Indian batting once again wilted miserably under trying circumstances as a relentless England recorded a comfortable 60-run victory in the fourth Test to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Chasing a tricky target of 245, India were bowled out for a paltry 184 on the fourth day on a pitch where survival wasn't a problem but run-scoring definitely was. What will hurt Virat Kohli and his men most is the fact that they were beaten by one of the weakest teams in recent times. An ageing bowling attack of Jimmy Anderson-Stuart Broad along with off-spinner in Moeen Ali (5/63 and 4/71) tormented the Indians just like they did during the 2014 series. Under Ravi Shastri's coaching, India have now lost Test series in all those countries, which are considered to be tough places for traveling eams. While the Indian coach has repatedly stressed about being a good travelling side, save Trent Bridge Test, there hasn't been indications enough to show that Kohli's team is ready to beat the best when conditions are alien. Under Shastri-Kohli duo, India have lost in Australia (where MS Dhoni captained in two Tests), in South Africa and now in England. The inconsequential final Test will be played at the Oval from September 7.
It was never an easy chase but what baffled all and sundry was the irresponsible batting by the middle and lower order, who gave up without a semblance of fight after a 101-run fourth wicket stand between skipper Virat Kohli (58, 130 balls) and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (51, 159 balls). Once Kohli was snuffed out by Moeen with a delivery that turned and bounced sharply to kiss his glove into the forward short-leg's hands, India's challenge was as good as over. From 122 for 3, India slumped to 163 for 9 in the next hour with none of the batsmen showing willpower to fight. To Moeen's credit, he used the rough well and got more purchase from a slowish track than Ashwin, who had wasted an opportunity to give his team the required cushion in helpful conditions. Both Kohli and Rahane were taken through classical off-break where Moeen tossed it up and also got the deliveries to spin back sharply.India vs England 4th Test Day 4 scoreboard
Southampton Test: Post-tea session report
- Rishabh Pant (18) proved his critics right as he failed to curb his impetuosity, going for rash lofted shot to be holed out by the only man in the deep.
- Hardik Pandya (0) is far from finished product as far as all-round capabilities are concerned and he couldn't negotiate Ben Stokes' swing.
- Ravichandran Ashwin (25) did put up a fight in the end but that wasn't enough with Sam Curran dismissing him to win the series for Emgland.
- The writing was on the wall when India were reduced to 22 for three in the first hour with KL Rahul (0), Shikhar Dhawan (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (5) being dismissed cheaply.
- Rahul got a wicked delivery that kept low knocking he stumps back. Pujara got one from Anderson that came back sharply while Dhawan was out in his now customary fashion poking it to the slip cordon.
- Dhawan's mode of dismissal showed that he hasn't learnt one bit about his shortcomings against the swinging deliveries outside the off-stump, which has repeatedly brought about his downfall.
In Pics: Second session highlights
Southampton Test: Second Session report
- Kohli's dismissal for a well-made 58 only spiced up things after he and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (44 batting, 133 balls) added 101 runs for the fourth wicket. This was after India lost top three players for only22 runs on the board.
- While the Indian captain would consider himself lucky that he survived an umpiring howler in the 17th over of the innings when TV umpire Joel Wilson ruled him not out despite the ball crashing onto the leg-stumps.
- The unlucky bowler was Moeen Ali, who finally got his man when Kohli gloved a delivery that had both turn and bounce to forward short-leg.
- The Indian skipper showed a lot of patience during his 130-ball knock with four boundaries. Rahane's innings has a solitary boundary till now.
- The Kohli-Rahane duo batted for more than 42 overs and the best part about their partnership was the risk free approach that they employed.
- They were beaten occasionally, there was some turn on offer for Moeen (1/33 in 18 overs) but both the senior players were ready to bide their time in a tricky chase.
- Post lunch, Kohli and Rahane had looked to play for time and tried cutting down all risky strokes. England though attacked from the word go, and both batsmen survived loud lbw shouts with the hosts losing their second review on the appeal against Rahane in the 25th over.
