India in England 2011 July 18, 2011

Fletcher a 'massive plus' for India - Bell

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Ian Bell believes Duncan Fletcher will be a "massive plus" for India in the upcoming Test series as he makes use of knowledge gained during his time with England, but insists the current team is very different from the one Fletcher coached for eight years.

Fletcher who will have an especially good knowledge of Bell and some of the other English batsmen, upon whom he really made his mark as a coach. Kevin Pietersen retains a very close friendship with Fletcher and the two have kept in contact in recent years especially when Pietersen has struggled for form.

"It's great for India, Duncan Fletcher knows English cricket very well and was very successful over here," Bell told ESPNcricinfo. "He knows Straussy well, he knows myself, he knows Kevin Pietersen. I'm sure we've changed as characters and matured since he's been away, but he'll have a good insight and there's no doubt that's a massive plus for India.

"But in world cricket now information, strengths and weakness, everyone knows about them. We have people working non-stop at Loughborough on stats, percentages and stuff like that. There's no hiding place anymore, so while it's an advantage for India to have him everyone has information about opposition."

Whether Fletcher has compiled a dossier on England's players remains to be seen, Bell is in no doubt about his strengths as a coach. "He's quite a quiet man and goes about his business in his own way," he said at an adidas event. "He'll know everything about what England have. In 2005 he was a massive part of the plans we had for the Australians - like going round the wicket to Adam Gilchrist - and he's got an unbelievable cricket brain. That's his massive strength. We know he's an incredible coach."

Bell, who made his Test debut in 2004, spent his formative years as an international cricketer under the guidance of Fletcher but is one of best examples of a player who will be very different to the one Fletcher remembers. He is averaging over 300 in Tests this year and is confident that a quiet one-day series against Sri Lanka, where he struggled to adapt to the No. 6 position, won't have burst his bubble.

"I don't think I've spent enough time at the crease to lose form," he said. "In one-day cricket I was doing a different role and to be honest I feel fresh and mentally read to go. I just want to pick up the form I've had for the last couple of years. I really do feel I'm a fully rounded Test cricketer and [I'm excited about] what the next five years hold. I'm desperate to keep improving and have the hunger to get better. We've got some massive goals we want to achieve over the next year as a team."

One of those major team goals is to overtake India as the No. 1 Test team in the world which can be achieved if they win the series by a margin of two Tests. However, the visitors will be strengthened by the return of Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir who were among players rested for the West Indies tour, though all three struggled against Somerset over the weekend. The batting order is full of big names, but Virender Sehwag will miss at least the first two Tests as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.

Zaheer, despite taking 0 for 72 against Somerset and looking short of match fitness after a lengthy lay-off, is expected to form a potent new-ball partnership with Ishant Sharma, while Harbhajan Singh will be the main spin option. Bell, though, insists England won't be overawed by the prospect of facing them.

"We respect them, but you can't over-respect them. You have to have the confidence that you can beat them," he said. "India are No. 1 in the world and you don't just do that by having six great batsmen, you do that by taking 20 wickets. They've got world-class bowlers, but that can also bring the best out of our team.

"Last time here Zaheer was incredible, and Harbhajan Singh has just hit 400 Test wickets so it's a massive challenge," he added. "When we played in the Ashes we raised our game and that's what we need to do in this series. It's two form teams going head-to-head and you can't ask for better than that. It's the No. 1 form of the game and as players we want to keep it that way."

Ian Bell will play in this summer's Test series against India with the adidas Incurza bat, designed for the more aggressive, forceful player. For stockists visit www.adidas.com

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 20, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    @sony_sr Indian bowlers manage to bowl out the opposition because their opponents think that Indian are weak at dishing out and facing good pace on pace friendly tracks. This actually plays into Indian hands by allowing them to exploit their experienced batting line up while helping them cover up their bowling weakness. In every series, Indians have won on the fastest tracks prepared for them, be in Australia, south africa or West Indies or any where else. It would be great for India if England prepares tracks which aid pace and swing

  • Jaggadaaku on July 19, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    @ Jaydeep Gupta, Well said. Your comment(article) is exceptional. You forgot to mention Sehwag's 254 runs in Pakistan too where he killed all the bowlers hope to stay alive. Openers-Sehwag and Dravid were nearly breaking the world record of first wicket partnership.

  • maddy20 on July 19, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse For your info this is a series between India and England not England and Pakistan- The mighty team that was bowled out for 100 4 times in 3 tests. India getting bowled out out for under 150 and England scoring 600+ are as likely as Pakistan beating India in a WC match before 2100AD.

  • on July 19, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    Buphal_Pandey how did you reach the conclusion that the WI bowling attack is twice as good as the England bowling attack?

  • Bhupal_Pandey on July 19, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    @ Rumy "Trying out inexperienced Mukund in easy climes of WI was fine. West Indies attack was as good as any good Ranji side. England is a top notch team." This has to be the most hilarious comment ever. Even if Indian could get one of Windies bench bowlers Taylor/Roach, they could be world beaters. Tremlett, Anderson et al are not even half as good as Taylor, Roach, Edwards, Rampaul. And Swann just about matches Bishoo in guile. This Windies bowling attack is right there at the top, along with Marshall and all. In fact, the poor performance of Windies team highlights how much team balance is important more than anything else. Bowlers may win you matches, but batsmen set them up. Please Windies, lend us Taylor and Roach, so that we could beat the hell out of England, at present without Sehwag that looks mighty difficult.

  • on July 19, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse : I aGree with you that Sachin is an overrated player. For the amount of talent he has he should have score 150 centuries by now..and he is still on 99 centuries. But boy Am I glad this overrated player plays for India and not some other team. As for so called medicore Indian bowling...history shows how these bowlers have managed to win tests abroad and also taken 20 wicket on so called flat tracks.However its funny how green tracks will be called home advantage and fair play tactics if England make them. On other hand if India make their home advantage pitches (spin tracks) they are called unsporting tracks. However good thing is these green tracks will help Indian bowlers a great deal. @ Mustafa Jamal : Sehwag has centuries in Aus/SA/NZ/WI/SL/Pakistan ...so since when did these countries become home for Sehwag or last when I checked these countries were still not part of India as yet so your argument that Sehwag is lion on home grounds is total fail statment.

  • on July 19, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    luck follows dhoni,india is going to rock,zaheer was out of form since ipl only,and praveen swings the ball too much for a batsman to get out in england condition,ishant has been on top,but is any1 talking abt arvind?he bowled better dan any indian fast bowler other than ishant,bt why is he nt picked up,mithun to me never sounded like a bowler wid grt potential,jaffer or karthick shud hav been included

  • praveen.pr on July 19, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    India will win the series or it will be a draw no chance for England to win the series and move to the top of the ranking

  • mksreeram on July 19, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    @Ali_eorse: I think your comment is a big joke especially when you say Bell, Peterson and Strauss are underrated and Sachin and Dravid are overrated. Do yourself a favor, go through the records before commenting. Below a snapshot on the avgs. You can support a team but it is not good to sound stupid. Sachin VS Overall-56(177 matches), Aus-60.5, Eng-61, SA-42 & SL - 60 Dravid VS Overall-52(153 matches), Aus-41, Eng-57, SA-33, SL-48 Strauss VS Overall-42(85 matches), AUS-39, Ind-46,SA-43,SL-20 Bell VS Overall-47(65 matches), Aus-32,Ind-24,SA-46,SL-84 Pietersen VS Overall-48(74 matches), Aus-52,Ind-47,SA-42,SL-46

  • sony_sr on July 19, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    As usual Indian bowling lineup looks mediocre and nobody in their wildest dreams expect them to get 20 wickets. Eventhough they are below average on paper, somehow they manage to get teams out twice and that is why India is no1 team. I don't know how, may be dhonis captaincy. Lets hope that dhoni magic happens in this series as well as I don't think this bowling lineup is good enough to bowl eng twice.

  • on July 20, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    @sony_sr Indian bowlers manage to bowl out the opposition because their opponents think that Indian are weak at dishing out and facing good pace on pace friendly tracks. This actually plays into Indian hands by allowing them to exploit their experienced batting line up while helping them cover up their bowling weakness. In every series, Indians have won on the fastest tracks prepared for them, be in Australia, south africa or West Indies or any where else. It would be great for India if England prepares tracks which aid pace and swing

  • Jaggadaaku on July 19, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    @ Jaydeep Gupta, Well said. Your comment(article) is exceptional. You forgot to mention Sehwag's 254 runs in Pakistan too where he killed all the bowlers hope to stay alive. Openers-Sehwag and Dravid were nearly breaking the world record of first wicket partnership.

  • maddy20 on July 19, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse For your info this is a series between India and England not England and Pakistan- The mighty team that was bowled out for 100 4 times in 3 tests. India getting bowled out out for under 150 and England scoring 600+ are as likely as Pakistan beating India in a WC match before 2100AD.

  • on July 19, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    Buphal_Pandey how did you reach the conclusion that the WI bowling attack is twice as good as the England bowling attack?

  • Bhupal_Pandey on July 19, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    @ Rumy "Trying out inexperienced Mukund in easy climes of WI was fine. West Indies attack was as good as any good Ranji side. England is a top notch team." This has to be the most hilarious comment ever. Even if Indian could get one of Windies bench bowlers Taylor/Roach, they could be world beaters. Tremlett, Anderson et al are not even half as good as Taylor, Roach, Edwards, Rampaul. And Swann just about matches Bishoo in guile. This Windies bowling attack is right there at the top, along with Marshall and all. In fact, the poor performance of Windies team highlights how much team balance is important more than anything else. Bowlers may win you matches, but batsmen set them up. Please Windies, lend us Taylor and Roach, so that we could beat the hell out of England, at present without Sehwag that looks mighty difficult.

  • on July 19, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse : I aGree with you that Sachin is an overrated player. For the amount of talent he has he should have score 150 centuries by now..and he is still on 99 centuries. But boy Am I glad this overrated player plays for India and not some other team. As for so called medicore Indian bowling...history shows how these bowlers have managed to win tests abroad and also taken 20 wicket on so called flat tracks.However its funny how green tracks will be called home advantage and fair play tactics if England make them. On other hand if India make their home advantage pitches (spin tracks) they are called unsporting tracks. However good thing is these green tracks will help Indian bowlers a great deal. @ Mustafa Jamal : Sehwag has centuries in Aus/SA/NZ/WI/SL/Pakistan ...so since when did these countries become home for Sehwag or last when I checked these countries were still not part of India as yet so your argument that Sehwag is lion on home grounds is total fail statment.

  • on July 19, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    luck follows dhoni,india is going to rock,zaheer was out of form since ipl only,and praveen swings the ball too much for a batsman to get out in england condition,ishant has been on top,but is any1 talking abt arvind?he bowled better dan any indian fast bowler other than ishant,bt why is he nt picked up,mithun to me never sounded like a bowler wid grt potential,jaffer or karthick shud hav been included

  • praveen.pr on July 19, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    India will win the series or it will be a draw no chance for England to win the series and move to the top of the ranking

  • mksreeram on July 19, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    @Ali_eorse: I think your comment is a big joke especially when you say Bell, Peterson and Strauss are underrated and Sachin and Dravid are overrated. Do yourself a favor, go through the records before commenting. Below a snapshot on the avgs. You can support a team but it is not good to sound stupid. Sachin VS Overall-56(177 matches), Aus-60.5, Eng-61, SA-42 & SL - 60 Dravid VS Overall-52(153 matches), Aus-41, Eng-57, SA-33, SL-48 Strauss VS Overall-42(85 matches), AUS-39, Ind-46,SA-43,SL-20 Bell VS Overall-47(65 matches), Aus-32,Ind-24,SA-46,SL-84 Pietersen VS Overall-48(74 matches), Aus-52,Ind-47,SA-42,SL-46

  • sony_sr on July 19, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    As usual Indian bowling lineup looks mediocre and nobody in their wildest dreams expect them to get 20 wickets. Eventhough they are below average on paper, somehow they manage to get teams out twice and that is why India is no1 team. I don't know how, may be dhonis captaincy. Lets hope that dhoni magic happens in this series as well as I don't think this bowling lineup is good enough to bowl eng twice.

  • Cruzan on July 19, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    The first match with surrey showed Indian pace needs a change to drop Sree and bring either Pravin or Ishant who are in good form. Otherwise India is in trouble.

  • spiritwithin on July 19, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    @johnnymc1...indian batsman like sachin,dravid,laxman has more average away from home than at home...just for ur information-sachin averages 62 in england,and 56 in india,dravid averages 65 in england & just 50 in india,any excuse y they averages less in india compared to england???maybe english condition is flat for them.....may i say that most english bowlers has good bowling averages coz they bowl in bowler friendly conditions??not to undermine any achievements of english player in english conditions but try to respect players achievements and dont give silly excuses

  • spiritwithin on July 19, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    there r so many non-stop comments from these englishman one after another right from their selectors to coach to player...y cant they just concentrate on the series,chattering and big talks can be done after the series....

  • Nampally on July 19, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    @ Rumy 1: That is an excellent suggestion. I had forgotten Jaffer who opens for Mumbai, I think.He has a fine past record. He is technically sound too. He has been shelved & forgotten by the selectors.India should have included a back up opener, due to absence of Sehwag, just in case Sehwag cannot join the team due to his injury not healing. I had suggested inclusion of either Uttappa or Kartik but forgot Jaffer. There is 50% chance of Sehwag's absence.. Jaffer should be sent right now to get used to the wicket & English conditions and prepared to open in the second test. Mukund may be good but is inexperienced for a crucial series for #1 world ranking.Dhoni has said India relies heavily on a good start to show case their Fab 3 - Rahul, Sachin & VVS.Why not add Jaffer to the team at least till Sehwag returns, if he does?

  • Nampally on July 19, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Bell says Fletcher is a" massive plus" for India. Fletcher forgets that Kirsten was probably the best coach India ever had.It will be hard act to follow Kirsten, who was very popular with players, Management & the crowd.Fletcher does not throw practice pitches for the batsmen to practice shots before each game as Kirsten did. This directly helped them. Even Knowledge wise, Kirsten was a top class cricketer and has only retired within last 5 years.So he had all the knowledge of the modern cricket - T-20, ODI & Tests.India will miss Kirsten badly & their modest performance under Fletcher is a clear indication of it.Also fletcher said India will easily adapt having played on more tricky pitches in WI. The English pitches are totally different to WI ones with seaming ball & swing in heavy damp atmosphere.No comparison- iit is like apples & oranges.Where is the massive plus?.Any way good luck to Indian cricketers. Play hard as you did under kirsten to win the series & retain #1 spot.

  • on July 19, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    @muski - ur dreaming arnt u ! England is gonna rule this series ! England has d best TEST team in d world !! din u c how somerset beat d hell out of d indian team ?! England r just gonna walk all over india :D England team ROCKS :D

  • BigINDFan on July 19, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Bell has it right - Fletcher is a great plus with his info but Flower has equally good info having played India so well in the past himself. Eng are formidable at home just like Ind is at home so an away series will be a challenge for Ind though they have performed well in away series recently. As for bowlers Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar are the main wicket taking options given their recent outing against WI. Zaheer will struggle but will get better as the series progresses. Strauss can make or break this series between both teams! Let us enjoy the top two teams battling it out rather than the barmy prediction from thebarmyarmy :-)

  • Rumy1 on July 19, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    We will surely miss Sehwag even though he doesn't have a great record in England. Instead of inexperienced and less qualified Mukund, I wish the tested and solid Jaffer would have faced the swing and bounce of Anderson/ Broad/ Tremlett and spin of Swan, better. Trying out inexperienced Mukund in easy climes of WI was fine. Had he fared well, it would have made sense to continue with him. However, that wasn't. Mukund still has to travel some distance to fare well at international level. West Indies attack was as good as any good Ranji side. England is a top notch team. Tour of England is a much more difficult one and an important one too.Jaffer would certainly be the best choice after Sehwag to face English bowlers in their conditions. In fact, Jaffer would do better than Gambhir in those conditions given his experience, better technique and skills.Hope Fletcher overrules Dhoni and gets Jaffer on board in England as quickly as possible given uncertainty of Sehwag for even 3rd Test.

  • jo_cricfan on July 19, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    @thebarmyarmy A 4 test series can never be won 5-0...

  • jo_cricfan on July 19, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse Do u even watch Cricket... Sorry to say this but first improve your cricketing knowledge... How can u say a player who scored 99 centuries an over rated player... And for whatever u have said may be u r dreaming... Dream on...

  • on July 19, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    I still think that picture of Bell will scare the life out of the Indian bowlers. If he can just recreate that pose at the crease then we will win easily.

  • johnnymc1 on July 19, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Did I read some Indian fan call their bowlers a pace battery? Holding, Marshall, Garner, Croft ,Clarke-that's a pace battery! Do me a favour....

  • johnnymc1 on July 19, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Yes, the Indian team has many class batsmen-on flat grassless wickets.Tendulkar is a genius anywhere of course.Dont forget that Alistair Cook is second to Tendulkar in the all time runs list for a 26 year old-and many of those runs were scored on green pitches.

  • Kboy_Zt on July 19, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @thebarmyarmy, Will you be kind enough to come back to this forum at the end of the series? Pretty please, sugar on top?

  • on July 19, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @Joydeep_gupta: that was part of ancient india only..multan in arabic moolsthana in sanskrit.. ha ha ha ha..

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on July 19, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    England 5-0 India ;) India slowly falling :) - @Barmyarmy - Come out of the dreams. It's only 4 test matches

  • Hammond on July 19, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @musky " Sri Lankans .. did so wel" ??? Huh?? What planet are you on? Sri Lanka were outbowled, outbatted, outfielded and lost both series. If that is doing well then India did fantastic against Somerset and unbelievably well against the West Indies. I would suggest praying for rain. l

  • muski on July 19, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    @thebarmyarmy- yeah you have your fish and chips and relax while the Indians will beat your so called best team black and blue. The fact that the Sri Lankans with only 2 world class batsmen in their ranks did so well gives you an idea of your bowling attack. Iam only hearing heights- physically- 6ft 7 and 6ft 5 etc. That has nothing to do with bowling heights which is due to the efficiency of the bowlers. Lets wait and watch what unfolds.

  • 36yearsofexperience on July 19, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    We recruited one of the the worst coaches of modern era. But if he do not repeat a Chappel, Dhoni can handle on his own. We have a talented side. Our fast bowling is good. With out Sehwag draws are on the cards. They should prepare fast pitches to suit them. Zaheer is the key in the test series from Indian point of view

  • on July 19, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    Some South African, some Irish players are playing against India in England and very strangely English fans are getting excited!!!!! For all unlucky cricketers who dnt get a chance to represent their nation (esp players from Pak, SA, India and Ireland) - It is the best place to go & showcase their talent at international level and prove a point.. Like KP said yesterday, he is not an English but doing a job there because he dint get the same offer frm SA!!!!!! Poor English fans have no option but to support players coming from diff part of world because they r wearing Eng jersey... really pity....

  • on July 19, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    landl47 : i think its the other way around ... India are officially the no.1 for nothing and fyi england have been there only in ur talk... and everybody knows wt happened when ind toured eng last time and wen eng toured ind .... even after this its hard to think indians are the ones who hav to come up with excuses.... first eng hav to win this series and keep winning for some time to talk about being the no.1 team .... and btw "what chance will they have when Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer ???" ... these are players with class beyond the likes of the england players .... england players are in good form now ... but no eng player can match these ind players in class.. so u hav to be more worried abt ur players losing form than indians retiring .... All the Best for the series and all the trash talk ...

  • on July 19, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    @Barmy army.........u just got a bit too emotional and blinded.....How can the score be 5-0 wen its a 4 match series.......if ur talking abt the tests

  • on July 19, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    My friend thebarmyarmy , even if GOD plays for England its impossible to get result 5-0 bcs its only 4 Test.

  • on July 19, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    its important series for both of them, both of them didnt wana loss the series, i think 1-0 or 1-1 in an either way, may be india or may be england, depend hw they tackle pressure on the field.

  • on July 19, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Whichever may be the venue - India, England, Mars or Moon - England has not won a Test series against India from last 15 years and I don't see any major changes happening this time around as well. Poor English fans have this habit of dreaming big from last 100 r 150 years & still their team has won only one major ICC tournament (th2a t20). Happy dreaming frenz - u have 3 more days left…!!!

  • flyingmachinee on July 19, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    @bigdhonifan..........Praveenkumar is a surprise elemant so only they didnt use him in the tour match.....he wll take lots of wickets in this series(take my word)he wll better than anderson while swinging...........letsee......i acept that sree wud b gud in these conditions but praveen wud be more effective than him lets gve him a chance in these conditions......sree wud b agressive and get in to the eng batsman skin but praveen wll be clever while swinging bothways(tat too in first two matches where ball swings alot)

  • akshayaram on July 19, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    The Contest will be too close to call. English team is in great form with players like Ian Bell, Alaister Cook, Jonathan Trott consistently scoring runs. The bowling department also looks good with the likes of James Anderson and Chris Tremlett. But the Indians will give the English a run for their money with a fantastic batting line up which includes the Little Master, The Wall and the Very Very Special Laxman. The pace battery of Zak, Ishanth , Praveen and Sreesanth will look to rattle the inform English batsmen. So A Great Contest is on the cards and I hope the series lives up to the expectations of millions of fans from both the countries.

  • flyingmachinee on July 19, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    @barmyarmy.........may be in ur dreams...............

  • cyberflirt on July 19, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    For all the English Fans, this is for your information..Before bragging about yourself and your form, please re-check the stats and records of the Indian top 5 Batsmen against English Top 5..V. Sehwag 7694 (avg. 53.43), Gambhir 3234 (avg. 51.33), Dravid 12314 (avg. 52.40), Tendulkar 14692 (avg. 56.94), Laxman 8146 (avg. 47.36) against Strauss 6111 (avg. 42.14), Cook 5520 (avg. 49.28), Trott 1867 (avg. 62.23), Bell 4523 (avg. 47.11), KP 5828 (avg. 48.16). This clearly shows even ur most experienced batsman has not crossed 6500 runs but on Indian side except Gambhir all have crossed 7500 runs. No one has 50+ avg. except trott who just scored 1867 runs in fewer matches. On Indian side 4 of them avg more than 51. So stop bragging about your achievements at least against Indian line up. You can continue dreaming of becoming No. 1 test team (which you have been doing for the last 5 years). Prove it and then talk. Indians are No. 1 since Nov. 2009. This is for your info. good Luck..

  • amjadparkar on July 19, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    the two issues that make me tickle are - 1: if the ball moves then indian batsmen will have problem. umm, did it never move in those more than 100 K runs these chaps had scored? how did they manage 200+ centuries where others could not? the other issue is about Fletcher having/not having effect. i did not know that india were hiring a 'spy' for enlish summer. then why did he go to west indies? he is not there to tell weaknesses or teach how to do batting. he is in no position to teach that to ST etc. He is there to gell the members and to bring that 'different' thinking possibility; which a culture etc can harden.

  • Tanmith01 on July 19, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    current indian team has the capability to take any side in the world ... they don't have to rely on luck or one individual to show form... that's y they are number 1 in the test world of cricket and can be real danger when on song for any team... i won't be surprised if india win by 3-0 or 3-1 .... the plus point is india have the history of turning the game back from loosing street to wining street...

  • Anwaruzz on July 19, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Being a Bangladeshi, I will definitely be supporting India (tho Indians hate Bangladeshi cricket after losing to us in the before-last WC). England is different proposition with their set batsmen and very effective bolwers and in their conditions (have seen their performance against aus and sl) . Swann will be a big headache as well, not to talk about their pacers and seamers. Indian big guns are rested and rusted, if you saw their first 4 day game in Eng. Better think with your head and not your heart ,guys.

