England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 4th day

Prior expects tough final day

Andrew McGlashan at Lord's

July 24, 2011

Comments: 92 | Text size: A | A

In 2007, with a little help from the weather, India held on nine wickets down in the first Test at Lord's and went on to win the series. England are determined there won't be a repeat this time as they search for the nine scalps that will put them 1-0 up. However, if the evidence of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman seeing out the final hour is anything to go by, it will be a day of sweat and toil.

This time the rain should stay away and the buzzword for the home side will be patience. India have had to reshuffle their batting order after illness to Sachin Tendulkar and injury to Gautam Gambhir, but they will be hard to shift wherever they come in. Having worked themselves into such a dominant position, and overcome a potentially game-changing spell from Ishant Sharma, England are aware how crucial finishing the job will be.

"It's very important," said Matt Prior, whose unbeaten 103 propelled England to their 457-run lead. "Test wins against quality opposition don't come about very often and we've got ourselves in a very good position. It will be hugely frustrating not to back that up and go through with it. But we can't look too far ahead.

"The really important thing is we come in tomorrow like we always do and look to win the first half an hour, first hour, and go from there," he added. "If you start thinking we have to win this Test match, we have to take nine wickets, you can start building up unnecessary pressure on the bowlers. If we do what we've done for the last two years, keep it basic and build pressure, I'm sure we'll have a very good day."

Rahul Dravid guides one through point, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day, July 24, 2011
Matt Prior expects Rahul Dravid and company to put up a hard fight © Getty Images

England's three quick bowlers again caused problems for the India top order on the fourth evening - with Broad bowling a marvellous spell at Rahul Dravid as his rejuvenation continued - but the final day of a Test, especially if the sun shines, is a time for the spinner to make his mark. In Graeme Swann England have the best in the world, and Harbhajan Singh was been completely outbowled during this match, but to take a significant haul against this line-up would be one of Swann's greatest achievements.

"There are still a lot of runs on that wicket," Prior said. "There are no devils, it's a pretty good deck, but it's a huge amount of runs [to chase], especially when the ball gets a bit older. I think Swanny's going to play a huge part for us, and I don't think it's going to be easy. There's a lot of hard work ahead for us, and I think India's batting is pretty strong. The ball might not be swinging and seaming like it did in the first innings."

As early as the third over of India's chase James Anderson was bowling with just two slips plus a man at deep square-leg. Andrew Strauss's captaincy is well known to verge on the cautious and he also had a deep point in place during the final over. Prior, though, believes success will come not by stacking the slip cordon, but by drying up India's runs in a similar manner to how England found success in the Ashes.

"It's very easy to think we have a good lead and over-attack," he said. "If it was a quick, bouncy wicket you could have all those catching men, but I don't think that's necessarily the way we'll get wickets. We need to give bowlers an opportunity to get [the ball] up and swing it. You need to give them cover, you don't just want batsmen pushing through the covers. If we turn up and it starts swinging round corners we'll probably have more catchers in, but we'll take our wickets by building pressure and not letting the Indian batsmen score quickly."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Hammond on (July 26, 2011, 2:35 GMT)

@gagguv- I took your advice and let the game end. England destroyed the Indian batting line up, methodically and without any real trouble. Sachin, Dravid and Laxman looked like clueless old men outside their comfort zone. 3-1 England and take the pretending number one sides crown off them. It doesn't really fit.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 25, 2011, 19:53 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan; very very good prediction - that's what happened!

Posted by PK1989 on (July 25, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

india will lose this series 1-2....even to win a single test match,indians will have to play out of their skins

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 25, 2011, 12:40 GMT)

many sri lankans are muttering here that india would get thrashed by england because they are weak at overseas.really? take alook at stats . india win in england in1971, 1986( don't call that team bad because the same team beat australia in1986 ashes)2007(becauuse of combined effect of dhoni and bad weather). india drew series in australia in2004 by 1-1.beat them on a bouncy track on perth where they were not beaten since 1995.(not to mention that at that time australia was there with their full strength) draw test series recently in SA by 1-1.now the srilankan team have not won a single test match in AUS ,SA & INDIA. and they call themselves a better team than india .

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 25, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

@5wombats and @Hammond. He probably meant that 62/5 . If the target had been 360-380 then this would be a good contest as india will try to win. Now draw is the only option left for india. But if England can get dravid and laxman before lunch then it match will be over after just tea.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 9:40 GMT)

Hi what is the odds for India winning?

