India Tour of England: Perspective Home Camp

Posted: July 20, 2011 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, India in England 2011

Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket, CouchExpert

20 July 2011

How much will this particular dream of England’s cost? Cricket experts calculate that for England to achieve this goal, it would not only have to convincingly beat India this summer, but progressively build a squad that has just begun to take shape of late.

An Ashes dream down under was followed by a very average World Cup for the English, even though Andrew Peter likes to remind us Star Cricket viewers every now and then that they are as much champions as India are.

With the build up to this series seemingly emphasizing on England’s home advantage, the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka has surfaced plenty of positives that would act as a trampoline to their strengths to kick-start the series against India commencing Thursday.

Firstly, the forms of Cook and Bell, two batsmen who have looked dependable and consistent over the last few series. It takes a tremendous amount of backing from a board to harness talent and develop that potential into world class cricketers. Cook and Bell, both who’ve been at the crossroads of the careers in the past, have done extremely well to bounce back from the setbacks that almost threatened to halt their careers. And someone, like an Andy Flower, must be given his due credit for that.

Flower can smile now. His XI, currently, has cemented one of the most dependable  openers of today’s game along with a stylish, free-flowing middle order bat. And we haven’t even started talking about Trott yet.

Trott’s dependability at three has been a well documented fact, and there have been plenty of journalists who’ve overtly praised this South African born Warwickshire talisman for his envious, young test record. Trott may not be the most pleasing player to watch, unlike Ian Bell, but what he offers at three is that doggedness which can so easily exponentiate a bowler’s frustration levels.

With Andrew Strauss having a poor run of form at the international level (the Somerset outing would have definitely done his confidence a world of good) and Kevin Pietersen still not convincing enough, even though he played a few decent innings against Sri Lanka, Cook & Trott hold the key that could unlock England’s real desire to bat over their opponents in the forthcoming series.

Whether Zaheer will continue to cause Strauss problems is a question that will soon be answered. With no left arm spinners in the Indian XI, unless the Indian team takes a bold decision to play Yuvraj (a decision that would seem too Pietersen-centric), it might not be a bad idea for Zaks to try rolling his left arm spinners, like I saw him do once during a tour to the Caribbean in the early 2000s. But certainly both Strauss and Pietersen have plenty to prove this series if they want to reconfirm their statuses as men who are helping English cricket live its dream.

Morgan and Prior, at 6 and 7, add enough ammunition to the English batting with their explosive styles and abilities to up the scoring rate at will. With Ravi Bopara around the corner, trying to bang the selection door as hard as he can, Morgan would cherish a few big innings this series that could well cement his place in the XI for good. Prior would have been disappointed to see his ODI spot lost to Kieswetter. His keeping skills have improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years – as it was so evident down under during the Ashes.

England’s real problem starts now – yes, they’ve got Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson & Chris Tremlett – three potential match winners in their bag. But the selection of Stuart Broad, one man who clearly is struggling as much as Strauss is at the top of the order, still bemuses me. The selectors have certainly backed him, and if this pays off, the newspaper headlines would read otherwise.

But I think it is quite harsh on a bowler like Finn, one who can go for plenty of runs, but can pick up crucial wickets when needed. Against a team like India, if you’re looking to limit the runs, your plan will back-fire: you’ve got to go looking for 20 wickets. I thought England should’ve gambled with him in the XI. Things could well change if the Lord’s test doesn’t go Broad’s way.

The English bowlers know that they’re going to be up against the best batting side in the world today. The only consolation is the absence of Virender Sehwag in the top of the order, something that Anderson & co would definitely look to capitalize on. If the big three (Dravid, Tendulkar & Laxman) fail, England know that they have a fairly brittle order to attack and collapse.

India’s poor outing against Somerset would definitely add several dosages of confidence to the English predators, but with the presence of some of the world’s best batsmen in the opposition, they’ll need to deploy shrewd tactics to overcome the World’s Number One team on their day.

Weather permitting, we could have one of the greatest series of modern times on the cards!
  1. Article well written
    It’s really good to see that top indian batsman failed to score during the warm up match. If India starts off well in the first test match with bat, then England will definitely feel that why they made a fixture to have a 3 day match before First Test, since the last few series Indian team failed to put a show in batting on the first test match of the series.
    As you mentioned, the weather should permit to have an exciting contest.
    Best wishes to India & England team

  2. Well written. Going by the looks, England looks very formidable and India struggling. If these English players make use of their home conditions and play to their potential, this Indian team will surely struggle.

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