England vs India, 4th Test: What to Expect, Weather and Pitch Report & Predictions
So, The Rose (Ageas) Bowl in Southampton is all set for yet another grilling contest between India and England. Although the scoreline 2-1 (in favor of England) provide a psychological advantage to the Englishmen, it is India who will be in momentum after a comprehensive 203-run win against England in the third Test held at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
The 203-run victory has indeed cropped out a lot of positives for the Indian team ahead of the series-deciding fourth Test. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane regaining their form, Indian batting line-up looks more poised. Besides, Pandya's bowling has come out as the biggest plus for the Men in Blue.
Let us now look at some important factors such as weather and pitch that could affect the course and result of the game.
The first day at The Rose (Ageas Bowl) in Southampton is expected to be a pleasant one with the temperature hovering around 20 degree Celsius. The humidity levels will be clocking around 60 percentage. Moreover, with 70 percentage cloud cover, the sunshine and clouds are expected to play hide and seek for the whole of the day.
The weather forecast for the remaining of four days will be no different than the first day with minimal changes in humidity levels and cloud cover. The temperature is expected to be around 20-22 degree Celsius with almost no chances of rain.
Thus, rain is not expected to play the spoilsport all through the five days. Hence, we can expect some good uninterrupted action from the beautiful city of Southampton.
The pitch here at Southampton looks atrociously green that could turn out to be ominous for batsmen. Pictures from the venue clearly show some extra tinge of grass bulging out of the pitch which creates an indication that Englishmen are expected to sport a greenish wicket for the fourth Test.
However, recent trends suggest that some of the green grass will be plucked out by the pitch curator just before the toss time. Thus, the burning question that remains on the floor is: will that extra bit of grass come into play for the fourth Test? Although the five-pacers theory is being taken into consideration for the fourth Test, many cricket pundits say that this pitch won't do as much for the pacers as it seems. Hence, the obvious certainty around the nature of the pitch.
India's Predicted Playing XI and England's Announced Playing XI
Although Ravichandran Ashwin who is recovering from the groin injury did attend the practice sessions, his addition in the playing XI remains in doubt as there hasn't been any official communication from the team on whether Ashwin is match fit or not. Thus, with doubts looming over Ashwin's fitness, India might opt for Ravindra Jadeja as Ashwin's immediate replacement.
India's probable XI for the fourth Test: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin/ Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Meanwhile, the Englishmen have announced the playing XI for the fourth Test. Chris Woakes has been left out due to the reported injury. Meanwhile, Ollie Pope also misses his place in the playing XI. Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have made the cut into the playing XI.
England's announced playing XI for the fourth Test: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (C), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson.
The average 1st and 2nd innings score at The Rose Bowl has been in mid 350s while the average 4th innings score has wandered around 180s. Hence, whosoever wins the toss will opt for batting.