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England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day
'England can save the game' - Lloyd
July 29, 2007
David Lloyd analyses the action-packed third day of the 2nd Test at Trent Bridge
 
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England need a big innings and Andrew Strauss could just be the man for the occasion © Getty Images
Andrew Miller: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo Talk. I am Andrew Miller and alongside me I have former England coach David Lloyd, to discuss the third day of the second Test between England and India at Trent Bridge.

Once again India dominated; they secured a lead of 283 runs, and by close of play, England were fighting hard with Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook unbeaten for the first wicket. David, can they save the game?

David Lloyd: Well, I do think they can. And, everyone in England will be talking about the sort of player we need - we need a [Michael] Atherton, a [Geoffery] Boycott, a John Edrich or a Ken Barrington - it's a lot of sessions to play. But England looked comfortable this evening after a demanding time in the field. It could have been really tricky - playing out 16 overs - but they finished up with 43 runs without losing a wicket, so all in all it was a satisfactory end to a really trying day for England.

AM: Well, there were two issues that dominated most of the day - the dismissals of both Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly with the replays suggesting that both were little unfortunate. David, having been an umpire yourself, how do umpires deal with situations like this, when they know that they have erred?

DL: Let's just put all this in perspective - [Simon Taufel] is one of the best umpires in the world and I think all umpires make mistakes - those were two mistakes when he looks [back] at his performance in this game, I think that he will acknowledge that he has got a couple of decisions wrong. A lot of people will get hot under the collar about it - and they are star players. If it was a No. 10 or 11, I do not think we would be discussing it, but it is two top players - Ganguly and Tendulkar - and I suppose that puts more pressure on the umpires. I always feel sorry when umpires make the wrong decision - it sort of compounds itself against the person. Sachin took it brilliantly - he went back to dressing-room and had a ice cream. Ganguly stomped off the field and you could tell that he was very irate. So these swings and roundabouts [in the game] are disappointing at that time, but life goes on.

AM: India did push on very nicely in the end - securing a handy lead - and that should be enough, with Anil Kumble in their attack, to secure a win for them here.

DL: That's what they will be looking to do - get a lot of runs on the board - which they have done and then it's over to Anil Kumble from one end, and then the seamers from the other. But Sreesanth was all over the place and that will be a problem for India. India's game-plan will be for Kumble to operate from one end and what we have seen at Trent Bridge is that you do get that bounce that is variable and that will play into Kumble's hands . But then again, 43 runs without losing a wicket at the close of play meant that England did have a comfortable last session.

AM: You've mentioned Sreesanth - taken off after a couple of overs and then returning for an extraordinary last over that seemed to have lasted for 10 minutes. There has been talk about him practicing his leg spin in the nets and Rahul Dravid is not going to be pleased to see his senior seam bowler behaving in such a manner.

DL: Well, he [Dravid] wants a unit, and he is not getting one. He has got one bowler who is completely out of it and that is Sreesanth. I watched him practice this morning - he bowled leg spin all the time, and that is complete nonsense. He has got to bowl as he would bowl in the match, and the way he has bowled in this session, and in this match so far, has been a big let down for India.

AM: One man for England, who is battling hard, is Andrew Strauss. He has been under a bit of pressure - he didn't have a great first innings - but he was looking like he was playing within his limitations this evening. How would you assess his innings?

DL: I think he would be really pleased that he is still there. In the first three overs that he played, I thought that Strauss was all over the place, playing across his front pad. I watched him practice this morning and he was getting the bat [to] come down straight. But, when you get into a match situation all your problems come in, and he played across the front pad; he found the outside edge, and then, gradually, he started playing like he wants to play - with the full blade, coming down the wicket, and meeting the ball - which I thought was really important.

He will be happy that he is still in there, and I don't think you can discount Strauss. On a pitch like this - with variable bounce - you shouldn't bet against him to get a big score because he is really a strong character, fully capable of getting a big one. This situation is tailor-made for him and though I don't think England can win this game from here, I think they can save it. They need a big innings and Strauss can provide that.

AM: Well, David Lloyd thanks again, with the guest appearance from Geoffrey Boycott [heard in the background].

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