Posted by rohanblue on (July 25, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

i am indian fan, bt india nt at all in winning position , lets hope fr a draw.....

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 25, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

if dravid and laxman survives the first session then it will be a draw. however i would argue that england are not good team as they are supposed to be in this test match. after their batsmen make huge total , i was supposing that india would be get out under200 as the 3rd day conditions were favourable to seamers . there was a breeze and clouds over the ground .their so much hyped bowler anderson pick up only two wickets and that was of no. 10& 11.best spinner swann took only one wicket .inthe english 2nd innings top 6 batsmens were cheaply out against a handicapped 3 bowler indian attack without playing their strike bowler. in the last session of 27 overs they pick only one wicket and giving 80 runs . their opener cook looks uncomforable against praveen in both innings . if england couldnot win this test against a wounded team then i will be disappointed .

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

If India makes past this mountain.. with say Sachin scoring a ton would make this game one of the best of all times.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 9:04 GMT)

Raina, MS and Gambhir try to win the match. Laxman, Dravid and Sachin anchoring their innings to save the match. This should be India's strategy on the final day. Hope our boys deliver. Sachin on his way to make his 100 at Lords. More exciting than a ODI, can't wait to see the start of the match.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

only if gauti is fit and if he bats then its goin to draw cozzz he wll only play the whole day:P..hope he recoversss

Posted by yorkermania on (July 25, 2011, 8:53 GMT)

i think india will try to play it safe.....HAVE WICKETS IN HAND UNTIL 300 runs...and if there r overs left....try chasing it. all depends on HOW FAST THE SCORING RATE IS in the 1st session.

Posted by azhar_hassan on (July 25, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

This test is nicely poised for a real battle on the final day. India have been challenged due to injuries/illness of crucial players before the start of the match and during the match. But as they are aspiring to cement their status as the #1 test team, they have to save this match with the resources available. However, England will start the final day as favorites and I think they should be very disappointed if they cannot press for a win here. Good luck to both teams!

Posted by awg3599 on (July 25, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

Those commentors who are bemoaning the fact that this is an Indian IX v an England XI should remember this is TEST cricket. Called so because it is a test of the players' temperaments, techniques, stamina and FITNESS. If India lose (as they most probably will and should) this will because they failed the "test" and England passed it as they were the better side. India no.1 test side in the world?- not from what i have seen the last 4 days.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

England would do well to draw the lesson that Stuart Broad is now a true allrounder - and wil become a better one given the necessary batting exposure - and move him up to 7. The man who would replace hin at 8, Bresnan, is scarcely a lesser batsman, and England would have a very strong tail with Swan and the far from useless Tremlett at 9 and 10. Playing with only four bowlers is exceedingly risky, as India have found to their cost in this game and England also in the Sri Lanka series; one injury and you're up a creek without a paddle unless you have SERIOUS (Collingwood, Gooch, that sort of people) bowling resource amongst your batsmen, which Engalnd do not have at this time.

Posted by fdjhgjkkjh on (July 25, 2011, 8:36 GMT)

India should play Sreesanth in overseas swinging conditions. Sreesanth has played well in South africa previously & also in the last tour of england in 2007. He has the ability to swing both ways & also generate pace much like anderson of england. I have no idea if Khan was not 100 % fit, then why did the Indian team management gamble with him instead of picking a fit but erractic(sometimes) genuine swing bowler? But i think Indian batting maestros will fire to save this test,if not win it.

Posted by Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on (July 25, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

Suddenly cricinfo comments are infested with excited english supporters! :D

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 8:00 GMT)

I dont see why indian cant save this test ..with dravid and laxman at crease they have a history for putting big partnerships under pressure.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

why dont we play yuvraj singh instead of harbhajan singh .. for more than 3-4 years never seen him performing with the ball against stronger opposistions .. he no more spins the ball.. on th eother hand yuvraj singh is a better spinner of the ball and also a better performer with bat... inclusion of yuvraj singh will deepen the batting line up and also raise the fielding standards...

Posted by Trioboy on (July 25, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

Dear Indian fans, Sehwag is not in the team. Therefore no point arguing how good it would have been if he was in the batting line up. World no 1 test team shouldn't be depending on one player to win games. And why did India played Khan, if he wasn't recovered from his prior injury. Players get injured all the time. No 1 team in the world should have other players as replacements.

