Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Preview, 4th Test, India versus England, Nagpur

Going into this Final Test with the series 2/1 in the English favour, the state of the Teams resembles two side of a coin. With the English looking like a run away train being fuelled by an unshakable belief and confidence in comparison with the Indians, who look to be on the verge of imploding both on and off the field.

On face value, it would tend to point to another comprehensive victory for the English in this game, but the more you indulge in the joyous uncertainty that is Test Cricket, the more you respect that definition. Meaning an Indian win is indeed unlikely with few giving them much hope, but stranger things have happened...

Likely Teams

India


The insipid display in Calcutta saw the Veterans Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh dropped with 
Delhi fast bowler Parvinder AwanaSaurashtra  allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and legspinner Piyush Chawla replacing them.

It leaves the question about the composition of the team for this Test with the logical changes being Ajinkya Rahane coming in to bat at 6 and Ashok Dinda filling the fast bowling vacancy.

Dinda will definitely play, but I just have a feeling that Ravindra Jadeja might be preferred to Rahane. Which will be damning on the basis of Rahane consistent excellence over a number of years compared to Jadeja's Johnny come lately numbers.


Leaving the Team as follows:

Gambhir, Sehwag, Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Jadeja, Dhoni, Ashwin, Dinda, Ishant, Ojha


England

The English have few concerns going into the match with their only query possibly being over Samit Patel's position at number 6. I think the fact that the Team is winning will see him retained for the match, but another teasing display culminating in a frustratingly soft dismissal will see a line put through Patel's name in the future

Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Patel, Prior, Swann, Finn, Anderson, Panesar.


The Keys to Win

India


I don't think this Indian team has any fighting spirit. When was the last time we managed to show some application and grit? We are a ship without leadership or a competent crew, floating on the open sea, hoping for favourable winds so that we can find a safe harbour.

The comments from an Indian fan about the current state of the Indian Team which underlines the huge task before them in this game

Made worse by the allegation today that Captain M.S.Dhoni has complained to the BCCI about Gautam Gambhir- citing he is is not pleased with Gautam Gambhir's attitude and on-field ethics.

Lol, so now he can go into this match with not only those other factors against him in regards to a fundamentally flawed Team, but also one that he sees as being mutinous.

Pity we are not talking about Pakistan here for with them on the edge of chaos and oblivion wins were often guaranteed, but how will India respond?

I fully expect that they will implode meekly especially if the toss gives England a chance to bat first.

If there is to be a miracle and they turn things around a lift obviously has to come from all, but a few stand out.

Starting with the batting, the top three is crucial to give a diabolical middle order the chance to become a factor. A 4-7 in the batting that has scored 412 runs at an average of 20.2 in the series. If the top three can lift it gives them a chance to bat with the scoreboard in their favour and the relenting of pressure that that represents. Gautam Gambhir seems the man who has the capacity to lift with his form starting to improve in the last two Test, and he will have the added motivation of Dhoni's critique to put in a defining contribution here

Onto the bowling the dropping of Zaheer Khan was justified on his 2012 figures of 15 wickets at 49.26 coupled with the fact that he looks a shadow of his former self.

BUT

It takes away the leader of the attack and a man that all the bowlers look too. Meaning someone will have to rise to assume Zaheer's mantle

This role has been Ishant Sharma's talked up destiny with him struggling with it every time he has had to assume it. Promisingly for the big quick, Nagpur is a happy hunting ground for him with him taking 11 wickets at an average of 21.63 at the venue. He needs to emulates those impressive deeds in this game and give India a strike weapon to hang their hat on.

The spinners will play a huge role too with both needing to lift. In this game they need stick to their guns steadily with consistency the key to their success rather than serving up many different treats for the batsmen to devour.

If these elements enter India's play a miraculous victory could ensue.

England 


After you thinking that Mumbai was just a performance out of the box only to have Kolkata show that it was in truth an irreversible trend in the series it is hard to see England at worst coming away with a draw from this game.

They are too full of confidence, too professional and frankly a million miles better than this current Indian Team

You know that with India needing a result to tie the series in this game that it will play further into England's hands.

Especially if the the toss for the first time in the series falls in their favour and allows England to bat first which in Asian conditions is a huge factor that India have failed to fully exploit.

Promisingly for the Team with every game we have seen more players contribute, which is in stark contrast to the one man show that the 1st Test represented with Alastair Cook left to carry the rest.

This was evident in the bowling in the last Test, which as a unit was firing on all cylinders and looked breathtakingly brilliant at times. Both the spin and pace duos were so complimentary of each other and so cohesive culminating in a real bite felt by the Indian batsmen

The batting is still relying a great deal on Cook for its might, but he has been gaining support by the innings with Matt Prior throughout and KP with his freakish contributions. If Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell, who both showed promise in the last Test can return to their previous pedigree England will be unstoppable

If truth be told, I think they have reached that plateau already

Prediction


If England win the toss, I expect an innings victory for them

In fact I can only seeing India further imploding in this game to another embarrassing loss despite of the toss, the pitch or any circumstance

4 comments:

  1. India will bounce back...

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  2. I remember before the series you were of the opinion that England won't let India win easily you predicted 2-1 or 3-1 in favour of England. I love your confidence. Now you predicted another embarrassing Indian loss despite of the toss, the pitch or any circumstance.. Ok.. Looking forward to it

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    Replies
    1. Time will tell my friend, but I cannot see any way India can win this match or even be competitive within it

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