Birmingham, Aug 7: As India go into the crucial third Test against England in the ongoing tour, they will be greeted by the myriad Indians that lie ensconced in this neck of the woods. But such familiarity will be grossly offset by the notoriously unpredictable nature of the Edgbaston pitch. Indeed, to add to India's already plentiful batting woes, will now emerge the disconcerting confrontation with an untrue wicket.
Ever since the outfield was relaid and a state-of-the-art drainage system been planted in the ground, the pitch has been acting rather oddly. Pressed for a suitable explanation over he venue's malady, the curator has pointed to the inability to retain the right amount of moisture in the track. Hence, the pitch as of now, is a bit of landmine with uneven bounce and erratic pace defining its character.
As an ostensible consolation, the ground staff headman indicated that the pitch will go on to become more conducive to the batters and spinners as the game progresses. Such a projection will no doubt present Indian captain M S Dhoni with another mind-numbing decision. If he wins the toss, which would make it his third win, in the series, should he expose his batters to the fickleness of the wicket straight up?
Indeed, will he repose enough faith in his willow-wilders in tempering the demons in the strip, or will he subject the English line-up to themselves contending with such a challenge. India has hitherto incurred much ill-fortune by allowing the hosts to bat first in the previous two Tests. So will Dhoni be desperate for his side to put the first runs of the match on the board? Team India can not even bank on its history at this venue, having lost four of its 5 encounters here with one draw...