India in England 2011

A contest that's equal to the hype

For the players of both sides this series may not be the ultimate match-up, but there is more than enough potential for it to develop into a contest worth top billing

Andrew Miller at Lord's

July 19, 2011

Comments: 230 | Text size: A | A

Duncan Fletcher and Sachin Tendulkar at Lord's, July 19 2011
Sachin Tendulkar and Duncan Fletcher plot England's downfall in the first Test © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: England | India

There is a scene in the acclaimed documentary Fire in Babylon in which the great West Indians of the 1970s and 80s reflect on the "Calypso" generation that preceded their rise to world domination. Turning up, giving everyone a good show, then losing in a charming fashion - just as they did on the tied-Test tour of Australia in 1960-61 - was a trait that may have proved endearing, but it was one that Clive Lloyd's mean machine soon made it their mission to banish.

A similar change of mindset has taken hold of India's cricketers in the space of a generation. Twenty-one years ago, almost to the week, these two teams took part in one of the most acclaimed mismatches of all time -the Lord's Test of 1990, when Kiran More's fumble set Graham Gooch on his way to a career-best 333, and England to victory by 247 runs. Along the way, however, India's own calypso qualities captured the English public's imagination - from the impossibly wristy riposte of their captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, through Kapil Dev's four consecutive sixes to save the follow-on, and through an outstanding one-handed running catch from a 17-year-old prodigy, Sachin Tendulkar - who, within a fortnight, would record the first of his 99 not out international centuries.

As Wisden Cricket Monthly's editor, David Frith, wrote at the time, that match played out like a midsummer dream, and two decades on, Tendulkar's enduring presence in India's ranks confirms the other-worldliness of that era. At some stage in the coming days, Tendulkar will march out to the crease for his fifth Test appearance at the game's grandest venue, knowing that he has an opportunity to record arguably the most incredible achievement in one of the greatest sporting careers of them all. Perhaps more importantly, however, he'll be seeking to cement his team's credentials as the most formidable outfit in the modern-day game.

However and wherever it arrives - and he will surely not fall Bradman-esquely short - the romance of Tendulkar's hundredth hundred will be a distant echo of those early days in international cricket. The team of which he remains such a formidable component has changed beyond recognition in the intervening years, in attitude as much as output. These days, India sit atop both Test and one-day trees, and go about their business with a swagger that, like West Indies and Australia before them, reflects their sense of entitlement. They are the game's modern-day galacticos, and they play with expectation where hope once held sway.

Where England are concerned, that attitude is particularly justified. Despite a supposed fallibility outside of Asia, India have not lost at home or away in five series since Rahul Dravid first appeared on the scene in 1996, and despite England's belief that greentops are the key to ending that sequence, their traumatic defeats at Headingley in 2002 and Trent Bridge five years later are potent reminders of the class that resides in their opponents' batting ranks. India have lost just two series out of 15 since their mould-breaking triumph in 2007, and none in the last three years. The financial might of the BCCI is nowadays matched, in no uncertain terms, by an intimidatory on-field clout.

Mind you, England are themselves in a mean streak of Test form, with seven series wins and a draw in eight outings since May 2009, which means that the coming contest ought to be the finest tussle on these shores since the epic Ashes summer of 2005. Then as now, two genuine contenders for the World Test Championship crown are about to go head to head, and if the hype surrounding this series is more muted than one might expect in the circumstances, then that is most likely a reflection of the two teams' obsessions with their principal foes, Australia and Pakistan - against whom they each recorded a memorable triumph in the winter just gone.

Nevertheless, a contest of this calibre needs no over-egging, and it is strangely refreshing that the cricket has, for once, been left to do much of the talking. If England can win the series by two clear Tests out of four, they will have achieved their stated ambition of becoming the world's No.1 Test side, a position they've not held since Peter May held sway in the early 1950s. That scoreline might be too much to expect, even for a team that condemned Australia to three innings defeats on home soil in the recent Ashes, but there's little doubt that England are primed for the challenge that awaits them - more so, arguably, than their opponents who were a clear second-best in their solitary warm-up against Somerset earlier in the week.

It was not an auspicious arrival, as Somerset racked up a grand total of 685 for 5 in two innings, either side of rolling their opponents for 224. However, there's one particular member of the Indian party who will shrug his shoulders at such events. Throughout his seven-year tenure as England coach, Duncan Fletcher treated warm-up matches with disdain, often using 13 or 14 players in what amounted to glorified nets sessions. It is an attitude that could not be further removed from the approach of his fellow Zimbabwean, Andy Flower who, back in November, treated England's three first-class fixtures in the lead-up to the Ashes as unofficial Tests, and reaped the rewards of his team's intensity.

Fletcher's crossing of the floor promises to be the zestiest subplot of a spicy summer. The manner of his departure in 2007 was bitter in the extreme, and continues to mask the extent to which his efforts laid the foundations of the world-class side that England are now becoming. To judge from recent history, his calm and considered manner will fit well with an Indian dressing room that prefers its coaches in the John Wright/Gary Kirsten backroom mould, even if Dravid admitted they are still getting to grips with his well-disguised sense of humour.

Nevertheless, his credentials as a pure batting coach are not in doubt, with Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen among his keenest disciples in the England team. With that in mind, the insider knowledge he can impart to India's attack could have more bearing on the series than any nuggets of wisdom he can pass on to the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and VVS Laxman. A trio with 99 Test centuries between them are a bit long in the tooth to learn the merits of the forward press.

It will not have escaped Fletcher's attention that India is the one Test nation that he never managed to beat during his days with England, so it would doubtless grate if Flower were to put that record straight at the first attempt. But despite their common heritage and studious demeanours, the nature of their rivalry is very much a theoretical one. As Flower showed by ducking the victory podium in Sydney back in January, he too prefers his players to hog the limelight.

The key head-to-heads will be on-field ones. Andrew Strauss's twin innings of 78 and 109 not out at Taunton took some of the edge off his duel with Zaheer Khan, even if another cheap left-arm dismissal at Lord's will reawaken the clamour in double-quick time. James Anderson's lateral movement will be starkly complemented by the steepling bounce of Chris Tremlett - two bowlers who have matured beyond recognition since their fitfully impressive performances in 2007, and whose efforts against India's senior batsmen could define the shape of the series.

And then there's England's own run-machines - Alastair Cook, a centurion on debut against India in 2006, and the possessor of six hundreds in his last ten Tests, and Jonathan Trott, whose average after 21 appearances (62.23) exceeds even that of Tendulkar. With Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell in exquisite form in the third Test against Sri Lanka, there's no reason for England to question their right to challenge the world's best - especially given the size of the hole left by Virender Sehwag at the top of India's order. More than any other batsman, his ability and willingness to batter good bowling sets him apart from his peers, and therefore his absence for one, maybe two, Tests is hugely significant.

The restrictions on DRS could also be a major factor, not so much for the decisions that go one way or the other, but for the friction that could be created between two sides that will not need much invitation to get feisty with one another. As England discovered to their cost at Trent Bridge four years ago, when a misplaced jelly bean sparked a diplomatic incident, India's players know how to fight - not only their corner, but their opponent's as well. That Calypso tendency is a thing of the dim and distant past. When battle commences on Thursday, neither side will have any doubt as to the intensity.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (July 22, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

@sweetspot - Lords IS a great ground because it IS the spiritual home of cricket, to say anything else really means you'd be better off following Baseball. @kingscorpio - the difference between 1billion & 5 million is nothing when it is the WHOLE of a nation. Even when Westen Samoa won their famous W/Cup Rugby QTR Final against Wales - they had the pressure of a nation (albeit about 160,000) on their back. During the Ashes bodyline a series that most resembles the modern era, Bradman manufactured an ave around 57, (& it was rising). He did this on pitches that could rear up unexpectadly & he did it with nothing but some pads, gloves & a box, (maybe some towels around the ribs). Also remember that much of Bradman's career was during the great Depression & War years, if THAT isn't pressure mate - what is? @ ashankar - Don played against 2 of the greastest spinners of all time in O'Reilly & Grimmett. Had he played India he would of most probably destroyed them.

Posted by Trickstar on (July 21, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

india-the-worldchampions Give it a rest, England have 2 of the top 3 places in the rankings and Tremlett is at 11 only because of the amount of games he's played. Whereas India have 6,7,and 8 places and you seriously claim India have a better attack than England, hahaha good joke that.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 21, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

My prediction come half true. That zaheer khan will be toothless or going to be injured. I am nostradamous.

Posted by vinjoy on (July 21, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

TO Most of the readers in this thread: I am tired of Sachinization of cricket. Please.. there is more to cricket than SRT. Spare of thought of 21 other players who take as much pride and make as much effort on the field as SRT. Be just.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

" go about their business with a swagger that, like West Indies and Australia before them" "They are the game's modern-day galacticos" ... Mr milller this a bit over the top. I think in terms of swagger or style they are no where near likes of Steve Waugh's, Clive loyd's or Richard's teams as yet. Indian batting is not short of anything but its their bowling which just does not measure up.

Munaf patel, Amit misra the galecto?

Posted by Marcio on (July 21, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

Anyone who argues that batting was easier in the Don Bradman's day is deluding themselves. The number of runs per innings, and the rate of centuries scored per innings have increased greatly since Bradman's days. This makes Bradman's achievements even more remarkable. Any fool can see that there are a lack of great bowlers in recent years, and that batting averages have gone up as a result. Tendulkar has played the last decade, and especially the last 5 years, against some of the easiest batting conditions ever, which has enabled him to prolong his career. Here's the stats which offer incontrovertible proof proof: http://www.espncricinfo.com/thebig_2000_test/content/current/story/523260.html.

Posted by Malepati on (July 21, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

There seems to be lot of euphoria around this seires for obvious reasons. The first thing is that Lords is hosting its 100th test on the same day(July 21st) where it hosted its first test which is an incredible coincidence, the number 1 rank is at stake for the both the teams and the big one is Sachin on the verge of recording his 100th international ton. But personally am keeping an open mind becuase both the teams are equally balanced and we cannot predict who will win the series, it is going to an exciting series to watch, the great Indian batting line-up with likes of schin,laxman and rahul dravid against the swing of english bowlers. Hopefully the rain does not play spoilsport.

Posted by inswing on (July 21, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

This is a very solid English team, and the series should be very competitive. But the traditional strength of English journalists and some players is to make excuses. Last time the excuses started before the series began in the English toured India. "We are not really expecting to win, it doesn't matter to us that much, if we give you fight you should be ashamed." Miller once wrote about an English loss in Pak that the side was not really interested because there were not enough people in the stadium! So you can expect excuses to fly hard and fast if the team appears to be on shaky ground. Only the Ashes really matters, the team is rebuilding, they are tired after the Ashes and the SL tour, and so on. But good luck to both side, hopefully on one will have resort to jelly beans to eek out a win.

Posted by Angad11 on (July 20, 2011, 23:24 GMT)

LOL @JawedSyed - Obviously, either you are too ignorant who has never held a cricket bat in ur life or you some kind of attention-seeking ... or may be just trying to be mischievious, nice try if u did. Just search for the name Sachin Tendulkar on Cricinfo's page, you will see something that might just open your eyes.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 23:13 GMT)

usa must grow in the most amazing sports in the world , rugby , cricket and handball

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Miller, Let's hope it lives up to the hype and there will be no dramatic collapses under cloudy skies and chill winds!

