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3:00pm – India look to banish 2014 Southampton memories
Losing will not be an option for India when they take on England in the fourth Test at Southampton which gets underway on Thursday. Trailing 1-2 in the five-match series, India will be hoping to repeat their Trent Bridge showing at the Rose Bowl.
However, their past record at the ground is not that great with the side suffering a huge loss at the venue during their 2014 tour.
Read more about India’s dreadful past at Southampton here.
01:00pm – Virat Kohli a more dangerous batsman than Sachin Tendulkar
Popular television commentator and former England Test cricketer David Lloyd believes that India skipper Virat Kohli is a more ‘damaging’ batsman than Sachin Tendulkar.
Kohli is currently topping the run-scoring charts by some distance in the five-match Test series between England and India with 440 runs from six innings.
Read what David Lloyd had to say about Kohli and Tendulkar here.
11:00am- Nick Compton credits Duncan Fletcher for India’s improved pace attack
Former England international Nick Compton believes the credit for India’s current pace attack displays should go to former coach Duncan Fletcher. India’s pacers have been on fire of late and claimed 19 of the 20 England wickets to fall in the third Test at Trent Bridge which the visitors won by 203 runs.
Read what Compton had to say about Fletcher’s contributions here.
The visitors have clawed their way back in the five-series after a thumping 203-win at Trent Bridge following losses at Edgbaston and Lord’s.
With the series poised finely heading into the fourth Test, the stakes will be high for both teams when they take the field at Southampton.
Here, we take a look at the two previous Tests to be held at the ground.
ENGLAND V SRI LANKA, JUNE 2011
The Rose Bowl played host to the third Test between England and Sri Lanka during the latter’s tour of 2011. England skipper Andrew Strauss put Sri Lanka in to bat after winning the toss and saw the visitors fold for just 184 in their first innings with pacer Chris Tremlett picking up 6-48.
Led by an unbeaten ton from Ian Bell and an 85 from Kevin Pietersen, the hosts declared their first innings at 377-8 leaving Sri Lanka with plenty of work to do in their second innings.
In a rain-effected match, the visitors responded in earnest as Kumar Sangakkara registered his maiden ton on English soil. The Sri Lankan great put together a 75-run stand with night watchman Rangana Herath for the fourth wicket to frustrate England before putting together a 141-run stand with Thilan Samaraweera to effectively end the contest and earn a hard-fought draw for the subcontinent side. The visitors ultimately ended their second innings at 334-5 with Samaraweera remaining unbeaten on 85.
ENGLAND V INDIA, JULY 2014
Result: England won by 266 runs
Such was India’s great fortune at the start of their tour in 2014 that they arrived in Southampton for the third Test with a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the Rose Bowl would start a run of three-consecutive crushing losses. England skipper Alastair Cook had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss and his decision was vindicated with the hosts going on to post a mammoth 569-7 before declaring their first innings.
While Cook (95) himself shone with the bat, it was Gary Ballance (156) and Ian Bell (167) who took the winds out of India’s sail. In reply, none of the Indian batsmen would progress beyond 54 as James Anderson’s five-wicket haul (5-53) saw the visitors hit just 330 in their first innings.
England chose not to enforce the follow-on and a quick-fire 205-4 in just 40-odd overs in their second innings meant that India were set a daunting chase of 442.
Ajinkya Rahane (52 not out) registered his second fifty in the match but it was not enough to save India’s blushes as they were bundled out for just 178 in their final innings. It was Moeen Ali who did the primary damage in the second innings with the England off-spinner claiming 6-67 to lead the hosts to a commanding victory.
Indian pacers have come on leaps and bounds over the past couple of years with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav developing into a formidable attack in overseas conditions.
The India pace attack claimed 19 of the 20 England wickets to fall in Trent Bridge in the visitors’ 203-run win with their excess speeds in comparisons to their English counterparts particularly catching the eye.
Compton believes Fletcher’s role as India coach between 2011 and 2015 deserves major credit for the way the pace attack has shaped up.
“India’s pace attack hasn’t come together all of a sudden. It has taken time and it has happened one by one, as all of these bowlers took their time coming off age,” Compton told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
“India didn’t have so many pacers at once earlier, but now they do. And all (most) of them, at some point have played under Fletcher, so it is a credit to him. This process (of building a pace attack) started long ago and it has come together for India now.”
He added: “The difference from the past is that these bowlers do not compromise on pace. Like James Anderson and Stuart Broad, they retain the ability to move the ball at pace. Pace. That’s the keyword. You have to consider why the likes of Anderson and Stuart Broad have been so successful in their careers.
“They have a thousand wickets between them in Test cricket because they move the ball at pace. And it is no coincidence that both of them started their England careers under Duncan Fletcher.”
Zimbabwe-born Fletcher had enjoyed an eight-year tenure as coach of the England team between 1999 and 2007 before taking charge of the Indian team in 2011. During his team with England, the side recaptured the Ashes from arch-rivals Australia after a gap of 18 years in 2005.