Birmingham, Aug 10: England must be goaded on with an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the kitty, while reveling in the state of souring anticipation to win the the third Test. Victory at Edgbaston will secure them the coveted place on top of the globe. A beleaguered Indian side meanwhile, will be looking to rejuvenate themselves and drag the hosts down to the grassy-earth of Edgbaston for some retaliatory action.
India that has been whipped and crushed in two emphatic losses must back themselves with the belief that the 4-match Test series is still far from over and that the time is high for them to show their mettle. The tourists should hence take solace and courage from the fact that they have one of the world's best opening combinations - in Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir back in the ranks, not to mention an in-form top-orderman Rahul Dravid. Together these three epitomise fortitude and class.
With middle order stalwarts in Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman just about finding their footing, they should now lead the hounding English pace trio a dance. The Indian fans would like to see more brazen back-foot punches from the Little Master and more confidently-executed repertoires from VVS, while Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina will be expected to put their best foot forward after a hitherto unsteady summer.
In the English camp, with rookie Test man Ravi Bopara playing understudy to a convalescing-from-shoulder-injury Jonathan Trott, India might just sense a glitch to work on. But England's middle order is looking as robust and ominous as ever and the Indian pace trio with a leg-spinning Amit Mishra on the side will have to find a way around the destructive batting stints of Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior, not to mention the latter-order stings of Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad.
Indian speedsters Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Sreeshanth would do well to pick out a leaf from the books of five-for heroes Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan. Ishant's straight bouncer will have to surface a lot more, while Sreesanth and Praveen's swing would have to burst through the defences of the batsman. Meanwhile, a recalled R P Singh will have to shrug off his rustiness and glisten quickly.
There is a famous lyrics by Bob Dylan which goes, "When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose". This indeed is the scenario facing India as even though the visitors have already lost the chance to win the series, they can still pull one back for now...