Posted by india-the-worldchampions on (July 20, 2011, 20:52 GMT)

I don't know why do all the people think that India's bowling is weak despite the fact having proven time and again in recent past. A team can't remain No.1 for even a day if the bowlers don't have the ablilty to take 20 wickets leave alone a period of 2 yrs. Infact India's bowling is better than the english bowling. Does anyone know ? that india has 3 bowlers in the top 10 while SA ad Eng have only 2 bowlers in the top 10. Recall those lines of eric simons that "If I were in the England side, I would certainly be respectful of the Indian attack and I'd imagine they would respect our seam attack as much as they respected our spin attacks in the past." Grow up guys may be our seamers haven't had the best of the conditions in india to have an average in the mid 20's but Indian seamers outside the indian subcontinent are as good as anyone in the world. The recent examples are in SA earlier this year and also in eng in 07 and many more.It would be proved again at the end of this series.

Posted by Teyadora on (July 20, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

"the coming contest ought to be the finest tussle on these shores since the epic Ashes summer of 2005" - you seem to be ever so conveniently forgetting South Africa's 2008 demolition of this same England outfit. And then, England scraped a draw in the return series (exhibiting some of the dullest cricket seen since the Black Caps in Dhaka back in '99.) Also, before the English grow too proud of one of 'their' county's achievements, lets look at Somerset's chief destroyers: Arul Suppiah (born and raised in Kaula Lampur), Charl Willoughby (legend of South African domestic cricket), Nick Compton (thoroughbred South African) and of course, the diabolical Andrew Strauss whom we shall not discuss. Somerset couldn't even find an Englishman to captain the side, opting for the fiercely patriotic South African, Alfie Thomas. I expect England to receive a devastating belting this series and remain a distant third behind two far-superior cricketing nations.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 19:58 GMT)

"India are no better than average off the sub-continent."

Actually their record over the past few years compares to the best. See as I distinctly remember, England are yet to win a series against India at home or way for close to 15 years now. We in fact beat England in England the last time around when it had better players like Micheal Vaughn and Andrew Flintoff. So no candy.

As far as the WI tour is concerned, we were missing four frontline first choice players (I do remember that England were rolled over by WI for 52 pretty recently so you weren't really all that better even with your full team there- Also stop being condescending towards WI, they don't deserve this). This series will be different. I not really bothered with things like "sachin the legend or whatever", I just know we have better team and we will beat you. As simple as that.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

I can see so many comments which says its a cakewalk for england, with no Sehwag and becuz of current indian bowling line up.. India r a slow starter if u take any big series. Agree to the fact that in lords indians will look for a draw and will be starting cautiously. Many have forgotten that there ws no difference in the current england side and the england side that played india in 2007 series, except for Michael Vaughan which ws their best batsman and a much better captain than strauss. Still India won the series comfortably after a slow start @ lords. also could hav won the last test had we declared the innings earlier.

Abd all the wanks about indians are not a good away side. have you forgotten the fCT that india have not lost an away series for more than 2 yrs. those who wank abt the indian spin pitches, pitches wil be prepared acording to the strnth of home team. Will Eng ever put up a spin pitch against india.

Posted by classyDB on (July 20, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

What i find staggering is all the comparisons wit Bradman and Tendulkar. What about Ponting ,Kallis, Lara obviously , Sangakkara , Hayden , Smith , K.P. etc. " Oh Don never had the pressure of batting in front of a billion people etc" , well surely thats a positive once his eye is in and the support can help his innings ebb and flow. Tendulkar is a great MODERN day player , Bradman is almost a myth , stateside youve got Babe Ruth , what Babe Ruth couldnt hit a home run these days? , get real.

Posted by timtom on (July 20, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

@swarzi -- Just bcos Sachin played 630+ inning he is able to score 100 '100s' centuries...and any one who "is allowed" to play that many inning will score 100 '100s'... And he did so bcos of his 'mere longevity' .. How ridiculous can that get..We are talking cricket .. not any other sport.... Who stopped Bradman or LARA not to play 630+ inning...Steve waugh was close ..played 550 inning..but has only 36 centuries ..this legend wud have had to play another 1200 inning to score 100 '100s'.. and there are lot more batting legeneds legends who palyed over 450+ inning with less that 50 '100s'.. 'Mere longevity' and consistency is divine and only Sachin has that.. Added to the expectation of 1 billion people... No batsman in past or present except him carries that burden...Even at Lords, Sachin is expected to score a century while none of the other indians are expected to do that..If they do it, good for team INDIA...But when Sachin does he lifts nation INDIA... GOT IT ?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

If the weather get's involved... 1-1 looks a possibility... if any team can win, it should be England with the home conditions, bowling attack... and the Indians missing Sehwage for the first couple of Tests... 2-1 England? or 1-1 all? Eitherway, it leaves the World's top three-Test sides in a deadlock, although I'd give the Proteas a hair over the rest...

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 19:16 GMT)

I THINK INDIA WILL WIN 2-0 SERIES .INDIA HAVE GREAT BATSMAN AND ALSO GREAT BOWLER.I THINK IN BATSMAN-SACHIN , SEHWAG , DRAVID , LAXMAN AND RAINA ARE KEY. IN BOWLER ZAHEER , ISHANT AND HARBHAJAN ARE CRUCIAL. I THINK ENGLAND HAS FORGOT THEIR 2007 DEFEAT AT THEIR HOME. BEST OF LUCK TEAM INDIA .

Posted by yorkermania on (July 20, 2011, 19:07 GMT)

vvs laxman said...focus on WHATS UNDER YOUR CONTROL...STAY IN THE PRESENT. sachin will get his 100 some day for sure. but he would not be thinking about it ahead of an important game. he would ONLY want to contribute as much as he can. and please dont compare don bradman and sachin tendulkar...iam sure 95% of us have not even seen 10 innings of don bradman on youtube...and simply wanna grab attention by saying WHO is greater! as his records say...the don was phenomenal. for this generation...sachin has been exceptional. i dont understand this BITCH ABOUT X TO SHOW Y IN SUPERIOR LIGHT philosophy of people. GROW UP! and people who think swann will prove good...he may be good...but ASIANS ARE THE BEST PLAYERS OF SPIN IN THE WORLD...UNDISPUTED...so swanny....better watch out!

Posted by SatishT2105 on (July 20, 2011, 19:00 GMT)

A lot of people say, if other greats would have played as long as Sachin did or if the other greats would have been allowed to play as long as Sachin has been, then they would have scored as many hundreds or as many runs as he has. Well, the point is precisely that no one else has played so long, which means no one was good enough to be picked up at the age of 16 to play for his country and no one had it in him to last 22 years in the team and look good to play up to 25 years on a trot for his country. Tedulkar may not necessarily be an epitome of genius like Don Bradman, grace like Azharuddin, Lara or Mark Waugh, dazzling brilliance like Sehwag or Viv Richards, but he is unique. Sachin is the true symbol of perseverance. He may not have faced the West Indian quatret of the 1980s but he faced Walsh & Ambrose in the Caribean. He faced McGrath, Warne; Muralitharan and scored tons of runs. Speaking of easy opponents, Sachin hasn't played a home test against Bangladesh yet

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 18:55 GMT)

there is serious shortage of common sense in a lot of articles coming out of England these days.

.DRS???

what these columnists think ??is their team..only dependent on DRS to get LBW decisions correct..n how presence of hawk eye was going to aid their bowlers but nt that of india??how they think hawk eye will aid in getting decisions more in favor of them n nt in favor india

the thing is ..hawk eyes is flawed...seriously flawed..and its flaws become evident when it is used in case of balls swinging or spinning to quite an extent..

had they decided before hand that the flaw in hawk eye cud be used in their favor courtesy the TV content producers?n hence this cringing in its absence?

if england were so dependent on hawkeye to get one over India..then i m pretty concerned about the thinking of not only that team but that of its welll wishers..

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 18:52 GMT)

India are no better than average off the sub-continent. They struggled against a poor Windies side and couldn't post 250 against a county side on the runfest ground that is Taunton.

England 2-0, and no cigar for Sachin until at least the 3rd Test.

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 20, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

England will convincingly win 2-0 with its bowling power and conditions.Though seniors like Sachin,Dravid and Luxman will score some centuries like Dilshan and Sanga did,others will fail. Ranil Herath-Kent

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 20, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

It is all about Can india get 20 wickets? i doubt india can. Zaheer khan is the key. if he bowls well , he motivate ishant sharma and he follows up. I still think zaheer won't do much and there by whole team won't do much. It is either England win or draw. I say england is 1-0 in first two test. we have to wiat and see in last two test if sehwag plays.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

Th absence of Sehwag is a big plus for England along with its variety in the bowling and plus th batting stregnth which matches Indians. On the other hand if Zaheer strickes along with inform Sharma, they have a good chance to rattle the current confidence of the English team. After Ashes, this is a high expectation series. Also may be Farewell series for the Indian Seniors !!!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 18:27 GMT)

i would b very delighted 2 see the senior players coming fr the series after the world cup such as sachin,sehwag,yuvraj nd zaheer nd i would b obliged 2 watch raina nd ishant who are in gud form.....as v l see wat they hav 2 do in this upcoming series....after a comfortable series win against the indies........!england are a very gud side with talented nd young players....bt 2 me indian lineup is more balanced nd talented.....so i think it would b a tough competition....bt in odi i thnk india will manage 2 win the series,as they r far better side then the britishmen......!even if condition r quite different fr the visitors bt as a world champions they hav a potiential 2 play in every dynamic nd complicated situation......!

Posted by Bhiku on (July 20, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

The contest between cook-gambhir, yuvraj-pietersen,raina -morgan,ishant-broad,bhajji-swan make this particular series fascinating and their success and failure will determine the result of the whole series.dont see the real battle for sachin, dravid,laxman here no way----- absence of kohli is so saddddd

Posted by kalyanbk on (July 20, 2011, 18:04 GMT)

The only reason England have a chance is because the series is in England and India is missing Sehwag.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 18:02 GMT)

england bowlers have the edge, i think anderson tremlett bresnan are gona give indians a very hard time in the bowling friendly conditions, graeme swann would be icing on cake. Would to tough for india im sure. May the better players win!england bowlers have the edge, i think anderson tremlett bresnan are gona give indians a very hard time in the bowling friendly conditions, graeme swann would be icing on cake. Would to tough for india im sure. May the better players win!

Posted by World-Champs-TEAM-INDIA on (July 20, 2011, 18:01 GMT)

Cant wait , but i guess i have to sleep now to get up tomorrow morning. So excited cant sleep.

