Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

News Highlights

  • Indian fans will pray that rain does not interrupt the match on the final day
  • There are possibilities of rainfall on the fifth and final day
  • High humidity would make batting tough for Indian players

With the first Test between India and England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham evenly poised at the end of Day 3 and on the penultimate day of the match, both teams will be aiming to take strides towards a win.

On the final day, if weather permits, India will need another 157 runs but in these conditions, it could prove to be more than a handful with James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson making the ball talk. Sam Curran is also expected to play a decent supporting role.

Indian fans will pray that rain does not interrupt the match on the final day. There are possibilities of rainfall on the fifth and final day of the Test and if this happens, fans would be left heartbroken. 

Since the weather is expected to remain humid on the fifth and final day, the high humidity would make batting tough for Indian players. As per the prediction, there is a high chance of rain today in Nottingham.

If we take rain out of the equation, it will be a ‘so near yet so far’ kind of dilemma in the minds of the Indian batsmen for whom the World Test Championship Debacle is still fresh. Senior campaigners like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are still struggling to find their feet in the middle. They seem like pale shadows of their former selves. With the departure of first innings highest scorer KL Rahul and ODI star Rohit Sharma still tentative on the crease in Test matches, the onus will be on skipper Virat Kohli to take India home.

However, it will not be easy for the gutsy skipper against a formidable pace attack of the opposition with the fickle English weather in favour of the home team. What makes the matter more difficult for the Indian skipper is his golden duck in the first innings which has not allowed him to gauze the behaviour of the pitch.

Indian batsmen still love the slip cordon and against quality swing bowling with favourable conditions, their Achilles' heel is often exposed. Playing an ultra-defensive game is also going to backfire them as evident from the past. According to many experts, chasing a small total could be tricky at times.

“Indian batsmen shouldn’t go into their shells too much. They have to be immaculate in their shot selections and play more freely according to the merit of the ball. Otherwise, only one good ball will seal the fate of the batsman anytime during the course of the match as it has happened for most of the Indian batsmen like Pujara and Rahane in recent times,” said a former Indian batsman.

“The key for the visitors is going to be few small partnerships. Two or three experienced batsmen should play as sheet anchors with others like Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant playing as second fiddles with little cameos could take them through,” he said.

India is in a great position to win the first Test. If the batsmen don’t panic and put their nerves under control, it will be like well begun is half done. The first Test victory will put a huge pressure on the home side to come back into the five-match series and India could take advantage of the mind game which is an integral part of modern-day sports.

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)

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