India Vs England, 4th Test: Three Key Player Battles To Watch Out For In Ranchi Match

India have rested Jasprit Bumrah, and will continue to be without the services of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, but are still the favourites going into the fourth Test against England in Ranchi. Here are three key battles that could shape the outcome of the match


AP/Ajit Solanki
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his double century on the fourth day of the third cricket Test match between England and India in Rajkot. Photo: AP/Ajit Solanki

The thing about Bazball is that it's touted not as a tactic, but a 'philosophy'. England's 106-run defeat in the second Test in Visakhapatnam did not stop them from going the same unfettered route in Rajkot. But a humiliating 434-run walloping later, will Ben Stokes and Co still show faith in this philosophy? That remains the million-dollar question in the build-up to the fourth Test in Ranchi, where India are eyeing their 17th consecutive series triumph at home. (Streaming | Scorecard | IND Vs ENG Blog | More Cricket News)

The hosts have decided to rest pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah for the match, bearing in mind his extensive workload and all the hectic T20 action coming up later. They will also be without the services of middle-order mainstays Virat Kohli and KL Rahul -- the former for personal reasons after the birth of his son and the latter following his quadriceps injury.


But Rohit Sharma's men will still be the favourites, going into the Ranchi Test due to the richness of resources at their disposal and their absolute mastery of spin-friendly home conditions. The availability of spin-bowling all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin (also Axar Patel if needed) gives the team batting depth, and provides them the luxury of playing two seamers in addition to three spinners.

Meanwhile, England have brought in off-spinner Shoaib Bashir to go alongside left-armer Tom Hartley, replacing leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed from their playing XI. They have also swapped seamer Ollie Robinson with Mark Wood.

India squad for 4th Test: Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Devdutt Padikkal, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.


England playing XI for 4th Test: Ben Stokes (C), Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.

Let's take a look at three key player battles that could shape the outcome of the fourth IND vs ENG Test in Ranchi, starting Friday, February 23, 2024.

Yashasvi Jaiswal Vs James Anderson

After enduring arduous financial struggle in his teen years, the 22-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal has ensured that anyone who follows cricket knows his name, by the sheer dint of his dazzling displays with the bat. The southpaw has smashed back-to-back double tons against England to signal his intentions.

The double hundred in Rajkot included a world record-equalling 12 sixes, three of which came off successive James Anderson deliveries. The 41-year-old English seamer would not have taken to that 'insult' kindly, and must be raring to avenge the onslaught with Jaiswal's wicket cheaply. The veteran has all the skills to do well despite unhelpful conditions, and he might need to bring them all into play in Ranchi.

Ben Duckett Vs Kuldeep Yadav

England's left-handed opener was their only batter to cross the 50-run mark in the previous Test. He went a long way farther, scoring a 151-ball 153 in typical Bazball fashion. He has the natural ability to score quickly and put opposition attacks under pressure with his free-flowing strokeplay.


But in Kuldeep Yadav, Duckett has a worthy adversary. The left-arm spinner has dismissed the Englishman twice in the previous two Tests and will be aiming to make it a hat-trick, with his guile and loopy wrist spin.

Ravindra Jadeja Vs Joe Root

Ravindra Jadeja produced a magnificent all-round performance at his home ground in Rajkot, scoring a century and bagging a fifer in the fourth innings. But an interesting sub-plot that has emerged with his batting forays is his duel with former England captain Joe Root.

Root is known far more for his prowess with the bat, but he has done a decent job for the visitors with the ball, and scalped Jadeja in Rajkot as well as Visakhapatnam. He will try to make it three in a row in Ranchi, and the beauty of this duel is that it could also manifest itself when the duo switch trades - when Jadeja bowls his wily left-arm spin to Root.