India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is known to be a chirpy presence behind the stumps but it is not often that his verbal banter can directly cause wickets to fall. Yet that was exactly what happened on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test against England at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. Zak Crawley (8) felt that the easiest way to survive was to attack Axar Patel. He got a boundary but then jumped out and lofted the spinner without getting to the pitch of the delivery. The result was a simple catch to Mohammed Siraj stationed at mid-off, who didn’t even have to move an inch from his position.
Yet what might have evaded the attention of many was that just prior to Crawley throwing away his wicket, Pant had taken a light jab at him. “Someone is getting angry now," Pant said and Crawley went on to perish.
— Team India 2.0 (@teamindia2_0) March 4, 2021
England captain Joe Root opted to bat after winning the toss in the fourth and final Test against India in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
For England, batsman Dan Lawrence replaced Stuart Broad while off-spinner Dom Bess came in place of Jofra Archer.
For India, Mohammed Siraj came back in place of Jasprit Bumrah, who has taken leave of absence for the game.
India lead the four-match series 2-1 after their thumping win in the third Test that ended inside two days.
A win or a draw for India will assure them of a place in the final of the World Test Championship where they will face New Zealand at Lord’s.
England are out of contention for a place in the final of WTC as they needed a 3-1 series win against India to make it to the final, can still spoil India’s chances if they can secure a win and then Australia will qualify for the final.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (w), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj
England: Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes(w), Daniel Lawrence, Dominic Bess, Jack Leach, James Anderson.