India Vs England: 3rd Test Preview




In this marquee series for the No.1 Test ranking, the last thing one would have expected is to find India 0-2 down, and looking to stay afloat in the series. One could have expected the debacle at Lord’s owing to unfamiliar conditions, which has happened in recent away Test series, but the collapse in the second innings of the second Test, both batting and bowling, has left the country in shock. Two weeks is all it took for the knives to be out, and the visitors are totally demoralised.

India vs England: 3rd Test Preview

India vs England: 3rd Test Preview

Between the second and third Test, there was a two-day game up at Northampton. India struggled to field a eleven, owing to injuries and in the end , their bowlers got caned while only Abhinav Mukund stood out with a century, and ironically, he will be wielded the axe.

Coming in to the third Test, India has only one piece of good news. Their swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag is back at the top of the order, after three months out following shoulder surgery. He still does not look a hundred percent fit, but will feature in the game. Gautam Gambhir is also fully fit after an elbow injury kept him out of the Trent Bridge Test. Rahul Dravid will slot in at his customary one-drop position, while Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman occupy the next two slots. Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan are ruled out of the series due to injury which means that three slots need to be filled. Raina should retain his place although Virat Kohli has also been called up. The bowling is the main cause of concern as a green top should see India go in with four pacers- RP Singh who replaced Zaheer in the squad, Ishant, Praveen and Munaf. The gut feeling is that Amit Mishra will get the nod ahead of Munaf. However, whoever is chosen in the eleven knows that his task is cut out against a rampant English side.

The English team has no problem selecting itself, as the only change from Trent Bridge will be Ravi Bopara replacing the injured Jonathan Trott. Tremlett is not back to full fitness meaning Tim Bresnan will retain his place. England have great depth in batting and their bowling is also working as a unit.

What does this mean for India? What chinks in the English armour can they exploit? For starters, their openers have done poorly this series. Cook has not gone past single figures, while Strauss has struggled through the summer. Trott will not bat at No. 3, and the inclusion of Ravi Bopara, leaves the middle order a little bit wobbly. Tremlett is missing and Swann has not looked threatening at all this series. That said, Bresnan, Broad and Anderson have been magnificent while the rest of the English batting has stepped up to the challenge.

This is one last throw of the dice for the visitors, and they know they are one defeat away from not only losing their No. 1 ranking, but from utter humiliation.

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