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4th Test: Hosts India target series win over England in Ranchi

February 22, 2024 17:21 IST

IMAGE: India will look to wrap up the five-match series with a win in Ranchi. Photograph: BCCI/X

India will secure a series victory with a win against England in the third Test beginning in Ranchi on Friday but they must do so without their pace spearhead against a touring side looking to uphold their aggressive style of play.

A 2-1 cushion in the five-match series has allowed India to rest Jasprit Bumrah, the leading wicket-taker of the series, for the match to manage his workload.


With Mohammed Shami missing the series with an ankle injury, the onus is now on Mohammed Siraj to lead India's pace attack. Akash Deep is expected to make his Test debut as the second seamer.

Spin-heavy attack

India, who have not lost a Test series on home soil since defeat by England in 2012, are expected to pick a spin-heavy attack on a pitch that already has cracks at both ends.

Middle order batter KL Rahul, who injured his thigh in the opening Test in Hyderabad, has not recovered yet but India will take heart from Sarfaraz Khan's twin fifties in his debut Test in Rajkot.

IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav gears up for the fourth Test. Photograph: BCCI/X

Wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel, who also made his debut in Rajkot, struck a fluent 46 to prove he is no dud with the bat either.

"The youngsters are really smart, which is a great news for us," India batting coach Vikram Rathour told reporters on Thursday.

"Of course, our domestic cricket is so strong that you are pretty assured that only quality players are coming through.

"We are missing some key players but a home series is always a good opportunity for the young talents to play in familiar conditions and establish themselves in the side."


Smarting from their defeat by 434 runs in Rajkot, England have brought in seamer Ollie Robinson and spinner Shoaib Bashir, replacing Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed.

The shellacking also prompted questions about England's ultra-aggressive approach, which many feel borders on recklessness.

IMAGE: England will be eager to win the fourth Test and take the series into decider. Photograph: England Cricket/X

England captain Ben Stokes, who is tipped to resume bowling in this match following knee surgery last November, has brushed aside the backlash.

The look of the pitch in Ranchi was a greater concern for the 32-year-old as he plots ways to keep England alive in the series.

"I've never seen something like that before. I have got no idea so I don't know what could happen," Stokes told British media.

"It looked green and grassy up in the changing rooms but then you go out there it looked different: very dark and crumbly and quite a few cracks in it."

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