Some rain & then plenty of sunshine, Zaheer Khan's hamstring strain, Kevin Pietersen's courageous double ton, Praveen Kumar's marathon spells, Stuart Broad's fuller length, Matt Prior's attacking century, Sachin Tendulkar's viral infaction, Gautam Gambhir's elbow blow and then James Anderson's persistence ~ we had almost everything in
1st test at Lord's that a high level cricket match can offer. almost. the only thing missing was aura of Indian batting..
Nearly 40k runs between them, they've dominated every attack they've faced in last decade and question going into 2nd test at Trent Bridge is the same ~ will real Indian batting please stand up? Trent Bridge in Nottingham is generally a seamers paradise and so far this county season as well, ball has had better off bat. Curator Steve Birks promises; "The pitch will have a greenish tinge on a white background" but what else to expect from a home team that's eager to take over no.1 rank? first two days ball may move around but fans back home in India will be disappointed if their team doesn't stake up runs required for their bowlers to take 20 wickets.
England, on other hand, executed a near perfect game at Lord's and they'll be happy to do it all over again. Batting is looking solid and bowling suits the conditions. England are also better fielding side although visitors don't depend on quick singles in test cricket anyway.
Head to head
101st India v England test match it will be, with England leading 35 to 19 besides 46 draws. In England, home team has 24 wins for 5 loss and 20 draws. At the venue, Trent Bridge, India have played 4 tests earlier and their performance has got better everytime, losing first test back in 1959 and then drawing next two while they won here in 2007.
Abhinav Mukund looked solid in last game but he was out edging the ball onto his stumps in both innings and opposition must have worked on his technique to test him out again. Gautam Gambhir seems to be timing balls well but lacks concentration for some reason but Rahul Dravid is in-form hands down. Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman would want to express themselves in this game. As for bowling, it's unlikely visitors would risk Zaheer Khan which will open a chance for S Sreesath. Is there a case of playing four fast bowlers, dropping Harbhajan Singh and bowling few overs of spin by Suresh Raina? nah.
India (likely) : Abhinav Mukund, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wk, capt), Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, S Sreesath and Ishant Sharma.
With Matt Prior's two good innings, English batting order looks as solid as ever although their bowlers may have liked another day between the tests to rest after hard work at Lord's. Chris Tremlett bowled 16 no balls in last game, is rumoured to have a niggling injury but still no changes expected here.
England (likely) : Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett and James Anderson.
MS Dhoni flirting with ban
New ICC rule from this year says the captain will be banned for a one match if his team is short of overs twice in calender year. India has already bowled slowly in Cape Town and Barbados but just escaped by 2 overs at Lord's. Will Dhoni play full series?
England unhappy with limited UDRS
Few decisions, specially on last day, went against home team at Lord's which has irked them. They want ICC to force BCCI to embrace haw-eye prediction which they are resisting and hence leg before decisions are not reviewed in the series.