Posted by riskreddy on (July 20, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

@JawadSyed. You may be right that Sachin has 33 match-winning centuries, out of which 9 were against minnows like Kenya/Zim/Namibia. But 33 minus 9 is 24. Show me another batsmen who has 24 match winning centuries which are all against prominent cricketing teams and not minnows. The best you have is Jayawardene with 14 wins? Thats all you got? 14?. One Sachin's statistic that i did not know was that he had 24 match winning centuries against all prominent cricketing nations and not minnows. Thanks for getting it to my notice. No one in the world has 24 match winning centuries Jawad, not even close. Now that is another world record that may never be broken. You can sob all you want :)

Posted by praveen.pr on (July 20, 2011, 17:33 GMT)

no one can be compared with Sachin and in this series he is going to score his 100 century and India is going to trash England

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 20, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

It is a grand CURSE that many Indians fail to realize the strength of this Indian team in spite of being the # 1 ranked side for the last 3 years. How can you people even think about non-Indians appreciating Indian cricket ? shame on you all. Whenever India play a series MOST people are usually busy pin pointing India's weaknesses. WOW ! doesn't India have any strengths ? why don't you people talk about the positives India have as a team. I am one of the TRUE Indian fans who throw cynicism out of the window. I believe India have the team to trump England this summer and will remain #1. I respect England and I accept they have world class players but India has EXPERIENCE on their side. This is what some of you cynics and India haters need to understand before jumping up and down blowing whistles for the Poms. SA were the HOT team when India recently toured them last year but India played brilliantly to neutralize them. So think, think before wishing bad to team India.

Posted by onkar567 on (July 20, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

msd vs strauss>winner msd, sachin,laxman,dravid vscook,pietersen,trott>winner sachin,laxman,dravid ian bell,eoin morgan,matt priorvs.raina,gambhir,mukund>winne mukund,gg,raina zak,ishant,praveen vstremlett,anderson,broad>winner zak,ishant,praveen bhajji vs swann>winner the 400 wickettaker bhajji!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

I am not bother of others comments who say India would lose. Before the start of series everyone's concentration is on Trio(Sachin,Rahul and Laxman), they even aware of the hype going around. Getting these fabulous players two times in a test would be difficult with the pressure built on them before start of series. Now they will be alert to throw everything on to the distracters/opponents, the performances they shown till now when hype is created. So mark my words, India will not lose atleast a single test in this four match series with these guys perform almost in every innings of this series. My word India may drew the series or won the series but sure they won't lose this series.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 17:10 GMT)

Well said Prasanna. I do not understand why people have to bring Sachin into every equation and try to demean his achievements. Mahela is a great player in his own right, so why try and pit him against SRT. If you have to know the worth of a player pay attention to what his contemporeries (read Alan Donald, Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Sanath Jayasuriya) and his own team mates have to say and do not bother about what jealous fans from other countries have to crib about.

Posted by avis1001 on (July 20, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

@xxxneilxxx - India in West Indies lacked the main bowler Zaheer and with depleted bowling they are able to rattle WI

Posted by ns1000 on (July 20, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

Agree with many that Indian bowling attacks lacks the firepower of a no. 1 rated team. Also, we have youngsters who will be under some stress. This will not be a cakewalk for India as many have suggested. England have some inform batsmen, bat deep and have better bowling - can bowl short ball directed at throats at a good pace - and field better than India. Sehwag is also out for possibly first 2 tests which to me gives England the edge. There is no other batsman who is not only able, but willing, as the article suggests, to take the bowling attacks apart. Here's hoping that the matches are close and may the best teams win.

Posted by sachingilly on (July 20, 2011, 16:52 GMT)

sachin will get his 100th ton at lords and india is going to win the series.

Posted by CollisKing on (July 20, 2011, 16:35 GMT)

Have the Indian team had enough preparation ? Maybe they should have scheduled the one-day nonsense before the Test matches. A mouth-watering series in prospect. International pedigree in both batting line-ups, plenty of penetration with the bowling attacks. Pravan Kumar impressed me swingin it all over the place in Jamaica and Barbados. Hopefully the weather is kind and the wicket's are not too flat.Can we play all 4 matches on that fast and bouncy Rosebowl strip ?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 16:31 GMT)

Ishant sharma is again gonna be the man of the series if he bowls good line and length with few bouncers to strauss ,cook and trott

Posted by Godfather007 on (July 20, 2011, 16:26 GMT)

@hammond: Bradman played just 52 tests against the same set of average bowlers....now look at Sachin's stats

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 16:26 GMT)

i knw onething...INDiA is gonna win...and yeah if u think warmup match was an image of wats gonna happen in the series den u shud knw a winner always conserves his energy for the right moment...

Posted by subbass on (July 20, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

Can't wait ! Hope there is something in the lords wicket, and we can catch the Indians in bad form. but we need to win at least 2 tests to win the series, as I think India will win at least one.

Posted by SachinLara1 on (July 20, 2011, 16:09 GMT)

@ jawadsyed: your comment itself suggest that how well sachin has played....48odi tons including a double ton......yes when a player gets that many tons some might end in loss...comparing mahela with sachin is not good..i wonder when all legends say that sachin is the best player of the century why some ordinary people disagree that??/

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 16:04 GMT)

How can you compare india to Great Austrilian team or even verse Great West Indian team??? Where is malcom, Roberts, Holding, Kannai, lloyd in Indian team? Where is Shane Warne, Glean Mcgrath in Indian team! Indian team it a bit closer to Austailian team but mollions of light years far from THE GREAT WEST INDIAN TEAM!!!!! They were fit, athletic, Skillfull, and entertaining!!!! India has one great Batsman and a good (lUCKY) Captian!!! Bowlers are allmost like Current Sri Lankan team!!!! Fiedilng is worse than Sri Lanka!!!! Lest watch Tendulkar getting a hundred and India loose at Lords!!!! I wish best of luck for Tendulkar!!!!!

Posted by premd7p on (July 20, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

@jawedsyed: sachin is genius and god of cricket.......... dont compare with jayawardene....

Posted by prasanna1118 on (July 20, 2011, 15:46 GMT)

@JawadSyed I see it as Sachin won 33 games for india scoring a century but jayawardene won only 13 games for lanka .. !

Posted by xxxneilxxx on (July 20, 2011, 15:32 GMT)

India bowlers were struggling againt the weak west indies batting line up....wat r they goin to do against guys like cook trott peitersen morgan strauss bell prior!!!...2 powerful batting line up...but i think england bowling got the edge over india!

Posted by adis26 on (July 20, 2011, 15:27 GMT)

I like the hype and I hope India win it and in grand style. Having said that, England at home will be a mightly challenge without a doubt. I have seen Anderson, Broad, Swann bowling in full throttle and without a doubt, this is a serious attack. Our Indian players are no doubt a solid team but any team can easily lose to an inform bowling line-up of England. We have to be at our very best without a doubt. We have our VVS, Dravid, Laxman but they too have an inform Cook, Morgan, Trott and Strauss.....so it can easily come down to whicch bowlers bowl better if their batsmen pull-through. If English bowlers are on fire, then we have to hope our VVS, Dravids, Gambhir and Tendulkar can save the day...but if English batsmen falter - then we have a much better chance of winning it. So I'd hope that in the 4 games, they falter atleast one and that our batsmen stand tall when English are on fire...then we will win it. Can't wait for this series though..should be ablast.

Posted by 12thUmpire on (July 20, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

Can someone post a link to the test in England when India were bowled out twice in one day and were back in their hotel with one or two rest days? Thanks.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (July 20, 2011, 15:25 GMT)

England should win this serires 2-0. India's bowling cannot match England's and their batting lineups are similar in strength. The form batsman of the world is Jonathon Trott and the form opener is Alastair Cook.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 15:22 GMT)

india gonna thrash england 2-0,indian bowling will match england's on any pitch.indian batting will show the power of no.1 teamindia gonna thrash england 2-0,indian bowling will match england's on any pitch.indian batting will show the power of no.1 team

Posted by Ahsan_Shere on (July 20, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

Only Sachin 33 of his 48 ODI centuries gave his team victory fragrant....less than 70%...usually when a batsman scores a century victory is quite likely & no other than Sachin has such an ordinary record because he plays for himself. Watch IPL game in which he scored a century & his team lost just because they were all going for Sachin century & not for achieving a better total. Mahela's century in the final was the first of his centuries in which his team lose a game.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

the series ultimately will be decided on the best bowling.

going to be an epic series

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 15:12 GMT)

Hi Everyone,

Its cheap (marketing) trick by JawadSyed to get more hits to his blog. Ignore him. Just ignore him.

People talk about you only when u deny something great and give peculiar comments about it.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 20, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

Even without sehwag , if we play england in india , india can draw and even WIN it. But without sehwag and without 4+ run rate, india will struggle to bowl out England batsman. Things can change , the problem is india taking 20 wickets is gona be pretty difficult unless they have runs on the board. England can edge india in first Test. first two test , england will lead 1-0. And if sehwag did not play at all england win the series 2-0.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

Team India nowadays is no more the batting dependent team it was. We have a lethal bowling attack too. Our bowlers are the real heroes in the matches that we won abroad. Whether it is Zak, Sree , Ishanth , Praveen or Bhajji.. All have contributed well. but its a pity that none of the articles related to the historic test match ahead is mentioning them in the manner they deserve.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

india will WIN the series,, as usual MSD haters started their barking /.. as usual MSD WILL HAVE FINAL LAUGH

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 20, 2011, 15:02 GMT)

@swaroopjammula , I think you probably need to go look up the Don's stats, I beleive you will see your statement isnt factually correct as he played at least 15 games against WI, SA and India. I think you will also find that Batsmen were quickly found out technically by bowlers who used thier own observations,and knowledge rather than tv replays and analysts. Finally, equipment in the era of bradman was by far inferior of that from the modern equipment, they didnt have helmets, pressed bats that weighed the maximum, chest pads, arm guards, and gloves were at best leather with a couple of strips of leather on them.

Posted by ek_glassi_2g3gf on (July 20, 2011, 15:00 GMT)

India will have to play out of their skins to beat england in england.. and once indian batsman strike form.. then god save england.. India will lose the first test.. win the second one.. draw the third one.. and win the fourth one.. so 2-1 to india. man of the series is praveen kumar

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (July 20, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

@swaroopjammula: With respect to you, Don Bradman played in the days of uncovered pitches on grounds with far larger boundaries, with bats possessing half the power to weight ratio as now and against bowlers who could tamper with the ball with almost impunity due to the lack of cameras. He also wasn't afforded "cheap runs" against the minnows of cricket such as (with respect) Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Tendulkar's true brilliance lies in both his longevity and his excellence in all formats of cricket - an opportunity never afforded to the Don. If Tendulkar is to be compared to anyone, especially as a Test batsman, it is to his modern day peers such as Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Sehwag, Mahela and Sangakarra, along with the stars of earlier eras such as Sutcliffe, Barrington, Sobers, Hobbs, Hutton, Miandad, Chappell etc. Tendulkar is indeed a genius, but please don't use your blinkered prejudice to compare him with Bradman, who has no peer. And that is spoken as an unbiased Englishman!

Posted by timtom on (July 20, 2011, 14:48 GMT)

@JawadSyed -- Well Mahela scored a century on WC 2011 final...What happened ? Forgot so fast !!!! he has been playing at 3,4 position in test/odi all thru career still averages only just above 33 in ODI.. Even dravid averages 39.7 in ODI at same strike rate as Mahela..His 12 centuries have come in winning cause..what about 200 low scores compensated for losing...

