England face an uphill task on the final Day of the fourth Test match against India at The Oval as they will be chasing a target of 366 to go 2-1 up in the series. It was a century from Rohit Sharma and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur that helped India to set a record target for the hosts. England finished Day 4 on 77/0 and will need to score 291 runs in the remaining 90 overs of the match on Day 5.
So, the final day of play is expected to be quite exciting with both sides trying their best to go 2-1 up in the series. Former England captain Michael Atherton weighed in on the chances of the two sides and whether there will be any assistance for the Indian bowlers on the pitch.
“It’s pretty flat, there’s not much happening, and then you look at the shape of India’s attack. No Shami, no Ishant, no Ashwin, they seemed very reliant in that first innings on Bumrah especially. How much will Jadeja have an influence? He may have an impact, (but) it’s a good pitch,” Atherton said while commentating on Sky Sports.
Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding agrees with Atherton’s views. He said that pace won’t trouble England as much as spin would do and that’s why India might miss the services of Ravichandran Ashwin on the final day.
“I don’t really see this pitch playing too many tricks. I didn’t see the England seamers create too many problems… and the India seamers I don’t expect to do much better. And Jadeja, I don’t know. I would have preferred Ashwin if you’re talking about just the bowling,” Holding said on Sky Sports.
India had bowled England out on the final day of the Lord’s Test to win the match. They will be hoping to do the same here but the conditions are quite different here. It remains to be seen whether the pacers get any sort of assistance. If they do, they will make life difficult for the English batsmen.