Posted by PK1989 on (July 25, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

england need three wickets laxman,dravid and sachin,thats it...gautam's injury will always play at the back of his mind...dhoni and raina will struggle against swann..and england seamers will blow away the indian tail in a hurry...ENGLAND is going to win it COMFORTABLY!!

Posted by SudharsanVM on (July 25, 2011, 7:17 GMT)

India were playing with almost a unfit unit. There is no proper batting order with viru missing and gmbr and schn playing at unususal positions. Half fit bowling unit with zaher missing and bhajji hopless. It is a shame for ENG if the full strength team didn't beat this second stringed indian team.

Posted by pavan31 on (July 25, 2011, 7:16 GMT)

I think we are about to witness a great day of Test cricket with the greats of game like Dravid, Laxman & Sachin trying to save the game. Lets not forget how effective England has been over the past year with the likes of Anderson, Tremlett & Broad who has the potential of troubling any batsmen. I really can't wait for the fifth day to begin. As an Indian fan, I would like Indian team to fight irrespective of the result. As a cricket fan, I want to see a good contest between bat and ball

Posted by Woody111 on (July 25, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

No matter how much I want India to at least save the match I can't see them resisting England's attack for the whole day. Gambhir is injured, Tendulkar is sick and India's tail doesn't stack up to England's. The way England repeatedly find their way out of batting trouble spells disaster for India's attack I'm afraid. Two declarations in the match! India has to find a way to get 20 wickets and do it quickly or this series is a forgone conclusion. With Zaheer going down they've got nothing left. Here's hoping Harbajan can find something this series or India's dead in the water.

Posted by gagguv on (July 25, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

@ Hammond: If there were no rain then India would have batted first and not let England play. Then Zaheer would have been more fresh and Eng would have been in more trouble. So keep permutations and combinations to yourself. Let the game end. Also one battle doesnt constitute the war.

Posted by Return-of-Sinhaya on (July 25, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

@hammond, do you really think that rain has a say in this , Its at ur eyes, its the injuries of players thats helping england session by session and plus dhonis poor keeping techniques(letting of trott in 1st innings broad twice in 2nd inn).. Face the truth english batsmen not as good as they appear and bowlers not as devastating as SA.l

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

Time to become immortal........

Posted by 5wombats on (July 25, 2011, 6:32 GMT)

@Tj Ramadoss: "I can see a lot of people frustrated at the way India has let such a dominant position to slip out of their hand." LOL - what dominant position was that? Letting England score 475 in bowler friendly conditions? - getting bowled out for 286? And then having to bat for 3 and a half sessions to save the match 457 runs behind? Are you sure you know what "dominant" means? LOL

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 6:27 GMT)

Time to reveal why India is ranked # 1, if they can pull this off, all critics would be laid to rest. With a mammoth total to defend and for survival, India is yet again in the hands of the wall Dravid & Laxman. With Gambhir Injured and Tendulkar down with fever it would be a difficult task, but not impossible. I wish team India all the very best. It would be memorable day at lords if India can survive!!

Posted by Meety on (July 25, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

@ Nampally - just had a look at the commentry, LOL! The reason why Broad & Prior got a big partnership going is due to poor fielding - one tough dropped catch by Dhoni & a ball going thru a vacant 1st slip. LOL! Umpiring is NOT a factor so far in this game. Very weak whinge buddy!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 25, 2011, 6:12 GMT)

Unless England can achieve an early breakthrough, this one's a nailed-on draw. History is heavily stacked against India and I certainly cannot see Fletcher & Dhoni instructing their batsmen to push for victory which is risk-laden, esp. in the first test of a campaign - it's just not in their nature, besides which Tendulkar isn't feeling too bright. Dravid and VVS are pastmasters at nullifying the opposition; this is a situation custom-made for them. By mid-afternoon I can see both sides just going through the motions, although I hope that isn't the case. From an England perspective, Tremlett doesn't look fit, but we probably won't hear much about that until this evening!