Posted by SRT_thebest on (July 20, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

@Duece03 I never said tendulkar was better than bradman or vice versa and if you do some research you may find that bradman never fared well against larwood. Also you forgot an important thing Don Bradman did not farewell against spinners while tendulkar does not have that big a problem facing qiucks. I agree that SRT did not face the 1980's greats. But no can disagree that sacin tendulkar is under more pressure while he is playiong any given match be it for any team. I don't think Sir Don Bradman may have ever faced such pressure

Posted by swarzi on (July 20, 2011, 14:34 GMT)

Mr Miller, your statement implying that if Tendulkar scores 1 hundred100s would be 'arguably the most incredible achievement in one of the greatest sporting careers of them all', is 'the golden exaggeration' of sporting analyses of all time! Don't even go into any of the other sporting disciplines where there is simply no comparison whatsoever, in terms of 'awesome' records. Remember that Tendulkar has played many more matches than anyone! And after batting in 630 innings already (plus how many more to come), scoring just 1 hundred 100s is just the 'OBVIOUS'. What is awesome here is merely his longevity! Many other cricketers records show that if they were "allowed" to go on as long as he has they could/would have done better. Bradman batted in 80 innings and scored 29 (100s) at an average of 99.9, AWESOME! Brian Lara made 500* and 400*, AWESOME! And their records show that if they had played as long as him they could/would made more than 1 hundred 100s. Lords 7 tries no 100, AWESOME!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

Folks -

Sachin is a great batsmen of our generation - period. Greatest batsmen ever - difficult to judge (he will count of the Top 5/10 at most) Let us be realistic today you get better willows and helmets, bouncer limitations and not to mention friendly/ docile pitches for 70-80% matches (it was sad to see the state of West Indian pitches). Good batting sides take score 4-5 runs/ over at will.

Great batsmen have endured most testing conditions - Bradman, Hobbs, Gary Sobers, ViV Richards, Sunny Gavaskar to name a few. there are fewer menacing bowlers todays - who have pace with tremendous accuracy. Any videos of 75-76 Aus/ WI series or WI bowlers will give you an idea.

Don't get me wrong here -just saying Sachin is one of the best (and not the greatest) ..... cheers

Posted by atuljain1969 on (July 20, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

As far as I am concerned, Sehwag is the key player and India will miss him dearly. Just have a look at WI series, Indian openers against very medicore bowling failed to build a partnership and total India score could hardly reach 300 in all the innings. On the other hand the scoring rate has been very low so much so that last test match could not be won despite with an asking rate of below 4 runs.

Both of the above factors point to a very disastrous series for India unless some of our great Batsmen -- Dravid/Laxman/Sachin are able to take India past a score of 350-400, reqd. to give a fighting chance to win.

Posted by BharatKaSher on (July 20, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

@JawadSyed you may be good statistician.However u forgot 1 very important thing Tendulkar brings to the Indian team and that is BELIEF. Compare the Indian teams & winning % that played in the early 80s with those that had Sachin in them.His explosive batting gave India belief that 'Yes we can take on anybody in cricket' and that paved way to many explosive batting statwarts like Saurav, Viru, Dhoni, Yuvraj etc (the list is endless). It is the belief he puts in each and every Indian when he goes out to play that matters and that is what makes all his innings count.U may argue that he does not play in crunch situations which is totally wrong, remember the hero cup final over he bowled, the desert storm inngs,Chennai test in 2009 against Eng, and many many more , so don't try to put Tendulkar's achievements only in percentagewise perspective..there is something more to him and that is the BELIEF & INSPIRATION he gives to millions of Indians.Sachin is the greatest.God Bless.Jai Hind !

Posted by k.hameed on (July 20, 2011, 14:02 GMT)

The bubble is going to burst.....In English conditions England is a much better team, they don't have any weaknesses as far as the Test matches are concerned, Indian fielding and bowling is weak.

Posted by Ulitmate_stars on (July 20, 2011, 14:01 GMT)

To all who say That Don is better than sachin... Just say, If Bradman would have faced bowlers like Ambrose,Walsh,Wasim Akram,Shoiab,Bret lee,Waqar younis,Glenn Mc Grath, shane Warne,Dale Steyn,muralitharan (just to mention a few) during his time. I Doubt.Also Bradmans most of his runs was scored against one single opponent England. How Many pressure events or Tournaments did those days have (except for Ashes). If Bradman would have scored runs against all cricket playing countries, facing all the world class bowlers and add to that the expectation of a billion people then he would have been one of the Best. Hence Sachin Tendulkar stands far ahead than Sir Donald Bradman.

Posted by swaroopjammula on (July 20, 2011, 13:59 GMT)

@ JawadSyed : once see the matches which India lost after sachin's century the one against south africa in wc India slipped down from 269 for 2 to 296 allout in which there is no mistake of sachin's . India lost against aus 2 years back chasing more than 350 when sachin made 175 of those where we can not blame the master

Posted by guntur on (July 20, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

Bradman was great but he played in only two countries. He did not travel to any country besides England. If Tendulkar were to play only in India and Bangladesh, his average would be more than one hundred. Part of the difficulty for the modern players is traveling Bradman of course was great but his records and aveages were hyped because of the restriction to England and Australia Players of his era like Hutton and Compton for example travelled to South Africa and West Indies where the climate, food and culture were entirely different and Bradman did not have to face it Let us give blame where it is due . Bradman would be less great if he were to play in more countries and go through the travails of traveling in other countries

Posted by couchpundit on (July 20, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

Honestly..my take is... India will struggle first 2 tests(which they always do)... Sehwag will hopefully come back on 3rd Test and will turn the tide.

Sachin will implode under his own pressure of scoring a 100th century in Lords...so dont expect anything form him. And dont beleive the commentators who will swear to god that Sachin got out of Peach of a delivery.

Posted by Umair111 on (July 20, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

Andrew Miller,totally agree with you that it is the biggest series since"Ashes 2005" in UK.Though the AU opening & bowling was stronger than "India's".Sachin player of his calibre MUST open the batting & negate the new ball which he has done in past.It will take the pressure off "Gambhir",forget Mukund.The real Ind batting starts from No.3.Sir Sachin Tendulkar is a player who can negate the new ball in cloudy/swing conditions in UK in the absence of "Virender Sehwag".Sehwag not playing in Lords,London is a big loss for "Ind"...Best of Luck to "Sachin" for 100 th Test Century at Lords,London UK.Hopefully the typical RAINY English weather stay away so there is cricket.

Posted by swaroopjammula on (July 20, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

@ JawadSyed: where is the analysis in you blog? is that the anlysis? except for one or two instances show me one place where sachin's strike rate has costed us the game? on all the losing counts sachin's strike rate is between 85 and 110? so how could anyone say that sachin plays for records?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

@JawadSyed

Mahela Jayawerdena's century against india in the finals did not bring ski lanka to victory! so don't make up stats! the highest percent win per century is by adam gilcrist at 94-95%. if ur so jaalous of india, than deal with it! Sachin is the greatest batsman ever in the history of the game!

Posted by couchpundit on (July 20, 2011, 13:43 GMT)

Check with South African's when they were humbled in Kings mead...none of the English pitches can matchit.

This series will be decided on the basis of who is the best batting side. Indian Seamers can be double the English bowlers in Friendly conditions.

Posted by ambujkumar on (July 20, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

i think England will see many records being set by India in this test series. England can only pray for delay in recovery of Virendra Sehwag.:p

Posted by swaroopjammula on (July 20, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

@Trioboy: with due respect to don don played his games only against england and that too in a age where no technical defects of batsmen can be exploited by bowlers

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:37 GMT)

@JawadSyed........True contribution is also when a player gives a stand alone performance while the chips are down & in which case doesn't matter if the team loses or wins. Go watch Sachin 's 175 against Aus and that too while chasing!!! If your Mahila Jaya has ever matched half as much as the class shown by the master then let me know......I will be your disciple!!!!

Posted by swaroopjammula on (July 20, 2011, 13:36 GMT)

@JawadSyed: oh if that is the case look at sachin's average when India won is 57.05 and jayawardene average when sl won is 42.40 with much more number of runs and games and the stability is maintained.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (July 20, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

@jawad: You are also wrong in that Mahela scored a century against India in the WC 2011 finals and they lost. Further he has 15 ODI centuries, of which 3 of them are against Africa XI, Canada, and Bangladesh. He has no centuries against AUS (the best team) and SA. Compare apples to apples . If you have to compare SRT with anyone then it should be against the greats like Pointing, Lara, Kallis etc.

Posted by NBRADEE on (July 20, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

HOW COME NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT THIS IS SACHIN'S LAST TOUR OF ENGLAND??? No matter if they win the series, the big loser will be India, who for too long have depended on the same middle order and bowlers to be competitive! Judging by some of the comments made here by pro-India fans, and even in the context of the article many believe that Sachin Tendulkar will play forever, as well as Rahul Dravid (for whom selection at this level came thru a dropped catch in Barbados), VVS, et al. MS Dhoni has to score runs in different circumstances on this tour, otherwise he will be a notch back from Ganguly who could lead and score runs, too!

Posted by ashokagrawal on (July 20, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

@Jawadsyed check your stats again. If my memory is not losing me mahela's century in world cup final was for a losing cause and also the one in the recent england series. So I don't trust ur stats.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

@ jawadsyed,Mahela has scored a ODI century in world cup finals and Srilanka lost..don't dare to compare anyone with Sachin

Posted by ashokagrawal on (July 20, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

@Jawad check your stats about Jayawerdena. If I am not wrong he made a century in the world cup final and was on the losing side, also his century in the recent england series was in a losing cause. So have ur stats right before commenting.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

@JawadSyed: First things first, I am pretty sure Mahela scored a hundred in the WC final early this year and pretty sure SL didnt win that :p As for centuries in wins - I am sure that the significantly lower average and fewer centuries of Jayawardene in ODIs than Sachin is something you have overlooked carelessly - C'mon comparing winnings in 48 centuries to that in 13 is pure folly. Also, when ppl at No 4 hit centuries, as Mahela has mostly done, it means innings ended well and teams generally win. But Sachin played as opener so your comparison is pointless and I dont need to visit your blog to see that.

Posted by Raj117 on (July 20, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

@ JawadSyed - We don't really need analysis of Tendulkar, his record speaks for him. Your cricket memory seems to be very short as Mahela Jayawardena scored a century in the world cup final against India and we all know who is the CHAMPION!! So your statement is wrong, "Mahela Jayawerdena has scored 13 ODI centuries and Srilanka has won all 13 matches."

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:22 GMT)

@JawadSyed : What about WC final? Mahela scored a hundred and we know the result. Dont bluff here

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

@Jawadsyed, Jayawerdana scored 100 in world-cup final too but Sri-Lanka lost it, that doesn't mean it wasn't a true contribution, it was an amazing innings. As far as Sachin is concerned, he is the best........

Posted by crickticks on (July 20, 2011, 13:16 GMT)

Agreed Don played @ uncovered turfs , no head gear etc...and the most lethal delivery he might have faced was the bouncer !!

These days bowlers are improvising by the day with lethal deliveries like Yorkers , Reverse swing , Doosra , carrom ball which i dont think were existing then .

Plus see the amount of ODI games sach has played as well !! Its toiling on the body and he is fighting on ...

so yes both are greats and comparison should be avoided

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

@jawedsyed:never ever question tendulkar s ability by showing by statistics...what about all those matches which india won when tendukar out in the 90 s and 80 s...!!remember..its sachin Tendulkar you are talking about!

