India vs England 2014, 3rd Test, Preview: Dhoni’s men looking to take decisive lead in the series

Duncan Flethcer Ms Dhoni

After the thumping victory at Lords after 28 long years, the Indian team now moves on to Southampton to take part in the third of the 5 test match series in England. India will be riding high and would be expected to deliver other strong performance after what we have seen from them in this series so far.

India will be happy with the performances of the bowling attack so far in this series, an aspect of their game that was long being scrutinized due to its inability to perform in foreign conditions. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has lead the bowling well and with his bat doing the talking as much as the ball the bowling attack of the Indian team, has looked more balanced than it has looked in years.

The batting has never been the problem for the Indian team traditionally, but the doubts raised in the last couple of years due to their foreign tours of Australia and England have been erased to a considerable extent in the last couple of tours, with the new generation taking up the baton that was left by the fabulous four with the same grace and vigor, Indian batting seems to have found itself in able hands again.

Going into the third test, the only concerns for the Indian team will be the form of Shikhar Dhawan and if Dhoni will use the reserve openers in their ranks for the third test in his place. Dhawan has failed to impress so far in this series and he along with Kohli are the only batsmen who have not made a reasonable contribution for the India team. Virat Kohli has been having the first taste of bad form in his international career and it will be interesting to see how he deals with it with it along with all the controversy surrounding his alleged beau traveling with him.

England on the other hand has struggled to put up a team performance to carry them in this series. There have been individual brilliances over this period but they have faltered when the team has needed them the most. Garry Balance, Sam Robson and Joe Root have done the talking with the bat and have saved the English team from utter disappointment with some gritty performances when the seniors in the team have failed.

The bowling has looked rather ineffective at times when the Indian batting has been going strong, but they have made their own chances and you can say that it has been the saving grace for them in this series so far. Although they have found the hard nut of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar difficult to crack, they have challenged the Indian batting whenever they have had the conditions in their favor. Although they were rather erratic in the first session of the Lords test, You expect them to come all guns blazing in the next test.

All in all, the stage is set for yet another classic of a test match, and if the pitch is anything what it was in Lords, India are in for a run for their lives again at Southampton.