Posted by bookie7600 on (July 25, 2011, 6:12 GMT)

Some of the comments from the English Supporters are laughable! @Hammond : Why do u think rain will have saved the Indians if they manage a draw? I guess u have easily forgotten that the best bowler who would have easily got a bagful of wickets for India was out of the game in the 1st innings after just 2 spells!! If Zaheer was around in the 2nd innings then dare I say India would have been chasing a target of less than 350 and would have had a good chance to win.. So I guess England has benefited more from the LUCK FACTOR here.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 6:03 GMT)

@all English gentle mens

would Strauss had declared his 2nd innings setting a score of 450+ with 4 sessions left with Sehwag in playing X1??

can anyone say yes??

Posted by Sukumar_Kantri on (July 25, 2011, 5:59 GMT)

Peiterson is Right.. Its going to be a tough final day. India can manage a draw if Rahul & VVS can hang out as long as they can( 45-60 ov today) as they did against the Strong Aussie attack when they moved the score from 85/4 to 388/5 and like they did against NZ in 2009 batting out 180 overs for 474/8 ( Gambir - 60 ov, Lax & Dravid- 75 ov of total 180) . Gauti would be back to batting and SRT also. Dhoni should come with a master class innings on final day if he comes to bat. A win is little difficult but achievable , but surely there is a draw on the cards considering the match saving innings played by Lax & Dravid all together in the past.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

none of one noticed this.. 100 overs remain in this day means 600 balls .. still to score only 387.. 4 per over is handy..this is not west indies not a damp outfield.. pitch is good still no considerable spin.. two top class well set fielders are standing. watch my words if india score 250 with lose of 1 or 2 wickts then im sure Strauss will defend the batting..

Posted by I_am_Prime on (July 25, 2011, 5:50 GMT)

@Trioboy.. I think when talking about sehwag , the law of averages never hold. He might have the lowest average against an opponent. But if he gets going,on any given day, the opponent would not care to look at his average against them..

Posted by yoohoo on (July 25, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

People here seem to suggest it was zaheer's mistake to get injured. Injuries happen, nobody wishes them. Zaheer's problem before the west indies series was his right ankle, currently he has a hamstring problem. Unrelated problems!! Every cricketer knows that you can have a hamstring problem anytime, and there is nothing you can do about it. Saching got the flu after the match started and gambhir got hit in the match. To me it looks like Team India is fighting fate more than England. At the rate their bad luck is going, they will probably lose this match.

Posted by jaced on (July 25, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

india played with 10 players this entire test match, courtesy zaheer's injury. in 2nd inings sachin got viral and gambhir got injured and they are not batting in their usual positions!! but this is what champions are made of, WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GETS GOING!! common india, show ur supremacy!! if india draws this match, it would be a shame for england as india played with only 10 players and their batsman had to bat at different positions in 2nd inings giving a huge advantage to england!! it would indeed be a shame for england!!

Posted by donda on (July 25, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

This series is definitively going to decide who is really number 1 team in the world.

India is not going to lose this match that easy. I think this is classic test cricket at its best , even half of the team is injured but fight is there to save it.

England needs to win it to become no 1 team in the world. So they will go hard on indians. I like it and i would love to see what is the result. It's historic.

Posted by vatsmanoj on (July 25, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

In this match england has played according to thier reputation they have proved they can achieve no.1 but still wish india can do a magic and make us proud like england does to english fans i will mainly accuse fildinng and keeping of this situation of india but hails to england they have given us a great match

Posted by muski on (July 25, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

Dont worry guys- 150+ for dravid and 100+ for VVS is on the cards. Match will be called of during the last one hour as drawn.

Posted by rraheel on (July 25, 2011, 5:00 GMT)

@snkhan "bhajji is a world class spinner" bhajji avg in aus 73, eng 48, saf 34, sl 47. His avg outside india is 39.He should not be in the team.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 5:00 GMT)

england has been in the driver seat all through. The opening partnership has failed Idnia and how good dravid and lakshman can bat on is only the saviour factor.England should win if lakshman/dravid get out to initial overs for the first 30 mnts play. other wise they can close till lunch without falling and take it to the other half. Raina must be waiting to make some amends of his first innings fall.

