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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Toughest English Exam at Mumbai

Here we go again. Mumbai temperature above 30 degrees, high humidity and a promised slow track by the curator. The fourth game today will be toughest exam for England on this current tour of one dayers.

The last game at Mohali was the best chance for England to come back into the contest. The pitch had a tinge of green and the weather dry and pleasant, at least in the evening. England did well to set the target of 300. But then the rub of green seems to going against them too. England surrendered the series in the field, despite a good batting performance.

This young Indian side, with seven new faces, compared to the world cup winning side of earlier this year, is playing the conditions rather well. Building partnerships, using the pace well, rotating the strike and working hard on the field. It is all coming together. Being used to the tracks and with strong home support, suddenly they are making the English summer look a bit distant.

The chatter on the pitch is spicing proceedings, more so when the Indian skipper comments on infighting in the English camp. Mind games, sledging, no DRS, it does feel more traditional, honestly. The series makes the recent white-wash in England very stark by contrast.

Worth looking forward to Ian Bell back in the playing eleven, and hopefully leggie Scott Brothwick making his debut for England. From the Indian side, it would be good to see two likely debutants, leggie Rahul Sharma and speedster Varun Aaron.

This series maybe decided, but there is still much pride at stake for both England and India. It will be hard fought, but a real tough one for England, this one.

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