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Here come the history boys. Virat Kohli’s team stands on the brink of another Test triumph for the annals. They have avoided the pitfalls that regularly undermined India’s chances in England over the last decade – resulting in defeats to the tune of 4-0, 3-1 and 4-1 under Kohli and MS Dhoni – and can almost reach out and touch the Pataudi Trophy, which was last lifted by the touring team in 2007. After several months of careful planning and execution, India are closing in on the prize they came here for (okay, there was also the World Test Championship, but we’ll gloss over that).

There is a job still to be done at Old Trafford, though. And news of further Covid-19 complications on the eve of the Test are unlikely to settle any nerves. An outright cancellation seems unlikely (not least because it would hand India the series without having to step on to the field) but the results of another round of testing among the touring party will be awaited with some trepidation.

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