Uzair Rizvi, BeyondHeadlines
India will look to revive themselves in the backdrop of riot-affected Birmingham when they take on England in the third test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Trailing 2-0 in the four match Test Series, Team India are in serious danger of losing their status of being a no.1 side in the Test ranking.
Things are deteriorating for team India, having lost the two test matches, visitors also lost a 2-day practice game against Northamptonshire. The team is beset by injury problems with their spearhead pacer Zaheer Khan has been ruled out for four months, who is to be replaced by another left arm seamer R.P.Singh,he makes his comeback to the fold after a gap of two years.
Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh have also been ruled out as they also have been down with fitness issues.
The familiar sight of Sehwag and Gambhir opening the innings will come as a relief for the visitors.
Dravid has been as usual solid staying as a wall. Laxman and Tendulkar have got the starts and a couple of half centuries but are yet to score a big one to put the English under pressure. Indians have failed to get pass 300 mark in last four innings. That is a worrying aspect for the team.
The no.6 spot proves a challenge for both Raina and Mukund.As Raina looked quite classy with his stroke making in the second test but Mukund’s century in the tour game and Raina’s inability to cope up with the short balls might edge in favor of Mukund.
Skipper Dhoni’s form is also an annoying feature. He with the lower order has contributed nothing in the batting like the England tail have done.
Harbhajan’s replacement has posed some problems with both Mishra and Ojha are in the contention. But Mishra should make it to the playing 11 owing to England’s problem in handling the leg spinner.
Surprisingly the seam department has done well despite the absence of Zaheer Khan.
Praveen Kumar, Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma have all done up reasonably well. Therefore, R.P. Singh is unlikely to get a berth in playing 11.
The Home side is on cloud 9, they are just one win away from taking over the first test ranking spot from team India. Strauss men have played exceedingly awesome after their 196-run win in Lord’s followed by an emphatic victory in Nottingham.
England will go into the test confident of continuing their dominance against the visiting teams.
Tremlett has been ruled out of the third test, which means the think tank does not have to ponder much in picking up their second test hero Tim Bresnan.
The batting have just suffered a setback as their most prolific scorer Jonathan Trott has been ruled because of his chest injury that he picked up in the second test. Ravi Bopara takes his place.
Except for these changes, the England squad is same. The openers have not been a major threat though both of them have been run machines but Cook and Strauss have failed to get a good score.
Kevin Pietersen is returning back to his best with Morgan has showed some capability in his previous innings.Ian Bell’s century has silenced his critics by scoring heavy runs and will look forward to make most of it as he returns to his Warwickshire home ground.
Matt Prior and the tail have contributed significantly with the bat and have masked the failures of regular batsmen.
Graeme Swann’s form is the only the concern for the England, he has been cantered by the Indians but he will look to bounce back in the helping conditions at Edgbaston.
The pace battery is firing all cylinders with Broad and Anderson in top form, ripping apart the Indian batsmen.
The surface has been green but some of the grass has been taken off, there should still be plenty to encourage the seamers.Theforecast, meanwhile, is mixed with rain interruptions on all the days.
The return of Sehwag might do wonders for Indian and they just hold on to their top raking but the England are on a roll and it is very difficult to stop the three lions who are clearly becoming the most dominating team in test arena.
India – MS Dhoni(wk/cpt), V.Sehwag, G.Gambhir, S.Tendulkar, R.Dravid, VVS Laxman, A.Mukund, AMishra, I.Sharma, P.Kumar, Sreesanth
England – A.Strauss(cpt), A.Cook, I.Bell, K.Pietersen, R.Bopara, E.Morgan, M.Prior(wkp), G.Swann, T.Bresnan, S.Broad, J.Anderson