The India-England series has taken a different look all together after the visitors beat the hosts by 10 wickets in Mumbai. What was supposed to be a revenge series for India has turned on its head and both teams now have the equal chance of winning it. India dominated the proceedings at Ahmedabad and got a rank-turner at Mumbai as a reward.
But, the Englishmen jumped back and outplayed India in the conditions tailor-made for the hosts. Kolkata Test is pivotal for both teams and it will be fair to say that the Indian team is under tremendous pressure. They just can’t afford a bad game.
For England, it is a golden opportunity. No one gave them a chance to win the series, but all of a sudden they are in a position from where they can think of the unthinkable.
Like the last Test, this match will also witness some of the battles between individuals from both teams. Let’s have a look at some of the clashes that can dictate the result of the match.
Alastair Cook vs Indian Bowlers: Alastair Cook is in the form of his life and has been the best batsman for England. He has got hundred in both the matches and has been an inspirational performer. All the Indian bowlers have struggled against him. He has got starts in every innings and is the second on the list of highest run-getter for this series. It was expected that Zaheer Khan and R Ashwin who have good records against left-handers will do well against him, but that hasn’t happen. Indian bowlers will have to find a way to remove him from the crease or else they will be in huge trouble.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag vs Monty Panesar: Sachin and Sehwag are the two most experienced and influential batsmen in the Indian batting line-up. But, a relatively in-experienced Monty Panesar got the better of the two greats in the last match. Panesar got them in both the innings. Both Sachin and Sehwag will have to fire for India to post a good total and for that they will have to dominate Panesar.
Kevin Pietersen vs Pragyan Ojha: This has been the best battle in this series so far. Ojha embarrassed Pietersen in Ahmedabad. He got him out in both the innings and made a mockery of Pietersen. But everything changed in the Mumbai Test. Pietersen came out with an innings of a life time. He was brutal against Ojha and his shots against the spin over the mid-wicket boundary were simply unbelievable.
Pietersen is very important to England and Ojha will definitely get some assistance from the pitch so one can expect some lightning here.
Cheteshwar Pujara vs Graeme Swann: This is a battle between the table toppers. Pujara is the highest run-scorer in the series and Swann is the leading wicket-taker. Pujara only once got out cheap, that was in Mumbai in the second innings and the bowler he got out to was Swann. Graeme Swann played second fiddle to Panesar in the last Test but he still ended up with eight wickets. This is a battle of skills and will be a very pleasing one on the eyes.
By Indian Sports News Network