Who to watch at the Ageas Bowl? Keep an eye on these players.
If I said the whole English top order, I wouldn’t be exaggerating. They’re all desperate for runs in this Test as they’ve failed to really impress throughout the series, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings’ opening partnership is yet to convince anyone as they’ve only managed 144 runs together in the first three encounters. Joe Root is desperate for a century in Tests this year and Jonny Bairstow will have to acclimatise quickly to his new role at No 4 after a reshuffling of the order.
India’s batsmen haven’t fared any better and all eyes will be on how well they cope with the swing and seam bowling of the English attack. Plenty is expected from Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara to supply an adequate platform for Virat Kohli to build on.
With Virat Kohli needing nine runs to reach 6,000 Test career runs (and 104 to reach 4,000 runs as captain), he should welcome any assistance from his top order in his bid to reach those milestones and, ultimately, win the match.
The bowlers have been the main attraction throughout the series and this match is expected to prove no different. With the conditions expected to be favourable for bowling, you can put your money on Ishant Sharma picking up the one wicket he needs to reach 250 Test wickets.
Considering his recent form, chances are good that he and Jimmy Anderson will get the seven wickets he needs to reach 564 wickets and surpass Glenn McGrath as the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket.
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