  • RockingRockers on July 19, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    India will lose the first Test.. Draw the second.... Win the third one and finally will look like winning the fourth until lower order english batsmen like Broad would save the match on the last day... Its going to be 1-1..

  • landl47 on July 19, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    @bigdhonifan: So, using your figures, over the last year, Cook has been slightly better than Tendulkar and Trott hasn't been very far behind. Now let's look at Bell. In his last 10 test innings (4 not out), Bell has 3 hundreds, 5 fifties and an average of 110. So the correct order at present is Bell, Cook, Tendulkar and Trott. Unless, of course, one of India's other batsman has an average of more than 74.40 in that time. No? Oh, dear. Of course, Tendulkar is one of the greats and would certainly make my best eleven of all time. However, he's 37 now, whereas Bell is 29, Cook is only 26 and Trott is 30. This might be the tour where age catches up with Tendulkar. The fact that he was kept off the field for the second half of the Somerset game must be worrying- nearly as worrying as the fact that Zaheer didn't bowl. Still, the other bowlers got a good workout, didn't they?

  • landl47 on July 19, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    @Chandu Kota: You're on. If India win the test series, I'll come in here and agree that India are the best team in the world. However, if England win the series, I expect you to come in and agree that India were beaten by a better team. Deal?

  • Trioboy on July 19, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    This English team won the Ashes beating Australia in Australian soil. This would be a piece of cake. India is already worried with their inability to face the swing. Get ready for Big Tons from Cook.

  • on July 19, 2011, 3:04 GMT

    Watch out for Cook and Trott they are in a really good form

  • Hammond on July 19, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    Easy for Sachin to average 82 in the last 12 months when over three quarters of his innings were played on his favourite flat sub-continental wickets in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Trott & Cook won a test series in Australia which is something Sachin (and India) have never, ever done. The only batsman in the so called "Heavy" batting line up of India that England should be worried about is Laxman. VVS is very special and the only Indian player with enough technique to conquer a moving cricket ball on a proper (read not dead flat) test wicket. This is time to separate the myths from the truth. Is India really any good outside their own country? India have played 222 test matches outside India since 1932 and have only ever won 37 times. A win percentage of only 16%. Doesn't speak much about their abilities outside their favourite conditions and spinner friendly wickets. I reckon most Indian batsman will get bounced out, and toothless bowlers smashed.

  • ibbani on July 19, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    India will win 2-0. England will start giving reasons on the 1st day itself, India might lose a wkt in the 1st 2 overs, Dravid will rock back and steady, 265/3. 2nd day 450allout. England at day 2 end 51/4. 3rd day allout for 210. Follow on and lose by Innings and 25 runs. later they will say, our batting did not go very well, shot selection was awesome. English cricket is only standard, but players are not standard. Viru will play them to death once he returns.

  • mwater on July 19, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    Posted by thebarmyarmy on (July 19 2011, 01:50 AM GMT): Where is the 5th Test played mate? :)

  • on July 19, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Land47 England win in India!!!!!!!! Cant stop laughing..... Not in the wildest of dreams....... HaHaHaHa

  • thebarmyarmy on July 19, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    England 5-0 India ;) India slowly falling :)

  • Jaggadaaku on July 19, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    Ian must be stupid saying Fletcher should be the massive plus for India. How could be senior citizen coach would be the plus point for any country? What Fletcher could teach the players? Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, and Dravid carry the 50+ averages in Tests and are in extra-ordinary form, and owned many great records, what they would learn from this unsuccessful player and coach who never ever made any century in his whole career of first class cricket? Coach and good coach needed the teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, West Indies, New Zealand, and these days, Australia. All other teams don't need the coach like Duncan Fletcher. Keeping the coach as Duncan is the same as no-coach in the team. Look at the previous performance in the recent series against the struggling team as WI. India showed their poorness and helplessness, especially, in the 3rd test, they decided to accept the draw result when there were only 87 runs needed in 15 overs.

  • Jaggadaaku on July 19, 2011, 1:21 GMT

    Ian must be stupid saying Fletcher should be the massive plus for India. How could be senior citizen coach would be the plus point for any country? What Fletcher could teach the players? Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, and Dravid carry the 50+ averages in Tests and are in extra-ordinary form, and owned many great records, what they would learn from this unsuccessful player and coach who never ever made any century in his whole career of first class cricket? Coach and good coach needed the teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, West Indies, New Zealand, and these days, Australia. All other teams don't need the coach like Duncan Fletcher. Keeping the coach as Duncan is the same as no-coach in the team. Look at the previous performance in the recent series against the struggling team as WI. India showed their poorness and helplessness, especially, in the 3rd test, they decided to accept the draw result when there were only 87 runs needed in 15 overs.

  • retard_monkey on July 19, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    The simple fact is that you do not win a series against an opponent this strong in their own backyard without match practice. India will perform well from 3rd test onwards because by then they will have adapted to the conditions and by then some of the players will have gotten into their groove. I think it was a big mistake not to send out a full strength team for the second half of the WI tour. I hope team India proves me wrong, but to me bad planning has left us with little chance of winning this series and rightly remaining the no.1 ranked side in Test Cricket. To all those who don't think India deserves to be no.1 ranked side than they are just naive and ignorant to facts. India has not lost a series since 2007 and in that period we have toured England, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand etc. Please give some credit where it is due.

  • 10dulka on July 19, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Fletcher will have zero impact. India won the series in 2007 without a coach but this England team is VERY different from that one. It'll be 2-0 england before sehwag comes in. Then 2 draws.

  • Ali_Eorse on July 19, 2011, 0:27 GMT

    Okay, great responses to my comments earlier. Since you are want more, here it is: Tremlett will destroy India (all out under 150 in first innings and under 200 in 2nd). He will get five first inning and 6 second inning. England will win by innings and over 300 runs. Why? England will score over 600 runs in the first inning (they start with batting). Strauss scores an unbeaten 200+, centuries from Cook, Pietersen, and Trott. England declare after losing only 4 wickets. India lose all 20. The game ends just after tea on the 4th day. NB: If you are buying ticket to see the match on 5th day, you are a loser already.

  • Woody111 on July 18, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    I don't like Fletcher's chances with India actually. It seemed Kirsten really gelled personally and professionally with the Indian team; including important individuals like Dhoni and Sachin. Time will tell but if he tries to impart too much info and knowledge on the Indian team ahead of and during the England series I think it will be more of a hindrance than help. In time he may form an understanding but I doubt that's occurred yet. This is going to be the best series for the last few years I reckon. As an Aussie the Ashes turned into a non-contest so I'll be watching this one with interest. I don't really care who wins but I think it will be a see-saw series with 1 huge win each from, 1 draw and a toss-up for the 4th (probably a 2nd draw!). Hope the rain doesn't play too much of a role but this is England after all.

  • on July 18, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    @landl47: Lets speculate if this will be India's last hurray or not later.India won here in Eng in 2007. Talk about Eng, whens the last time they won in India. Also why is everytime Eng wins a series against Aus, their fans claim Eng is no1? We beat Aus 2-0 in India. and more importantly we are No 1 now. All you fans can claim is unofficial no1, forever. Thats your excuse. Let the Eng team show it on the field. India will struggle the first test like always,like in all away tours in last few decades but India will win this series like they have done recently. You can find me here in cricinfo comments,if you dare to come back here after the series....

  • Tanmith01 on July 18, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    Mr. sampath for your kind information unlike Australia India is not going to face any problem for replacing THE SENIORS ... huge talents are still knocking the door that the world is yet to see... just look at the ranjis ... runs are flooded from the young batsmen like anything... but the board needs to sharpen them up by giving them the confidence of playing in indian colours against the international giants in cricket... the only problem seems to be coming in Fast bowling dept... otherwise India never have had any problem replacing any batting legend with another one.. kapil dev, sunil gavaskar , all has been replaced by the better one with the like of sachin, dravid, saurav and laxman,.... India rocks in batting ....