In all probables it should be a drw unless tendulkar and gambir are not to their fitness and bat half heartedly.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

5th day of LORD's test......... clash between two mighty so called no.1 INDIA so called deserving no. 1 ENGLAND........ WALL is hanging between INDIA and ENGLAND win...... Will it be a repeat of 2001 Dravid and Laxman partnership or famous INDIA collapses ??????? Can Sachin able to find his name on Lord's Honor board with his 100th ton???? Can Dravid show the world again that what he is capable of but never got that respect???? will Dhoni go for kill after some establishment??? Will Broad and company go for the kill with swann as there trump card???? Wowwwwww so much questions to answer .... I think this is the beauty of TEST CRICKET.... LONG LIVE TEST CRICKET......... ICC should be proud to see the full pack Lord's stadium that Test Cricket still rocks.... Peopple still loves it......

Cant wait to watch the last day of memorable 2000th test match :)

Posted by nair_ottappalam on (July 25, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

If rain permits full days play and if either Laxman or Dravid gets out before tea, England sure to win this test. Dravid is the Wall and is unlikely to go for silly shots. But the first innings memories of Laxman's dismissal will be afresh in Strauss' mind. He will go all out against Laxman and the batsmen to follow. The injury to Gambhir will be a big blog. No much expectations from others and with Sachin reported to be unwell, the hill is too tall to climb. Hope rain goddess wont let #1 status of India.

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 25, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

Can't believe some Indian fans here think that India may even win this game. Guys, I'm the eternal optimist who used to think our own Venky and Srinath would win games by chasing down 300 when India was 150 for 8. Even I say that the best possible result India can have is to manage a draw.!

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 3:33 GMT)

the wall stands between england and draw...india winning this match is highly unlikely...i feel,MSD won't like go after the 458 target and end up loosing wickets...it would be very difficult to come back in Nottingham if India lose this,given that Zaheer is not fit.. I doubt if he was fit when he was selected for the tour...the only way India could have chased down this target is with 3 sessions of shewag,at the least..if he gets off to his normal scintillating start,458 could be scored in a day with this batting...India miss shewag more than zaheer..and for the next test amit mishra ahould be played and harbhajan should be

Posted by phoenixsteve on (July 25, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

@Humdingers.... Strauss setting India 450+ is down to at least 2 reasons! 1) He could afford to set a stiff target and 2) Out of respect for the Indian middle order No test captain with such an overwhelmong supremecy would give the opposition as much as a sniff at victory. Let's face facts ..... India have ben outplayed, outfielded, outbatted and outbowled to date in this test. We'll soon see just how good or how ordinary India are.... DITTO for England. I'm going to be up again at 3am (here in Arizona) to watch each and every ball of what will (hopefully) be a resounding England win! If India manage a draw I'll be very impressed. If India win I might have to apply forIndian citizenship! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

70% chance of an English win 29% chance of a Draw 1% chance of an Indian win.

I pray for a 80-ball SRT century that would win India the match. And also a money-making tree for myself while God is listening to me.

Posted by dipayan6 on (July 25, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

8 out of the original 11 Indian players that started the game left the field of play at the end of England's 2nd innings. Zaheer, Gambhir and Sachin are indisposed for the majority of Monday. And we are still hopeful of a win. I am thankful for this Indian team.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 3:11 GMT)

chasing a whole day @ 4 an over with 9 wickets in hand n with batsman like dhoni n rania is never a safe bet ...play it d more usual way put ur head down get on d top of the ball n just defend it don play ball by ball over by over n let dis test be remembered just as the 2000t test nothing more ...

Posted by Hammond on (July 25, 2011, 2:38 GMT)

@Tj Ramadoss- we must be watching two different test matches- at what point exactly were India in "such a dominant position"? Trailing by over 250 runs in the middle of day 3 is not even remotely a dominant position. I think that only the fact that the rain interrupted the 1st day has helped India into a position where they can draw the test. Had the rain not intervened Strauss would not have declared his second innings closed he would have given India 550 to chase with over two days batting and they would have folded in the middle of the 5th day. As it is I think it will be close but India will probably hold onto a draw with about 7 wickets down at the close of play. But the Indian team will know (even if Indian supporters refuse to acknowledge) that only the rain has saved them from a 1-0 scorecard in the series.

Posted by aracer on (July 25, 2011, 2:04 GMT)

@Nampally - can I just check whether you supported BCCI in not having Hawkeye for LBWs, and whether you've now changed your mind? The only thing which could add to the poetic justice of Broad surviving when he'd have been out had you had DRS with Hawkeye will be when one of the Indian batsmen gets given out by the on field umpires and Hawkeye shows he wasn't.

