he seems to be utilising those talents in the best way possible.
He has been one of India's most consistent players throughout the series with both bat and ball. If India are to win this match, Pandya has to be at his best once again.
Rishabh Pant (WK)
Pant will be expected to retain his place in the team for the fourth Test. The wicket-keeper has only got one chance in the series so far and did not do too badly with it. His fearless batting also gives India the option of having a quick run scorer deep into the order.
But he has to put in a big performance if he wants to nail down his place in the first team.
Ashwin has been suffering from a groin injury and if he is not fully fit by the start of the match, the team management will probably give him a rest considering the pitch in Southampton is not known to favour spinners.
Jadeja will be expected to replace Ashwin in the team as he has shown his ability to take wickets in the past and also has the necessary experience that Team India will be looking for in such an important game.
Shami is not the most consistent bowler in the world. But on his day, he has the ability to change the course of a match on his own. Despite having a mediocre performance in the last Test, Team India should put their trust in Shami again.
After years of under-performing, Ishant Sharma finally seems to be developing into the pacer who was once expected to spearhead the Indian bowling attack for years. He was instrumental in dispatching the English top order for cheap in the last Test and Kohli would be smart to let him have another go with the new ball in Southampton.
Bumrah's five-wicket haul in Nottingham proved to be a match-winning performance. Once considered a T20 specialist, Bumrah has seamlessly transformed into India's most potent Test bowler. His tricky lengths and seemingly endless variations prove too much for the English batsmen to handle.
He will be again expected to pick up key wickets early as India will likely want to start the Test on the front foot.