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By Arunabha Sengupta
Lord’s: Jul 17, 2014
The wicket is green. Yes, pure green.
Walking into the lift on his way to the media centre, Andrew Strauss seemed quite shocked by the look of it. “I haven’t seen such a green wicket, and I’ve seen quite a few.”
Asked whether he expects it to do a bit, Strauss answered, “Definitely. Not a ridiculous amount, but quite a bit.”
The day had dawned beautiful and bright, but just as yours truly arrived at the ground some greyish black clouds started forming around the Eastern stands. There is a sense of drama buzzing around. Something quite different from Trent Bridge is definitely in the offing.
The grass and the appearance of clouds will make the choice of the final eleven quite confounding. It will also prompt the captains to think long and hard about what to do if they win the flip of the coin.
This is the ground where India played their first ever Test match in 1932 and reduced England to 19 for three in 20 minutes. This is where Kapil Dev proudly lifted the World Cup in 1983. This is where Dilip Vengsarkar scored his third century in as many appearances as India triumphed over England in 1986.
However, the honeymoon for India at the Mecca of cricket stops there. They have won just that one Test and lost 11 of their 16 matches here. And the day has dawned with curious parameters thrown into the equation.
Things are set for an intriguing start to the Test match.
(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)
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