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (July 20, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

@jwad syed-- make it 13 out of 14 for mahela ;)

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (July 20, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

@Jawad: Yes you are correct when u look at the numbers only. I guess math is not your strong point. Let me break it down for you in a way it should be done. 77% of SRT's centuries have resulted in win against AUSSIES in ODI's, 60% against SA, 75% against WI, 62.5% against SL, 100% against NZ, and 20% againt PAK. I am not even including Namibia, Kenya and ZIM for obvious reasons. It's not his fault that India played agianst them. What this says is Indias chances of wiining against the top teams, except PAK, is >= 60% everytime SRT hits century. Against Eng he hit two centuries which resultsed in a tie and No result. Against PAK he has hit 5 centuries only one resulted in victory. It's easy to mislead with numbers alone, if one doesn't know what to do with them.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 13:05 GMT)

It is unfair to put pressure on Tendulkar to get his century at the Lords. If it happens it happens. I am sure he wants it .... but putting pressure on him is unfair. There are several factors involved, pitch, bowling, partnership, weather, etc.etc. So let him go out there and wish him well....

Posted by ashes61 on (July 20, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

Why, oh why, does every thread here end up with the worship of Tendulkar or comparisons between him & Bradman? But since this one has too ...

If SRT is repeatedly claimed the greatest bat of all time, you can't defend his inferior stats to Bradman by saying one mustn't compare players from different eras. One or the other! And PLEASE dismiss from your mind this idea that things were much "gentler" in Bradman's day or that his lack of experience in S Africa, India or the Carribean somehow limits his record. These were all below par outposts then, compared with Eng as opponents - sorry, but true. DGB wasn't good on wet or sticky wickets but actually played on very few in big matches. But he was still a master on Eng greentops. Have you not seen what he did on uncovered strips at Worcester in May within days of disembarking - all 4 times? The bowlers of today are "better than those of Bradman's time?" Who says so? I'd like to see DRS face Tate, Bowes, Larwood, Voce, Bedser or Verity!

Posted by ashankar on (July 20, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

People, dont compare Sachin and Don Bradman. They're from different era. Has ever Don played on spinning tracks that would buckle up foreign players (if it sounds kiddish then some people asking has Sachin played on uncovered wkts is Rubbish) forget Don even Ricky does not hold good for spin wkts. Only one man who matches up to Sachin is the other Master BC LARA. no one else.

Posted by sudharshan3105 on (July 20, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

@JawadSyed: Please find below the % (Player of the Match / Total matches played). Amongst all the one-day international players who have played so far, Tendulkar stands third after Viv Richards and Gordon Greendige. Note that I've included only the top ten, so all the names that you do not see in the list figure further down. This speaks volumes of the performance of Tendulkar:

Name One day 'Player of the match' Top Internationals awards ten played % IVA Richards (WI) 187 31 16.6 CG Greenidge (WI) 128 20 15.6 SR Tendulkar (India) 453 62 13.7 MD Crowe (NZ) 143 19 13.3 Saeed Anwar (Pak) 247 28 11.3 NJ Astle (NZ) 223 25 11.2 L Klusener (SA) 171 19 11.1 GR Marsh (Aus) 117 13 11.1 ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL) 445 48 10.8

Posted by Tatsache on (July 20, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

Lol come on guys u shuold not compare one indian with other indian..thats is also,two big legends ....

Posted by westbars_spireite on (July 20, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

I think England have the edge in both bowling and batting in home conditions.

Posted by msnarain13 on (July 20, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

@JawadSyed let's not forget Mahela's 100 in the World Cup final...how'd that turn out?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

nice stats jwadsyed.........so the issue is how many odi's india win in which srt scored centuries......viz 33..........these are far better den punter's 26,sanath's 24.....and other thing is if a team lose in defending a total den a batsman who scored a cent is cant do anything ab8 it, its all bowlers fault .........which happens like in dis wc........and bring more if u have more doubt ab8 tha game..........

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (July 20, 2011, 12:52 GMT)

@JawadSyed , yes perfectly said. See Mahela's 100 in the recent WC final...er....

Posted by Tatsache on (July 20, 2011, 12:52 GMT)

We are indians,we have to proud that Indian guy(SRT) at england soil he's getting great apportunity to make 100th test ton in 2000th test match,and we are typical indians making negetive comment and criticise about Indian guy(SRT) for deliverying such a good impression about our county and Indian cricket,....Its rediculos and strange....!talk about good whom you like...dont talk about whom you doesn't like..!because you dont know him...

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:50 GMT)

Why exclude LBW from the DRS? In an age of advanced technology one would expect all teams to want unrestricted review - especially when umpires, who enjoy an unreasonable degree of sacrosanctness (no one dares question a decision!), too often seem to be lacking visual acuity. The recent India tour of the West Indies offers proof - certain umpiring goofs proved pivotal. And what is ironic is that the team that does not believe in the technology is the one involved in so many frivolous appeals! I hope the international overseers of the game will take note.

Posted by avis1001 on (July 20, 2011, 12:49 GMT)

@JawadSyed -- Your statistics about Jayavardhane are below http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/49289.html From what I see is that after 13 centuries, Srilanka started loosing, specifically against India in the world cup final match. Now he has 15 centuries and 2 losses. So, things start falling out with more centuries and obviously if he can do 50 centuries, which I think not easy, Srilanka may win in only half of the matches.

Posted by vparisa on (July 20, 2011, 12:44 GMT)

@Hammond, just because you are making points, Bradman scored all the runs against England where Tendulkar scored centuries in all 10 Test playing countries. Bradman did not have to play ODI cricket where Tendulkar scored nearly 50 centuries. The list can keep going on and on. That said Bradman is a great batsmen who is the best of his era..thats about it!! Never had to play 365 days!!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

@JawadSyed: You believe whatever you want to believe, you are entitled to that. The very fact that Mahela's ODI century in WC2011 Final went to a lost cause and your ability to note that fact in the statements you made, does not give you credibility anymore. There are many a times Tendulkar got out less than 100, but still proved to be a match winner. 48 centuries is just a number. Just relax... btw, Mahela is a good player which anyside would pick in a heartbeat.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

@tiger11 I didn't state that Sachin is better than Don,when somebody else did the same,I asked him to weigh the facts on both sides! @Prash Smith I do agree with you. @Kedur The first line of my comment was what u said,not to compare Don and Sachin!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

@JawadSyed: well said.. sachin is not at all a match winner.

Posted by Deuce03 on (July 20, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

@SRTTheBest - Harold Larwood, Bill Voce, Learie Constantine? The argument goes both ways. Tendulkar played against weaker fast bowlers than the generation before him - he never faced up against any of the WI pace quartet, Lillee and Thomson, Botham or Willis. Not to mention that he's playing with helmet, heavier bat, covered pitches, front-foot bowling, field and bouncer restrictions, and so on.

Posted by gauravgairola on (July 20, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

JawadSyed-mahela scored century in world cup final n sri lanka lost.and cricket is team game .only thing a batsman can do is score century with good strike rate ,which sachin does all the times .in world cup sachin scored two 100's with strike rate more than 100.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:34 GMT)

@jawadsyed oh really? Improve your cricket knowledge mahela scored century in world cup final and srilanka lost the game

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:34 GMT)

YUVRAJ IN PLACE OF MUKUND

Posted by kingscorpio on (July 20, 2011, 12:32 GMT)

When people compare Don and Sachin I feel it's like comparing apples and oranges.They are both from two different eras.Period.No one could know how these two greats would have fared if we switched their eras.Could Sachin have scored these many centuries without protective gear playing on uncovered wickets?May be, may be not!Could Don have had an avg of 99 had he been playing in this era of constant format change (one days and tests) and with all the technology trying to find a batsmens weakness.May be,may be not!One common thing they have is adaptability,a trait that makes them both legends. A question for all the people who say that Don is definitely better than Sachin - How much pressure was Don under everytime he went to bat??And Sachin, for the best part of his 20+ year career was constantly under pressure(of a billion people).And achieving what he has is no easy feat.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

@jawadsyed.........dude...srilanka lost the world cup final.....i mean come on...you forgot that?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

@ JawadSyed- I am Pakistani too and very disappointed by your research. In recent world cup Final match Jayawerdena made a century and Sri Lanka lost the final.

Posted by mils2211 on (July 20, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

@JawadSyed 4 of Jayawardene's 15 centuries are against minnows and really? 15 vs. 48? any comparison

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:25 GMT)

i think sachin has purposefully skipped the west indies tour, to score his 100 test century in lords or in the test series against england

Posted by yorkermania on (July 20, 2011, 12:25 GMT)

for a man who has scored over 12000 test runs(60 50s and 32 100s) and over 10000 ODI runs(82 50s and 12 100s), it is depressing to see people wanting dravid to PROVE himself...all over again! WHAT MORE DO U WANT?

Posted by mils2211 on (July 20, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

English bowling has never been good, if Bradman played South African(Currently the best) bowling attack against which Tendulkar scored a double in 50 overs or against the likes of aussies (175).....he would average somewhere around 35

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:18 GMT)

@'JawadSyed' for your kind information Mahela Jaywardhne scored a century in the final of world cup 2011..and India won it....and one more thing he has scored 15 ODI centuries..think before what you are commenting and comparing 2 cricketers..

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

Viv Richards was a greater matchwinner than Tendulkar who is more an accumulator than an exciting batsman to watch.

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (July 20, 2011, 12:09 GMT)

Regarding the comparison of Jayawardene vs Tendulkar. Important to remember cricket is a team sport; a batsman may well score a century, but to win the bowlers in the team need to do well to win. These one on one comparisons are to be taken in that spirit. Jayawardene scored a century in the World Cup final, but it did not help his team. The bowlers could not contain Indian batsmen .. underscores the point that cricket is a team sport

Posted by JawadSyed on (July 20, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

Mahela Jayawerdena has scored 13 ODI centuries and Srilanka has won all 13 matches. Tendulkar has 48 ODI centuries out of which India won in 33 and lost in 13 while 9 of the 33 wins were against Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Read my detailed analysis of Tendulkar's centuries @ cricblogger.wordpress.com

I believe true contribution by a player is when he performs in crunch situations and his team wins.

Posted by Kedur on (July 20, 2011, 11:24 GMT)

@ Anil, LBW's were around even when Bradman played his first test match..ironically he was out LBW in his first innings! No two players should be compared as its a insult to both of them and the game at large. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62562.html

Posted by Hammond on (July 20, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

Why did the Bradman vs Tendulkar stuff start again? Tendulkar has never played on an uncovered wicket, and has always played in a helmet. Bradman scored a century every second time he went out to bat, in Sheffield Shield cricket, Test cricket, and first class cricket. If Sachin has done that in any form of cricket then let's compare. If not, then let's just say Tendulkar is one of the best of his own era, and get on with talking about the current series.

Posted by muski on (July 20, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

First 2 days of the first test- Eng on top pretty much like the Windies did in the recenttour. Once our batsmen get handle of the things, its going to be a different story. 1-1 drawn series guys. Mark my words

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

"India have not lost at home or away in five series since Rahul Dravid first appeared on the scene in 1996" - Take that for a statistics.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 10:56 GMT)

"Any movement means Indian bowlers can match up to their English counterparts"

I doubt that completely,id say the less movement the more chance the Indians have..in the last series Anderson was deadly when there was movement and bounce.

