From the highs of Lord's to the lows of Southampton and the lowest of lows of Manchester. India's tour of England has unravelled in remarkable fashion; and the final chapter of this long Test tour will be written at the Oval in London.
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The 5th Test in London is set to start at 11 pm local time (3.30 pm IST, 6 am ET) with live coverage on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD1 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online HERE in India. Catch the match in the US on ESPN 3 or by live streaming HERE. Viewers in the UK can watch the match on Sky Sports 2 and listen to the action on BBC Radio Five Live Extra. Live stream the action HERE or HERE, while viewers can also listen to the proceedings on Day 3 HERE.
It is up to India to ensure the script does not read "yet another abject failure away from home", and for that to happen MS Dhoni and co. need to conjure some inspiration, winning magic and the ability to bat against the moving ball from somewhere.
The manner in which the batsmen capitulated on Day 3 of the fourth Test at Old Trafford was beyond embarrassing. A little basic common sense was all that was needed to ensure the match went into the fourth day, where rain, rain and more rain was forecast.
Instead, India decided to commit seppuku and give England a 2-1 series lead, when after the second Test at Lord's, the hosts were floundering, wondering just where they were going to get one victory, let alone two.
"It was not just the [Manchester] game," said skipper Dhoni. "In the games before that as well we have lost some wickets in very short span of time. It is not really about addressing it but more about soaking it up, learning from the last game and making sure that we don't repeat those mistakes.
An epic series win in England is gone now for India, and the best they can do is draw the series, which would be a decent result considering the circumstances and their away form over the last couple of years. Dhoni, though, insisted making it 2-2 was not what was foremost on his mind, rather it was that favourite word of his – process.
"We know if we win this match what impact it will have on the series. But let's not look at the series because it becomes like a long-term goal," Dhoni added. "We should look at small goals, from the start of the Test match tomorrow and break it up into sessions.
"If you win more sessions than the opposition and if you don't do really badly in the sessions that you have lost, you will end up winning the Test match. That is the priority for us. It is always the process that will be the key because it puts less pressure on the team."
Pressure will be something that has been released completely from the England lineup, with those two back-to-back Test wins suddenly bringing the smiles back to the faces of Cook and co. again. Bowling has been England's strength on this tour, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who will play despite suffering a broken nose during the fourth Test, providing the impetus up front, before allowing Moeen the-Indian-batsmen-cannot-play-me Ali to have fun later.
If the India openers do not crack the Anderson-Broad code, it will put the pressure right back on the middle-order again, and with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli both struggling for runs, the visitors desperately need a big partnership from Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay at the top of the innings.
Team news: England: Cook fully expects Broad to be available, with the bowler likely to wear a protective mask after being hit on the nose off a sniping delivery from Varun Aaron, one of the few bright spots from the last Test for India.
"We think he's going to be absolutely fine," Cook said on Thursday. We reserve the right tomorrow morning, in case something unusual happens overnight. [But] we're not expecting anything like that at all."
With Broad available, England are not expected to make any changes to the side which romped to an innings victory in Manchester.
India: Ishant Sharma has been sorely missed in the last two Test matches, and the lanky pace bowler is expected to be available with Pankaj Singh set to make way. Gambhir, going by the practice session in the nets, looks likely to keep his place at the top of the order, while it remains to be seen if Dhoni considers bringing in Stuart Binny. With the India skipper a big fan of Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin showing his prowess with the bat, it does look unlikely, though.
Expected lineups: England: Alastair Cook, Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
India: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron.