Picture courtesy : PTI

As the Test series draws closer with the fourth and  final Test  being played today ( at Motera, Ahmedabad,  the England players want to end the first leg of the tour on a winning note to salvage their prestige. Their alter  ego was dented a few days back when their 2nd innings folded like a club team( with no offences to KP’s “B” grade team and Panesar’s club cricket remarks)  at the same ground as the Indian spinners weaved a web of spin bowling around their batting line up. And Indian camp is equally upbeat to sign off on a winning note  to stake  a claim in WTC Final to be played in June at Lords.

The pitch for the 3rd test was the talk of the town as the English people don’t relish being humiliated by such a defeat .  Right from KP, Vaughan ( who hardly played in Indian pitches except two tests)  trolled in social media about Indian pitches  and in a column in “ Daily Telegraph “, Simon Heffer,  a famous U.K.  a journalist and author of some biographies even suggested that the wickets taken in the match (Ahmedabad) should be disregarded by the Wisden Almanack.  In a similar vein, will  they accept to obliterate their own countryman off spinner  Jim Laker’s record of  19 wickets at Old Trafford, Manchester way back  in 1956 against Aussies as that pitch was “doctored” to suit their bowling as confided by the then Curator ?.

And till now England players made no qualms about the pitch.  Only the English media and some former players whinged  about the pitches in India.

On the eve of the 4th Test Indian captain Virat  answering media personnel made a subtle remark that the inept batting by players was  the sole cause for the test ending in two days.  He also parried the question of playing spin bowling. He informed that Indian team never cribs about pitches when they play outside India.

Despite the hullabaloo about the pitch, the Indian camp wants to play the 4th Test on a pitch which will help their spinners and England players are also aware of this fact and practiced to negate the Indian spinners domination.  

On team composition India may indulge in a couple of changes bringing in Umesh Yadav in place of Bumrah, who opted out and Kuldeep Yadav in place of Washington Sundar as the Poms are struggling against left arm spinners.

For England selection blues may be haunting them as they misread the pitch in the third test and selected players on the premise that it may help pace bowling in the twilight conditions.  It is obvious that they may also bring in some changes while playing 2 spinners viz., Leach and Bess making a cut by sacrificing one of their pace trio.  Their batsmen have to step up as only Joe Root has 40+ average in this series and put up a commanding total for the bowlers to dictate terms.  It’s an arduous task given the present dispensation. 

India has not lost a home Test series since 2012 and so odds are against England.

Let’s enjoy the cacophony at Motera again today. 


At Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.  Zimbabwe prevailed upon Afghanistan, the minnows in the Test arena and beat them comprehensively under two days by 10 wickets on 3.3.2021

At Wellington (Newzeland), Aussies won the 3rd T20 I yesterday convincingly after posting a mammoth total of 208 runs and restricting the Kiwis with 144 runs to stay alive in the 5 match series.

At Antigua ( West Indies), the home team won massively against the visiting Srilankans by 4 wickets after their Captain was mercilessly hitting 6 sixes off Akila Dhananjaya, whose hat trick was put in a shade. 

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