Anderson closing in on McGrath and more England v India fourth Test stats

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Seemingly as good as ever: James Anderson.

England and India clash in the pivotal fourth Test match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Thursday.

The hosts hold a slender 2-1 series lead with this match and the finale at the Oval to come.

However, it is the tourists who have all the momentum after a crushing win at Trent Bridge.

Here, we look at the key match stats before the two teams lock horns again.

  • 6 – James Anderson (557 wickets) is just six scalps away from equalling Glenn McGrath’s record Test wicket haul as a seamer (563), and seven shy of overtaking the Australian legend. The England bowler is the leading series wicket-taker so far with 17 and fifth in the all-time Test wicket victims charts currently.
  • 6 – Virat Kohli is just six runs shy of 6,000 runs in Test cricket. The Indian skipper will no doubt reach that landmark imminently and when he does, Kohli will become the sixth-fastest man in history to get there. Remarkably, Don Bradman took just 69 innings to amass the total while Kohli has played 118 Test knocks for the Men in Blue.
  • 1 – India pace ace Ishant Sharma (249) needs just one more wicket to reach the 250 milestone in Tests. Should he do that in Southampton, the tall seamer will become the seventh Indian bowler to claim 250 victims or more.
  • 19 – Aside from Ravi Ashwin taking the wicket of James Anderson to clinch victory in Nottingham, 19 out of the 20 English wickets available were taken by seam bowling at Trent Bridge. In the series as a whole, Indian quicks have gobbled up 38 out of 46 wickets on offer.
India's captain Virat Kohli is interviewed after winning the third Test cricket match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England on August 22, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, Virat Kohli is on the cusp of another landmark.

  • 3 – This is only the third Test match played at the Ageas Bowl, formerly named the Rose Bowl, in Southampton over the past seven years. England have yet to taste defeat at the venue after drawing with Sri Lanka in 2011 and beating India in 2014.
  • 266 – the run margin of victory for England when they clashed with the sub continent giants four years ago. Moeen Ali claimed 6-67 in the second innings as the hosts sauntered to victory.
  • 1937 – the year in which Bradman’s Australia became the only Test team in history to turn round a 2-0 deficit and win a five-match series 3-2. The Baggy Green did it on home soil against England during the 1936/37 Ashes, sealing a win by an innings and 200 runs in the fifth match at Melbourne. It is obviously still possible for India to do something similar.

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Ravi Ashwin resumes bowling in the nets as England sweat on Chris Woakes' fitness

Sudhir Gupta 29/08/2018
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Ashwin resumed bowling in the nets on Tuesday.

India received a boost ahead of the fourth Test against England at Southampton with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin having a bowl in the nets on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old’s fitness has been a concern ever since he sustained a groin injury in the third Test at Southampton. When the Indian team hit the nets for their first training session in Southampton on Monday, the senior spinner only did some light batting practice and stayed away from bowling.

That had given rise to speculation that Ashwin’s place in the side could be taken by Ravindra Jadeja who bowled extensively in Monday’s net session.

Now, with Ashwin showing signs of recovery, the probability of India skipper Virat Kohli naming an unchanged playing XI for the first time in his captaincy tenure have shot up.

Chris Woakes did not attend England's training session on Tuesday.

Chris Woakes did not attend England’s training session on Tuesday.

While Ashwin remains India’s only injury concern ahead of the fourth Test, England have some pondering to do in light of Jonny Bairstow’s injury. The England wicket-keeper injured his finger at Trent Bridge and could play as a specialist batsman at Southampton with Jos Buttler taking the gloves.

On the other hand, all-rounder Chris Woakes is now a big doubt for the Test after he skipped the team’s Tuesday training session. The Englishman is said to have missed out on the session after complaining of some pain in his right thigh.

It was the same injury that kept the all-rounder out of the limited-overs clashes preceding the Test series and his place could be taken by Sam Curran if he is unable to recover in time.

The fourth Test between the two sides gets underway on Thursday. The hosts currently lead the five-match series 2-1.

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Live Cricket Blog: Shami to target Bairstow in fourth Test

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9:00 pm – India-Pakistan tickets on sale

The next batch of tickets for the much-awaited Asia Cup India-Pakistan match in Dubai go on sale on Thursday, August 30.

The Asia Cup gets underway on September 15 with the final on September 28. The six teams that will fight for Asian glory are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a qualifier.

For more information, click here.

8:30 pm – India to target Bairstow

England v India: Specsavers 2nd Test - Day Three

India’s pace attack will target Jonny Bairstow’s broken finger if he is able to defy injury and take part in the fourth Test.

Mohammed Shami confirmed the tourists’ collective intention to hone in on Bairstow’s potential “weak zone” in Southampton.

Read more here.

5:30pm – Pakistan release schedule for Australia and New Zealand clashes

After much delay, the schedules for Australia and New Zealand’s respective tours of the UAE to take on Pakistan was released on Tuesday. The Aussies are slated to play two Tests and three T20Is against the men in green who will then take on New Zealand in three ODIs and as many T20Is followed by a three-Test series.

To see the complete schedule for Pakistan cricket in the UAE in 2018, click here.

Australia will come calling to the UAE in October.

Australia will come calling to the UAE in October.

5:00pm – Jonny Bairstow still hoping to keep wickets in Southampton Test

Jonny Bairstow still hopes he can keep wicket for England in the fourth Test at Southampton despite his broken finger.

Bairstow was planning to test the injury with his wicketkeeping gloves on in training at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday – raising the possibility he, rather than Jos Buttler, may yet be behind the stumps against India.

Read more on this developing story here.

Bairstow had injured his finger in the third Test against India.

Bairstow had injured his finger in the third Test against India.

4:00pm – Graeme Swann labels Ravi Ashwin as the best off-spinner in the world

Former England spin ace Graeme Swann has picked India’s Ravichandran Ashwin as the best off-spinner currently operating in Test cricket.

The senior India spinner has been in decent form in the team’s ongoing five-match series against England and picked up a seven-wicket haul in the first Test at Edgbaston

Read Swann’s quotes on Ashwin and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan here.

Ravi Ashwin has come in for some praise from Graeme Swann.

Ravi Ashwin has come in for some praise from Graeme Swann.

12:00pm – Ravi Ashwi’s fitness a concern for India ahead of fourth Test

Team India hit the nets at Southampton on Monday in preparation for the fourth and penultimate Test against England which gets underway on Thursday.

There was some concern for Indian fans with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not having a bowl in Monday’s training session as he continues his recovery from the hip injury he sustained in the third Test.

Read more on this breaking story and see the Indian players in action in the nets here.

Ashwin (r) did not take part in the team's nets session on Monday.

Ashwin (r) did not take part in the team’s nets session on Monday.

11:00am – Pakistan undergo fitness camp at military school

Pakistan have upped the ante in training ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.

The players, this week, have been taking part in an intense fitness camp at the Army School of Physical and Training (ASPT) in Abbottabad.

See images of the players in action at the camp here.

Pakistan have begun their preparations for the Asia Cup.

Pakistan have begun their preparations for the Asia Cup.

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