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England have asked India to bat first after winning the toss at the Kennington Oval in London in the fourth Test on Thursday. With the five-match series tied at 1-1, both teams will be eager to take an unassailable lead in the series. But when was the last time India defeated the host at the Oval?
Team India has a very poor record in red-ball cricket at the Oval. So far, they have played 13 Tests at this venue and went on to win on only one occasion. They lost five games while seven contests ended in a draw. India have not won a Test at this venue over the last 50 years. Their only win came way back in 1971 when the Ajit Wadekar-led side defeated England by four wickets.
Meanwhile, a lot of current Indian batters have struggled to score runs at the Oval. KL Rahul is the highest run-scorer in this squad, including a knock of 149 runs during the 2018 tour.
The pitch at the Oval is supposed to be the flattest in England.
Meanwhile India's big 3 at Oval
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India lose Rohit Sharma early after being asked to bat first
England captain Joe Root has won the toss and asked India to bat first on overhead conditions. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul looked in good touch during the first 30 minutes before a banging outswinger found Rohit’s edge straight to Jos Buttler’s gloves.
Woakes makes a comeback to the English team in style, drawing first blood as Rohit nicks to Bairstow.
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Meanwhile, the visitors once again overlooked veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in one of the best spinning tracks in England. Speaking at the toss, India skipper Virat Kohli stressed about the set template and that they don’t focus on individual cricketers.
When asked about Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion, Kohli said:
“For us, it’s about partnerships, we can’t focus too much on individuals. The opening partnerships have been good, it’s about getting more partnerships. We got a few days left on this tour, the series is poised nicely and there is going to be no shortage of effort from our side.”
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