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South Africa great fires warning to England before 4th Test showdown: ‘If India get their noses ahead…’

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England’s exciting Bazball approach has come under intense scrutiny after Ben Stokes and Co. recorded a heavy defeat at the hands of hosts India in the five-match series on Sunday. Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round show and a sublime double-century from opener Yashasvi Jaiswal powered Rohit Sharma’s Team India to a memorable win over England at Rajkot. Exposing holes in England’s Bazball approach, India have taken a 2-1 lead over the visitors in the five-match Test series.

England skipper Ben Stokes and Team India captain Rohit Sharma during the toss(AFP)

England slumped to an embarrassing 434-run loss in the 3rd Test against India, which has been its biggest trounce since 1934. The visitors started the day at 207-2 while responding to India’s first-innings score of 445. However, pacer Mohammed Siraj and spinner Kuldeep Yadav sparked a batting collapse of England as Stokes’ men lost eight wickets for 95 runs. Former England skipper Joe Root made headlines for playing the ‘worst, most stupid, shot in the history of England’s Test cricket’. Root reverse-scooped Jasprit Bumrah straight to second slip which led to his cheap dismissal in Rajkot.

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Smith fires warning to England

In his column for Betway Insider, former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith observed that the England side will stick to their guns after the Rajkot humiliation. “There’s always been a lot of talent, but they seem to have taken away the fear, provided a lot of security for people and look at the game in a really positive way. England are certainly sticking true to the way that they want to play in India by applying pressure on the opposition and making them think,” Smith mentioned.

However, Smith also warned that England that Rohit and Co. are difficult to chase down if they get their noses ahead at home. Chasing an improbable target of 557, England only scored 122 to lose the 3rd Test by 434 runs in Rajkot. Before losing to India in Rajkot, the Brendon McCullum-coached England side won 14 out of 20 Test matches. The visitors will aim to bounce back in the series decider against India in Ranchi.

‘If India get their noses ahead then…’

“It’s a very long tour and toiling against India like you have to, with long days in the field combined with the heat, can wear you down towards the back end of a series,” Smith explained. “Staying mentally fresh, positive, and within your gameplan is important. England have done that well so far and need to hang tough for as long as possible, because if India get their noses ahead then they’ll be very difficult to chase down,” he added.

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