Home > Features >

India tour of England 2014: The cricket may not turn out to be exciting, but a keen battle is on the cards

Alastair-Cook-of-England-is-bowled
Alastair Cook’s poor run with the bat continued on Day Two © Getty Images

 

Much depends on whether the Indian bowlers can get the ball to reverse, writes Arunabha Sengupta.

 

Nottingham: July 11

On Tuesday, as the two teams had warmed up for the Test, the sun had smiled upon the England players during the morning while MS Dhoni’s men were greeted by gloomy cloud cover when they came in for a hit in the afternoon.

Now, as the match enters the third day, the tale is reversed. Clouds, away on other distant errands all through Wednesday and Thursday, have returned early in the morning and at least some of them have a darker shade. It is supposed to drizzle a bit before the scheduled start and clear up by noon. But, again, the predictions have been much more fickle than the weather so far.

If there is indeed a cloud cover, the Indian seamers will be keen to exploit the same. However, one wonders how much help they will be accorded by the elements.

Clouds aside, there is a significant section of the cricketing cognoscenti who are eagerly waiting for the ball to get older. The eyes will be on Mohammed Shami and his ability to get it to reverse, much like the English bowlers did on the first day immediately after lunch. Till now, the old ball has swung considerably more than the new. It is perhaps this aspect which has led Sourav Ganguly to voice with characteristic confidence that India is going to win this Test match.

However, there are quite a few who are not so sure. The wicket is a killjoy with its sluggishness. England bat deep and with quality, with Test centurions down ton No 9. In Sam Robson, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali they have young men with very few Tests under their belts but with impressive centuries to demonstrate their abilities. Joe Root is fresh from a double hundred. Ian Bell provides class in the middle, Matt Prior experience and spunk, while Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad combine to form one of the strongest lower middle orders. It will be anything but easy for the Indian bowlers. As Bhuvneshwar Kumar put it yesterday, patience and discipline will be the key.

The one advantage that the Indians have over their opponents is the presence of a quality spinner. Ravindra Jadeja can bowl through the day, relying on length, line and accuracy, and block one end far more effectively than the likes of Moeen. If past performances are any indicator, he can also be counted to capture a few wickets along the way.

The dry pitch and lack of movement witnessed so far has many rueing the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin from the line-up, but as we know well wisdom is easy in retrospect. That makes it important for Stuart Binny to send down some economical overs when entrusted with the ball.

It promises to be a battle of attrition. On this sort of a surface it is difficult for the action to get too flashy and exciting. However, one does expect a keen and often gripping tussle through the day.

Catch all the stories from India’s tour of England 2014 here

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry.He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 17, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Melbourne

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Chittagong

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Canberra

Australia won by 73 runs

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 16, 2014  at Ranchi

India won by 3 wkts

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 16, 2014  at Perth

South Africa won by 3 wkts

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Virat Kohli’s challenge in Australia is like Sachin Tendulkar’s task Down Under in 1999-2000

Did N Srinivasan browbeat Mudgal panel?

South Africa’s struggles while chasing

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Aaron Finch could be key batsman for Australia

Keith Pont bicycles across cricket ground while fielding

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 BCCI India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal: BCCI affidavit suggests that they took action against ‘Individual 3′

Virat Kohli confirms relationship with Anushka Sharma

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Alastair Cook eyeing series victory

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali to open batting with Alastair Cook in tour game against Sri Lanka A

Sourav Ganguly to inaugurate Hockey league in West Bengal

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2nd Test at Dubai: Will Brendon McCullum take the gamble?

Virat Kohli’s challenge in Australia is like Sachin Tendulkar’s task Down Under in 1999-2000

Did N Srinivasan browbeat Mudgal panel?

South Africa’s struggles while chasing

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Aaron Finch could be key batsman for Australia

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Virat Kohli confirms relationship with Anushka Sharma

Mary Kom sets sight on qualification for 2016 Rio Olympics

WhatsApp releases a new user-friendly feature for group messages

Happy Ending movie review: Govinda stands out in Saif Ali Khan-Ileana D’Cruz’s breezy romcom!

LOL! This treadmill #fail video is hilarious. Don’t miss the woman wearing heels!

Ladies, experience pain when you pee? Here are 6 reasons why

Bigg Boss 8: After Gautam Gulati, Puneet Issar, Karishma Tanna and Upen Patel to fight it out for the next captaincy!

Xiaomi Redmi Note launch in India imminent

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Champions Tennis League: Pune Marathas make incredible comeback to stun Bangalore Raptors in tiebreaker

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here