Edgbaston Test Preview: Can Dhoni Prevent 3-0

Friendly Trent Bridge could not help India’s cause. Having played 5 test matches since 1967 till 1996, the spin trio/quadrat, batting legends, historical captains have failed to get India respect here. The best result the only draw was earned by Kapil’s devils. Edgbaston is a bigger disaster than Lord’s for India. Now, with back fixed against wall and poor record at Edgbaston, it will be injustice to ask Dhoni to get India’s first win here. But can one write-off Dhoni-the captain so easily!!

Ind vs Eng 2011 Series Results
India at Edgbaston
Indian Test Performances at Edgbaston

India and England play the third test of the series at Birmingham, Edgbaston. With series already in favor of 2-0, with one win, England can not only seal the series victory but also their much-awaited top spot in Test cricket, and also head towards another whitewash against Indians. They have the in-form bowlers to wreck Indian batting and batting line-up that can repeat the fiesta of first and second test, especially against further weakened bowling attack of India.

India on the other hand, has just one option open. They can try to win to at least gain some confidence for themselves and then try for a series equalizer in the last test. On-field they have been completely outplayed in all the games. Off-field they are getting more setbacks. Their top-11 looks weaker than Zimbabwe side now. Captain Cool Dhoni has lost his charming smile. Team is in shatters, to say the least and probably started to count their days off to the flight home.

Yet, the tour is not even half-way. Three players have already flown home. Others may have wanted the same by now. Yet, Sehwag has joined giving much required freshness to the team. Gambhir is fit again. Dravid is the man-in-form. Laxman has some short good nicks. Tendulkar can never be counted out of form.
Being on top India never played like a champion. But being the underdog Indians have performed some miraculous return and victories in the last decade. The team has almost the same composition and being the team from which nobody expects a victory now may help them fight back.

Top-Players at Edgbaston
Tendulkar has scored the only Indian century on this ground, although in a losing cause. None of the other Indian players have experienced a test match on this ground before.

Among England players, Pietersen and Strauss has a good batting record, while Anderson has again proved very threatening on this ground too. Anderson has 18 wickets in 5 matches. Pietersen with 424 runs in 7 innings of 4 matches is the highest scorer among current lot. Strauss is the second most successful English player among current lot with 321 runs.

England’s record at Birmingham
England has played 45 matches here and holds a good record having won 23, drawn 14 and losing only 8. David Gower with 767 runs in 14 innings of 9 matches is the highest scorer at this ground. Trueman with 39 wickets in 7 matches is the best bowler on this ground.

Since 1996 victory over India at Birmingham, England have 7 matches at the ground, lost 3, one each against West Indies (2000), Australia (2001) and South Africa (2008) and drawn 3 – 2 against South Africa and 1 against Australia.

With their batsmen relishing the Indian attack in the past, the current disoriented lot of bowling may be just another cakewalk for English batsmen. When they bat a score of 400-plus would be easy to score. Even their bowlers have troubled Indian batting. But with bowlers almost out of league in the series, the Indian batting will decide the fate of this match and India too.

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