After the humility at Headingley, Team India started their first training routine at the Oval in London for the penultimate Test of the Pataudi Trophy.
Photos taken from the ground showed skipper Virat Kohli running, while vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin had a few words of form with head coach Ravi Shastri ahead of the nets session. KL Rahul and Kohli were also seen in the nets.
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah and number 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara also made an appearance.
While all of these in-frame players will be under tremendous pressure in the fourth Test, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichadran Ashwin (if he plays) will find themselves in a dazzling spotlight.
All eyes are on Kohli, Rahane and Ashwin as India wants to take the lead
Skipper Kohli scored his first half-century of the series in the final Test, but it was far from a match-winning one. He is under scrutiny for his off-time layoffs, which will continue unabated unless he lives up to his potential on Thursday.
Rahane’s form was gloomy. More importantly, he strikes a position that arguably has the most backups in the current squad. While most pundits want him to be impeached, he might get a few more pressured chances to defend his case.
Finally, in a completely opposite scenario to Rahane, Ashwin is touted as the silver bullet for all of India’s misery in England. If he plays, in what seems very possible in light of Ravindra Jadeja’s injury, he will be under the pump to perform not only for the team, but also for himself.
The fourth test will begin on Thursday, September 2 at 3:30 PM IST.