training session for the team. Not a break from the Test series with a Manchester United game to relax their minds. The break in no way guarantees a better performance in the next Test (it could very well be counterproductive) but at least it makes for a good viewing.
Ishant in the mix
The only refreshing sight for the Indians has been Ishant Sharma’s attempt at returning to full fitness before the final Test. He marked his run-up, commencing the baby steps to recovering his spot in the eleven. Ishant missed the third Test at the Rose Bowl because of a sore ankle, a big blow for India following his match-winning seven-wicket haul in the second innings at Lord’s that helped India take a 1-0 lead. It is learnt that tests have shown that there is no damage to the leg and basic rest should help him get back to full strength.
Ishant’s return might coincide with Stuart Broad’s exit. Though Broad is keen to play with a face-mask — one that would protect his battered nose — doubts firmly remain. The hosts have retained the same team for the final Test since they have the cushion of an international quality back-up pacer in the dressing room in Steve Finn.
Finn, they say, is hitting the right spots with intensity. That’s a cause of worry for the team that has got into the habit of folding up every other day. Unreliable batting, inexperienced bowling, insipid fielding. Dhoni’s troubles have only multiplied with each passing Test. Maybe, a day away from cricket to watch some football might just work well for his side.