  • Rahulbose on July 18, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    Ian bell has been in great form recently. Will be interesting to see if Eng push him up the order. As for Duncan helping Indian strategy, it is hard to say. Eng batsmen have improved a lot since he was coach.

  • landl47 on July 18, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    Fletcher won't have much influence on this series. He hasn't been around long enough to make any significant changes to the Indians line-up or technique and he last coached England 4 years ago, when it was a very different side both in personnel and experience. @Vinay Maurya: if Ponting is the batsman in the Australian side who can match the Indian batsmen, and he scored 113 runs in 8 innings in the last series against England in Australia, India should struggle to reach 100 in every innings on this tour. Hey- you said it. @Nampally: I see you're making excuses for India already. I expect, after India lose the series, that we'll hear a lot more excuses, like the wickets or the weather or England can't be #1 until they win in India, and when England win in India on the next tour, no doubt there will be more excuses then. This is India's last hurrah- if they don't win now, what chance will they have when Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer are gone?

  • stationmaster on July 18, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Ideally Ian Bell will get picked by Fletcher to play for India, so we can ENG can pick another batsmen for our ODI side instead of Bell.

  • GenuineCricFan on July 18, 2011, 21:51 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse: Pls improve your cricketing knowledge. You are just wrong on everything you said..... sorry to point out, but you have to realize the world cricket well... all the best......

  • JoydeepGupta on July 18, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    @Mustafa Jamal : you seem to have forgotten how Sehwag has killed the pakistan bowling attack.. and that 300+ in Multan, do you think that was in his home ground too..?? well, in that case we need to rewrite the map...:-))

  • bigdhonifan on July 18, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    To all english Fans saying Trott or cook is best!!!! Check average of Sachin tendulkar ... Last 3 years: 64.66... LAst 2 years: 79.95... Last one year:77.81...!!!Now Trott Last 3 years: 62.23.. Last 2 years: 62.23 Last 1 years: 74.40.... Cook. Last 3 years: 55.44 last 2 years: 59.71 Last 1 year: 77.82... SACHIN is the Best

  • on July 18, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    All english fans are so happy after 1 local match... pity at them.... do u think aussies batting line up match indian batting line up.... only ricky ponting can match up with any of indian batsmans... u r crying anderson anderson... what happened to anderson in world cup just 2-3 months ago... in one match he has given 84 runs in 10 overs or u r counting over stuart broad... in one overr yuvraj hitted 6 sixes... do u remember... are u counting over these bowlers..... indian bats man will hit them at every corner.....who i bresnan or tremlat ... in india hardly ppls know these bowlers.... indian batsman hitted mcgrath... gillespie...bret lee and shane wrne badly in australia.... have your team ever done this... u ppls are in dillema.... very soon ur happyness will be dissappeared.....

  • GenuineCricFan on July 18, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Can someone pls reach out MS Doni to consider this best possible XI for Lord's test match: Gambhir, Dravid, VVS, Sachin, Yuv, Raina, MSD, Bhajji, Praveen, Zaheer and Ishant

  • Nampally on July 18, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Fletcher may be knowledgeable but as a coach, Kirstin was more of a "hands on" type which India will miss.Kirstin participated directly in training each batsman and practicing with them individually.That is the difference between the 2 coaches. Ideally in a battle for a #1 position, India should have been alloted a full season tour instead of sharing with SL.That would have been a fair contest. Now making India play the first test a week after arrival in England gives an unfair advantage to England.. Four of Indian stars are also coming off injury list & Sehwag is missing in the opening spot. Sehwag is any bowlers worst nightmare.This gives England a further advantage.So India open the Lords test with odds against them. But India hopes that Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman still find a way of compensating for Sehwag's absence & hope Gambhir,Mukund Dhoni & Raina will chip in too.Many England fans have already written off India. But I won't be surprised if India win .the series. Jaii Ho!.

  • on July 18, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    India will soon loose Sachin Laxman and Dravid.....then it is interesting how they will cope up during transition period. They made plenty of jealously comment on Aussies....now they are facing the same situation. By the way let us call this series as England vs Indian Grandfathers ???????

  • intcamd on July 18, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    W/o Sehwag, India tilted slightly to the underdog side. Plus, the warmup game did n't go so well. Hopefully, they will get back into their element in the real tests.

  • rahulcricket007 on July 18, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    @subbass. yeah you r right . the ball definitely swings in perth , durban , trentbridge , hamilton . what happens then ? only indian batsmen were batting comfortably on those wickets & india win easily there.

  • bigdhonifan on July 18, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Pick Sreesanth, he will be deadly in england... The practice match was a joke, dont judge him by that... he is a better test player... he takes wickets!! English players play Praveen very well... county cricket has Slow swing bowlers and english players are used to it!!! My bowling lineup will be Zak, Sree,Ishant and Bhajji

  • subbass on July 18, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Yeh Fletcher will be a big influence on the series, but I still expect an England series win, if the ball moves the Indians won't have a clue how to play Anderson when he is swinging it round corners.

  • Subhrochit on July 18, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    @Ali_Eorse..... Good to hear it from you first. We'll all come back and have a pleasant chat with you once India has won the series. Mark my words, SACHIN is going to get his 100th international ton in LORD's. I guess 100 international centuries makes him really overrated!!

  • on July 18, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    India will win this series 4-0... England will go down to 4th in the ranking... India is always far better than England...

  • Amarjitmadan on July 18, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    Bell's statement is a balanced one and may just have a tinge of some hidden mind game.Fletcher has proven credentials and was India's next best choice after Flemming expressed inability to accept at that time.It is true that everything is available to all teams but that still cant ever undermine the abilities of a good Coach.If players like Sachin are keen to learnafter 22years in business speaks volumes about rich benefits of training and advice.Fletcher has been there for just two months but in that period he will have plans ready against the English team.The series are going to be a cracker with both teams boasting one of the best players in business guided by two outstanding coaches. So,,the team maintaining mental strength will have an upper edge. Shall I dare say it may be one all with one draw.

  • Harshtmm on July 18, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    @hotcha I didn't comprehend buddy. I apologize for the extra o but that one letter doesn't make my english stink. India can't nudge ahead with a coach like Fletcher, look at his record as England coach, they had the same losers mentality that he is trying to inculcate in Indians. India is a goner with such a coach buddy.

  • pr3m on July 18, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    I just don't understand how they keep comparing the Aussies down under to the Indian batting line up. The three in the middle have over 250 Tests and 30000+ runs between them. Does the entire Aussie batting line up put together match up?

    How many world beating bowlers did Australia have? Weren't they thinking of picking a spinner based on a Shane Warne tweet? Harbhajan has been part of the side since 13 years.

    There's no doubt England were good, but Australia were just not good enough competition. All the talk of the Ashes that happened has to be laid to rest and the English team has to realize that this is a different beast they're tackling here.

  • gmoturu on July 18, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    INDIA: 1. Mukund 2. Gambhir 3. Dravid 4. Tendulkar 5. Laxman 6. Raina 7. Dhoni 8. Harbhajan 9. Ishant 10. Zaheer 11. Praveen

    ENGLAND: 1. Strauss 2. Cook 3. Trott 4. Pietersen 5. Bell 6. Morgan 7. Prior 8. Swann 9. Bresnan 10. Anderson 11. Tremlett

    This is going to be an epic series. Very hard to predict but my heart says INDIA.

  • Clive_Dunn on July 18, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Comments like "Good to see all English fans so confident predicting scorelines like 3-0,4-0 & so on" when no England supporter is saying anything of the sort. Most of us think it'll be a tight series and will be decided by one or two key sessions. Anyway I'm still amused by the line at the end of the article - "Ian Bell will play in this summer's Test series against India with the adidas Incurza bat, designed for the more aggressive, forceful player". Is he going to loan that bat to KP or Morgan then ?

  • nag888 on July 18, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    England will not serious, team looks stronger but never perform when it is a need in the right time. Indian team always fell cricket is the life. India will win with 2-0

  • rahulcricket007 on July 18, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    @arjan nagra . i would agree that dhoni is not a perfect test batsmen but he is an excellent test captain.

