Virat Kohli’s Team India will take on Alastair Cook’s England side in the 4th Test match in Mumbai from Thursday, December 8, with the hosts needing just a draw to clinch the five-match series
Virat Kohli’s footwork has been dazzling off late, as evident from his batting during the three Tests, as well as on the dance floor, as seen during Yuvraj Singh’s marriage. Alastair Cook, on the other hand, is struggling to find his feet, both as opening batsman and captain.
That sums up the India-England Test series so far, as action resumes at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
England would be keen to get their campaign back on the rails. They had emerged stronger after the first Test in Rajkot, but then the wheels came off.
So much so that the squad opted to head out to Dubai for a bit of R&R and to lick their wounds and count their casualties.
India, on the other hand, were celebrating. Many were seen shaking a leg at the Yuvraj-Hazel Keech wedding and Ishant Sharma too added to the celebrations with his engagement.
However, therein possibly lies the undercurrent, of a classic Hollywood plot of the defeated rediscovering themselves, even as the victors got distracted by things other than cricket.
Both sides have issues – India are still trying to discover an opening partnership that will last, with Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, and Parthiv Patel adding to the array of forced options to partner Murali Vijay.
England will need to win the Mumbai Test to keep the series alive.
Photo Credit: AFP
England too now have a problem with opening slot, to add to their other woes. Young Haseeb Hameed is out of action, leaving the scene after valiant rearguard action at Vizag. It is now left toKeaton Jennings to face the music with an unsure Cook.
England’s losses are reportedly creating some internal strife too, with coach Trevor Bayliss and Cook not seeing eye to eye on how to bat, as stated by an English newspaper.
India have no such concerns, simply because they can no longer lose the series. Also, the out of sorts visitors will have to win both the remaining Tests to return with honours intact. Don’t see that happening.
This Test series is different.
For one, we have the DRS system in place, albeit on an ‘experimental’ basis. Barring a few ludicrous calls, it has gone pretty well so far, especially for the relatively uninitiated Indians.
Also, the toss has not been as decisive as before. England have capitulated, irrespective of whether won the toss or not.
Now that the dancing is over for a while, the music shift to the middle, as Wankhede is all set for action. Should be quite a match, if the desert air has done England some good. Maybe we will see some tango on the field of play as well.