The Indian cricket team is just one match away from sealing a place in the World Test Championship final alongside New Zealand. Leading 2-1 in the ongoing Test series, any outcome barring a defeat will see Virat Kohli’s men reaching the summit clash at the Lord’s scheduled in May.
Though the results of the last two Test matches, where India have defeated England by 317 runs and 10-wickets respectively, make the hosts the outright favourites, Motera’s turf for the fourth and final Test will be the biggest differentiator.
After the rank turner last match, the hosts were under severe criticism for making an “unplayable” pitch, leaving the hosts with difficult choices to make ahead of the final Test match.
After a inferior start against England in cricket, India have undoubtedly made a strong comeback since the turn of the millenium where they have won 14 as opposed to England's 16 times in the 41 ecnounters between the two sides.
However, Motera has been a place where the England cricket team has failed to register a win in three efforts.
Regardless of the venue, India have been extremely strong in their backyard in recent times. They have won four out of their last five home test matches against England.
England's big chance to outdo India in the final Test match will be right at the beginning of the match, during the toss. While India have lost four out of their last five test match tosses, England have lost one less (3) in the same number of test match tosses. And the visitors have enjoyed the better first innings total while batting as well.
|India batting first at home in the last 5 test matches|
|145||vs England||Ahmedabad||February 24, 2021|
|329||vs England||Chennai||February 13, 2021|
|337||vs England||Chennai||February 5, 2021|
|347/9d||vs Bangladesh||Kolkata||November 22, 2019|
|493/6d||vs Bangladesh||Indore||November 14, 2019|
|England while batting first away in the last 5 test matches|
|112||vs India||Ahmedabad||February 21, 2021|
|134||vs India||Chennai||February 13, 2021|
|578||vs India||Chennai||February 5, 2021|
|344||vs Sri Lanka||Galle||January 22, 2021|
|421||vs Sri Lanka||Galle||January 14, 2021|
While the turf being prepared for the fourth Test is unknown, the average first innings score in Motera in the last five matches being 324, which will see both the teams looking to keep a batting heavy side.
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ David Gray