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India's tour of England, 2007
'Ganguly must play'
July 26, 2007
David Lloyd previews the second Test between England and India at Trent Bridge
 
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With his five-for at Lord's, RP Singh's the talk of the town © Getty Images

David Lloyd: The second Test starts in Nottingham on Friday and the first thing to talk about, especially in England, is the weather. As I speak, it's just about to rain; it's very dark and I'm going to drive down to Trent Bridge today from my home in Manchester and before you start, yes it always does rain in Manchester. The problem is that the weather is set to stay with us. It's been awful in the United Kingdom with floods everywhere. Let's hope Trent Bridge escapes the vast amount of rain that we have been having.

The last Test finished in a draw and England will be ruing the fact that though they had India nine wickets down they couldn't pull it off and perhaps they could have been a bit more urgent with their over-rate. That is the problem that has been highlighted in the media, to both the England's captain and the coach. It [the Lord's Test] gave them a golden opportunity to go one-up in the series and when you are playing India in a three match series, the scoreline is always nearly 1-0 or 1-1 so you have to force your way in at some stage.

Coming to Trent Bridge, in recent years, there has been a lot of development around the ground and that has promoted swing bowling. All the buildings around the ground have made it an enclosed area so swing bowlers should hold sway again at Trent Bridge. The seamers will be far more valuable than the spinners. Let's look at the two spinners now - Anil Kumble with 554 Test wickets and the young star Monty Panesar. What they can expect, as the game progresses - given that we get the maximum amount of play - is variable bounce, and I would think that Kumble, who had a quiet game at Lord's, will be more in the game here.

In team news, India have a doubt over Sourav Ganguly and he is a key player for me, especially against Monty Panesar, so India should try really hard to ensure Ganguly is in the side. England I feel will play the same team, as Matthew Hoggard has already been ruled out of the second Test. That means James Anderson stays in the team - it would have been Anderson missing out had Hoggard played. Chris Tremlett was a star on his debut and there is a lot more to come from him for England. He's spoken about developing a more aggressive streak and this will be the influence of Allan Donald.

As far as India's pace attack goes, the young man RP Singh has been very impressive. He got his name on the Honours Board at Lord's and England are talking about him being a better bowler than his senior partner Zaheer Khan. Zaheer looks to me to be what we call in England a day-sy bowler - some days he does, some days he doesn't - but he's really got to lead the attack. Sreesanth promised a little bit but he needs to concentrate on his bowling rather than getting under the skin of the English batsmen. The English will look to take Sreesanth on and if he loses his concentration they are bound to cash in.

Over-rate was a problem - 13.5 wasn't attained by either team when they are expected to bowl 15 per hour. That is a problem for both teams, especially in a three-match series when you need to pounce on a win. The more deliveries you bowl the more chances you have of getting people out.

I thought India's star batsmen would have been sensational at Lord's - they weren't, in fact they were extremely quiet. That star-studded line-up now moves to Trent Bridge with a lot to prove. I think one of them - and I am talking about Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar here - will have a big effect on the Test match and I wouldn't be surprised if it's not just a hundred but a double hundred from one of them, just making up for lost time. Another player who was very impressive in the first Test was India's young opening batsman, Dinesh Karthik - he's just 22 years of age and played beautifully as an opener. He is wicket-keeper and a lower-order batsman too and I think India have found someone here. One piece of advice - don't get involved with the England bowlers.

This promises to be a good Test match if the weather stays away. It's an interesting cricket pitch - you can bat on it, you can bowl swing on it, you can bowl seam on it and bowl spin on it. The team that does all this well has every chance of winning the game.

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