England vs India 2011: 1st Test Preview
It all begins at Lord’s. The 2000th International test match, the 100th between England and India. Apart from these specialties, what makes it even more special is that it will feature the batsman who has played most number of balls in test cricket, who has seen most no. of dismissals at the other end: Rahul Dravid, and also a cricketer who has 99 international centuries to his credit: Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master edges towards his 100th international century and it will indeed be magical if he gets at the ground which is known as the Mecca of Cricket.
Moving on to matters non-Sachin, Gautam Gambhir is back in the side after an injury, Mukund has a chance to make an impression before Sehwag gets back, Laxman is upbeat. Raina has just cracked a century and has sealed the no.6 spot quite certainly. But the batsmen who will be up against the formidable Indian team are effective too. Andrew Strauss, after struggling through the Sri Lanka series, has cracked two fluent half centuries. The likes of Cook, Trott, Bell are way too good at standing at the crease, and can tire out any opposition. KP and Morgan are bound to make their presence felt, thus making the England batting no less mighty than the Indians’.
Talk about the bowling, Ishant Sharma has finally found some rhythm and he looks to be one bowler who can match the English bowlers in terms of bounce they generate. Zaheer Khan has been the lead bowler and India can certainly look up to him to lead the attack yet once again. About the 3rd seamer, after the dismal show of Sreesanth and Munaf Patel in the practice game, Pravin Kumar might just become the 1st choice to fill the spot. He relies a lot on swinging the ball, and conditions in England have always been conducive to swing.
There also lies a mini-battle, the No.1 bowler in ODIs up against the Turbanator who has just notched his 400th wicket in Test Cricket, which should be intriguing to watch as to who comes out on top. Bresnan, Anderson and Broad shall also be up and ready to deliver. Considering that Sehwag isn’t fit for the first couple of tests, the English bowlers might just look to soften up the Indian batting up early in the innings.
The battle is all set to begin, both sides are looking good and are going to fighting for the No.1 spot. India has a strong batting line up but England’s bowling has delivered effectively in recent times. Stats are definitely not in India’s favour, as the team has just managed to win 19 tests of 99 it has played so far against England. But then for India, Lord’s has always been home to memorable victories; the 1983 World Cup Triumph, 2002 Natwest Series Win, maybe we will just see another one or maybe we will just see Sachin raise the bat for 100th time.
Lets just wait and enjoy the cricket that’s going to come our way..