The Oval Test could turn out to be one of the most important for the careers of a lot of players on this trip. Though India have lost the series, a lot of pride and reputation is at stake. A 4-0 whitewash will shatter the confidence of the team and its effect will be seen for a long time to come.
Indian cricket is at a juncture where a lot of seniors are on their last leg, and it is important for the young members to start their international career on a winning note. There is a four-match Test series in Australia in four months' time. So, India will have to get back to winning ways, because when you tour major cricket-playing countries, you need to be at the peak of your cricketing and physical abilities.
England, on the other hand, would be looking for a 4-0 whitewash. Indian batsmen should expect a pitch that will assist fast bowlers. Both Strauss and Flower know they have India on the mat and providing the visitors with a belter would be the last thing on their minds.
The English batting runs deep. They know that if they see off the new ball, they can keep the Indian fielders on the park for a long time.
It would be interesting to see if Suresh Raina gets a game. The fact that Virat Kohli hasn't had a practice game and didn't have a great series in the West Indies might push Dhoni to continue with Raina, although his reputation has taken a huge beating.
RP Singh is a strong contender for a place in the team. Though the management doesn’t know how much cricket he has played, but with Sreesanth not up to the mark, RP surely can get a look-in.