With a convincing 157 runs win at the Oval, Team India have taken an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series with one match to go. The fifth and final match of the series is slated to commence on September 10 (Friday) at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Meanwhile, the visitors staged an epic comeback to bowl out England on the final day to win at Oval for the first time in 5 years. Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed resumed on an overnight 77/0 and continued to close in on the target. Burns reached his half-century but was dismissed in the next ball which opened the gates for India.
Bumrah yorks Bairstow and Jaddu gets Moeen at short leg!
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It was backed by a world-class spell from Jasprit Bumrah, where he removed Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow with two outstanding deliveries to put India on top. Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul, and Umesh Yadav revolved around it to bowl out England for a mere 210 runs, thus securing a victory by a margin of 157 runs.
Despite a clinical win, India would like to make a couple of changes when they travel to Manchester. On that note, let’s take a look at 3 changes Virat Kohli & Co could make in the final match of the series.
#3. Hanuma Vihari
As Ajinkya Rahane continues to struggle with the bat, Team India can have a look at Hanuma Vihari, who has been warming the benches so far in this Test series.
Vihari is yet to get a chance after his fighting knock in Sydney, where he batted for 161 deliveries with a cramped leg to save the Test match for India alongside Ravichandran Ashwin. With prior experience of playing in English conditions, Hanuma Vihari will have a lot to offer to India’s fragile middle-order.
The batter from Andhra has solid technique in place to counter seam and swing and will be a good option to explore as we shift focus from Rahane.
#2. Mohammed Shami
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Team India fast bowler Mohammed Shami was rested in Oval to manage his workload in the ongoing five-match series. The Bengal pacer is likely to slot in the final match of the series and is likely to replace Mohammad Siraj in the playing XI.
The fast bowler from Hyderabad looked like carrying a slight niggle and also had a pretty average game at Oval. Siraj managed to pick up only one wicket which might see him making a place of Shami.
The veteran pacer has looked in good rhythm in the first three Tests and will look to pick up from where he left. Shami will look to forge a formidable partnership with Jasprit Bumrah and India look to win the Test series.
A lot has been spoken over Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion from the first four Tests in the last couple of days. While Virat Kohli’s team selection has been vindicated with a victory at Oval, Ashwin will once again be a strong contender for a place in the playing XI.
For that to happen, Kohli will have to tinker with his template of playing four fast bowlers because it is unlikely that Ravindra Jadeja will sit out.
It will be interesting to see how Virat Kohli accommodates Ravichandran Ashwin if they at all have to. The veteran spinner, on the other hand, will be raring to take the field and prove his credentials in SENA countries.
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