Well, the news is definitely not good from India’s point of view. Right now, when now our boys are running a very high morale, the met department has predicted that the weather at Southampton will be cloudy and there are chances of showers on Sunday and Monday. The temperature will be 26 degrees and 25 degrees respectively. In fact, a lot has already been said about the green top pitch in Southampton, which is equally suitable for our capable bowlers.

Moreover, at the moment, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is in the best of his form. He has already taken two fivers. His immense capability to swing the ball both ways has proved handy in England. Also, he now looks more confident and focused. What he can do with the leather in his hand is going to make a difference.

Mohammed Shami, on the other hand, could not show his spark. But I intend to underline that he has got a good pace of 140kph and ability to consistently bowl at the same speed. He has a good fitness level and can bowl long spells. Under Dhoni’s guidance, the way Ishant Sharma bowled to a plan at Lord’s, it was great to see. Ishant bowled a shorter length with fielders in the deep and the plan worked superbly. If he can show the same control going forward, it will be great for team India.

Sir Ravindra Jadeja will also need to improve with the ball. He will need to bowl a better line and length in order to get wickets. The amount of support he gets from the pitch will be quite important. The fifth bowler is always a big question mark for India. In the last test, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan had to bowl their spin. Stuart Binny has proved to be a real failure with the ball. India will need to figure out what to do in order to resolve this issue.

In this scenario, playing R Ashwin instead of Binny would be the right way to go about it. Ashwin can make the leather ball dance and jump according to his will, which might prove helpful in taking 20 wickets. Overall, it is likely that Bhuvneshwar will be a real threat from one end. He will just need potent support from the other end. If the Indians are able to do so, we can certainly control the leather. As for the weather, no one has any control! Best Wishes.


    Established sports writer across various global platforms

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