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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Will the Empire strike back?

Ever since the fall of 2011 when India was thrashed 4-0 in England, this was the series that has been most talked about. The constant focus has been on the pitches, taking revenge and not the players performances. Since then lots of water has passed under the bridge, both teams have been whitewashed in foreign conditions, players falling out, players returning and one World Cup gone without any impact by either team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
India Yuvraj Singh Ever since his return after his battles with cancer, Yuvraj has been on a mission to cement his position in the Indian test team. Since VVS Laxman retired and Suresh Raina ignored by the selectors, the number six spot has been up for grabs and this is the best time for Yuvi to take advantage of that. His bowling aka pie-chucking will also be of great use on the Indian pitches.
England Graeme Swann The talk of turning tracks has only involved Indian spinners. But England also has a top spinner in their ranks Swann. His consistency and ability to take wickets in tough pitches has been evident over the last two years. Although Indians are the best players of spin as seen when Shane Warne came to India, the team should do well not to underestimate Swann.
KEY BATTLE
Alastair Cook & Jonathan Trott vs. R.Ashwin & Pragyan Ojha Cook and Trott have been a thorn in the flesh of many a test team. Their ability to grind out an innings, play every ball on its merit combined with mental grit makes them the most feared duo for the opposition. How they will fare against Ashwin and Ojha is going to be an interesting battle. The batting duo have imposed themselves against spin in the warm-up games against Mumbai and Haryana, but it remains to be seen how they will fare when they come up against a good spin combination.
Ashwin and Ojha are a typical right hand-left hand bowling duo. It is often said that spinners hunt in pairs and these two do hunt in pairs. Ojha is able to maintain a correct line and length which makes him very tough to get away for runs. While he dries up the runs, Ashwin is able to attack the batsmen with his variations. They have accounted for the bulk of the wickets in the last two series and it will be a true test when they come up against quality batting opposition.
PITCH EXPECTATION
The surface at Motera, Ahmedabad will be expected to behave like a typical Indian surface. Good throughout the first three days and will assist the spinners for the next two days. So the best thing to do for the team winning the toss is to bat first and expect the spinners to bowl the opposition out in the fourth innings.
VERDICT
Its not going to be easy, but I expect India to win the game and take the lead in the series 1-0.

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