Uzair Rizvi, BeyondHeadlines
“Practice puts your brain in your muscles.”Four years ago, Rain saved India the blushes at Lord’s. However, this time it was not meant to be as lack of match practice and injuries led to their downfall in the first test.
There were moments in the match when India seemed to have taken a firm grip but in the end, everything slipped away.
The second test takes place at Trent Bridge in Nottingham; traditionally know for favoring seam and swing. The track offers a lot to the bowlers. Making England seamers as the favorite with possibly no Zaheer Khan to lead the spear-attack of Indian bowling.
India will be hoping that Gambhir has fully recovered from his sore-elbow and partnering him at the opening will be Abhinav Mukund who continues to finds himself in the team due to the absence of injured Sehwag.
Dravid and Laxman are the backbone of the middle order as they continue to pile up important runs. But except for Dravid no one could reach the triple figure in the game.
Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th International Ton is eagerly awaited by cricketing aficionados. He failed to achieve it at Lord’s but it is just a whisker away. However, the team would ask for a victorious century.
Suresh Raina has blossomed. He has matured well in every innings and looks in perfect form.
India’s biggest concern is the uncertainty of the pace battery Zaheer Khan, who bowled only 13.3 overs in the first test because of his muscle pull.
In this case, either Sreesanth or Munaf Patel will make it to the team with Indians preferring to go with three pacers on Trent Bridge wicket.
Praveen Kumar was the pick of the bowlers; he was perfect with his line and swing that rewarded him his 1st five-wicket haul.
Ishant Sharma wobbled in the first innings but came back pretty well in the second innings to trouble the English batsmen.
Harbhajan’s poor form has been a cause of worry for the Indians and he might be dropped for the second test.Amit Mishra is the replacement who is a smart mover and offers a lot more variety with his googly and the quicker ones’.
England, on the other hand are on top of their game. They are a well-prepared dangerous side who have grown really well and are almost un-conquerable on their home soil.
Strauss and Cook’s opening stand has been a bit shaky as both who have big potential to play long innings are a way out of touch.
Eoin Morgan has not been a revelation in tests but he may be given another chance.Ian Bell,Trott,Prior and the double century maker Kevin Pietersen all had an excellent game. They all contributed with the bat and their pecking form remains the main fear for the opposition. They can be expected to score plenty of runs throughout the summer.
England’s bowler won it for them. They tormented the Indian batting with swing , seam , perfect line.
Broad and Anderson took seven wickets apiece ripping through the Indian defense system in the second innings.
Chris Tremlett’s contribution cannot be undone.He bowled in the perfect channel and took the important wickets of Dhoni and Laxman.
Graeme Swann could not deprive much from the pitch and took just two wickets. Nevertheless, he kept the pressure from one end and the pacers took the advantage from the other end.
The team looks balanced and it is likely that England will play the same team. Though Tremlett’s pulled his hamstring in the training but it does not look pretty bad.
Tim Bresnan has been kept as a standby in case of Tremlett failing the fitness test.
Interestingly, Nottingham is the same venue from where Indian started their route of dominance in World Cricket. Sachin top-scored with 91 and Zaheer was the tormentor in chief as he scalped nine wickets to lead India to a famous win.
Team India would like to repeat the history at Nottingham and would like to kick it from here where as England will look to make it 2-0 and grab the top spot in the test rankings to prove their dominating cricket from last couple of year.Expect a close cruncher.
England- A.Strauss(cpt) , Matt Prior(wkt), A.Cook, K.Pietersen, J.Trott, I.Bell, E.Morgan, S.Broad, G.Swann, J.Anderson, C.Tremlett.
India- MS.Dhoni(wkt/cpt), A.Mukund, G.Gambhir, S.Tendulkar, R.Dravid, VVS Laxman, S.Raina, Amit Mishra, P.Kumar, I.Sharma, S.Sreesanth.