India need to copy what their greats did in 2007
The visitors need to look to their past to understand what they need to do to win the series.
In the 2007 India vs England series, won by India, there were a couple of big moments. The first test where India hung on to draw a match with the assistance of rain was one of them. Then in the second test Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble took 7 wickets between them to reduce England to 198. Then entered India’s batsmen, all of them, to produce a winning total. India made 481 on their way to a 7 wicket win.
Here we are 11 years later and the 4th test is in a similar position. India however trail in the series but are still alive. Despite a spirited lower order fightback from England, in particularly from Sam Curran, India have given themselves a real chance to level the series by bowling well in the first two sessions of the first day.
The scenarios are similar. In 2007 England made 198, this time 246. On that occasion India’s top order stood right up. Nobody missed out. This time India need the same from their top 6.
Tendulkar led the way with 91. Ganguly made 79. Dinesh Karthik made 77, more than his combined efforts in the 4 innings on this tour. Jaffer and Laxman both made fifties, and Rahul Dravid, the only player in their top order who didn’t make a 50, still contributed 37.
With the game slipping away from England at 7-464, they started putting jellybeans on the pitch that stirred Zaheer Khan up. England had lost their way, and Khan took a further 5 second innings wickets to secure an Indian win. With a high scoring drawn 3rd test, they had also lost a series to the tourists.
India will be looking for the same today. Their openers gave them a foundation in the third test that their middle order were able to build on. The talented Indian top order stood up. The same will be needed today. If history does some repeating from that 2nd test at Trent Bridge 11 years ago, it will go a long way to help India level the series.
However let's flip the coin and if we see a 1st or 2nd test style of collapse, it could be the start of the end for India.
This intriguing series continues today. And what a big day it is for both teams.