India In England – 1st Test – Preview (England)




England may be No. 2 on the ICC World Test Championship rankings behind India but ratings will count for nothing when both these squads step on to the greens of the Lord’s Cricket Ground. This will be the 100th meeting between the two countries in the longest format of the game and England leads with 34 victories to India’s 19 but there has been no contest between these countries that had so much anticipation surrounding it.

India in England - 1st Test - Preview (England)

India in England – 1st Test – Preview (England)

On paper, India seem the tougher opponent. Laxman, Dravid and Sachin share 99 centuries between them while the English middle order of Trott, Pietersen and Morgan have a combined total of 24 centuries. But at home and on swinging conditions with a bowling lineup packed with powerhouses, England have the advantage neutralized.

James Anderson is as good as a Zaheer Khan or a Dale Steyn in helpful conditions with ability to swing the ball both ways and also reverse it when the ball gets old. Sachin won’t forget the knock he took on his helmet of a Chris Tremlett bouncer the last time India toured England. Graeme Swann is the leading spinner in the world while Broad and Bresnan fight for the third seamer’s spot. Bresnan played a crucial role in England’s demolition of Australia in the Ashes and picked up five wickets in the World Cup game against India but injury put him out of the squad for quite a while and it will be interesting to see how he performs on his return. Broad, on the other hand, has been struggling for form and went wicketless in the first 3 ODI’s against Sri Lanka and was consequently dropped for the fifth game. A spell of 5/95 against Somerset helped him book his place in the final twelve ahead of the unlucky Steve Finn.

The batting order is as solid as a rock with no injury or form concerns whatsoever. Strauss got himself back into form scoring 78 and 109 in the practice game while Cook is in the form of his life with nine centuries in his last thirty innings. Jonathan Trott is yet to suffer a bad patch and has a test average of nearly 60. We all know what Kevin Pietersen is capable of and add Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan and England have a formidable lineup.

The absence of Sehwag will surely be a blow to the Indians and the new ball pair of Anderson and Tremlett will look to pile on the pressure on the inexperienced Mukund. Indians have had their problems against the moving ball and if the English bowlers manage to expose Dravid and Tendulkar to the new ball, it will be a battle worth watching.

Probable Squad:

Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss (Captain), Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matthew Prior (Wicketkeeper), Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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