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England vs India 1st Test: India will need Plan 'C' to win

812   //    24 Jul 2011, 02:58 IST

For all its history, the Lord’s cricket ground is yet to acknowledge present day greats Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. While it has room on its board for workmen-like performances from Praveen Kumar or Shane Watson, it had none for Rahul Dravid. Even a Ajit Agarkar has his name on the board.

But today, the famous ground took its opportunity and acknowledged Rahul Dravid’s absolutely proper and Test Match Quality innings. It still has some time to acknowledge Sachin Tendulkar but that’s for another day.

The Lord's century continue to elude Sachin Tendulkar

How many times, has a side faced the ignominy of facing the possibility of a follow on after their inability to bowl the opposition out; having invited them to take first strike? Well I am not sure about the all the instances, but this is the second time that it has happened to India against England. The last time too was at Lord’s. Remember Gooch scored something like 5.8 trillon runs and Kapil hoicked 4 successive sixes off Eddie Hemmings with Hirawni for company to avoid the follow-on?

And for all instances where a team has lost the match after inserting the opposition in and failing to dismiss them….here it is. Its happened only 21 times. India banked on Zaheer Khan and without him, we need our batsman to be absolutely in top form to save Test matches.

When play started today, India had only one option. To execute Plan A. Which roughly would have been to put up somewhere around 700+ odd runs and skittle England out in the second innings and win by an innings. Stuart Broad had other ideas however and when he had India 5 down, Dhoni and Dravid played Trott, Pietersen and Swann as I imagine Syed Kirmani and S Venkatraghvan would have played Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Malcom Marshal in Kingston Jamaica.

Now had Zaheer been fit, India could have executed Plan B, which is to get England out tomorrow and chase down the deficit and win on Day 5. But with Ishant and Bhajji, even a timeless Test would not have enough time to allow Praveen Kumar to price England all-out.

Which leaves India with Plan C….wait for Strauss to declare and get the target.  I think when you are losing, there are more options for a win. Or may its is just hope…..

This is the first time we write about a game we have actually watched…live…in person. All other times we simply pretended that we did.

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