Preview Trent Bridge: Perspective England

Posted: July 28, 2011 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, India in England 2011

Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket, CouchExpert

28 July 2011


In the good old days of the last decade, in an era prior to the belittlement of Australian cricket, as compared to that of their Ashes counterparts, the issues relating to English cricket were primarily rutted during an attempt to stabilize a solid unit. Barring the Ashes triumph in 2005, there was hardly a period that English cricket went through to demonstrate enough consistency for adding armoury to their intent in fighting for the one among the top 3 spots in the ICC test rankings.

With changes in structure seeming imperative back then, much has changed in English cricket – a stark reaction perceived by many, to years of floating in mediocrity. An Ashes triumph down under, followed by a comprehensive victory over the current Test Number One at the Lord’s earlier this week has given the British media plenty to rave over these days.

England is a nation that has suffered from constant media glare – and they also survive because of it. Just a few months ago, KP’s decision to pull out of the World Cup squad appeared to make every choice of his agonizingly controversial. Today, after his Man-of-the-Match performance at the Lord’s, the papers have gone nowhere short of eulogizing their ‘countryman’. The media has additionally done a great deal to ensure that the morale in the English camp is significantly higher than that in the Indian dressing room.

The second test at Trent Bridge, a venue that is most likely the one that matches to the home team’s bowling strengths in terms of conditions in offer, will only be England’s to lose. Along with morale, the home team carries a lot of form, especially in the bowling and the lower order batting departments –areas that the visitors have simply failed to showcase with conviction. The absence of Sehwag has done England a world of good, but from a rankings perspective, the top test team should have had better answers for the questions posed by the English seamers.

There have been a few reports on the loose mentioning Chris Tremlett’s injury issue with a hamstring. In any case, an able replacement in the form of Tim Bresnan, who is no joker with the bat, and one with the qualities to exploit the conditions that Trent Bridge offers, would hardly disfigure the current England setup.

With doubts lingering over Tremlett's hamstring, the only change envisioned is Bresnan slotting in for him on Friday

England’s other weapon, which did not go unnoticed, has been the form of its wicket-keeper batsman Matt Prior. At number 7, in addition to his brilliant keeping abilities, Prior’s contribution with the bat has stretched that gap between the home team and the visitors. A gothic journey, through the unpartisan excesses of media and ‘experts’ glare, a keeper who was termed “rubbish” has gone a long way in to proving his detractors wrong. In Prior’s case, especially, the course was particularly torturous.

Given that the Lord’s win has aroused almost every special interest extant in England, the onus on the likes of Strauss & Cook to perform will be higher than it was before, primarily to avoid an unseemly spectacle under the best of circumstances. With the exception of the doubt lingering around Tremlett’s fitness, England will pretty much look to play an unchanged squad and target an undefeatable 2-0 lead this series.

Broad and Anderson will have plenty to look forward to.

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