India v England: How important will the toss be for the 4th test?
Amidst the talk of dropping the toss from test matches, this series has shown how important the toss can be. The second Test was decided almost by the toss, as everyone agreed that if England would have batted first under those overcast conditions, their batting would have faltered the way Indian batting did.
India was put in to bat by England after winning the toss, during the third Test. According to most of the experts, it was a blunder on Joe Root's part to put India in to bat on a decent batting wicket. Sunil Gavaskar on a lighter note went on to say that India should thank to Joe Root for his generosity.
Looking at the conditions prevailing at Southampton, it seems that the toss will play an important role again. Last week a county game was played at Southampton between Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
First innings scores were improved upon in the second innings by both the teams, which tells you that conditions would be difficult for batting early on in the test match. As the game would progress, conditions are expected to get better.
It is expected that whichever team wins the toss, will elect to bowl first. Seamers are expected to get favorable conditions and a lot of help from the wicket, during the first day. The team that would be bowling first would like to get the other team out cheaply.
Spinners are expected to come into play during the fourth and fifth day, which happened during the above-mentioned county game as well. Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson took four wickets on the fourth and final day of the match.
In all probability, the toss and conditions will dictate the direction of the match. The team batting first will have to put in a disciplined batting performance otherwise the match could be over in a matter of a few days. It has the setting of an exciting match-up.