England has not won a One-day International against India (in India) in more than five years – its last win coming back in April 2006 at the Keenan stadium.
Furthermore that win remains the lone one for the visitors in the last 15 matches they have played against India in the subcontinent.
For a team that has already lost the series, and is proverbially playing for pride, there can’t be anything more demoralizing.
If that wasn’t enough there’s more bad news in store for the visitors ahead of the fourth one-dayer. According to curator Sudhir Naik, the Wankhede wicket will offer turn.
And going by the manner in which the England batsmen have tackled spin in this series, it doesn’t augur well for Alastair Cook’s side.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have combined well to put the visiting batsmen in trouble, thereby helping India take an unassailable 3-0 lead, something that the opposition doesn’t hesitate to admit.
“They have played well and have been a key to how India has won three games in a row,” admitted Jonathan Trott ahead of the fourth match.
“But we are playing them better and better with each passing game,” he added, as an after thought. Even if Trott is to be believed, tackling the Indian spinners in just one of India’s worries.
The biggest worry for the visitors has been their inability to check the Indian batsmen from scoring big, as also in taking wickets when required.
No matter how much the England batsmen score, it is never too much for their Indian counterparts to better. The English bowling, which had the Indian batting in all sorts of trouble in the preceding tour, is struggling to come to terms in the lifeless pitches in the subcontinent that offer little to the bowlers.
It is not that Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan and the rest are bowling badly. In fact they have been doing their best. It is just that the wickets have been anything but responsive.
Consequently that puts an additional pressure on the visiting batsmen while adding to the home team’s (read bowlers) advantage. That might just be good news for Varun Aaron, who looks certain to make his ODI debut following Umesh Yadav’s injury.
Team India might just experiment with a few more changes considering the series has been pocketed.
If the first three matches are anything to go by, the England team would be extremely fortunate to win either of the remaining games.
The last occasion England played an ODI series on Indian soil – in November 2008 – they were swamped 5-0.
Taking every aspect into account, it will suffice to say that an encore in very much on the cards.