England vs India 2018: Will it be 2-2 or 3-1?

England v India: Specsavers 1st Test - Day Four
Avik Das

The fourth Test match of the series begins today and both the teams are ready to put up a good fight. India needs to win this Test match to stay alive in the series and Kohli's men would be determined to square the series. On the other hand, if England can win this Test match, then they will secure the five-match series.

Meanwhile, India's confidence is sky-high after an impressive performance in the third Test match. England looked unsettled at the Trent Bridge where they lost the match by 203 runs. Kohli's winning mentality has definitely instilled self-belief in the Indian team.

England played a Test match against India at the Southampton in 2014 where they won the match in a convincing manner. The hosts should start the fourth Test with a positive mindset since they have never lost a Test at Southampton.

England are expected to make some changes after a dismal show at the Trent Bridge. In fact, they have bought back all-rounders Sam Curran and Moeen Ali into the squad and both are set to feature in the Southampton Test.

Ollie Pope's performance has been substandard and Moeen Ali is set to replace the youngster. As a matter of fact, Moeen Ali impressed the English selectors as he scored a double hundred and picked 8 wickets in his last county cricket match. Additionally, Sam Curran is set to replace Chris Woakes who suffered a thigh injury.

Curran's performance was noteworthy in the first Test match, but he was dropped for the third Test. Furthermore, Jonny Bairstow suffered a finger injury in the last game, but he is fit to play as a specialist batsman. Therefore, Jos Buttler will be the wicket-keeper in the fourth Test.

On the other hand, India's playing eleven is likely to remain the same. India's batsmen were ordinary in the first two matches of the series but performed well at the Trent Bridge. Virat Kohli led from the front and he is the leading run scorer of the Test series.

The Indian skipper scored an awe-inspiring century in the last game and his performance will be crucial in the fourth Test. Pujara, Rahane and Hardik Pandya scored half-centuries in Nottingham.

The Indian bowlers have been magnificent in this Test series and they are predicted continue their good work in the fourth Test too. England is set to play with seven left-handed batsmen in the fourth Test match and the Indian bowlers have certainly troubled the left-handed batsmen in this series. In addition, Bumrah took seven wickets in the last game and his inclusion has strengthened the Indian bowling unit.

The fourth Test should be interesting and it is unlikely to end in a draw. India is favorite to win the Southampton Test after having gained momentum from a stellar performance in the last game.

Edited by Kumud Ranjan


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