Posted by Trioboy on (July 25, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

Sehwag's test average vs England is only 31.00 (lowest of all his test averages Vs Test playing Nations). I don't get how he can make a big difference.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 1:35 GMT)

Reading all the comments, I feel slowly but surely some mutual respect is establishing between two groups of fans..In last few years, England have done their part to deservingly aim for the top spot in test cricket. On the other hand India was also not gifted the top spot, they have earned it with some fighting performances with an average bowling attack. This test match itself reflects the attitude of both teams. With a deficit of 200 runs, India of old would have been staight away playing for a draw in the start of the 4th day. But we know what happened in the first session.Similarly , England with 62/5 few years ago would have been thinking of safety first. Instead they counter attacked. Both teams are not giving an inch away. Whoever takes the series will have to do it the hardest way.

Posted by JustOUT on (July 25, 2011, 1:05 GMT)

2000th test is a draw. No matter sehwag or sachin plays or whole of india plays.. its a draw.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 0:50 GMT)

i don't think tat India will go for a win... but certainly will do the draww..!!!! they won't go for the rins allthe time. . .they just wil go for the hours...

Posted by Silverbails on (July 25, 2011, 0:33 GMT)

Oh dear me, India will be lucky to survive this Test and draw it. Their usual fallibilities in finishing off teams seems to have raised its ugly head again! The first hour will be crucial - if Rahul and VVS survive, then it's just possible India will draw the match.

But, as for chasing down 380 on the last day, forget it! One only needs to look at that recent farce in the Windies to see how India's mindset is on a final day run chase...

Come on, Rahul - let's see if we can rack up TWO hundreds at the Home of Cricket. Now, that would TRULY be the record of a great batsman, and one that one could be proud of in the months and years to come. What a legacy THAT would be!!

But, there's ONLY two possible results here: an England win OR a draw. The first hour is going to be crucial...

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 0:24 GMT)

I can see a lot of people frustrated at the way India has let such a dominant position to slip out of their hand. Yes I do understand that this is a part of test cricket. And one partnership can steal the game away from the opposition. But if India were to ever be a dominant team and not just maintain their first rank, they need to field better. Dhoni not attempting to take the hard edges at keeping, fielders not having a sense of cutting off the ball and overthrows is very hard to see at this level. Yes India has phenomenal batsmen and street smart bowlers. But if they are to ever be a dominant team, they have to put in the hard yards in the field; need to get physically strong. Even if it means looking after their elder players; the field has a long way to go.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 0:21 GMT)

The key to this match is the present partnership - remember the Calcutta test. Laxman and Dravid need all of their experience and they are the most gifted players in this situation. One over at a time, Calcutta style, take through lunch at least and only then will this match be saved. Save this one and we have the making of a fantastic series!

Posted by Humdingers on (July 25, 2011, 0:13 GMT)

Interesting to read all the comments about India's defensive mindset. But any thoughts of Strauss's ultra defensive 450+ target? IF this is supposedly the BEST team in the world, BEST bowling attack, BEST Fielding (etc., etc.,) - why not be a little more aggressive in setting a target and declaring earlier? Can you blame the Indian captain - he has his strike bowler out, his no.1 bowler in the first innings spent, his spinner not performing, 2 senior players off the field.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 0:12 GMT)

Oh wow! @ Vineeth Kumar Murali Test Cricket is played in white. @ Indian Fans You don't chase 90 odd against West Indies in 15 overs. Be a real No. 1 Champion and chase the 378 in 98. Create history!!

Posted by Silloh on (July 24, 2011, 23:44 GMT)

India did not go after the runs in the last test against the Windies in the Caribbean and there were questions raised. Now with their batting force except for the absence of Sehwag, let's see the world's #1 cricket side respond to another declaration. Tough, but victory for India on the last day will certainly reinforce their supremacy as the #1 team. Should be exciting at Lords and a good day for Test cricket.

Posted by Yorker_ToeCrusher on (July 24, 2011, 23:19 GMT)

Lords.2000th test.Stage is set for the greatest ever run chase.

Posted by bKrish282 on (July 24, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

MSD should know better than to have close-in fielders for Bhaji.

Posted by jazee on (July 24, 2011, 23:02 GMT)

To win India need to play for runs whenever and wherever possible so as to ease last overs pressure.

