India came into the five-match Test series against England on the back of a lot of hope and promise. The Virat Kohli led-team were the No.1 Test team in the world, and had dismantled every opponent who stepped foot on their shore.
Even the performances away from home, under Kohli, were positive. They had beaten West Indies and Sri Lanka at their own backyard, and provided tough competition to South Africa earlier this year. So it was very fair that a lot was pinned on India to put a good display in the very country they were dismantled in 2011 and 2014.
But Kohli and co. were given a reality check, at least in the first two matches. In the first Test at Edgbaston, they fought valiantly before losing the match by 31 runs. And rather than taking the confidence and improving, the visitors put a no-show as they were ripped apart by the hosts at Lord's by an innings and 159 runs.
With the series all but gone, the 'nothing to lose' attitude worked in their favor, as India came back roaring at Trent Bridge, winning the third Test by a 203-run margin. Everything seemed to click for the visitors, with all the batters getting runs, and the bowlers managing 20 wickets in no time.
And now, Kohli and co. stare at an improbable equation, something which has happened only once in the history of Test cricket before. Should the visitors somehow manage to win the remaining two matches, they will become only the second team to win a five-match series having been 2-0 down. The only other instance when this happened was in 1936-1937, when Australia, led by Sir Don Bradman, managed to overturn this margin against England.
For once, the Indian team management should refrain from making any change to the playing XI. Under Kohli, who has skippered 38 matches in Test, the team has been different on every single occasion. It is not just a myth that a consistent team has better cohesion.
Another important thing which would work in India's favor is if they allow Cheteshwar Pujara to bat in his own manner. Many fans have claimed that he was asked and urged by the team management to score at a brisk pace, something which hurt his form. Pujara is a player who should be given time at the crease. There should be no kind of pressure put on him regarding the way he plays.
Finally, Jasprit Bumrah showed in the Trent Bridge Test why he is the most important bowler in India's line-up, be it limited-overs cricket of Test. His ability to bowl good length deliveries causes opposition batting all sorts of problems. Further, he bowls in mid 140's, and can be skiddy at times. Kohli should refrain from changing tactics regarding the usage of his bowlers, and should start the innings with Bumrah.