Team India will have everything to play for when they lock horns with England in the fourth T20I of the five-match series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on March 18 (Thursday). With the series tied at 2-1 in favour of the visitors, Virat Kohli & Co will have to secure a victory in today’s game to keep this series alive.
India came into this series wanting to “bat freely” and not depend on “one batsman having to bat long.” Their only win came in a similar fashion when Kohli played the anchor role while debutant Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant did what they are good at from the other end. Apart from that, India’s batting has been under the scanner especially KL Rahul. He scores read – 1, 0, 0 in the last three innings and will be under immense pressure.
Although Virat Kohli and batting coach Vikram Rathour have backed the underfire batsman, India might be tempted to drop him and slot Ishan Kishan with Rohit Sharma at the top while accommodating Suryakumar Yadav in the middle. The bowling also looked flat in the last outing with Yuzvendra Chahal going for 41 runs in his four overs. Rahul Chahar, who has been with the side since the start of the series, might get some game time along with Navdeep Saini in place of Shardul Thakur.
For England, their batting has fired with Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan – all top-order batsmen chipping in with useful contributions whenever needed. However, their middle-order remains untested but given that Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan have the skills to do the job whenever required. The pace attack of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood have been spot on with Adil Rashid chipping in with economical overs – can be the ideal foil for England as they look to settle their playing XI for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to take place later this year.
India vs England 2021: 4th T20I at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad form 7:00 PM IST
Match Prediction – Who will win the match?
As the series has panned out so far – the team who has won the toss has gone on to win the match. The trend is likely to continue with batting looking seemingly a tough job in the first innings. In the seven knockout games in the 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India’s domestic T20 tournament, the average first innings total was only 138. And as many as five games were won by teams batting second.
India will start as the favourites to win and level the series to take it to the fifth and final game of the series.