Also the Indian batting line up is way overrated by all the die hard fans,I mean they are fantastic,but the English line up are just as good if not better in some regards. Everyone says the Somerset game was just a "warmup" game or whatever,but no batsmen gives his wicket away or doesn't try to have a great innings to improve confidence before a big test.

As a saffer all I would like to see is some top quality cricket from 2 top quality sides- I'm gonna go for England though :)

Posted by stormy16 on (July 20, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

This is without a doubt one of the best match up's and worth all the hype and its a real shame Sewag will miss the start as he is such an important part of the team. I am not sure if the author is trying to place this Indian side alongside the Windies and Aus as that would be a huge mistake - those great team won everywhere and rarely drew a series. There will be some great contests here and the English bowlers against the Indian batting will be a major highlight. Zak against the English top order is another. I hope the rain stays away and also brings in the two great spinners in the sides in to play in the series.

Posted by T.R.GHANCHI on (July 20, 2011, 10:37 GMT)

GO England! Show Indians their worth! :)

Posted by JawadSyed on (July 20, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Sachin centuries have mostly been on the loosers side. Why does India loose when Sachin scores a century. Read my detail analysis at www.cricblogger.wordpress.com

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 10:35 GMT)

@Anil Kanduri. The Don played on uncovered wickets. Which of course means the ball would do all sorts of things, plus in the 1930s and late 40s, there was more variety of bowler. Plenty of high quality spinners. Wickets were not flat tracks as they are now. The Don faced Larwood,Voce and several other quicks with little body and face protection. When it rains here in England the covers go on, a bit of moisture on the pitch. The batsman come out to play and then guess what happens? they stuggle a the ball zips around a bit. Back in the days before uncovered pitched, they managed much better because they had better techniques.

Posted by din7 on (July 20, 2011, 10:31 GMT)

here's some1 called anil khanduri, who says sachin is better than don bradman and giving laughy excuses for that. i m huge fan of sachin, bue i don't rate him higher than bradman. No way! he's talking about same opposition, tv replays and all that. At that time there were no helmets or other protective gear. and bradman has average of 99. let tendlya alone play with same opp, on same ground 52tests will he maintain a average of 99 never! and without protective gear not even 40s. Thats the truth!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 10:27 GMT)

@pirki, what r u on about, your comments confirm you dont follow indian cricket. India was very very unlucky to draw the series with SA. SA were on the ropes in the 3rd test and only wagging SA tail added 80 odd runs to confirm the fate on the 4th day post tea session. The result of the series should've been 2-1 to indian in SA.To put it in context SA with their best ever bowling attack and best ever batting line up and playin in SA. Yes some thing to be proud of.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

Sachin will score his 100th century and along with Rahul Dravid steerIndia to a series victory. All the best Team India.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas All the people who feel SACHIN SCORES IN LOOSING CAUSES,please CHECK OUR BOWLING CARDS in those matches!Dravid,VVS or anybody in the world can score a ton in winning cause IF AND ONLY IF HIS TEAM'S BOWLERS PICK 20 OPPOSITION WICKETS!!!WHAT CAN SACHIN DO IF BOWLERS COULDN'T DELIVER??!! I wont ask u "WHATS DRAVID DOING WHEN SACHIN SCORES SO CALLED 'SELFISH TONS' ",because I KNOW THAT CRICKET IS A TEAM GAME and one Sachin can't win u everything. If 11 Sachins play,then u can blame him for loosing. And coming to the Dravid's 112 Vs WI, what if Praveen and Ishant didn't bowl well and WI chased down the target?? Would you then say,Dravid is selfish?? Dravid's ton came in a winning cause purely 'coz of our bowler's performance,of course he played well too. Some of Sachin's 100s might have come in loosing cause simply 'coz our bowlers didn't bowl that well.Personally,I'm a die hard fan of Sachin,but no disrespect for Dravid at all.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

@Trioboy It is not so wise to compare Don to Sachin 'coz there have been plenty of changes in cricket,if u still like to compare,consider facts.Bradman played 52 tests in 20 years,against most familiar oppositions and bowlers on same grounds,where cricket was truly gentle,the opposition is very friendly,no lbws!not so great fielding and no TV replays!Now,Sachin played on numerous grounds,against three generations of hostile bowlers with lbws on(he was out lbw more than anybody else),TV replays on,most competitive opponents and brilliant fielding sides.Add the 453 odis to his 177 tests!His record is impeccable.

Posted by AvidFanDownUnder on (July 20, 2011, 9:52 GMT)

I think it's a forgone conclusion - Tendulkar will definitely reach a century (if not in this test definitely this series) and I doubt many will begrudge him that honour - he has done so much for the game and is truly one of the legends. Thanks for the memories.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 9:45 GMT)

too much is made out of the the somerset match by some.. there are 2 things to remember however: 1) India are slow starters, they fight their way back into a series or a match, and most of their key players had not had match practice or were not playing 2) it was a crucial toss for somerset to win in a flat track, in which they kept batting for ever apparently. India' s successes recently, which has caused many to pull their hair out of jealousy, have come as the team has been seizing key moments consistently. I hope this series to be no different. And those of us who think ICC ranking systems are flawed because India is number 1, may I request a ponder on the fact that is it is the same ICC that adjudged Bradman as the all time great. So, let us decide if the ICC's systems as such are flawed or is it only flawed because India is number 1 ?

Posted by Wacco on (July 20, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

India will struggle to cross 300 as they did in WI. 3-0 in favour of ENG easily, unless rain saves them.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

it will be a great contest.

Posted by sharidas on (July 20, 2011, 9:22 GMT)

I have a hunch that Mukund will make a hundred in the First Test starting at Lords on 21.07.2011.and If Praveen is playing he will be among the wickets.

Posted by Horn.OK.Please on (July 20, 2011, 9:11 GMT)

The picture is surreal. When was the last time we saw someone wrap their arms around Sachin? I don't remember seeing even Dravid or Laxman do that in recent times. In any case, speaking about the game, the only way England can manage to win is if they plan to blunt the Indian bowling attack with a flat track. Any movement means Indian bowlers can match up to their English counterparts and then Indian batting will take the team through.

Posted by SudharsanVM on (July 20, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

For all the hype going around, i think its going to be 1-1. First match ENG will win or it will be a draw. One high scoring draw will be there. One rain affected match will be there. and Another Match, India wins. Going to be a dead rubber

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 8:52 GMT)

Weird title. How do we know the contest will be equal to the hype before the contest has actually happened? Isn't that the definition of hype?

Posted by petz on (July 20, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

Am a die hard Indian as well as Sachin fan ,With all respect to Sachin ,may b his fans giving importance to him than to India.He is a legend no doubt about that......but mostly India's victory is over shadowed by his victory.so first we have to debate on India's performance than Sachins century 's century ...............

Posted by Ramesh_Joseph on (July 20, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

I think India should try to draw the Lords Test. Two reasons-one, India traditionally play badly in the first test of any away series and two India's record at Lords has been very poor (15 defeats, one win). If India manages to draw the Lords Test, they definitely can win the series.

Posted by SRT_thebest on (July 20, 2011, 8:40 GMT)

I agree with trioboy tha SRT may not have an average of 99.94 nor has he scored a triple hundred and other such things u mentioned. But I want to know one world class bowler of that era whom we could compare with today's greats or the greats from the 1980's westindian team

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 8:39 GMT)

I see the Indian trolls are at it again, trolling this board and spouting absolute garbage...tendulkar is god, dhoni is god, zaheer is god, India will win 4-0....blah blah blah....Honestly, what planet are some of you living on?....Or is it simply the rhetoric of acne-ridden adolescents who really haven't a clue about cricket?....Sorry if I've offended anyone, but the quality of posts on this board is dreadful!........Right, lets face facts, India ARE a good if somewhat aging team, but they face the prospect of facing a very strong England team in English conditions, and make no mistake, this England team is unrecognisable from the team of 4 years ago...Englands seam & spin attack is superior to India's and from where I'm sitting, they will sort out India's much vaunted top & middle order...I CAN though see an English batting collapse happen though at the hands of Zaheer & possibly Harbajhan at least once in the series, thus England to win 2-1 or 3-1

Posted by Sukumar_Kantri on (July 20, 2011, 7:52 GMT)

Whether Sachin,Laxman & Rahul make centuries at Lords or not, India will either win or draw the game. Zak gonna rock the Eng line up along with Ishant,Praveen & Bhajji. The most formidable Indian batting line up will score the needed and prove the Eng team , IND would be toughest side to beat. Mr Cool MSD's captaincy is an asset. Mukund and Gauti gonna sparkle with thier knocks. This will happen.

Posted by VSDADV on (July 20, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

To my good friend Trioboy - Cannot compare greats of different era, but cannot belittle Sachin as well.. Look at how many of Brandma's centuries have come up with other countries other than England and also look at the venues Brandman has played and scored at. Look at the amount of cricket Sachin has played including the one day international and T20's. The amount of runs scored consistently in all formats of the game and against all opposition and venues is what counts and not the average or the highest individual scores. Yes averages and individual scores adds color to once career, but that is not all..

Posted by rajnish.sinha on (July 20, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

everyone here seems to believe that england holds the advantage in bowling. just how?? is Anderson better than Zahir? is Tremlett in current form better than Ishant in current form? is Broad performing better than how PK/Sree/Munaf can perform or you think Swann is a Muralitharaan to whom Bhajji is not a match?? In fact i think if Strauss is in form then English batting is superior to India as they clearly hold advantage over Mukund, may be Raina and even Dravid of recent years. For the English if Strauss fires than its an amazing top6 where all 6 are either very capable like Pietersen and Strauss or in an amazing run of form like Cook, Bell, Trott and Morgan. No7 seems to be evenly matched. Good luck India, after a long time in current form you are facing a superior side on paper. May you still win 4-0

Posted by Tatsache on (July 20, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

Sachin told he will not play for record,but sure he will try to get century for his fans,because his fans will love that :)....all indian will proud sure..!

Posted by Vilander on (July 20, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

Ind would have to do exceedingly well to clinch this series which i hope they do,but i am afraid they are a bit too old to do that. I think the indian decline would probably start from here, Eng surely look the next No 1.

Posted by ek_glassi_2g3gf on (July 20, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

so much talk about sachin explains so much.. have people spoken about any other cricketer as much? so.. chill. please do not put any pressure on him for the 100th hundred.. he also knows that its a landmark.. rather it puts pressure on us also as we expect him to score 100 in every innings he bats. it takes a toll on my mental peace man.. i get stressed out when people talk so much about his 100th hundred.. i cant take it.. if it doesnt happen this match or this series, can we take back from the respect he has won over so many years, no! right? then, relax and let the game begin

Posted by Tatsache on (July 20, 2011, 7:32 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas..come on man dravid also legend,we know that,so means you dont have to criticise others,cricket is team game,its showing jeolusy dude,

Posted by McGorium on (July 20, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

@The_Dynamite_Kid: let us, for once, buy your arguemnt that dravid is, in fact, a passenger in the Indian team. Who is the heir-apparent? Whom would you replace him with? Yuvraj Singh, who is a lousy #6, let alone #3 who has to face a new ball ever other time? Virat Kohli, who couldn't score against the very WI side you dismiss as being minnows? Pujara, who apart from his Aus success under home conditions, has nothing to show for (he's injured anyway, but let's ignore that). M. Vijay, who wasn't even picked in the 15? Or Badrinath (ditto)? The fact is, Dravid's semi-indifferent form notwithstanding, India has no replacement who has shown the potential to be the next #3... Dravid, like Ganguly, came to test cricket with a near hundred at Lords. I highly doubt that the likes of Pujara or Kohli are in the same league. Dravid might've been dropped a while ago had someone shown the potential to take his place...

