Last Test of the five-match series between India and England is scheduled to start from August 15, at The Oval. This would certainly be the last chance for MS Dhoni & Co. to level the series and go back home with their chin up.
After the humiliating defeat in the fourth Test at Manchester, where the tourists lost the plot within three days, England took the unassailable lead of 2-1 in the series. On each day, each session, the hosts dominated India in every department to win the crucial fourth Test by an innings and 54 runs.
Indian team looked toothless and were listless throughout the match. Dhoni`s ineffective captaincy and lacklustre performance by the Indian batsmen helped England to maintain the momentum they gained after winning the third Test at Rose Bowl.
Now struggling India have perform in all the departments to outclass England at The Oval to save their face before the series comes to an end. Indian batsmen need to show some application against one of the best swing bowling attacks and should stop throwing away their wickets to the part time spinner Moeen Ali.
If Ishant Sharma declared match-fit before the fifth Test, India would get a bowler they desperately need in the English conditions. And after the speedsters heroics in the Lord`s Test, which gave India their first win at the historic ground after 28-long years, he would be high on confidence and raring to go. From pace battery of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron, one can expect a good show, which can give India something to cheer for.
Along with that, India need their batsmen to stand and deliver. They are getting starts but are failing to convert them into big knocks. It means they have to show some Test match temperament and stick to the basics.
After losing two consecutive matches in the series, it would be a herculean task for Team India to level the series by winning the final Test. But a draw in London will provide some solace to the Indian supporters.