India vs. England Fourth Test at the Oval from today
Defeat by 196 runs at Lord's, by 319 runs at Trent Bridge, and an innings and 242 runs loss at Edgbaston - the MS Dhoni-led Indian team has lost the status of World No. 1 Test playing nation. Team India needs to salvage some pride by winning the last and
Indian team, whose batting line-up is being considered the strongest among all Test playing nations, have not crossed even 300 runs in the series, and also, since Duncan Fletcher took the responsibility of being the Indian coach, before the Caribbean tour.
In the ongoing Test series, Indian batsmen have scored a total of 1461 runs in six innings, in which Rahul Dravid
alone has contributed 302 runs. The other batsmen including Sachin Tendulkar
and VVS Laxman contributed 159 runs and 156 runs respectively.
In the third Test, Virender Sehwag
, who came back after his shoulder surgery, lost his wicket in both the innings on the very first ball he faced. Other batsmen including Gautam Gambhir
, Suresh Raina and captain Dhoni have also not batted well in the series. However, Dhoni scored more than 70 runs in both the innings of the Birmingham Test.
Indian bowlers have also not done their homework before the series. In the last three Test matches they conceded 2218 runs in five innings, and claimed 41 English wickets. Praveen Kumar, who is the leading wicket taker for his side, returned 15 English batsmen to the pavilion.
The Oval pitch will support batsmen, and it need not be said that the in-form English batsmen will score tons of of runs against the weak Indian bowling. But, Indian batsmen need to play with positive mind against dominating English pacers to win the Test and save at least some pride with not loss to World No. 2 Test playing status.
India vs. England fourth and final Test match will start at 11:00 AM local time and 3:30 PM IST from Thursday, August 18th at Kennington Oval, London.