- The duo dug in deep thereafter and sedately added 50 off 140 balls. Even as Rahane cut down on the risk percentage and concentrated on rotating strike instead, Kohli opened up with more confidence as 41 runs came in the first hour of play after lunch.
- India crossed 100 in the 43rd over, with Kohli crossing the 500-run mark in this series. In doing so he brought up his 19th Test half-century off 114 balls.
- The duo kept playing the same vein, and towards the end of session brought up their 100-partnership off 248 balls, before disaster struck and Kohli was dismissed just prior to tea.
Southampton Test: First Session report
- The Indian top order flopped once again as Shikhar Dhawan (17), KL Rahul (0) and Cheteshwar Pujara (5) were dismissed cheaply.
- James Anderson (2-15) had Dhawan caught at slip and trapped Pujara lbw, as the Indian top-order struggled against lateral movement generated by the new ball.
- KL Rahul's (0) struggles against the incoming delivery continues as well, bowled off Stuart Broad (1-14) in the fourth over, albeit he was unlucky to get a low toe-edge that deflected onto his stumps.
- Pujara did use up one DRS referral for his lbw call, but replays showed the ball hitting bails and the decision stood on umpire's call.
- Kohli and Rahane negotiated the tough passage of play until lunch thereafter, with the latter surviving a close lbw appeal right on the marker with DRS referral showing that the ball had impact outside off stump.
- Earlier, Mohammed Shami (4-57) made sure that England didn't get too ahead with their lead. Starting from overnight 260-8, their innings lasted only 4.2 overs with the hosts losing their last two wickets for just 11 runs and were bowled out for 271 runs (96.1 overs) in their second innings.
- Shami had Stuart Broad (0) caught behind off the very first ball of the day, and then Sam Curran (46) was run-out shortly afterwards going for a non-existent second run in pursuit of quick scoring.
How Jos Buttler’s 69 and Sam Curran solid batting brought England back in the 4th Test
Jos Buttler led England's fight-back with a 69 as the hosts reached 260 for eight in their second innings to take a 233-run lead over India on the third day of the fourth Test. India had England on the mat at 122/5 but Buttler shared two important partnerships -- a 56-run stand with Ben Stokes (37 not out) for the sixth wicket before stitching a 55-run seven-wicket stand with Sam Curran. Resuming the day at 6/0, openers Alastair Cook (12) and Jennings started the proceedings on a steady note but Cook who seemed good in the middle was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah when the scoreboard read 24.
Moeen Ali (9) who was promoted up the order failed to utilise the opportunity and was sent back to the pavilion after two overs. He was dismissed by pacer Ishant Sharma in the 16th over as Lokesh Rahul took a low catch at the Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium. Root and Jennings then steadied the innings, forging a 59-run partnership for the third wicket but the last ball of the session saw Jennings heading back to the pavilion after being adjudged LBW against seamer Mohammad Shami, with the scoreboard reading 92/3 at lunch. In the first ball of the second session, Shami, resuming the over, removed Bairstow, who missed a pitched-up ball that rattled his stumps.
Unperturbed by the two quick wickets, Root played sensibly and rotated the strike. But just when things seemed good in the middle, a brilliant fielding effort from Shami saw the English captain going back to the pavilion as the hosts were reduced to 122/5. Shami made a direct throw from mid-on at the striker's end as Root hesitated after thinking about a single. The wicket tilted the match in India's favour as the hosts had a lead of only 95 runs. Later, Stokes and Buttler added 32 runs to the total when umpires decided to take the tea break, with England at 152/5. In the final session, India removed Stokes when a flighted delivery from Ashwin saw the left-hander edge it to Ajinkya Rahane at slip. It was an important wicket for the visitors as the partnership had extended till 56 runs.
