England to Win

My most vivid memories of the last fifteen years of England-India Tests at Lord's (much of which I've been lucky enough to see live) begin with Tendulkar's early dismissal by Chris Lewis in 1996 and the way in which the debutants, Dravid and Ganguly, dominated the rest of the day, laying potent markers down for the future.

Then there was Sehwag in 2002, unfamiliar, flashy, apparently impermanent, but also giving notice of his potential with a rapid 84 before Ashley Giles snared him.

And then 2007. Rain a constant threat, but a gradually evolving match which was drawn with India nine down in enveloping gloom. On the Sunday afternoon I took a photograph of Tendulkar returning to the pavilion after he was dismissed by Monty Panesar (above). I felt the moment was worth recording because I never thought he'd be back. I'm glad I was wrong, and I look forward to savouring a similar moment or two this week, when the air of finality will be all the greater.

As to the result of the match and the series, much will depend on the weather over the next month and how England bowl. If conditions remain helpful and England - especially Anderson and Tremlett - perform as they can, India will struggle. If the sun begins shining and the wickets flatten out, things will be closer. But the Indian attack can't be discounted. Zaheer is short of practice but will surely come good at some stage, Ishant looks back to his best and Praveen Kumar looks as though he could swing it anywhere.

For me, though, it is England to win.

My train for London leaves in the morning.

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