Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India look to consolidate lead against struggling England

Written by PTI | Southampton | Updated: Jul 27 2014, 01:16am hrs
They have snatched the momentum with a brilliant show on the dreaded Lord's green-top and India's in-form cricketers would now aim to take an unassailable series lead against a demoralised England in the third cricket Test starting here tomorrow.

The visitors won the second Test at Lord's by 95 runs on a green-top wicket after the first Test at Nottingham was drawn. The stage is now set for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men to overwhelm the hosts, who are in turmoil.

The victory at Lord's marked an end to the 15-match long drought without an overseas Test win. It stretched as far back as 2011, when India had beaten West Indies at Kingston.

That was also the last time that the Dhoni-led side took a 1-0 series lead. In that light, this is uncharted territory for a young team.

Back then, India won the Test series in the Caribbean by the slimmest of margins, drawing the next two Tests at Barbados and Dominica.

This is purely a statistical memory because Dhoni makes it a point to segregate the present from the past. But there can be some learning from history and it is for that purpose they had recruited former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid as mentor ahead of this Test series.

The legendary batsman was part of the Indian side that last played a five-Test series, back in 2002, coincidentally too against the West Indies.

India, under Sourav Ganguly back then, had taken the lead at Trinidad, squandered it away at Barbados in the third Test, and then lost the series at Kingston in the fifth Test eventually.

At this juncture it can be hoped that he also impressed upon this young team how to wade through untested waters.

Unlike that tour, this series doesn't have a tour game in between any of the Tests. A long drawn-out encounter can be a gruelling affair especially if it is packed in 40-odd days. India need to watch out against two factors -- complacency and bowlers' workload -- and that the two are indirectly related.