After a great resilience on Day 3 of the third Test, Indians once again collapsed and lost their last eight wickets for 63 runs to suffer a crushing innings defeat to England. Post the loss, many believed India didn’t play their best XI, despite the same team beating England at Lords. Experts felt that India could have included Ravichandran Ashwin in the team given the conditions in Headingley where the wicket offers turn to the spinners.
There is not much gap between the third and fourth Test and if Virat Kohli’s words are taken, we are likely to see some changes in the XI. Ravichandran Ashwin is most likely to play at Kennington Oval. There are two reasons for his inclusion – India lacks a genuine wicket-taking spinner as Jadeja has looked highly ineffective. Moreover, there are reports of the southpaw undergoing some sort of injury thus India won’t be keen to risk him. Kohli also hinted at a change in the fast bowling unit saying that managing the workload of fast bowlers is very important to keep them fresh.
“That’s bound to happen as it’s a logical and sensible thing to do. We don’t want to push individuals to a place where they break down and that conversation is important,” Kohli said.
“We will have that conversation with individuals and you can’t expect that in a short turnaround like these guys can play four Test matches in a row. So, we will assess who are the guys who will be given that many number of days to recover and be okay for the fifth one,” Kohli said at the virtual post-match press conference.
Indian batting of late has been very vulnerable, mainly because of the lack of runs from Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. There are also talks of India adding a specialist batsman and going in with four bowlers. However, Kohli completely brushed off the theory and said by playing four bowlers you are not giving yourself enough chance to take 20 wickets which is must to win a game.
“I don’t believe in that balance and I have never believed in that balance because either you can try and save a defeat or you can try and win a game. And we have drawn games in the past with a similar number of batters.
“If your top six (including keeper) don’t do the job there is no guarantee that the extra guy can bail you out. You have to take pride in taking responsibility and doing the job for the team. If you don’t have the ability or resources to take 20 wickets in a Test match, then you are already playing for two results and that’s not how we play,” he added.