Posted by jazee on (July 24, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

This Test is open to any possible result. On the second day, 366 runs were scored including an inning change interval that could have added another 10-15 runs making it around 380 runs. Also, the teams will start early and there is 98 over day excepted for tomorrow. All depends how this important pair play early on. If England get an early break then the result could lean towards English win or Draw otherwise. If the pair, add another 80-100 runs pre-lunch then a Draw or Possible India win result can be projected. At this time Eng is bowling strong and India have there best pair in the field. I will give 54-46 in ENG favor at the start of the play tomorrow. Good luck to both teams.

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (July 24, 2011, 22:39 GMT)

In my view India won't even try for a win. 378 away from home, on the 5th day against a decent attack? Too much to ask. One of the beauties of test cricket, however, which outsiders just don't get, is that, under circumstances like these, playing for a draw can be just as tense. It has been a great test match and regardless of result, should end as one.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 22:38 GMT)

india should try to win if they are truly a strong batting side. i hope it will happen, yes it will happen

Posted by snkhan on (July 24, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

There are plenty of logical reasons that India would not loose this match. Infact a win is possible with stalwatrs like VVS, Dravid & Tendulkar. Gambhir, Raina & Dhoni should just play smart in case the big three fumbles, and last but not the least we all know what Bhajji can do with his bat. Team India is definitely far from loosing the match. And please Bhajji has nothing left to prove about himself. He is undoubtedly a world class spin attack since the time Kumble has departed.. its just that he is going through a bad patch, remember... form is temporary but class remains.... the big challenge for day 5 is to have control over the first two sessions.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

Sachin has to bat aggressively like we are going for a win, although it may not be possible, but at least he will get his 100. Otherwise he can give up his wicket thinking of draw and blocking the wickets.

Posted by allblue on (July 24, 2011, 22:17 GMT)

It's going to be a tough day for the England bowlers tomorrow. Fifth day pitches at Lords hold no terrors, it doesn't break up and as it gets lower and slower batting to survive gets easier. There will be a bit of variable bounce, but there is a history of big last innings scores over the last few years. 2010 Bgla 382 (L): 2009 Aus 406 (L): 2008 SA 393 for 3 (D): 2006 SL 537 for 9 (D). If the sun shines as it looks it will, there will not be much swing so India have a good chance to bat the day out. England will need to chip away, and ensure that when the new ball arrives round about tea it is decisive. A tense day tomorrow, to finish what has been an excellent Test match so far.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 24, 2011, 22:08 GMT)


Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 21:51 GMT)

horrendous to let england off the hook after being 62/5... i see champions in this side :( wake up men in blue... play like champions

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 21:47 GMT)

@sachinVVS..totally agree..lack of killer instinct..no question about it..first time in the match that we were ahead and had england in a bit of a bother..i have no issues with prior making a century but BROAD..almost as "bad" as bhajji scoring tons

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 21:20 GMT)

Have self confidence. Follow the BASICS! "PLAY CRICKET IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF THE GAME "!! The result will be "GLORIOUS CRICKET"!!! 2000th Test Match and the 100th Test between England and India, played at Lord's will be memorable!!!!

Posted by Ellis on (July 24, 2011, 21:20 GMT)

Dhoni's captaincy has so far left much to be desired. Fielding first, bowling lower ranked bowlers at critical times, not bowling Sharma immediately after lunch on Sunday, not blocking Prior's cover drives and offside play etc. The Lord's wicket invariably settles down after the first morning. With the supposed best batting lineup in the world, why not bat first after winning the toss? Mishra would have been very useful here in place of Raina. A strangely defensive mindset from India.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 21:06 GMT)

if India can draw this ... its a gr8t achievement ..as their strike bowler is injured... and sachin ill... and missing sehwag..wonder if sehwag was there England would dare to declare at 457 ... ?

i think India wil put up a fight..and lay a foundation for the rest of the series... ishant bowling well makes it tougher forEengland for the rest of the series...

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

378, on a 5th day pitch, agst the English attack, will take some getting. So it will be safe to say an English victory or a draw is more likely. Key to Eng. victory Swann, arguably the best off-spin bowler in int'l cricket presently, with BROAD as his help. For India it will be Dravid & Dhoni. The injuries to Gambir & SRT, causing them to have to bat down the order will work agst India. It will not be easy for either of them to adjust, this is test cricket agst a tough side. A great day of test cricket awaits us.

