If this is the number one team in the cricket world playing in England, one can only say that the ranking system probably needs a bit of a tweaking. Down 0-2 in the series, with only two to play for and the number one ranking at stake, one would have thought that the Indians would have preferred to go down fighting.
Instead, it was a day no different from most that the Indians have had to endure on this trip to England. England, who had bowled India out for 224 on the first day of the third Test match at Edgbaston, got themselves a whopping 456 for the loss of three in their first innings by the time the second day ended. In the process, it would have left the fans wondering whether this was the same team that had retained the number one ranking for more than a year.
The toss on the first day had proved to be a good one for Andrew Strauss to win alright, but as the pitch on the second day showed, once the batsmen dug themselves in, there wasn’t too much in the surface. The openers added a record stand for England against India in Tests, that of 186, but the Indian agony was prolonged by each of those who followed.
Both the opening batsmen, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook had come into the game with form issues and by the time the day had ended, the former had been unfortunate to depart short of a century while the latter was unbeaten looking at a double.
In between, there was a crisp 43-ball 34 from Ian Bell, a swashbuckling 63 from 78 balls off the bat of Kevin Pietersen and an unbeaten 44 by Eoin Morgan that disallowed any semblance of an Indian fightback.
India did not help their own cause by dropping three catches; including two by arguably the most reliable Indian fielder, Rahul Dravid.
England’s lead is an unbeaten 232 and the way things are going, they would be looking to extend it to at least 400, if not more. While India would look to get England out as quickly as they can, it is already seen that neither do they have the fire-power in the bowling, nor does the pitch possess too much threat to assist them eke out the home team. With three more days of the game remaining, unless India can come up with a batting performance that borders on the miraculous, or it can rain for at least a day, the game seems to be headed only one way; an English win.