Wednesday, August 08, 2007

India v England: Time To Go For The Jugular

Time and again, over the past nine days or so, Rahul Dravid and his Team India have been reminded of their rather sorry record after having won a test on overseas soil. The reason for this rather unfortunate record has baffled many on the outside, and I don't hesitate in saying that Team India are also unlikely to be able to pinpoint the reason behind such their dismal record.

IMHO, if Team India plays positively, and plays to win the third Test, the worst result they will have to endure will be a draw. We all know what that means for the result of the series.

Matt Prior is not going to shut up and Kevin Pietersen will definitely play. With Michael Vaughan in the best form he has been in for half a decade and the bowling looking to take advantage of the reverse swing on offer, England are going to come out hard, very hard.

The Indians have shown that the days of them being overawed by a show of strength from the opposition are long gone. An adequate reply to England's likely fire and brimstone approach will comprise a mixture of attitude, shrewdness and positivity.

Team India should know by now that trying too hard is just as ineffective as complacency. I don't believe Rahul Dravid will allow the mistakes of yesteryear to be repeated in what is likely to prove the biggest five days in Indian cricket since that at the SCG in 2003/04.

This Test will be a duel of the minds, as much as it will be a contest between bat and ball. The group of players that hold their nerve and take the game by the scruff of the neck when the opportunity presents, will come out on top.

I have little doubt (as I opined before Test 2) that this group of players will be sitting in the Indian dressing room, come the end of Day 5.

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