Way back in the winter of 1984-85 at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur, the David Gower-led England had comfortably drawn the final Test of a five-match series to complete the comeback victory 2-1.
Since then, England had toured India four times in search of a series victory but never managed to achieve that as they failed miserably to tackle Indian tweakers on spin-friendly pitches.
However, Alastair Cook will look to achieve what his predecessors failed to in almost three decades when the last day's play resumes at the Jamtha stadium here on Monday. England pacer James Anderson acknowledged the fact that the visitors are in “a pretty good position” although a touch cautious. “The first hour will be crucial. If we can get through that then hopefully we can build a couple of good partnerships throughout the day and make sure the game is safe,” said fast bowler, whose swing bowling provided the cutting edge to England.
Anderson, however, made it clear that there would be no scope for complacency to creep in. “There’s still a long way to go in the game. It’s a really important start for us tomorrow.”
While the England pacer exuded confidence, off-spinner R Ashwin, billed as India’s trump-card against the visitors at the start of the series, preferred to bank on the uncertainties in the game of cricket. “Strange things have happened (in the past). I am not trying to be very optimistic but we have done it in India before to get 6-7 wickets in a session. It is just about trying to get a couple of early wickets tomorrow,” said the Chennai tweaker, who has struggled in the series.
If the visitors achieve the triumph, it surely would make England’s batting coach, Graham Gooch, in particular very happy. It was under team that England suffered the ignominy of a series whitewash in 1992-93.