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India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: Draw the most likely result, feels Sunil Gavaskar

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Sunil Gavaskar said England should set a target of about 400 and give four sessions to bowl India out.© Getty Images

By Arunabha Sengupta

Ageas Bowl: Jul 30, 2014

“It looks like a draw,” said the Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar as he left the media centre at Ageas Bowl on the evening of the third day of the second Test match. “Mainly because the wicket has not deteriorated at all.”

The great Indian opening batsman did not think England would enforce the follow-on even if they dismissed India short of the 370 run mark. “It is not recommended. Batting in the fourth innings is always more difficult. The best option is to go out there again, pile on some quick runs and let India bat after tea.”

When asked about a suitable target to set, Gavaskar said 400 would be adequate. “I think England should be looking at setting the Indians about 400 runs with four sessions to bat out.” He did not think the Indians would be able to successfully chase a 400-plus target. “The Indian batsmen as a batting unit are not in the sort of form to score 400 in the fourth innings.”

Incidentally, Gavaskar himself had scored 221 in the fourth innings of the Oval Test of 1979 and India had almost chased down 438. But, that remains legendary because it was the rarest of rare feats.

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)

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