Somerset v Indians, Tour Match, Taunton July 17, 2011

Somerset happy to 'bully' India


Somerset believe they have played an important part in giving England a head start to the Test series against India after being able to "bully" the visitors for three days in Taunton. The Indians were never a threat in their lone warm-up match before Lord's as their bowling was twice taken apart and the batting folded for 224.

For most of the contest, once they had lost the toss on a flat pitch, the Indians didn't appear to have their heart in the game whereas the county side took it very seriously. They were determined to limit the value India could take from the outing, which is why they didn't enforce the follow-on. Then Peter Trego embarrassed them with a 57-ball 85, which left them looking well short of readiness for the first Test.

"I fully understand it's quite difficult for Test sides to get themselves up for these games, however it's about practising good habits," Andy Hurry, the Somerset coach, said. "They are going to come up against a stern test against a side challenging to be No. 1, so they'll have to lift their game. I'm sure they will, playing at the home of cricket, but it's been interesting - their approach and how that reflects in the way they performed.

"It was important that we gave it our best shot and really put them under the pump. We won the toss on a great batting pitch, dominated the game and started to bully them, which is a great position for England to sit back in their seats and appreciate what we have done for them.

"We had an opportunity to build scoreboard pressure, then got our rewards and bowled them out," he said. "They were looking for the follow-on but we weren't giving them that. It was an opportunity for us to go in again and reinforce our position before giving them a little dart at the end to try and bowl them out."

Andrew Strauss, preparing for the Test series with a guest appearance, made the most of his time with scores of 78 and an unbeaten 109 to ensure he enters the main contest in good spirits following his lean time against Sri Lanka earlier in the season. Hurry couldn't praise Strauss highly enough for his short spell with the team and the benefit it brought to the younger players.

"It's been a perfect three days for him," Hurry said. "We kept the Indians in the field for a number of overs. He looked really busy at the wicket and built his innings. He's been outstanding to have in the changing room. The boys have thrived on having him around. He's been a real good egg.

"It's had a huge positive effect on the younger players. Guys who have aspirations of playing for England now understand what the England captain is about. He has an aura about him. [As he] sat in the changing room, the guys were listening to everything he said about batting and the England set-up. It's been positive from all sides."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Perhaps it's good that Somerset gave a thrashing to India. It is good to lose complacency at the start of the series. Despite their recently acquired strengths, Indians remain very emotional. The best way to bring the best out of the Indian team is to hurt their pride - not too much - but just enough. If India had lost to Somerset by an innings, it could have demoralized the team completely - jeopardizing the whole series. But what Somerset did to them was the right kind of jolt. It has made the billions in India anxious and this I hope is going to fire the team up in the right directions. Let's see what happens tomorrow... Wishing good luck to the whole of India..

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    God! Why do people forget that this Indian test team is even more stronger than the ODI team which won the World Cup! Digest the truth...India is the Number one test team..So its obvious that we will win..!Dhoni did a smart thing by not exposing his main players in this practice match..Just wait and watch. No one can beat India with such class players. !

  • vimal on July 19, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    Is it just me or is most of the conversation here mindless!!! 1.India are No.1 -they deserve it they have played well in india and outside 2.England are a very good test team and they will give India the run for there money if not more! 3.This game-India obviously were out classed simple! oh Shewag was not there Laxman was not there..excuses! There is no excuse for the performance! 4.BUT a test match is different ..its like Andy Murray winning over Nadal in small ATP tours.When the big game comes the big guys step the gear up!

    All together its going to be an awesome Test series and i think it will be a draw! one match will be rain havocked. and India might win one and England one!

    Lets us all be good cricket lovers and enjoy the game! Saying all that i really hope India win's just to SHUT up the critics who say they dont deserve to No:1.

  • Muthuvel on July 19, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    @ Truemans_Ghost , your inability to see reason does not annoy me though. India beat england home and away, yup india won last time in ENG. So what do you have to say about this now ? i maintain if Eng beat india at their home they do just that and nothing more, its not some magic golden pass no 1, sorry.

  • LUV on July 19, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Seems to me that the practice match was meant more for the england captain rather than the visiting team.

  • Liam on July 19, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    @Cricket_Analyst "Prior to 90's Eng/Aus used to tour Ind only once in 6-8 years with Test series sometime being limited to Lone tests". The Australian tours before 1990 56/57 3 tests, 59/60 5 tests, 64/65 3 tests, 69/70 5 test, 79/80 6 tests, 86/87 3 tests The English tours before 1990 33/34 3 tests, 51/52 5 tests, 61/62 5 tests, 63/64 5 tests, 72/73 5 tests, 76/77 5 tests, 81/92 6 tests, 84/85 5 test Tests against the current "Number1" team have always been important to the side playing them. Like Australia in late 90 and early 00's, like the Windies in the 80's and early 90's, and now it's India. Lord's is the "home Ground" of international cricket and always will be. You can believe what you want but please check your facts.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    absolutely love it! Bait well bitten! England still 2-0 though! And I know Zummerzet are a quality team Oi lived there many a year..... But they didn't have their frontline bowlers did they? Lords first morning if England win toss and its a cloudy day India at 69-5 at lunch...... hahahahaha!

  • mahendra on July 18, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    The biggest difference between team India & team England is a certain ' Super Dhoni ' . A champion if there ever was one. And he's on our side , too bad .

  • Prem on July 18, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    India will never be good starters, and with the work ethic prevalent in the country, will never take county games seriously. Also keep in mind that this wasn't the first 11, and a few players who will make the Test team were sitting out/rested.

  • akash on July 18, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Love seeing how all English fans are jumping the gun predicting big wins for their team. Just remember you can't be number 1 without winning away from England, especially in the sub-continent. Something you have not done! The Ashes only means something to England and Australia, no one else cares! When the last Ashes took place it was 4 vs 5. India to win this series 2-0 or 2-1, then to go conquer the final frontier in Australia this Australian summer and show the world and all those doubters why they are number 1. All the old colonials better get used to it and stop being jealous and complaining, no longer will India be bullied.

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