Posted by Nampally on (July 24, 2011, 20:44 GMT)

India let this test slip out of their hands when they had England well & truely on the back foot with the score at 62 for 5.Thanks to Umpire as well that Broad survived a clear LBW OUT to Harbhajan. Prior -Broad put on over 160 partnership which could have been at least 70 runs shorter but for the bad Umpiring decision. Also Kumar & Harbhajan never showed up in bowling. India certainly has an uphill task. Laxman & Dravid have to play out at least 2 sessions on Day 5, the way they played the last session on Day 4. The rest of the Indian batting is suspect with Tendulkar & Gambhir's availability unknown and Raina's unreliable batting.Dhoni has to produce his best.Unlike England, India's tail starts at Harbhajan.India does not have Prior or Broad to rescue them. Missing Sehwag +injurie has depleted India badly. With Sehwag + no injuries, India would have won this test. Lucky breaks has made England team ;ooking better than it is.Despite adversity, Can India still save this game?i

Posted by   on (July 24, 2011, 20:43 GMT)

Ok so you guys see an English win as a possibility or a draw. Why not the possibility of an India win? Besides the number one side Indian have the ammunition to win, if Dravid can wall one side and Laxhman, Tendulkar, Raina, Gambhir and Dhonie can play their shots is it not possible that India can win?

Posted by wnwn on (July 24, 2011, 20:40 GMT)

I think England need to bowl more in swingers at these two. Anderson and Broad are capable of doing that.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 24, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

England expects every man to do his duty. The catching, in particular, needs to be better than the first innings. Let's see the Indians depart Lord's with their tails between their legs after a sound thrashing, as they did in 2002 and should have done in 2007.

Posted by binojpeter on (July 24, 2011, 20:37 GMT)

Seems India will be bowled below 300 in about 90-100 overs (including Day 4 overs) if nothing extra-ordinary occurs. I will be terribly disappointed as an Indian fan if they perform below that.

Posted by Rahulbose on (July 24, 2011, 20:24 GMT)

From Indian perspective the pitch has eased out. There is some uneven bounce but not unplayable. With Mukund the only batsmen to fall and Dravid in top form, India should be able to get a draw.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (July 24, 2011, 20:23 GMT)

Another great day of test cricket and depite a blowout or two, the England juggernought rolls on. India are showing some fight and for a time theatened to get back into this game. Today the conditions were quite benign which Prior and Broad exploited very well. In response India showed resiliance and it's now a question of are the Indian batters as good as claimed and is the much vaulted England bowling up to this task? If the sun goes in and the ball starts to swing Englands pace trio should be able to wrap this up. If Indian conditions prevail it's going to be hard and even the unthinkable is possible! Maybe Tendulkar will perform and get his name on the honours board after all. By reputation he is driven by personal achievements more than the needs of the team? Tomorrow he can do both......Once again we see that cricket is the winner! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by nikhilvs on (July 24, 2011, 20:22 GMT)

Killer instinct not possible when 1 of your bowlers is gone, though Dhoni resting Ishant was curious. An argument for Irfan to replace Raina as a batting alrounder?

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 24, 2011, 20:21 GMT)

Pressure is the key. Do not give easy runs to VVS laxman. That is the key.

Posted by landl47 on (July 24, 2011, 20:21 GMT)

England have shown patience when they need to, but also have the ability to come in for the kill when the opposition gets into trouble. They'll need to work their way through the top order (getting either Dravid or Laxman out early would be a huge help), but once they start taking wickets, look for that ruthlessness to kick in. It should be a good day's play tomorrow.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (July 24, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

Sachin should forget about his century if he gets a chance to bat and play with a sense of purpose. Records will just follow at the end of the day. Dravid and VVS seem very composed now. But a new day, a new start. You never know.

Posted by xjunda on (July 24, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

It'll be very interesting battle but I back England this time.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 24, 2011, 20:03 GMT)

Dhoni and Raina bowling those last overs is the worst thing that can happen to Test cricket. They gave away easy runs in both innings. Due credit to KP and prior for their centuries but india definitely lacked that killer instinct when it comes to finishing the tail. 62/5 and now you see the target is 458. Hope dravid and laxman bat for the whole day.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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