  • sameer997 on July 18, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    exciting series just hope that it lives up to the expectations.

    No rain plzz

  • S.N.Singh on July 18, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    FOR INDIA THIS SEARIES WILL DPEND ON THE THE THREE INDIAN SEAMERS, ISHANT SHARMA, ZAHEER AND PARVEEN. THEY WILL HAVE CONTROL THE LINE, AS THEY DID IN THE WEST INDIES. "LINE AND DIRECTION" IS THE IMPORTANT FACTOR. DHONI SHOULD BRING ON BHAIJI-HARBHAJAN VERY EARLY ON THE LEFT-HANDER BATSMEN. IN ENGLAND HE WILL BE VERY EFECTIVE. SO INDIA AND DHONI SHOULD HAVE THEIR PLAN, THEY HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCE IN PLAYING IN ENGLAND. THEY KNOW THE " MORNING " HOURS SUITED THE BOWLERS. THEY HAVE TO GET THE OPENING BATSMEN EARLY AND THEY HAVE THE BOWLERS TO DO IT. THE COACH CAN ADVISE THEM BUT THE BOWLERS HAVE TO DO IT.THEY KNOW HOW TO BOWL TO LEFT HANDERS. I THINK THEY SHOULD GO WITH SIX BATSMEN INCLUDING DHONI AND FIVE BOWLER, TO INCLUDE MISHRA. INDIA HAVE THE GOODS FOR ENGLAND. DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH PRESURE ON TENDULHAR AND LAXHMAN. S.N.SINGH U.S.A.

  • on July 18, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    England dont stand a chance against India's batting order and at No.4 comes somebody who has a tremendous record against not only England but against all the teams playing international cricket.Praveen Kumar,with the way he was seaming the ball in WI is definitely expected to trap a lot of english batsmen with his ability to swing the ball both ways.

  • Dimescream on July 18, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    I don't see a reason why Sehwag will be missed. It's better that he's not around. India will have a lot to prove here. But, for all the people who diss India too soon, hold on guys. it takes a lot to come to the no. 1 spot. Yes, India isn't as dominant as Australia were. But, this is the beginning of a new era. And a tough series against England will make it all the more delicious. I hope this series is a good one, amd may the better team win. Cheers!

  • Ali_Eorse on July 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    This is my prediction as a Canadian. India will lose all tests. It will be a white-wash. England will win with innings in each and every test. Why? Here are some of the reasons: - Strauss is the best captain. Dhoni is the show-off. - English bowlers (minus Broad) are the best. Indian bowlers (all) are bad and weak. Harbhajan is over-rated. Khan, Sree, and Singh make me laugh. - Trott and Bell will hit centuries and centuries. - Tendulkar will NOT score any century or even a fifty. His highest in any inning will be 40 odd runs. This guy is the most over-rated player on the planet. Others who are over-rated include Sehwag and Dravid.

    India will return with their tail behind. You heard it here first.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    When Australia was No.1 it was collective effort from the Australian team and umpires. It is not that Australians won matches with their capacities. Take any match from 1995 to 2008, not even single austrllian would have won without the help of umpire. They will one wrong decision which is favorable to them. Jason and Steve Waugh survive one test match wherein Jason Gillespie was caught behind (match against NZ) and he too know its out, Steve from runner end knows it out,umpire knows it out since its an australian umpire ruled him not out otherwise they would have lost the test match. if i want start listing, it will form a book. Howmany wides given out, inside edges as lbw, one pitch catch as catch etc... so on, when talk abt cricket, please dont talk abt Australian, they are not all qualified

  • popcorn on July 18, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Attaboy, Ian Bell! When England whitewash India 4 nil, Duncan Fletcher will be sacked - THAT's the Indian way.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Best batting order ever? Seriously?

    Indian fans can be so one eyed.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    the only way india can win this by utilizing FLETCHER . otherwise no chance

  • Chncricfan_2k0 on July 18, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    Biggest series after Ashes.so many articles coming up focusing this series.I could safely say its a great treat for cricket fans around the world without any doubt.World's No. 1 team taking the ever best test team England in their own backyard.Oh! nothing more than this one could expect as a cricket fan..As an Indian cricket fan, I hope India will do their best and show the world what they are capable of, but certainly they have to be at their best in every departments with great discipline to beat this well balanced English team.Best of Luck India..!

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    This will be a fascinating series on many levels, let's just the hope the recent poor weather fades away so we can get a true test of how the Indians cope in the English conditions.

  • KAIRAVA on July 18, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    The verbal volleys that Englisg players are doing before the India tour clearly that that the Poms are as fickle as the the notorious English weather. Just the other day Graeme Swann said that India's coach Fletcher could 'come a cropper' against England. Now comes this howler from Bell.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    England are strong, India are stronger. In the batting department India have the two best opening batsmen in the world. Dravid, Tendulkar and VVS are formidable and very hard to get out. Raina is in fine form and Dhoni is not a perfect test player but better than Prior. The bowling is underrated. Zaheer is brilliant, Ishant is in good form, Harbhajan has taken 400 wkts so you can't say he is not good enough and Kumar will find swing. Do not under estimate this India team

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Indian team will be crushed in ENG and later on in AUS.......BCCI can give money to the teams and win the series as they did in 2011 world cup cricket.

  • bigdhonifan on July 18, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Is this really Ind-Eng series???....India playing against South African players in England!!!

  • monis11 on July 18, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Fletcher; with all respect to him & his cricket I would say i am not a fan of him. India wanted someone who is not superhero coach, silent at press meetings, who can say "we played well, it is all in the game" even at lost match. He had minimal success as a player, neither as a coach. But he can be the perfect for the Indian team, with crook headed administrator.

  • bigdhonifan on July 18, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    @ insightfulcricketer.. equally exciting middle order????... India have Legends batting at 3,4 and 5

  • HOTCHA on July 18, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    Damn ! why can't you guys get 'lose' and 'loose' right?" Or maybe you don't know there exists a difference?

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    India might as well not turn up....Ian Bell looks so tough, so hard!

  • HOTCHA on July 18, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Loose, Mr. Harshtmm ? Your english stinks. I think that reflects your mindset. India are not going lose this series, albeit I agree, that Duncan Fletcher is not the best coach. He is a slightly better version of Greg Chappell,something only time and circumstances will tell. Dhoni is probably aware of it too, so this series is essentially mind games between Dhoni and the English lot. Dhoni has done little wrong, and he won't do it here neither. I expect the Indians to nudge ahead, just a little, to win the series. And for all you know this series, might just be Duncan Fletcher's swan song. Comprehend?

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    Well we won series in 2007 without a coach. However Fletcher may have knowledge of weaknesses of couple of English players but that should hardly make a big difference. It all will boil down to how Indian batsmen handle the English attack.Will the succumb to it or will they come on top. English bowling has the edge but to underestimate Indian bowling would be gross mistake..especially in helpful conditions. Reading too much into a tour game would be dumb. It could be quite possible that Indians were not motivated enough to give their best in tour game. It could be Fletchers idea to not expose strengths of India's batting and bowling in a tour game to Strauss since he was also playing . It could be that Willougby was really bowling good and deserved 67/6 but it could also mean Indians were woken up from sleep and that could be bad.Dhoni's captaincy on the field makes a lot of difference.Perhaps Indian bowlers did not really try hard to avoid injury or were simply plain rusty .Mind game

  • vismorkel on July 18, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Good to see all English fans so confident predicting scorelines like 3-0,4-0 & so on.Hope they won't be let down by their South African migrant workers,hahahah.I think the English summer should have been shifted to South Africa,that way their cricketers would feel they are at home.Opening test match at Johannesburg from their captain's home town,2nd test at Cape Town where Trott would be booed by his hometown mates.Too bad that Pietermaritzburg doesn't get to host test matches but I guess Pietersen would be happy to play the third test at Durban & the fourth test match can be played at any of their other 2 capital cities Pretoria/Bloemfontein.And India wouldn't be too concerned either because it has hardly been 6 months since they played tests in South Africa.Come on Kevin its time to have Castle lager & sing Shozoloza kule zontaba stimela siphum e South Africa.

