Kevin Pietersen feels visitors England can still level the four-match Test series against India if they bat well in the first innings of the 4th Test at Ahmedabad from March 4.
Former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen maintained that England can still bounce back in the series against India if they “bat really well in the first innings” when the two teams meet in the final Test match at Ahmedabad on Thursday.
Kevin Pietersen: If England Bats Well In 1st Innings They Can Level Series 2-2
England made a bright promising start to the four-match series, defeating India by 227 runs in the opening Test at Chennai, but the hosts replied strongly with comprehensive wins in the second and third matches to take a 2-1 lead.
England’s hopes of playing the ICC World Test Championship final were crushed with their 10-wicket defeat inside two days in an extraordinary low-scoring third test in Ahmedabad. But they can still spoil the party for Team India if they win the final Test to level the series.
An England win in Ahmedabad would put Australia in the final of the inaugural WTC against New Zealand in June, knocking India out of the running.
“I don’t see the next pitch being a road, so if they can just bat really well in the first innings, they have a shot at levelling things up,” Pietersen said in his Betway Insider blog.
Virat Kohli led India bounced back against England after losing the 1st Test, going 2-1 up after winning the 2nd Test at Chennai and 3rd Test at Ahmedabad. Virat Kohli though hasn’t really fired scoring 172 runs in 5 innings averaging a modest 34.4. Joe Root is the leading run-scorer with 333 runs.
Kevin Pietersen Don’t Want To Point Fingers At Young England Batsmen
Kevin Petersen also urged the young England batsmen like Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley, and Rory Burns not to get disheartened by their performances in the last two Tests as India has always been a tough place for visiting teams.
“I don’t want to point fingers at the young England batsmen too much, because this is a testing tour for them. It’s their first trip of this magnitude to India and it’s a learning experience.
“These youngsters shouldn’t be beating themselves up, they should be remembering how cool it is that next week they have another opportunity to play a Test match in India. Can I do better? What can I work on over the next few days?’ They’ve still got a fantastic chance to walk away with a famous series draw,” Kevin Pietersen said.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was the Man of the Match after producing a match-haul of 11 for 70. England suffered a collapse in the first essay, as they managed only 112 despite being placed comfortably at 74 for 2 at one stage. India, on the other hand, plummeted from 98 for 2 to 145 all out.
England managed only 81 in their second essay as India beat England in the third Test by 10 wickets, inside two days to complete the shortest Test since World War II.