London, Aug 17: There is not much that India will be playing for in the final Test of their disastrous tour to England, except for pride, well if there is any left. But that should not be used to presume that England will have a cakewalk and will eventually effect a clean whitewash over the hapless tourists. If at all, they now are in the danger of facing the real test this summer.
Incredulous, it may sound but it is a matter of fact that with the burden of keeping intact a reputation, off their shoulder, the Indians might just play with the flambouyance that has been missing so far.
If we be fair to India, then the series is not something they lost, rather it was England who won it. It might appear as an exaggareted statement, but somehow that is nearer to the truth than anything else.
And now with nothing left to save, the Indians should be expected to flourish. Their batting stalwarts, with the exceptions of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid have always been conceived to respond poorly when put under pressure and that can in a way explain their failure in the series so far.
But the problem, that the Indians face is in their bowling department. At the moment, they do not seem to have the bowlers who can dismiss a full side once, leave alone taking 20 wickets. This is where there might be a bit of tampering.
Praveen Kumar, India's most successful bowler in the series so far, is in a real danger of missing out the match due to a thumb injury and that may bring in R P Singh. The left-arm seamer from Uttar Pradesh, was a revelation in his last tour to England and India may look upto him to give his side an impetus before the start of the limited-overs leg of the tour.
And as for spinners, in the Edgbaston Test, Amit Mishra was disappointing to say the least and that could ensure that Pragyan Ojha gets a look in.
While Suresh Raina has been a major disappointment so far, the chances of him being replaced with Virat Kohli appears slim.
Likely Indian Team:
Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, M S Dhoni, R P Singh, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, Pragyan Ojha