After the fall of Stokes, with England at 178/6, Buttler was then joined in the middle by 20-year-old Curran. The pair played sensibly and went on to forge a 55-run partnership to take England well past the 200-run mark. Buttler was batting comfortably until India took the new ball. Ishant's in-swinging delivery kissed his pad and he was adjudged out LBW as India once again got back in control. Curran continued to impress as he remained unbeaten with a 37, while Shami had Adil Rashid caught behind the wicket in the final delivery of the day. Check Day 3 highlights here
Buttler feels England will win the fourth Test
England batsman Jos Buttler has said that the hosts are in the driver's seat to win the fourth Test and seal the series after taking a 233-run lead in the second innings. "Yes, definitely (we can win). You've seen the wear and tear in the wicket even in the first innings as well, there was quite a bit of rough outside the right-hander's off-stump. That's promising for Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and with the seamers, we've seen a bit of variable bounce. So I think it's nice to have the runs on the board," said Buttler on Saturday. Buttler scored 69 and put on vital lower-order partnerships with Ben Stokes and Sam Curran as England recovered from 122 for five to finish at 260 for eight eight at stumps.
Talking about his partnership with Stokes, he said, "We've batted together in quite a lot of situations in different formats, so that rapport is obviously comforting in a way and allows you to get the best out of each other. "We've got that right, left-hand combination, trying to rotate the strike and not let bowlers settle. We just went about it the same way trying to extend the partnership, and slowly and steadily building the lead." England did benefit from a change in batting order, with Moeen Ali coming to number three and skipper Joe Root moving down to number four. He scored 48 and shared a half-century stand with Stokes before being run-out for the second time in this series. Buttler said Root's demotion was a strategic move. "It was just a pure tactical decision Moeen has been in such fantastic form for the last couple of weeks, and bats at number three for Worcestershire. I'm not sure, moving forward, what will happen but tactically for today, it just felt like the right decision. Moeen knew last night, so turning up this morning he was going to bat (at three)."
Cheteshwar Pujara defended team-mate Ravichandran Ashwin after a poor outing by the premier off-spinner left India with the possibility of facing a daunting task in the fourth Test against England. England relied on Jos Buttler's gutsy half century to take a competitive lead of 233 runs by stumps on the third day. In contrast to Moeen Ali's five-wicket haul, Ashwin struggled to get going on Saturday and finished with 1-78 in 35 overs despite his good bowling form earlier in the series. Pujara though defended his teammate. "I don't think he had a bad day. He didn't get too many wickets but he kept on bowling in the right areas. Sometimes as a bowler you do have such days when you are bowling but you might not end up picking too many wickets," Pujara said. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner couldn't use the footmarks created by the trio of Mohammed Shami (3/53), Ishant Sharma (2/36) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/51 in 19 overs).
First-innings centurion Pujara said, "Someone like him, he is a clever bowler, and he has done really well for us throughout the domestic season as well as overseas. So, I don't think he has bowled badly at all. "But yes the pitch has slowed down a lot and that could be the reason some of his balls (deliveries) didn't go through as much he might have wanted. "It is their team combination. I don't think it matters too much, but being an off-spinner, Ashwin bowls well to left-handers. I don't think it makes a huge difference." Pujara said that the key to winning the Test would be batting well on a slowing track in the second innings, especially against Moeen Ali. "The most important thing was scoring some runs in the last Test match. I had been batting well throughout the season although I didn't get too many runs in county cricket. But I was playing on some challenging wickets. Sometimes even if everything is correct you do get out.
Here is the playing 11 of both the teams:
India vs England 4th Test details
Match Date: 30 August- 3 September, Thursday
Match Time: 15:30 IST, 10:00 AM GMT, 11:00 AM LOCAL
Match Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton, England.
India vs England 4th Test match live streaming details
India vs England 4th Test match will be broadcast on Sony Six, Sony Six HD in English Commentary. India vs England fourth Test match will be available for live streaming on Sony Liv app. Tatasky subscribers can also live stream India vs England 4th Test match on Tatasky mobile app.
India vs England head to head in test matches
Matches played: 120
India won: 25
England won: 45
Matches played: 60
India won: 7
England won: 32
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes, James Vince, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Alastair Cook, Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid.
India squad: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Prithwi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari.