Alastair Cook
After facing severe criticism in the opening two Tests, Alastair Cook stepped up to silence his critics with the bat in the Third Test.Getty Images

England and India are all set to battle it out in the fourth of the five-match Test series at Old Trafford in Manchester, beginning on Thursday.

Where to Watch Live

The play starts at 11am BST. Live coverage is on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD. Live text updates of the game will be available on ESPN Cricinfo. Click here for the live streaming link.

Overview

England restored some of their lost pride from the second Test after defeating India by 266 runs in the previous match to level the series 1-1. After winning the toss and electing to bat, skipper Alastair Cook started off strongly at The Rose Bowl, Southampton.

The 29-year-old opener was one of the star performers in the opening innings as he smashed 95 runs. Garry Ballance and Ian Bell scored 156 and 167 respectively while Jos Buttler added 85 runs as the hosts declared their innings with 569 runs on the board, losing seven wickets in the process.

India's response to it was just 330 runs with Ajinkya Rahane (54) and MS Dhoni (50) contributing the highest number of runs. Jimmy Anderson, who was initially accused of pushing and abusing Ravindra Jadeja, took five wickets to restrict the visitors in the second innings.

Approaching the end of the fourth day, England posted 205 runs and set a target of 445 runs for Duncan Fletcher's men to win. Cook once again played the captain's knock, scoring 70 runs while Joe Root contributed 56.

Ajinkya Rahane
The onus will once again fall on Ajinkya Rahane if India's opening batsmen fail to perform.Getty Images

India collapsed on the final day after scoring just 178 runs, with Rahane the only batsman remaining unbeaten with 52 runs on his tally. Moeen Ali showed his bowling prowess and nabbed six wickets while Anderson took two.

Murali Vijay (12) was run out by Stuart Broad as Root dismissed Shikhar Dhawan (37), the second highest contributor in the final innings.

Coming into the penultimate test, Anderson has been cleared off his charges and so is Jadeja after both were found not guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. However, both sides will be keen to wrest the upper hand before the final game at the Oval next week.

The third test was highly worrying for Dhoni as his side lacked flair in both bowling and batting. Some changes could be expected and Dhawan is likely to be the first casualty after failing to build a platform in any of the three Test matches. Gautam Gambhir could play in his first Test match since December 2012 which was coincidentally against England.

Pankaj Singh, who made his debut appearance in the long format of the game, could also be withdrawn from the lineup after failing to take a single wicket in both innings.

Meanwhile, England's fast bowler Liam Plunkett is ruled out with an ankle injury and Steven Finn replaces him in the squad.

Betting Odds (888sport.com)

  • England: 8/5
  • Draw: 1
  • India: 19/4

Specials

Jimmy Anderson
Jimmy Anderson (centre) was declared the Man of the Match in the Third Test.Getty Images

Jimmy Anderson to break Ian Botham's test wicket record in the 4th test – 50/1

Top Batsman

India

  • Gautam Gambhir: 9/2
  • Ajinkya Rahane: 5

England

  • Joe Root: 9/2
  • Ian Bell: 4
  • Alastair Cook: 4

Team News

England

Probable Lineup: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Jimmy Anderson

India

Probable Lineup: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron