India and England meet in the fourth Test of their five match series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, starting on Thursday, with the tourists needing to secure a victory to keep the contest alive going to Chennai for the final Test, the hosts having claimed back to back victories in Visakhapatnam and Mohali respectively.
Thursday’s fixture will be the 24th Test to be hosted at the venue, with India having won 10 and lost seven of the previous games played there. England will be buoyed by their record at the Wankhede, where they have played seven Tests have a 50% record, winning three and drawing once.
England have actually won on their last two visits to the venue to play Test matches, in 2006 and 2012. They had previously been victorious in 1980 in what was the BCCI’s celebration Golden Jubilee Test.
It is three years since the ground hosted a Test match. That fixture was the famous 200th and final Test match played by the iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
With Wriddhiman Saha still struggling to recover from the thigh injury he suffered during the second Test, Parthiv Patel who made a fine return to the side in Mohali after an eight year absence, scoring 42 and 67 not out, is set to retain the wicket-keeping position for the hosts.
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who missed the first Test due to illness but was a non-playing member of the squad for the second and third fixtures, is released to get married.
The toss could be vital to the outcome of the match, with the strip expected to start offering the slow bowlers assistance from day three onwards. Whoever wins the coin spin will almost certainly bat first and look to post a total in the region of 400, which should assure them of victory.