Under-pressure India look to bounce back against England

Cricket

The three-pronged spin attack did not yield desired results and in batting department, barring Cheteshwar Pujara, all big names failed miserably.

The opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir's inconsistency combined with Sachin Tendulkar's prolonged slump form -- 153 runs from last 10 innings -- has not done India any good.

However, Tendulkar has managed to remain unmoved by the critics and instead chose to slog at the nets for hours. A century here will certainly change things for him as well as for the team.

Even Virat Kohli has been unusually quiet in this series so far. Despite having a great year, he hasn't scored a big knock in the last four innings.

India would hope that the promising right-hander comes out of his recent slump sooner than later. Kohli can take heart from 107-odd runs he had scored against Sri Lanka in a 2009 One-dayer here.

India's bowling had also came a cropper in last the two Tests.

The spin department led by veteran Harbhajan Singh completely flopped. Harbhajan himself looked a shade of his past, while the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha seemed pedestrian as compared to England's Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, both of whom shared 19 of 20 wickets on offer.

Pacer Zaheer Khan seemed to have lacked match fitness as he not only failed to pick a wicket, but also could not use the reverse swing.

Harbhajan, who is eyeing 100th Test cap, has been the most destructive Indian bowler at Eden Gardens with 46 wickets (including six five-wicket hauls) from seven Tests at 21.76.

But he is down with flu and it looks unlikely that he will be in the playing eleven tomorrow since the team management may opt for two seamers and two spinners.

It will be a tricky situation for Dhoni to chose the bowling combination, especially after drawing severe criticism for his selection of three spinners and a pacer at Wankhede.

... contd.

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