Alastair Cook is back and the England opener can lead his side to an insurmountable total today as England catch sight of the world number one status.
Following the second day’s play England lead India by 232 runs thanks to some very strong batting performances and Andrew Strauss will hope his batsman can continue in the same vein until at least tea time today.
Cook will resume on 182 and his eyes will be set firmly on beating his previous top score of 235 compiled under the famous glare of the Gabba in the 2010/11 Ashes series.
Strauss’ tactics will be to bat until at least tea so that they can put a run chase firmly out of India’s sights and with at least 80 overs before tea England will hope to have 700 runs on the board by the second break.
Should India’s bowling attack continue to struggle – it shows no signs of picking up – Strauss may look to bat out the rest of the day but following another long day in the field, the Indian openers will not be looking forward to the prospect of some overs later this evening.
England are 1/6 to win following two dominating days but there is a slight chance of rain today and tomorrow which Strauss will have to factor in to any decisions, but as England sit in such a commanding position their odds look more than fair.
Cook is 5/6 to go on and score over 217.5 runs today although he does just have the one double century to his name and India will be doing everything they can to snare him early this morning.
However Cook is 1/3 to go on and get 200 and should he do so, his highest Test score should be surmountable.
With three days to go England are in a very commanding position and their status as the world’s best Test team should be confirmed by the end of the week.