Preview Trent Bridge: Perspective India

Posted: July 28, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in England 2011

 Goutham Chakravarthi

 28 July 2011

Zaheer Khan was always going to miss this Test. He would be lucky to be match-fit even for the third Test. It was obvious. But in today’s age, playing the cards close to the chest is the norm. That a press release from the team management said he might bowl in the second innings of the Lord’s test was a testament to it. In Zaheer’s absence and with Gautam Gambhir also likely to sit out, Trent Bridge will confirm if India are on the way down from the lofty standards they have set for themselves over the last three years.

If the English press are to be believed, TrentBridge will snake and spit on the batsmen. Anderson has a Sydney Barnes-esque track record there and even with Tremlett out, Bresnan is expected to bend the ball later than Schumacher would on a chicane bend, and at pace to expose the visiting batsmen. Indians are expected to wind-up in a corner and wave the white flag.

India will rely on their famed middle-order to put big runs on the board

In the wake of a troubled hour such as this, India will call on their most seasoned and the best of their batsmen to stand-up for their team. In style and craft there cannot have been many better than their middle-order champions. With individuality they have been original and have been proven  to be men of substance. May be a Jack Hobbs from yester year would relish the challenge of facing a menacing attack on a spiteful pitch with masterful footwork, judgment of a sage and strokes of an artist. In Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman India will believe they have the men to stand-up to the very fine English attack’s precision, strength and discipline like Hobbs did. In short, expect the ageing, but sagacious Indian middle-order to put their chests out and fight the most complete bowling side in these conditions.

Not that India hasn’t been found wanting early in the series newly. 1-0 down in Sri Lanka last year, India went in to the final Test without Zaheer and Harbhajan. They won. As a team, they have surpassed the sum of their individual parts often over the last three years. In a strange Laxmanesque way, they have delivered with their backs to the wall. Perth and Durban are recent memories and India will want to refresh them with a performance they can be proud of. They won the last test they played at Trent Bridge, albeit Zaheer Khan and RP Singh will not be around this time. India will know that they can bowl England out twice in these conditions and that gives them a chance of scoring more runs than England to win the test.

If India shed their early season skin and snake their way to play some good cricket, we could still be in for Diwali-lit-night-sky-like English summer. At the end of this Test it remains to be seen if India can show they are good enough to retain the Himalayan peak or if England will hoist their flag and send India tumbling down.


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