The final match of the four match Test series between India and England will get underway in Nagpur today. The match holds lot of importance for the teams. For India they will be looking to salvage some pride after going 1-2 down, whereas for England they will be aiming for their first series victory on Indian soil after 27 years.
India have lost two consecutive Tests, the first time since 1999. England are leading 2-1 and can’t lose the series. India on the other hand are on the brink of a series loss. No matter what happens in Nagpur, this series will have a serious impact on the future of Test cricket in India.
Coming to the Nagpur Test, it will only be fair to say that England are favorites to win this match. It is quite unbelievable to see India enter a match as under-dogs in home conditions. India have always been dominating on home soil, they have tormented some of the best captains and the best teams of recent era, but not this time.
There will be tremendous pressure on India when they walk out for the match tomorrow.. It is going to be a very big challenge for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this man. Reports have suggested that the Nagpur pitch is not a rank-turner and the Indian team will have to go past that fact and play well.
Both teams have some of the world’s best players and it is expected to be a cracker of a contest.
Let’s have a look at some of the players who will be in thick of action in the final Test:
Cheteshwar Pujara: He has been the highest run scorer for India in the series and has already two centuries. Both his centuries have come during the hour of need and it showed that he has the temperament to play big innings. He failed in the last match and will be willing make his mark in tomorrow’s match. Indian batting line-up is horribly out of form and a lot will depend on this talented youngster.
Virender Sehwag: After a century in the first century Sehwag has not been able to play a long innings for India in the series. The Indian team in under-fire and he will know the importance of a good knock at the top of the innings. He has got starts in the series after his 100 in the first match, but never could convert them into big score. He will have to bat as long as possible and give India a good start.
Pragyan Ojha: Ojha has been the best bowler for India and has looked the most threatening and has been consistently among wickets. The Nagpur Test might not offer assistance to the spinners and it will be a challenge for him to deliver in the match.
R Ashwin: Ashwin has been very ordinary with the ball in this series. A lot was expected from him before the start of the series but he has not delivered. This match will be very important for his future in the Indian Test team.
Alastair Cook: He has been the best batsman for England and has already played some phenomenal innings. Cook has scored centuries in all the matches and will be a huge threat to the hosts. India will have to come up with a strategy if they want to draw level in the series.
Kevin Pietersen: He played a superb innings in Mumbai and a good hand in the last match as well. Pietersen took the attack to the Indian bowlers and scored freely against them. He has been very effective against the Indians spinners and played an important role in his team’s success. All the focus will once again on him and India just can’t afford him any leniency.
Monty Panesar: He has been the hero for England with the ball. Monty has played a huge role for their success in the series Indian batsmen have struggled against him and failed to pick his pace.It will be good to see how bowls on the Nagpur pitch.
Graeme Swann: Surprisingly in this series, it was Swann who played the role of second fiddle to Panersar. But that did not keep him from contributing in the success. It is always a treat watching him bowl and Indians will have to play him well if they want to put a good total on the board.
By Indian Sports News Network