Posted by pirki on (July 20, 2011, 7:17 GMT)

Well I see lots people are proud that INDIA drawn the series in south africa, they should feel ashamed that WORLD NO 1 did not win by 3-0, rather SA fans feel proud that their team drawn the series. Now the aging stars are only after personal RECORDS. the only members of the team who play for the country are ZAHEER, SEHWAG and LAXMAN. now the main target of other indian GREEDY stars is money, I will be very HAPPY if SACHIN gets 4 handreds (a hundred in each test), you will see INDIA WILL BE WHITEWASHED 4-0 even. beacuse always their GOD's centuries are for loosing cause...........................................

Posted by Shera on (July 20, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

@trioboy .... he surely is a GOD. oh u say he dont have a triple century yet ... Many players have triple centuries its a not a big deal but does any1 on this earth have de balls top score a DOUBLE CENTURY in ODI. 99 international centuries, around 150 wickets in ODI, wat else u need .. high time you need to start worshipping him mate ..

my prediction for the series is 2 - 1 to INDIA .... GO INDIA GO ... !!!

Posted by ListenToMe on (July 20, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

For the first test, the results are easily predictable: Eng will win easily. India's batting will need some time to adjust and India's bowling is poor compared to England's. I expect the series to be either 2-1 or 2-0. It is for sure that India will lose 2 tests.

Posted by RageshPMenon on (July 20, 2011, 6:53 GMT)

OHH sorry Trioboy...This is modern day cricket..u r comparing sachin's average with sir Bradman. At this era it is difficult to score runs buddy...lots of changes and lots of rules...still sachin's average this year is 80..so dont compare that average with Don's average.both are legends in different era and different class.

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (July 20, 2011, 6:52 GMT)

Rohit A, I don't think I've heard anyone, let alone "most people" suggest that India has bought its success. You can do that in a football club, but not a national cricket team. People might be concerned about how India's cricketing wealth is influencing the direction of the game but I don't think anyone believes that India's on field success has anything to do with wealth. It is purely down to the skills of the players. Sure if you cricket board is really short of money, like Bangladesh for example, your cricket will suffer, but the difference between Rich and Very Rich makes no difference at all to the team.

Posted by Flat_Track_bullies on (July 20, 2011, 6:49 GMT)

@Trioboy Your knowledge of cricket is questionable!

Posted by oj..cricfan on (July 20, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

Brilliantly written!! Fair and Balanced, enjoyed reading it. Liked the statement "The financial might of the BCCI is nowadays matched, in no uncertain terms, by an intimidatory on-field clout."

Posted by chokkashokka on (July 20, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

Humourous - Trott has a test average higher than Tendulkar - in all his 21 test mind you. This was a classic. And the follow-up of Petersen and Bell in form against the mighty Sri Lankans - exquisite form at that. I suppose you can convince yourself of anything - but thats is funny. More comparisons like that - we want more.

Posted by Siva-The-Human on (July 20, 2011, 6:30 GMT)

Hi Guys! After end this series, I think abinav mukund will be the new star.

Posted by rockz.andy on (July 20, 2011, 6:27 GMT)

the Movie prestige Robert Angier: My passion is equal to the task Andrew Miller:nicely modified :))) Christopher Nolan is good and hope you'll be better

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 6:27 GMT)

Change the caption my friends..Stuard Broad & Grame Swann is there..Not Graeme Smith..

Posted by The_Dynamite_Kid on (July 20, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas: Would love to see you here after Dravid once again miserably flops in a tough series just like he has been since Mid 2006. This isn't a second grade team he's playing against in Indian conditions. We all remember how well he did in the recent tour to South Africa where India needed his experiance, and he returned the favor with a series average of 20. Tougher conditions, better attacks and India is better off playing with 10 players rather than carrying a passenger in Dravid. Now of cource he had been making merry against second grade attacks lately like the series against New Zealand in India or the recent series against the modern day minnow West Indies. That's how he has been selfishly sticking with the team since the last 5 years depriving India of a better batsman, by flopping miserably against all others bar below par attacks mostly at home.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

Dravid return to where it all began. Testing time for Dravid. in 2007 England tour Dravid shined in captain but not in bat. so its the time to prove his ability. hope he'll.

Posted by Marcio on (July 20, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

I'm not convinced, @Trioboy. Bradman only averaged 43 runs an innings more than Sachin, so it's too close to call. ;-)

Posted by shyfudeen on (July 20, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

India will really miss Sehwag here. Lets see Tendulkar performance under pressure, even he already said not concentrating in his records.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 6:16 GMT)

tough clash..bt u mmust say battin s d key...both balanced bt only thing india ahead of them s captaincy....don wry if dhoni s there...

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 6:10 GMT)

@trioboy, , your hard fact is true but heres another 'hard fact for you Statistically, Bradman will always be untouchable, but the gentler fixture list of his day meant his workload paled in comparison. Bradman played 52 Tests in 20 years. Tendulkar is about to embark on his 178th in 22 - and he has played a year-and-a-quarter's worth of one-day internationals also.

Posted by ajay.t on (July 20, 2011, 6:04 GMT)

Toughest battle of the season between two aspiring nation of cricket.England look determined to seize India's No.1 ranking in Test cricket,but there is no doubt India immensely looking forward to prove their potential as a top side of test cricket and show an improve performance against a better pace attack of England. Its a hard battle between India's batting and England's bowling. During these tussle, there is opportunity to witness a milestone of genius Sachin Tendulker that conquer a mountain of 100th hundred in history of cricket.It is no more than a landmark series that decide which team have potential to reign of Test cricket in upcoming era of Cricket.So lets give well wishes to India for giving their best performance to conquer battle of all time between India and England rivalary.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

india r shaky starters but they have the ability to bounce back strongly. n tat ability of india is better than any other team in world.. mind you england..india might not perform expectionally well in 1st test but trust them they will bounce back. Sachin is true genious ,records does not matters to him. he will give his best n leave the rest to god. Dhoni has been a charismatic captian for team india.. India should play mukund ,they need a genuine opener to face swinging balls. i dnt think yuvi can adopt to swinging balls.. PK shuld also be in team ,his ability to swing ball both ways can put england under pressure.Zaheer,Ishant & Harbhajan will complete the bowling department. Raina's position is almost certain in the team. he is performing expectionally well n chance needs to be given to him.. Sreesanth has to wait for his chance..Gud luck team india... dikha do england ko ki wat u have..May the legend completes his 100th ton at lords n improves his record at lords.gud luck india...

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 6:00 GMT)

And your great DON Bradman played only in Australia and England. Sachin has scored well on all kinds of pitches and done extremely well. Wonder how would have he fared facing the spinners in India, Pakistan and Srilanka. Or the quickes of West Indies and South Africa in their own backyard.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (July 20, 2011, 5:57 GMT)

England is a much hyped team. All ex players and media trying to pressure India ahead of this series. We all know what was the motive behind Chris board's decision to fine Dhoni for slow over rate in WI. England playing the mind game like the Australians.

Posted by CricHacker on (July 20, 2011, 5:54 GMT)

Lot of people are reading too much into India's 1-0 victory in West Indies, well only the coming weeks would tell what India achieves in England, but I can already see a parallel with what happened during World Cup, India seem to have difficulty in winning matches against relatively weaker teams on the way to semis, but then they used to find the right intensity whenever that was needed and they always managed to get over their more fancied opponents. I won't be surprised to see that happening in coming days. The point is that in recent times, Indian team has matched the intensity of their opponents and have one upped them at the key moments. Certainly Sehwag would be missed, but the remaining folks are good enough to keep things interesting. Let the fun begin.

Posted by mvsraju on (July 20, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

its hard to predict this test as well as the series,simple because of the quality of players on both sides. if you look at man to man india has slight edge indian batting : gambhir, dravid, tendulkar laxman , dhoni > than cook, strauss, pietersen, trott and bell. my odds (60 - 40) indian bowling : zaheer, ishant, munaf and harbhajan < than anderson, tremlet, broad and swann. my odds ( 45 - 55). no doubt this will be a very close series. my feeling is 2-1 will be the out come.......leaving to your discretion.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

Sachin Will Rock The Series

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 5:27 GMT)

These guys are interested in big money, read IPL, World Cup bonanza etc., so winning or losing the Test series isn't going to bother them too much, think England will win comfortably.

Posted by flyingmachinee on (July 20, 2011, 5:27 GMT)

india vs pakistan or india vs srilanka or india vs southafrica wud be great fr a 2000 test match.............

Posted by xenon555 on (July 20, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

As an India fan I say england should win. India couldnt do a thing in the practice match how will they face up to the real team. Out of form Strauss let em have it a couple of days ago so who knows what Cook, Morgan, KP, and Trott will do. On the english pitch india will struggle against vicious tremlett and crafty swann. Still anything can happen but India's bowlers really have to come ready to play.

Posted by akshayaram on (July 20, 2011, 5:17 GMT)

100th international hundred for Sachin in the 100th test match between India and England at the home of cricket-The Lords, in the 2000th test match to have been played.What a moment that will be!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 5:16 GMT)

For anyone claiming that Sehwag's absence will hurt India should take note of the fact that Sehwag did not perform at all during the recent SA tour and still Indian managed to draw the series. Now SA did have pitches troubling the batsmen and our middle order played well, our bowlers did well too. I guess if Anderson can swing it, so can Zaheer. If Tremlett can bounce it , so can Ishant. If Swan can turn it, so can Harbhajan. Now the batting line up is neck to neck and it will be test of nerves for both teams. The home advantage is always there but I believe this Indian team has come of age and is changing all patterns and myths associated with this team earlier. Before the WC we were the favorites and we finally won it. So there is nothing like the pressure of having to win against all odds. We have the self belief and we can do it. Le tus see who will emerge the better side, because only performance will tell.

Posted by aarpee2 on (July 20, 2011, 5:05 GMT)

All things being equal, as far as the Lord's test is concerned a lot in my view will depend on how the Indian batting performs when they bat bat first.Any score less than 350 will put them on the backfoot.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

Cris Ward your expectations may be right but said that "except" hard-fought which may give different result in favor of India.

Posted by Trioboy on (July 20, 2011, 5:00 GMT)

Sachin is nothing compared to Great Don Bradman. For those who blindly worship Sachin (AKA GOD), here are some hard facts. Bradman got his 29 hundreds in 80 innings with a highest score of 334 and an astonishing average of 99.94. It took 290 long innings for Sachin to score 51 centuries with a average of 56.94. God is yet to score a triple century.

Posted by krishilk on (July 20, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

All the best toIndia and SRT..... hope he reaches his 15000th run in this test series and also scrores his 49th and 50th century in the ODI......

