Home > Features >

India vs England 2014, 2nd Test at Lord’s Day 5 Preview: India look to wrap things up

India are on the verge of a famous win at Lord's © Getty Images
India are on the verge of a famous win at Lord’s © Getty Images

After four fascinating days, the odds are very much in favour of India as the Test match enters the final act. Arunabha Sengupta writes that there are several signs indicating a distinct lack of confidence in the England camp.

To try and gauge the morale in the dressing room is always akin to stepping into the realm of conjecture, but there are plenty of stark signs outlining the contrasting spirits of the two sides as they go into Day 5 of this splendid Test match.

Yesterday evening, as Murali Vijay appeared in front of the press radiating quiet, restrained confidence and Ravindra Jadeja sounded ebullient as he talked about his all-round deeds on the television, England sent in their assistant coach Paul Farbrace. Of course, Farbrace said that he expected England to win, but when asked for the reasons for his assertion, his response was tautologically inane: “You’ve got to turn up expecting your batsmen to score the runs.”

The England players were evidently in no mood to face probing questions after the gruelling day. Perhaps they required some serious regrouping; perhaps even the rigorous ‘how to face press conferences and say nothing newsworthy’ courses of modern day cricket were not enough to prepare them for the tough posers of a demanding English media; perhaps the team members were starting to find the ‘Cookie is upbeat and a great player, he will be back among runs soon’ line increasingly lame;and then there is the outside possibility that they were spooked by the ghosts of the Lagham Hotel. However, the appearance of the assistant coach does seem to reflect the gloom in the general outlook of the team.

There are plenty of factors against the England team as they go into the final day. The increasingly variable bounce of the wicket has made batting difficult, the ball is turning, there is a huge rough outside the left-hander’s off-stump where Jadeja will gleefully pitch the ball with four southpaws remaining in the batting line up. The Indian bowlers have maintained a strict line, have pitched the ball up, and given nothing away. Moeen Ali should have gone back last evening itself, the plumbest appeal for leg-before against him surprisingly turned down.The 214 runs yet to be scored look ominous indeed.

While the Indians look likely to script one of the most fascinating overseas wins in their cricketing history, there are some aspects they will be wary about. England do bat deep, even Liam Plunkett and James Anderson boasting impressive half-centuries in this series. In the recent past, the inability to get rid of the tail has been a recurrent thorn in their flesh.Finally, they will probably miss the quality spin of Ravichandran Ashwin in these conditions. The use of Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan demonstrates how handy a second spinner would have been on the final day.

As for England, they are still recovering from the quick wickets in the final session, the murderous attack launched by Jadeja’s willow, and are busy paying for their extravagance in wasting multiple new ballsby pitching short. They will be hoping for a rescue act by Moeen and Joe Root, but it will definitely need something special to script a win from this situation.

The weather forecast, seldom accurate in the last few days, predicts bright sunshine and a full day’s play.In all probability, however, the game will be decided by lunch and completed before tea.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs North Zone, semi-final at Mohali Day 4: Naman Ojha out for 40

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Openers extend lead on fourth morning

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 1 at Mirpur: Zimbabwe lose Sibanda in first over

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

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

Haroon Lorgat expects WICB to sort out issue before South Africa tour

Yasir Shah delighted by Shane Warne’s tweet

Zimbabwe reach 77/2 at lunch against Bangladesh on Day 1 of 1st Test

VVS Laxman: Would love to watch ISL match during my stay in Kolkata

Wasim Bari likely candidate for Pakistan chief selector, team manager

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here