Team India can take heart from the fact that they have made come backs after losing the first test in series several times in the past. They can also gain courage from the fact that Trent bridge where the second test begins today holds the poorest win record for the hosts. It is also the same ground where India had won the second test match during its tour to England in 2007. But these are only a few consolations for the team in a time when there is nothing right seems to be happening for it. To start with, Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir, senior member of the Indian attack, are officially ruled out of this match.
Sachin who was down with fever is fully fit for the second test but the other two who got injured during the Lord’s test have left the team management to decide the replacements for Zaheer and Gambhir. Yuvraj replaces Gambhir and Sreesanth is in the Indian bowling attack to replace Zaheer, but how effective will these replacements be is still a big question. Uninspiring performances from India’s ace spinner Harbhajan Singh have also raised question marks on his ability to take wickets in test matches. Despite demands of giving Amit Mishra a look in, Indian team may go with Harbhajan this time. In that case, all eyes will be on Bhajji to see whether he can “make it large.” The English side on the other hand, sits pretty on the driver’s seat even before the start of the match. With a fully fit and importantly confident team, Strauss will be gunning for an unassailable 2-0 lead in the test series. Chrish Tremlett was reported to be injured but unlikely to be replaced as the injury doesn’t seem to be grave.
On the pace friendly track of Trent bridge, Nottingham, India will miss the service of Zaheer Khan who had picked up 9 wickets in the last match at this ground and was instrumental in India’s win. Sreesanth has to contain his emotions and try to give his best performance. That will not just be helpful for India but also for his own career too. It was the same place where he had shoulder-barged the then English captain Michael Vaughn last time. We expect a refined Sreesanth here who understands India’s problems and plays accordingly. India, down with injury scare, must avoid loss here so that they can start afresh in the next match when players like Gambhir, Zaheer and Sehwag will be back.