Live Cricket Score : India Vs England - Final Test, Day 1

Denzil Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network

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London, Aug 18: If one looks back at cricket history at the Kia Oval, then one would quickly jump to the conclusion that India are all set to beat England in the fourth and final Test.  What makes this reasoning far more convincing is because India considers the Oval as one of the luckiest ground for them in England.  India  have not lost a Test since 1959 here but as it stands that record is going to be broken in the forthcoming days when you look at England’s sizzling performance.

India have been drubbed with a clean 3-0 defeat so far in the 4 match series and England skipper Andrew Strauss will not be in a mood to give any hopes for the hapless Indians.  After the numerous fall outs due to injuries new reinforcements have arrived but none of them is likely to play.  Speedster Munaf Patel has enjoyed his stay in England more as a tourist than a player and R.P.Singh has an outside chance of forcing his way into the team to exhibit his swing bowling and impress his pal and skipper Dhoni.  Lion hearted Praveen Kumar who has been one of the few good performers on the England tour is a doubtful starter but I feel that he should be given a break and Munaf Patel given the ball.  Likewise, Sreesanth should be dropped in favour of R.P.Singh.  That will surely give our bowling a slightly better option with a fresh pack of bowlers.

If India drop any of their batsmen from those who played earlier, the result is going to be still worse.  Mukund or Kohli are not going to do any better except gaining a bit by way of experience.  Raina whose place is doubtful is still a far better player by way of his brilliant fielding, part time bowling and batting which is looking a bit shaky against England.

As it stands, there is no other result visible for the Indians except yet another thrashing at the Oval.  Everything has been quiet around the Indians and if there is going to be any thunder then it has to come surely from the tested bats of Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid.  The others who have served India well in the past like Sehwag and Gambhir are struggling at the moment.  However, there is a ray of hope in that the Oval is said to be a batsman’s paradise and experts have forecast a heavy scoring game.  In that case India’s veterans will get one last chance to rediscover their form and register a massive ‘farewell’ total which England may find it difficult to overtake.

One is not sure if the ‘take it easy’ attitude after dominating the series will come upon England which will help India immensely.  But the English players are gunning for a clean 4-0 sweep and are hell bent not to let the Indians prevail.

The final Test is going to be a ‘now or never’ affair for Dhoni and his lads who have enough talent which is not being converted into a match winning performance.  One fears that after the golden ‘pair of ducks’ at Edgbaston, Sehwag will surely be in a murderous mood to silence his critics.  Although it may be a bit too late, his big knock can go a long way in bringing back India into the game.  And his other opening partner and statemate Gambhir too has to hit the high scores if he has to remain in the Indian team in the future.

So far in the series, India has failed to go past 300 runs in an innings whenever they have batted.  A side boasting of record run getters cannot afford to have such a poor score if they plan to progress.  A huge total should set up the Test for Team India and give them a consolation win.

One gets a feeling that the low lying Indians will not let go their final chance of shocking England at the Oval.  A keen tussle is what everyone wants and when our batsmen are on song, no bowler will be able to outbowl them.  This is one big chance for Team India to peg back the series score to 3-1 by outplaying England.  And if that happens at the Oval, one can safely say that the venue is indeed lucky for us.

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