  • on July 18, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    My prediction of the whole series: Test series Englad to win 3 - 0, for the first 3 and the 4th one will be a draw. Only T20 will be won by the Indian. Also the ODI series will be won by the Indians by 2 - 3 (the first and the fourth by England). But, please, don't call me an octopus after the series is completed!

  • PrameshP on July 18, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    When Australians were no 1 team they had won 16 consecutive tests twice but now India is no 1 they loved to take a 1-0 series win against West Indians.........shameful!

  • NewYorkCricket on July 18, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Coaches in cricket can do more wrong that right. Don't think Duncan will do that, but it is up to the 11 players to execute. Despite all the optimism, India will have to pull something special out of the bag to beat England at home. They can still be a handful, but they are short on match practice. If I am an Indian supporter, I will pray for rain in the first test. If they can hold the first one, I think both teams will be at par.

  • on July 18, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    For who people who say that indians could not garnish the" cheap" west indian attack,pull words back.If current form says England bowlers are on song,on the same note i put there is no better bowler in the world right now to topple rampaul with his golden run.I am sure any batsmen can lose his wicket to him early on..Not to mention edwards probably he is more quicker than most english bowlers.Sammy is a wholehearted bowler who holds tight at one end and picks up few occasional wickets..With indians facing these guys in thier home that too with a indian domestic team i should admit frankly and yet had thier throats pulled out each time..Guys i can say by current form anderson isn't as great as rampaul..tremlett can be bouncy but not as quick as edwards,so now who has the better hands???its not over yet india #1 in tests mainly because the tail enders can bat and hang around,probably the best batting order ever in history of the game..England play to your full potent.may god save u..

  • on July 18, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    the beauty of indian test side is that they always fire themselves up agnst good sides..........thts y they have been so successful in recent past........agnst SA all thought that SA will win the test series as they are playing in their home turf and india having not so good bowling attack but the result shows 1-1...........so though india not looking good agnst WI and also in their warm up matches but i m sure they will come strongly agnst england main team............and again india famous for their slow strt i see that the 1st test will be lost by india, india will come back in 2nd test(partly becoz of the overconfidence of england team after winning 1st test match) and will make it 1-1.....the 3rd test will be a draw.............so end result 1-1

  • Howazzatt on July 18, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    I've seen lot of video footage on Lion vs Tiger on youtube but can't wait to see live on TV from July 21 onwards. hm.mm.. Let us keep the fingers crossed, WATCH and HEAR the roars, paws punches, the ooohs, the bleeding, resilient fights. Lion or Tiger?? let the time answer.

  • on July 18, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    India at No:1 and not being a dominant one could be good for Cricket (Federer era("great player") was killing the sport- till Nadal showed up and now Djokovich raising his game has made the sport more compelling to watch) in a similar way...IND,SA and ENG can exchange punches and keep the Game interesting..hopefully AUS and SL will raise their game in time..so that no one dominates the game so much so that the results are way-too predictable.

  • on July 18, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Can I just say, that's a wicked picture of Ian Bell. It's scary. Indian bowlers beware, eh?

  • Midonoff on July 18, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    India is No.1 test team but not a dominant one. They will have to be at their best at all time to keep their No.1 ranking no matter where they go. Other teams are vastly improving. England also has a good team and can be the No.1 team as well. It will be an interesting series. When Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman retires hope to see players coming from the India's A team and not the B team that recently toured the West Indies.

  • adamgilly on July 18, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    close contest. fingers crossed. poms shouldn't judge their form on the basis of win against us, we were pretty bad in selections this time, but we'll show you the way in 2013 ashes. india too should not be overtly confident, they don't have dashing sehwhack for atleast 2 matches..will miss him from scintillating action.

  • CaughtAndBowled on July 18, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Viru's absence will be to a certain extend compensated by Fletcher's knowledge about English but remember that we won last series in England with out Fletcher and drew the previous series playing against Fletcher.

  • sachin1bradman2 on July 18, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Well Fletcher is pretty massive for starters, so one can foresee him making a big impact regardless! Fletcher, despite having great credentials (and Kirsten's recommendation) will face the tough challenge of bridging the generation gap between him and the Indian players. The new breed of Indian cricketers will respond better to friendly mentoring rather than a parental approach. Whether he can be dynamic enough to keep them charged up and motivated remains to be seen. Even though Dhoni and Fletcher were heavily criticized for not chasing etc. in the last game against the West Indies, I thought it was a good, sensible decision under the circumstances. So perhaps Dhoni's natural boldness and Fletcher's studied approach will provide a good combination.

  • Harshtmm on July 18, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    that is so incorrect Mr. Bell. Fletcher is a major minus he is the reason why india is going to loose this series by a big margin.

  • bhaloniaz on July 18, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    Bell is right on. Fletcher was a great captain and would be great for india. Hope indians appreciate the great man.

  • insightfulcricketer on July 18, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    After all said and done I hope this is an open series for this the two captains have to be aggressive. England has an equally exciting middle order as Indians while the bowling balance is slightly tilted towards England. It will be Indian persistence versus English flair. Let the series begin.

  • Hammond on July 18, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    The coaches are actually pretty irrelevant. This is one of the strongest England test line ups since the early 1970's and everyone is in form. India will struggle with the swinging ball and Swann will have an impact. England 3-0 and will become the number 1 ranked test side in the world. The way India played against WI will come back to haunt them when they face proper English opposition on home turf. The betting odds say plenty about the coming series.

  • AlfAlpha on July 18, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    I saw Sreesanth bowl at Taunton - he's finally perfected his stock delivery - the one that sits up and begs to be smashed to the boundary. I'm sure Mr Trott and co will be happy to oblige....

  • on July 18, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Battle between No1 and virtual No2 ...! i think India is one practise match short and the series is "more hype" short..may be because of tight international schedule ...! i think the real battle starts after the lords test as India is traditionally a slow starter in overseas series and lack of warmup matches adds up to it...Will be happy if India manages to draw the first test..! Ofcourse Sehwag will be missed hugely... Abinav Mukhund cannot fill his shoes but if he stays for the first 25 overs, the middle order would be relieved of the new ball and that would be his job to see of the new ball and not emulate Sehwag, which Gambhir can afford to do with his experience...! Cant wait to the series to start..!This Could be bigger than IND-AUS series ....!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 18, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    no more blah blah...LET US PLAY...:)

  • ssenthil on July 18, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    @moko58: After having had a high profile coach like Greg Chapel :O Oh yes, he managed to Keep India at No.4 in Tests and ODI's. Managed to get out India from first round of 2007 World cup. Well well.

  • Herath-UK on July 18, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    It is a tussle between a young and old Zimbabwean at the helm rather than a one between England and India. I would personally have preferred if India had gone the way as Sri Lanka did appointing Ratnayake as their coach for the Aussie tour. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • Percy_Fender on July 18, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Ian Bell is a very cultured man and should be the next England captain. This, apart from the beauty of his batting. What he has said about Duncan Fletcher is so dignified and realistic.I find it quite ridiculous to read some people berating a great coach because India chose not to chase a seemingly easy target at Rosseau recently. VVS Laxman has said the same thing about Fletcher. I wish people would learn to respect true blue professionals who are hard working and precise in their ways.Whatever happens in the present series in England, Fletcher's reputation will remain the same.

  • on July 18, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    india top 3 opening batters hold the key to india winning the tests,thy struggled against averge WI bowling.. if thy don't bulid a foundation, india's middle order will crumple against eng bowlers

  • on July 18, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    Probably Fletcher may be good enough in explaining the playing conditions in England but he is yet to prove his skills as a coach to the World Champs...... Fletcher is not a factor to be discussed in advance....This tour will certainly decide the period of contract for Mr.Fletcher with Team India.

  • moko58 on July 18, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    After Fletcher came in, 'Captain Cool' lost his cool with Umpire Harper, India struggled in the West Indies Test matches, failed to convert close situations, and did poorly against Somerset. After having had a high profile coach like Greg Chapel, Indians will judge a coach after he leaves, not while he is around.

