London, July 21: India may hope that they can shirk off their batting woes and perform as a unit against England in the first Test of their ongoing tour. But the odds stack up pretty heavily at the venue Lords. Rain has been a regular visitor at the precinct the ground is situated in, which signifies that the light growth of grass on the pitch will be adequately sustained and together with the inherent moisture, could pose quite some problems to a largely unacclimatised batting side.
But there's more bad news. As former England opener Geoffrey Boycott pointed out, the ground slopes a record 8 feet and 8 inches from the boundaries of the leg-side to the off-side. This means that on the 22-yards at the centre, the turf will lie at a incline of nearly 3 inches. Thus, the batsmen will have to stay on their toes as they will be barraged with deliveries that cut in at one end of the pitch and turn away at the other.
The unique nature of the ground will grossly aid the already dynamic and dynamite nature of the English pace attack. With three of the four premier pacemen over 6'5' inches tall and their point of releasing the ball in the vicinity of 10 feet, the Indian batsmen will be hard-pressed to negate the bounce and "seam"-movement. The crowd, which would no-doubt be well-educated about this feature, will be very enthusiastic to see how the Indian willow-wielders cope...