Archive for July, 2011

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Fight to stay at Top

July 20, 2011

Lot of hype already surrounding the test series between England and India, which will kick off tomorrow, July 21st @ 10 GMT. This is also called as 1st npower Test and will be played at one of the historical and most prestigious venue; a venue which every test cricketer dream to play at, the Lord, London. Stats just adds more fumes to the hype of this test match, it will be 2000th test match, 100th test match played between India & England, chance for Great Little Master to score 100th century and also a chance for 3 greats (Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman) to tally their 100th combined test century.

Recent records and performance of India and England is doing justice to this hype. Neither team have lost a test series since 2009. India still demanding the respect from its critics as a top test nation. They will fight to retain their No. 1 spot in world cricket. Whereas England will try to justify their exponential growth in recent years against No. 1 Test nation. England are focused and have their goal within their sight. They will fight every inch to climb up the ladder and achieve their goal to be no. 1 in Test ranking.

Considering the favorable seaming wickets, their recent records, their in-form batting and bowling, experts are forced to predict that England will do just good enough to win series 1-0. India coming up from not so impressive test series against West-Indies. Long interval from Test cricket for many players and as they published Somerset happy to “bully” India in the practice match, no one will really argue against the expert’s opinion at the very moment. Also, they will be missing the most fearless & dominating batsmen of Test cricket, Virendra Shewag for at least first 2 test matches.

Everyone talking about the England’s bowling attack, which can be ranked as world’s top seaming attack in this green favorable conditions and India’s batting attack, undoubtedly the most experienced and strong batting line up. But no one talking about the England batting line up which is as good as India’s considering their recent form and amount of runs they scoring. Cook and Trott scoring heavily recently, Strauss trying to gain his forms back through great performance in practice match, Peterson has class in his name itself, Bell is proven resilient character with Morgan & Prior adding that boost with attacking approach. Also no one talking about the India’s bowling attack. This condition will favor India’s style of bowling more than anyone else. Zaheer gaining praises every time he steps on green field, Ishant showing his style in recent series against WI, Munaf/Praveen more controlled characters and Bhaji showing same turns and bounce in his bowling as in his nature.

England batsmen knows the conditions better and have skills to negate the swing. India will try to ask more questions with every delivery they bowl. But personally I believe it will all come down to how India’s strong batting face England’s attack in this seaming conditions ? There will be no Shewag initially to dominate and force bowlers to bowl at his strength. Indian openers will need to be more patient and should try to wear down the bowlers. Opening partnership has been a key for India’s success in test matches and this series cannot be any different.

Factors that can play big role in this series:

From England side

1. Cook’s big starts

2. Jimmy’s spells with new bowls

3. Playing Bhaji well on 4th & 5th day

4. Peterson’s contribution

From India side

1. Zaheer Khan’s dominance over Strauss

2. India’s opening partnership, not run wise but more importantly time wise

3. Sachin & Dravid capitalizing on the start

4. Laxman’s class against Swann

5. Dhoni’s contribution as a captain and more needed as a batsman

6. Raina/Yuvraj whoever plays will be deciding factor if India is better batting lineup among 2 teams

Hey how can I forgot India’s new coach. Fletcher, hopefully have mentally prepared team India for this assignment. He will be key for this long tour and controlling the nerves of India’s young talent at this level.

Really this will be exciting series and very evenly balanced series. This will be rare occasion when England is not clear favorite against a sub-continent team in their own backyard. Hope this series keeps up the hype it has created. Wish Indian Team All the Best and will pray for its success.

Go India Go !!

Thanks for reading.

Regards,

– Ravi

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