England not only made a strong comeback in the five-match Test series after beating India by an innings and 76 runs at Leeds but also leveled the series at 1-1. Now the fourth Test between the two teams will be played at Kennington Oval from September 2.
Team India's middle order in the current Test series has disappointed everyone so far. Captain Virat Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant's bat seem completely silent. By the way, the runs have not come out of Cheteshwar Pujara's bat too. However, in the third Test match, Pujara has indicated a return to form after playing an innings of 91 runs. The reason for Team India's defeat in Leeds was poor batting and a sudden collapse of the middle order.
The run figures of Pujara (162), Virat (124), Rahane (95), and Pant (87) in all three Tests so far clearly show how poor the Indian middle order is battling. If the Indian team has to make a comeback in the series, then the middle-order batsmen must show a better game.
Even though Virat Kohli's bat has looked calm in the current series so far, but in the Oval Test, Virat has a great chance of achieving a big achievement. Actually, Kohli has so far scored 22,999 runs in all three formats of international cricket. With just one run in the fourth match, the Indian captain will become the fastest player to score 23,000 runs.
At present, the record of making the fastest 23,000 runs is in the name of Sachin Tendulkar (522). Kohli has so far scored 22,999 runs in 489 innings. Kohli can become the seventh and third player from India (after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid) to make this record in international cricket.
Barring the third Test, the Indian bowlers have performed quite impressively in the series so far. Jasprit Bumrah has taken 14 wickets, Mohammed Siraj 13 and Mohammed Shami has taken 11 wickets. Fans and team management are expecting a similar performance at the Oval from the Indian pace battery.
Bumrah also has a chance to make a big record at Kennington Oval. Bumrah has so far taken 97 wickets in 23 Tests and if he manages to take three wickets in the fourth Test against England, he will become the fastest bowler to take 100 wickets with the red ball for India. At present, this record is recorded in the name of Kapil Dev (25).
In the first three Test matches, England captain Joe Root's bat has been seen to be on fire. Root scored a century in all three matches and scored 507 runs at an average of 126.75. If India wants to fulfill its dream of winning the Test series in England, then Root will have to adopt a unique strategy. If the England captain's form is seen in the remaining two matches too, then the way back for India can be very challenging.
There is no doubt that England's fast bowlers played a big role in winning the Leeds Test. Olly Robinson broke the back of the Indian team by taking 5 wickets in the second innings and James Anderson did the right thing. Robinson has so far taken the highest 16 wickets in the Test series, while the evergreen Anderson has also got 13 wickets. Craig Overton also took 6 wickets in the third match.
The famous Krishna has been included in the squad ahead of the fourth Test, indicating that the team management is looking at playing him in the Oval Test. Famous may get a chance in the playing XI in place of fast bowler Ishant Sharma, as Ishant struggled during the Leeds Test and could not take a single wicket.
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