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England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day
'India are playing as a team' - Lloyd
July 30, 2007
David Lloyd and Andrew Miller discuss the events of the fourth day at Trent Bridge
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Michael Vaughan was back to his poetic best © Getty Images

Andrew Miller: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo Talk. I am Andrew Miller and once again I have got the former England coach David Lloyd alongside me to discuss the fourth day of the second Test between England and India at Trent Bridge. And, by the close, India were only 63 runs away from wrapping up a very, very famous victory. But that doesn't really tell the whole story of the day. David, it's been a fantastic day's cricket, hasn't it?

David Lloyd: It has been fabulous Test match cricket today, and it had two stars. Michael Vaughan played beautifully for his 124. He was back to his very best, poetic in the way that he played. He was looking for a really big score, unlucky when he was out when the ball sort of lodged in his thigh pad and then ricocheted back into the stumps. The other star was Zaheer Khan. I thought he was absolutely brilliant for India, the way he led the attack. They needed a leader. Yesterday at the end of play they were a little lacklustre, uncaring I would have said at that stage, but they got together. I saw them have a really good talk in the morning, because they had a golden opportunity to win this game, to win the second Test match and then move on to The Oval. But, they needed a leader [and] Zaheer was that man - he swung the ball consistently and troubled England's batsmen, he has taken nine wickets in the game and he is a real candidate for the Man of the Match.

AM: Well, he wasn't just the leader, and at times he looked like the only man in the attack. Anil Kumble was a bit ineffective early on and then there was Sreesanth, who had a very strange day - there were beamers, there were deliberate no-balls, and a bit erratic as well. What did you make of his performance?

DL: Not a lot, I thought it was a poor effort for many reasons, and the main reason was that India needed him, and he needed to be a part of the attack. He seems to go walk about in his mind and he puts himself under an enormous amount of pressure. There was a beamer gone down, and in an interview like this you can't really talk too much about a beamer, but he missed his target by about 30 yards, and he is an international cricketer. The other one that is worth talking about - he overstepped on the front foot by a metre. That is not on. It really is not on at any level, you really don't see it at any level, you just don't see it. You have to question what was in his mind when he let that delivery go.

Nevertheless, you come back to Zaheer Khan who did get support in the end from Anil Kumble. All the talk before the innings was about Kumble being the man, he will operate from one end, and he is going to be dangerous on a pitch that has got variable bounce - but he wasn't himself. He will keep going, we know that about Kumble, but he finished up with 3 for 104, and he sort of cleaned up the tail if you like - got rid of Jimmy Anderson with a quicker delivery, got rid of Monty Panesar with a skier. So, eventually he came good for the team and that's what the young Sreesanth should understand; that he is bowling for the team. RP Singh, [bowled an] absolute beauty to get rid of Kevin Pietersen, and [then] Matt Prior. So for the rest of the bowlers they responded well. And you can tell that they are playing as a team without Sreesanth. When Sachin Tendulkar was off the field and they made a breakthrough, he [Sachin] sprinted back on to be part of the team celebrations. They have done very well, India today. They have almost wrapped the game up, 10 without loss at the end. They need 63 tomorrow, good on and they have earned the victory, when it comes tomorrow, with some good hard work.

AM: But they were made to sweat quite a lot of day, let's talk more about Michael Vaughan. He is back in the side after a long injury, he had that century at Headingley earlier this season, but this was something special, wasn't it?

DL: It was a very very special innings and it is very apt, I would say, that it was at Trent Bridge, which is a homely place, it is a very friendly place. Another sell-out crowd of 15,000 plus, and they just basked in the sunshine and enjoyed what they were seeing. The battle that India gave to Michael Vaughan, and also the way that he played - it was absolute poetry, the shots that he was playing through the off side and the clips through the leg side. He got a good partner in Paul Collingwood, but I am afraid, after that when he was gone - England lost, and it was 7 for 68 and that just opened the game for India.

AM: Yes, the England's tail is something that's been a long talked about discussion. The No. 8 position - Chris Tremlett is your No. 8, bowling well but he is not quite well the No. 8 material yet, is he?

DL: No, I am going back to my time as England team as a coach and discussing the team with your counterparts, and particularly Australia. Geoff Marsh was the coach at that time and he said to me that if you get seven out then you are all out. In fact I said that if you get six out and then you are into that situation again. The eight, nine, ten and eleven in this game are all actually No. 11s. Chris Tremlett is the best No. 11 but they are not going to cope with international bowlers - with Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble, with 558 wickets prior to this innings, he is going to do, he is going to get you out. And that's they way - it showed, we lost seven for not very many.

AM: England, we expect to lose fairly quickly tomorrow and for India a very fine victory. You've been listening to David Lloyd on Cricinfo Talk.

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