India vs England 4th Test: Is 246 enough on this wicket?
It gave you a sense of deja vu watching India struggle to finish off the English tail. One can only hope that similarities between the first Test and fourth Test end here.
Once again Indian bowlers rattled English top order with their superb bowling. They were relentless against the top order, so much so that its difficult to find even a single blemish in their work. But, somehow Indian bowlers have struggled to dislodge English lower middle order.
During the first Test, Indian bowlers couldn't get Sam Curran out, who went on to play a match-winning inning. The second Test was evenly poised when India got five English wickets cheaply, after that, Chris Woakes played a match-defining inning. Although India won the third test, once again India found it hard to dismiss English lower middle order during the second inning.
Now the question arises - is 246 sufficient on this wicket? By no means is this wicket, flat. Batsmen and bowlers both have been in play on this wicket. Bowlers need to bowl in the right areas to get wickets and batsmen need to apply themselves if they want to score big.
England was almost out of the game at 86 for 6, but, now they are not. 246 has given them something to bowl at.
On the other hand, the wicket would be at its best to bat during the second day. It will be up to the Indian batsmen to make full use of good batting conditions, as this will be their best chance. If India could score something around 350, it will be difficult for England to come back in the match, considering Ashwin would be really handy on this wicket during the second inning.
England would be hoping to restrict India to anything below 250, which would be equivalent to getting England out of jail. If this happens then the match will boil down to the second inning batting for both the teams and then, it will be advantage England, as India will have to bat last on this wicket.