Wednesday, 5 December 2012

India Lost his confidence for 3rd Test

India under pressure due to pitch factors:

It has been a strange old few days between Test matches. Much of the talk has been about an 83-year-old groundsman and the 22 yards he is in charge of. MS Dhoni wants another pitch with spin and bounce - qualities that brought his side's downfall in Mumbai - and predictions for the surface have seemingly covered all bases. England, meanwhile, have sat back, enjoyed a few days off in Mumbai, done some charity work and worked hard in getting a key fast bowler fit.

The two results in this series - India's nine-wicket win and England's ten-wicket success - were of such convincing margins in opposite directions that it makes it difficult to really know where each team sits against each other. Yet such was the turnaround performed by England last week that the prospect of a first series win in India since 1984-85 is now a realistic ambition.

A link between the two results is that they have been achieved with a small collection of outstanding performances. In Ahmedabad it was largely Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara and Pragyan Ojha. In Mumbai the matchwinners were Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann. While some individuals have been outstanding, both teams have also carried a number of players.

For England, pressure will be on the Warwickshire pair of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell (should the latter return) to supplement Cook and Pietersen. Then, of course, there is Sachin Tendulkar. Nobody really knows what he is thinking about the future - it is all rumour and hearsay - but the bottom line is that he has averaged 22.83 this year. It's an intriguing subplot in a fascinating series.

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