IND vs ENG：Virat Kohli ignites everyone’s enthusiasm and India always fights back strongly.
Team India are firmly in the driver's seat in the 4th Test against England at The Oval. They batted with purpose on Day 4 of the Oval Test, extended their innings from 270 for 3 to 446, setting England an improbable target of 368.
Let us recall, India were behind the game going into Day 5 at Lord’s. However, a brilliant partnership between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami turned the tide. Before India went in to bowl, Kohli got his men into a huddle and gave a pep talk. According to some experts, this fired up the Indians, particularly after some heated on-field exchanges with England players.
“The beauty of Virat's captaincy in this series has been the COMBAT ZONE mentality he got the team into after the inspirational partnership from Bumrah and Shami. In the 4th innings when they bowl at the oval, I'm sure he will rekindle that same FIRE in every person in the team!,” Karthik wrote in praise of Kohli on Twitter.
Virat Kohli has often said he and his team approach every game to win and not draw. It'll be interesting to see if he sticks by the same on Monday.
India's batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was all praise for Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara for putting India in the driver's seat with their superlative knocks under pressure against hosts England on Day 3 of the Oval Test.
The Indian batsmen dented England's hopes of running through the order with their determined knocks. Rohit Sharma stood tall against the formidable English bowling attack as he scored 127 runs at the top of the order before being undone by Ollie Robinson.
Cheteshwar Pujara looked proactive in the middle and adapted a counter-attacking approach. The Test specialist contributed with 61 runs to help India swell their lead on a crucial day. Ollie Robinson put an end to this promising innings as well to help England claim two massive wickets soon after taking the second new ball.
However, the two batters were successful in providing Virat Kohli and co. a great platform by showcasing exemplary batsmanship. With conditions appearing to be favorable for batsmen on Day 4, the visitors have managed to extend their lead, thanks in large part to a currently unbeaten partnership between Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur.
When finished, courtesy of his brilliant 256-ball 127, Rohit Sharma joined the elite list of Indian batsmen who have scored a hundred at the iconic Kennington Oval.
“Lord” Thakur Come Again
If the half-century in the first innings of the fourth Test at the Oval wasn't impressive enough, Thakur repeated his exploits with the bat in the second dig as well. Thakur scored his second fifty of the match – and the third of his Test career – and added a 100-run partnership with Rishabh Pant to bring India back in contention for a win.
Shardul Thakur, who pipped Ian Botham's record by hitting the fastest Test fifty on English soil, feels that when one is entrusted with responsibility, he has to "perform by hook or crook".
“You have to take responsibility whether you are a pacer or a batter. If you are playing for India, so whenever you get a chance you have to shoulder responsibility by hook or by crook," Shardul said after day's play when asked if the assignment of scoring runs every time adds to the pressure.
"For me, it was a challenge and whenever I get to bat, I have to create such an impact that it opens the door for my team's victory," the Mumbai all-rounder said.
England Test vice-captain Moeen Ali reckons that left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja would be the biggest threat for his side on the final day of the ongoing fourth Test against India.
England has been set a target of 368 in the fourth Test of the five-match series and the hosts have all ten wickets in hand heading into the final day of an absorbing Test match.
"Jasprit Bumrah is one of those bowlers that can make anything happen but Jadeja is the biggest threat on that wicket. It's such a flat wicket but we're still going to have to play well. India always fight back strongly and that's something we're going to have to be wary about," Ali said.