India Vs England: 1st Test Match At Lord’s




The time for all the talk is over. The hype surrounding this Test match is unbelievable. It is also understandable. This is the 2000th Test in the history of the game. It is the 100th Test between India and England. This series is one where the No. 1 ranking will be decided. This could be Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman’s last tour to Old Blighty. And this match will be played at the Mecca of cricket, Lord’s.

India vs England: 1st Test Match at Lord's

India vs England: 1st Test Match at Lord's

Coming to India’s preparation for the four Test series, it has not started on a bright note. Last week, their bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Somerset, up at Taunton with English captain Andrew Strauss leading the way. India struggled to make inroads in either innings and that did not serve a good sign ahead of the crucial first Test at Lord’s. The batsmen all had a hit in the middle, but only Suresh Raina shone with a counter-attacking century as India struggled to adapt to the English conditions.  Sachin, Gambhir, Dravid could not capitalize on their starts while Yuvraj Singh did not trouble the scorers.

For this game at Lord’s, India will go in with three seamers and Harbhajan Singh. Zaheer and Ishant are sure starters while Praveen Kumar holds the edge over the others, with his ability to swing the ball. Mukund and Gambhir will in all likelihood open, and on the basis of the tour game, Raina should make the team at the expense of Yuvraj Singh.

England, on the other hand, were so confident that they named their 12-man squad , four days before the Test. Their batting looks rock solid at the top with Trott, Cook and Strauss while the middle order will bring the glamour with Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan. Matt Prior and Stuart Broad have also been in good form with the willow. James Anderson and Chris Tremlett will occupy the bowling slots along with Graeme Swann, the No.1 bowler in the world, will handle the spin department. The only place for contention is Stuart Broad’s and the vote of confidence by coach Andy Flower and his five wicket haul in a recent County game puts him ahead of Tim Bresnan.

There are contests within a contest as the aging Indian batting order will be tested by swingers from Anderson and bouncers from Tremlett. There is no Sehwag, which means the onus is on Gambhir and Mukund to see off the new ball. Swann will go up against players who love spin. The Indian seamers will come up against a rampant English top order. All in all Dhoni will be hoping that India get off the blocks quickly, while all eyes will be on Sachin who could score his 100th international century at Lord’s.

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