Related Link : India’s tour of England
Backs to their walls, India came out in flying colours to win at Headingley and at The Oval to take the NatWest Series right till the end at Lord’s. Well the tour for India began at Lord’s with the first Test and now the tour will end at the same venue with the 7th ODI. India may not be have tasted much success in Test Matches at the Lord’s but it certainly has in the limited overs version. Proof for this are the victories in the Finals of the 1983 World Cup and the NatWest Triangular in 2002.
This series is a long one with as many as 7 matches, but at this stage it feels that it hasn’t been a long one because of the excitement all around. Each and every match has its share of brilliance with the match at The Oval being one of best ever matches with all the ingredients in it. Now that India has come back making it 3-3, the pressure seems to be on England to win this One Day Series atleast. And England under pressure seem to be a different side altogether and in particular they haven’t been a good One Day Team in the last few years. Yes they are improving but they are still doubts about England getting their act together in a One Day International. England missed the services of a third fast bowler in the last match and that is probably the reason why they are trying to get Andrew Flintoff back even if he has to take a steroid injection to subside the pain in ankle. Freddie is a seriously difficult bowler to put away for runs but his batting has been disappointing to say the least. One change can be done in the English side with Alastair Cook possibly dropped to make way for Andrew Flintoff and allowing the sensational Luke Wright to bat top of the order!
This match at Lord’s might require the Indian pacers to give the breakthroughs. So far it has been the batsmen winning the games thanks to good platforms created by the top order. But this match might require the bowlers to pinch in. Lord’s in an ODI will be good for batsmen in general but the slope is something that the seamers can make use of. The Indians are very lucky that have got their right combination as far as the batting goes. That is largely because of Robin Uthappa who had justified his selection over Dinesh Karthik. I was always thinking that Robin Uthappa was being wasted while Karthik getting the favours for his test performances. Given a chance someone like Uthappa can try to be the next Tendulkar or Ganguly or Sehwag or anyone and for that he has to be played often to gain the exposure. The innings that Uthappa played at The Oval reminded me of Ajay Jadeja in the past. Jadeja was so cool in pressure situations, always thinking about where to find boundaries and sixes instead of having the fear of getting out. The Indians might be retaining the same team for this final game. With a tall batting order, India should be the favourites to win the final match.