First Test match in Mumbai after Tendulkar’s retirement
When the great man entered on the ground for the final time at his home town, only one cheer was there “Sachin……Sachin”, it’s a very rare occasion when you see an Indian wicket fall and the home crowd erupts with joy because the great man was entering onto the field for the final time in his career. His emotional walk to the pavilion and crowd cheers for him for the final time all were cheering his name loudly. He got out for 74 and pin-drop silence in the crowd. The inevitable had happen. The man Sammy who took his catch was got emotional too. And guess what who took his wicket, a Deonarine (“Dev Narayan”- literally a God ), What a coincidence!
After getting a long gap between third and fourth test and some refreshment at Yuvraj’s wedding, India is ready to play and wants to seal the series.
Pitch Report: As the record book says, left arm spinners have got more wickets than any other at Wankhede. As the pitch curator also said that the ball will start to turn on 2nd day evening or 3rd day morning itself. Toss will be huge factor again. And the winner of the toss will likely to bat first as ball will turn from next couple of days and to put big total on the board to put the opposition under pressure. It will be difficult to say that match will complete in 5 days or not.
On England’s team: They will play to win this test match. They have the psychological advantage of not getting defeated in Wankhede in last 23 years. With the flurry of players getting injured, Chris Woakes is the latest member to join in the injury list. Jennings and Dawson are named in the squad, where 19 years old Hameed has also returned to home for his treatment. Jenning is likely to open with Cook. Where England’s spinners are difficult to find rhythm on sub-continental soil except Rashid, who is the big positive for them, slow left-arm orthodox spinner Dawson may likely to join him. He will replace Batty as he was unable to put influence on Bangladesh as well as on Indian tour. Anderson have to lead the attack from the front to give some confidence to other bowlers in the team. As Harsha Bhogle said that Duckett is too young to play against the quality Indian spinners, so another left-hander batsman Gary Ballance is likely to replace him. Not likely to see much changes in the batting order. They will miss the company of an all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had a good form in this tour.
England (Probable XI for the fourth test): Alastair Cook©, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow(w), Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Liam Dawson.
On India’s team: Highly confident team will like to keep the winning momentum going as the fourth test will begin on Thursday. Murali Vijay will get another chance as Kumble has shown good confidence in him and he is getting new opening partners in every test series. KL Rahul will be his latest opening partner. Kohli would not like to experiment with the middle order. Rahane is ruled out of test series with thumb injury, Manish Pandey is the replacement for him. Captain must have thought about resting his reliable fast bowler Shami. Ishant Sharma or Bhuvneshawar Kumar are likely to open with Umesh Yadav. On the other hand, three spinners will retain their position rather I should say all-rounders Ashwin, Jadeja and Jayant Yadav.
India (Probable XI for the fourth test): Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli©, Karun Nair, Parthiv Patel(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.