  • on July 18, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Who knows what the English have in store for Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman. The Aus batsmen also struggled against the likes of Tremlett, Bresnan and Anderson. The trio won the two remaining ashes tests for Eng, so with Graeme Swann as the spinner, Eng have a pretty good balanced attack. Zaheer has been here before and done well, both in county cricket and against england. Sreesanth is not at his best, this will be Ishant's first tour of Eng although he has form on his side but the Eng batsmen present much stiffer opposition compared to the WI, and Harbhajan is not in the form of his life but he is ok at this stage. Both teams look pretty balanced although that comparison was also made prior to the ashes until Eng came well out on top. Zaheer and Sreesanth not performing in the warm up match could be a cause of concern. Don't be surprised if they struggle, unless they are deliberately underperforming only to dish out their best in test matches. Let the battle begin!

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Sounds well but i m very much concern of 20 wickets ...do we have ability to grasp 20 wickets ??? i think no ...but importnat thing is did english batsman has ability to play long inning ???? not at all !!!!!!! be ready for good cricket and leave the result aside .

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    well this is a negative statement & it shows that english men are scared of india.....

  • JANVI11 on July 18, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    When did Ian Bell's stature grow so big. In my view , he still stands in the ranks of Kohlis and Rainas and Rohits.

  • Notredam on July 18, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    i predict sereis to be won 2:1 by india..or maximum 1:1 draw..still india has been losing points full year...be against south africa in january,,even against windies..so by end of year they will be close..to 120 points..very near to number 2..

  • rockz.andy on July 18, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    the same bowling attack succeeded in WI now conceded more than 6 an over..as an Indian Fan want a win at lords in the famous test.

  • manish053 on July 18, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Bell is upbeat for the series against India. India has a massive plus as having fletcher, he knows strengthen and weakness of England but Indians should not forget that England Team knows how fletcher works so they can make better plan to beat opposition team. We should agree with the bell that top Indian batsmen struggled in the warm up match against somerset which may cause point to be tense. Indians just took off at England and they didn't have much time to set and this may be one of the reasons by which they failed to encounter precisely somerset.

  • bumsonseats on July 18, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    im not sure what information fletcher could give to india about england, could not be found by the stats and videos all countries use before a test series. england got bowling david saker before the ashes series down under during our winter and i think that was a great help on what pitches may or may do so fletcher may help in that regards. bell himself is twice the player he was under fletcher ( ask warne ) strauss and KP u get what u see. all the other are new to him as an ex england coach. dpk

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    I've always loved Indian cricket and i even remember Dravids debut alongside Ganguly in 1996. Most of you on here maybe too young to remember it or not aware of the game as much as I am. I will say that Dravid, Lax and even Sehwag are not as good as they used to be, particularly Dravid and Laxman.They are both coming to the end of their careers. Dravid's reflexes and concentration are diminishing as time goes on. They performed acceptably against WI but lets put this into context....they were facing a weak bowling attack. In their formative years they'd have made absolute mincemeat out of Bishoo,Sammy and co. India will rely heavily i think on Gambhir, SRT and Raina. but i totally believe it is Gambhir that is the man that will make the difference. He is the established opener (barring Sehwag who is injured) and he needs to get going and bring to the plate the same level of application he showed against australia.If he can blunt the new ball, it will help dravid as he struggles earlyon

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    hahaha, why people thought sehwag as father of cricket. stats shows that he is only like lion in home conditions. at foreign tours, his form is miserable.

  • SudharsanVM on July 18, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Nice to hear the comments from Bell. Really respecting the Indian Team. For a long time have seen someone has commented good on India's Bowling.

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    wt you think Bell is right???????

  • SouthPaw on July 18, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    I agree with Bell on one thing - that you have to take 20 wickets to win. No matter how many runs the batsmen pile up, the bowlers have to be good enough to do that. The question is, with the current strike rate of Harbie and the other bowlers (except Sharma) does India have the firepower to take 20 wickets?

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    ms dhoni sld open with gambhir and play like sehwag..yuvi can be handy lower dwn the order with his aggressive batting and lesft arm spin

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Well, I think Bell's statement makes a lot of sense. Being the coach of a team for 8 years and then playing against it as a Coach will give enough edge to India over England. Anyhow, the day on the ground will really decide what is going to happen.

  • Rishabh.Mehta on July 18, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Absolutely true..... Reasons have started to flow from the english side before they have lost the series???? What a pity..... Just like Ponting England is always full of excuses and prepare themselves for the excuses before the results...... India win by a difference of two.... and i am hoping that england do prepare the Lively pitches and make sure that india wins as india has the batsmen to survive it but england apart from bell does not have any.....

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    india will easily win the series...england players r scared of heavy indian batting lineup.

  • CricEshwar on July 18, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Hope the coverage will be as good as the series would definitely be. Last time in a similar context when touring South Africa, the coverage sucked the interest out of the series with their "innovative" advertising where there is a commercial animated graphic where the ball pitches, ads between overs, and effectively only 2nd to 5th ball will be shown in 3 quarters of the screen.

  • multipack on July 18, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    @hammond "I think India will need all the foreign help they can get.. "

    that comment is a little rich coming from an england fan. the majority of the english team and back room staff are foreigners so pipe down eh?

  • ThinkerDR on July 18, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    This is the usual pro-English statement by Ian Bell. I am sorry. Fletcher has already lost huge counts by showing cowardliness during that abandoned chase in WI. He might have bought support of few unbalanced Englishmen to back him up.. If India may loose a test out of first two in England, then it would be due to wrong approach by Fletcher and Dhoni. Once Sehwag in - no chance to defeat India. Sachin, Dravid, Lax, Gambhir and Sehvag need to bat only once in subsequent tests. Inputs of Fletcher will not affect the strength of these line up..

  • Hammond on July 18, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I think India will need all the foreign help they can get..

  • on July 18, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    i agree with ian bell....

  • on July 18, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Hmmm.. should be an interesting series...looking fwd...

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  • on July 18, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Hmmm.. should be an interesting series...looking fwd...

  • on July 18, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    i agree with ian bell....

  • Hammond on July 18, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I think India will need all the foreign help they can get..

  • ThinkerDR on July 18, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    This is the usual pro-English statement by Ian Bell. I am sorry. Fletcher has already lost huge counts by showing cowardliness during that abandoned chase in WI. He might have bought support of few unbalanced Englishmen to back him up.. If India may loose a test out of first two in England, then it would be due to wrong approach by Fletcher and Dhoni. Once Sehwag in - no chance to defeat India. Sachin, Dravid, Lax, Gambhir and Sehvag need to bat only once in subsequent tests. Inputs of Fletcher will not affect the strength of these line up..

  • multipack on July 18, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    @hammond "I think India will need all the foreign help they can get.. "

    that comment is a little rich coming from an england fan. the majority of the english team and back room staff are foreigners so pipe down eh?

  • CricEshwar on July 18, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Hope the coverage will be as good as the series would definitely be. Last time in a similar context when touring South Africa, the coverage sucked the interest out of the series with their "innovative" advertising where there is a commercial animated graphic where the ball pitches, ads between overs, and effectively only 2nd to 5th ball will be shown in 3 quarters of the screen.

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    india will easily win the series...england players r scared of heavy indian batting lineup.

  • Rishabh.Mehta on July 18, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Absolutely true..... Reasons have started to flow from the english side before they have lost the series???? What a pity..... Just like Ponting England is always full of excuses and prepare themselves for the excuses before the results...... India win by a difference of two.... and i am hoping that england do prepare the Lively pitches and make sure that india wins as india has the batsmen to survive it but england apart from bell does not have any.....

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Well, I think Bell's statement makes a lot of sense. Being the coach of a team for 8 years and then playing against it as a Coach will give enough edge to India over England. Anyhow, the day on the ground will really decide what is going to happen.

  • on July 18, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    ms dhoni sld open with gambhir and play like sehwag..yuvi can be handy lower dwn the order with his aggressive batting and lesft arm spin