India have lost twice and won as many times out of seven Test matches against England at Trent Bridge. India’s victories came in 2007 and 2018; in the first instance chasing in the fourth innings.
It’s a repeat of that scenario in the first test between England and India here, as the contest enters a fifth and final day, a potential thriller on Sunday.
However, it’s a much tougher assignment this time than 14 years ago, when Rahul David’s side were confronted with a target of just 72 runs and reached their destination with seven wickets to spare.
Now the target is 209, never easy on a wearing pitch. England are not playing a specialist spinner, which is a slight relief for India. But cloudy conditions and uneven bounce are hazards the tourists need to be aware of. Yet they can do it, if they maintain good judgement on shot selection.
A bookmaker was offering 8-13 odds on Indian success, 7-2 on England and 3-1 on a draw.
At stumps on Day 4, India were 52/1 after the fall of K.L. Rahul’s wicket, needing 157 more runs to win on the final day.
(Senior cricket writer Ashis Ray is a broadcaster and author of the book ‘Cricket World Cup: The Indian Challenge’)