Home > News >

Preview: Listless India look to level series against England at Nagpur

Indian players

Indian players need to play out of their skins to make a comeback from the 1-2 deficit in the ongoing series against England © PTI

Nagpur: Dec 12, 2012

India’s under-fire cricketers will have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, after back-to-back defeats to England, and compete on equal footing against a confident England in the perform-or-perish fourth and final Test commencing at Nagpur on Thursday.

Trailing the buoyant visitors 1-2 in the rubber after being outplayed in the second and third encounters at Mumbai and Kolkata, the home players need to sort themselves out on several fronts to level the series at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.

Under-performing senior players in the Indian line-up, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar, are under severe pressure not only to lift the side with supreme personal efforts but also to save their careers after India’s spineless displays at the Wankhede Stadium and the Eden Gardens.

It would need a monumental display of grit and determination from several below-par players if India are to bounce back from this dismal situation and prevent England from walking off with their first Test series win in India in 28 years.

The home team needs to buck up not just in one department but in several to stop the visiting team from running away triumphant for the first time since David Gower’s outfit in 1984-85.

Indian openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag have been pretty casual in their approach thus far, in stark contrast to the grinding efforts of rival skipper Alastair Cook, England’s top batsman in the series, and rookie Nick Compton, who has slowly and steadily found his feet after a nervous debut in Ahmedabad’s opening Test.

The middle order has been pathetic with only Cheteshwar Pujara showing spunk in the first two Tests before going off the boil.

Tendulkar, in the autumn of his glorious career, has looked a pale shadow of his former self, garnering just 110 runs in five innings thus far.

Someone like Virat Kohli, who was the best batsman for the team in Australia, has fallen away so much to casual shots that he has mustered a pathetic 85 runs in six innings, an indication of the malaise afflicting the team.

Dhoni has been poor with the bat and behind the stumps too, with just a lone half century in the previous game to crow about and his head is on the chopping block more than anyone else’s even though he has been defiant in his statements.

“The easiest thing for me to say right now is to say, ‘I quit captaincy’ and be a part of the side. But that’s like running away from the responsibility. Of course there are others who will decide. There is BCCI and the administrative people who also want to look into that”, he had said after India were handed a seven-wicket defeat at the Eden Gardens.

However, it is difficult to see him retained at the helm if India lose the series after having led the country to two massive defeats recently — the 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia.

To give an impetus to the non-performing middle order, the Indian selectors have chopped the under-performing Yuvraj Singh from the squad and brought in the in-form Ravindra Jadeja and the Saurashtra all-rounder is almost certain to make his Test debut.

The 24-year-old, who has played 58 ODIs, comes into the do-or-die encounter on the strength of his national record that includes a third triple hundred in first class cricket against a weak Railways attack on the shirtfront wicket at Rajkot and would find the cauldron of Test cricket a different kettle to master.

Teams:

India (Probable): Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Parwinder Awana, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma

England (Probable): Alastair Cook (c), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Steve Finn, James Anderson.

Time: 09.30 local (09.30 IST)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan reach 517/4 at tea

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

PCB honours Nobel Prize for Peace winner Malala Yousafzai

Pakistan 517/4 against Australia at tea on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Misbah-ul-Haq becomes fifth Test captain to score century after age of 40

Younis Khan completes 5th Test double century; Pakistan continue to dominate Australia in 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here