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3 reasons why India might script a series win now

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.35K   //    23 Aug 2018, 15:41 IST

England v India: Specsavers 3rd Test - Day Two
Hardik Pandya savours his moment in the limelight

For the first two Tests of this meandering, gruelling Test series, India seemed all set to be subjugated to a humiliating whitewash. The familiar ghosts were back haunting them, the swinging ball, the lack of technique in challenging conditions, the poor team selection, the seemingly-average pace attack... and then, Trent Bridge happened.

It is hard to remember a series of this magnitude where a turnaround of such ferocity has been engineered by a side that seemed completely down and out at the start of this gargantuan challenge.

England had won a thriller at Birmingham and followed it up with a hammering in a rain-curtailed encounter at Lord's. However, they were completely outplayed by a resurgent visiting side in all departments of the game when the series shifted to Nottingham and India can actually hope to script a historic Test victory coming from behind in the most epic manner possible. Here's why.


#1 India's pace attack has risen from the ashes

Even the great Michael Holding tore into him after his average performances in the first two Tests. He was described as a bits-and-pieces allrounder, not good enough in either department to actually merit a place in the Test side. His languorous, almost-cocky attitude was unfavourably commented upon, comparisons with Kapil Dev did him no favours. But then Hardik Pandya came on to bowl for a mere six overs in England's first innings.

That short stint, a mere two overs more than a T20 spell changed the complexion of the series. Pandya swung the ball devastatingly, maintained a challenging line and bowled with a lot of heart, breaking the backbone of the England middle-order. His 5/28 reduced England to 161 and set up the ensuing victory.

In the second innings, it was the turn of Jasprit Bumrah to unleash his cutters and pick up a five-for in another stunning performance by an Indian fast bowler. Old hands Ishant Sharma and Mohamed Shami played a capable supporting hand as the pacers picked up 19 of the 20 England wickets in the Test and outbowled the much-vaunted England swing attack.

More of the same please, Indian fans will be saying.

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