Posted by Vnod_Pllai on (July 20, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

Why, we Indian cricket fans are too much worried abt England bowling attack? It's not so long ago India managed to drew the series in South Africa(first time ever) against arguably the best bowling pair in world cricket at the momoent. I'm talking abt Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Steyn considered to be the No.1 bowler in the world( at least better than James Anderson), I rate Morne Morkel ahead of Chris Tremlett and having Chris Broad is not in good bowling form, the South African attack India faced in SA a few months ago was better than the current England attack. Also, the pitches in SA compared to those in England are more lively. So, I would back Indian batsmen to battle it out in England. My only worry is the absence of Sehwag.

Posted by SachinLara1 on (July 20, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

@Alexk400: india have lost matches when sachin made century only in recent times..look at his overall stats india have won in most of his tons...

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 4:35 GMT)

Wonderful article on Indian cricket, and it's evolution in the last 2 decades. It's so nice and comforting to see an Englishman or an Australian understand and appreciate India's rise to the top. Most people put it down to them "bying their way to the top", but few appreciate the fact that they were happy losers not long ago, and have reached this status through hard work and unity.

It is the fans and the board who may be over the top with hype, that make people have distaste towards Indian cricket. The cricketers deserve alot of credit and respect for what they have achieved, under enormous pressure

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

Well the series will surely be a close encounter since neither of the teams would want to loose all important series. I would say, it would be a 1-1 affair. Let's c.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

Indians has careful 1st test, yes very important one, If they loose 1st test then its very hard to comeback, Indians preparation for the series not in a right direction, Let see what indian players mind.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 20, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

Sachin will be happy to take another useless pesonal record and rest in the pavillion. @Jerseyite, it was Dhoni who dropped Baugh when he was on zero that resulted in the draw in the second test. Next, barring Raina, the three youngsters scored 295 runs/780 balls at a strike-rate of 37.82 in 17 innings. Dravid scored 251 in just 5 innings and one unfinished inning; at a better strike-rate. The young Indian batsmen failed miserably. I thought that much should be obvious. Dravid did his job. The other 'aggressors' failed miserably and so the Captain called it off prematurely with negative approach. The fact that Mukund went off the first ball and Vijay couldn't survive the negative bowling didn't help. One has to be kidding to say that Dravid was responsible for the draws or that Windies wouldn't dish out negative bowling had we continued. But still, Dhoni should have tried for another 5-10 overs to see if Windies crumble under pressure. Dravid is always the fall guy. How convenient!

Posted by sweetspot on (July 20, 2011, 4:04 GMT)

What is most interesting to me is that Dhoni has his own sense of occasion - he hardly worries about venues or records or history. His team have broken most taboos without even thinking about them. Lord's is the "greatest" cricketing venue according to the author. What makes a venue so "great"? Does it have the largest seating capacity? Does it bring in the most revenue? Does it provide the closest games? To me, all this is just hot air about Lord's. It is just another cricket ground. Why do all of England's claims to greatness rest in some kind of nostalgia?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 3:52 GMT)

Can you just imagine that till now in History of Test Cricket 2.55% of test are entertained by GOD himself. Sachin has made 51 hundreds in 1999 Tests played till now.

Posted by Rukky on (July 20, 2011, 3:42 GMT)

what i think is that records can't justify the result of the series. Both teams are too good..if India has very strong batting line up...so they have strong bowling. And even their batting is too good....A.Cook,J.Trott,I.Bell,KP,Strass and (irish) Morgan. It really will be a tough contest..and off course better team will win it...

Posted by Ronsars on (July 20, 2011, 3:37 GMT)

@Alexk400:I see a nice future for you in India as there are many over here who predict things beforehand and vanish later @Samychennai:Being an Indian you cant afford to misspell our openers name man!!!!!!!!!! Hope this is a keenly contested series...Keeping my fingers crossed

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 3:31 GMT)

India is having huge talent and it need to arranged systematically,my team for engalnd

gambhir ,mukund,dravid,laxman,sachin,yuvraj,dhoni,p.kumar,ishant,zaheer and harbhajan

p.kumar is required as he swing the ball. he is one of the best for new ball

Posted by perl57 on (July 20, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

20 years and on and still we all feel Sachin cannot cope up with pressure. After 1 billion accepted, that pressure cannot cope up with Sachin, it is this remaining 0.2 billion that have to accept that they have just started watching cricket, let alone playing. Some of the sports' greatest athletes, Muhammad Ali, Micheal Jordan, Babe Ruth, Tiger, Carl Lewis still stand as light years behind Sachin for his effort is pure genius. The only one who in the history of sports have went beyond the sport. Cricket survives because of Sachin, not the other way round. Still, Still yet we say Sachin is Human. Tomorrow if Wisden comes up with a wacky query of how many players have scored a century of exacty 333 balls with 14 fours and no sixes and got dropped 8 times and was given not out 4 times, and no one matches in this world, they will come up and say Sachin is not all that great because he did not match that record. SACHIN IS OUR DEMI GOD. INDIAN TEAM GIFTED HIM WC. LET US DO OUR PART..HAIL HIM

Posted by nlambda on (July 20, 2011, 3:27 GMT)

Calling India "game's modern-day galacticos" is a bit rich given what just happened in the 3rd test. And I am an Indian saying this. It might well be that England win 2-1 and Dhoni is as cheerful as he was after the WI 3rd test. This team believes in doing the bare minimum and no more, and frankly we fans believe in them more than they believe in themselves.

Posted by Quddus-Mamu on (July 20, 2011, 3:10 GMT)

It would be nice see this 2000th Test between England Vs Australia. Unfortunately that's not gonna happen.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 2:52 GMT)

Will be a close series. Key for India is to start the series well and for England to finish well. I see this as a contest between the lower middle orders if tracks turn out to be lively.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 2:41 GMT)

Are India facing south africa in south africa..?? to take the series seriously, England are getting better nowadays, and will be good to see India win a test series in England 2011.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 2:37 GMT)

India favorites? Don't make me laugh. Both batting line ups are stellar without doubt, but England have a superior bowling attack and home advantage. I except it to be a hard-fought series but England should take it. I'm predicting 2-1 with a bore-draw in there somewhere.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 2:26 GMT)

I think yuvraj should open the innings along with Gambhir

Posted by Hammond on (July 20, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

My only hope is that the lack of the DRS does not cause any on field incidents or attempts at intimidating the umpires. Players these days are used to being able to question the authority of the umpires and without the relief valve of the DRS things may boil over. In a way it will be a joy to watch proper old fashioned test cricket again with instant decisions and (hopefully) respect of the umpires decisions going hand in hand. I am convinced that this will be a cracker and hopefully will capture the imagination of both countries as grippingly as any ashes series. I think that the class of Dravid & Laxman will count for plenty, and in response the attacking natures of Pietersen & Bell will even that out. Really, both batting line-ups cancel each other out and it will really come down to the quality of the bowling attacks..

Posted by Jerseyite on (July 20, 2011, 2:13 GMT)

Dravid who was responsible for the draw in West Indies is a major weakness and occupies a key spot at number 3. His performance or lack thereof will be extremely significant. I still rate him lucky to be considered an automatic # 3 inspite of a lean four years.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 2:06 GMT)

MSD da talisman will come out with something that england will look in amusement,,, believe me or not,,, this guy MSD is a magician...wait and see,,,,

Posted by Samychennai on (July 20, 2011, 1:48 GMT)

I will feel boring to watch Indian batting bcoz of shewak's absence. I don't have that much patience to watch dravid and laxman. Anyhow I will watch when the people are play like sachin, raina, yuvi, harbajan. Though sachin is great batsman, he has failure to handle pressure in many occasions after1995. He got most of the runs in first innings only. We have to accept it. He has excellent form in recent years including one day match and IPL. So, we all belief he would achieve and make us proud by win England. Congrats in advance.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 20, 2011, 1:31 GMT)

On Paper you have to look at England to winning the series, but when you think of the Indian fans, there is just way too much pressure on the Indians to win this series and they will be in a more determined mindset than England. Definetely gonna be a great series

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 1:23 GMT)

Oops...!! Cant wait for the series to get started....!!!!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 1:19 GMT)

What is with comparing the modern Indian team with the WI of the 1970s and 1980s and the Australian team of 95-2008? There is no way they are even in the same ballpark. They are merely a very strong team - with a brilliant batting lineup - in a relatively evenly matched era where anyone of probably 5 teams is capable of beating any other. They haven't got the bowling lineup to be mentioned in the same breath as the all-time great teams.

Posted by Nerk on (July 20, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

India must be the favourites here. One thing that worries me is their lack of preparation, one would have thought they had learnt the hard way during their last tour of Australia were they got going only half way through the series and probably could have won with a few more first class games under their belt. England beat Australia, we know, so what, Australia were playing like England of the 90s, all talk, no guts. Looking forward to this series immensely. Not quite the world champioship (remember Sth Africa people) but should be close.

Posted by TheRivals on (July 20, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

Well Said. teams are evenly matched. My playing eleven will be in this oredr atleast for 1st test:- ghambir, sachin, dravid, laxman, yuvi, raina, dhoni, bhajji, zaheer, PK and ishant. try mukand when sehwag returns. good luck.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 1:03 GMT)

Good Luck Team India! show the world why we are World Number 1. It cant be better then for Tendulkar to reach his 100th 100. Hope to see lil master reaches this milestone at lords. Cant wait for game to start..

Posted by World-Champs-TEAM-INDIA on (July 20, 2011, 0:48 GMT)

Let the game begin , i cant wait.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 20, 2011, 0:46 GMT)

ENGLAND HAVE TO DO SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL TO BEAT THIS POWERFUL INDIAN TEAM THAT HAS NOT LOST A SINGLE TEST SERIES SINCE 2008-ENGLAND HAS NOT WON ANY SERIES AGAINST INDIA HOME OR AWAY SINCE 1996-SO MY PREDICTION INDIA-2 ENGLAND-0.INDIAN BATTING SUPERSTARS WILL CALL ALL THE SHOTS.

Posted by jazee on (July 20, 2011, 0:29 GMT)

For the last couple of series, India fell on the first test to their opposition. All india has to do a produce a draw in the first test. So as to get some match practice and also will get use to the change in environment. The following matches India will come out strong. I will be surprised if India win the first test. Nevertheless, good luck to India and Tendulkar!!!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 0:20 GMT)

Can't wait for the series to begin...:)...C'mon India...Bring it on Poms.......:P

Posted by   on (July 20, 2011, 0:03 GMT)

Cant Wait for the series to kick start. Hope it goes India's way :)

Posted by rohiitian on (July 20, 2011, 0:01 GMT)

@Andrew - I thought the 2 boards have agreed to use the toned down DRS for this series (you indicate otherwise in the final para). Also in this case can LBW decisions be overruled on line if its blatantly obvious that its pitched outside without the presence of the mat?

This series is going to be epic! I hope India dont surrender too much of an advantage before Sehwag joins the team. Lets also keep our fingers crossed that when Sehwag comes back, he'll have a semblance of form.

Posted by redneck on (July 19, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

i think your being a bit too flattering to india mr miller. this is a test team that has not won more than 1 test in a away series since 2004. yes they hold the the no.1 test spot but the west indies and the aussies of the past would not settle for a 1-0 scoreline. or boast about being number 1 when they have only drawn test series with the supposed number 2 side in south africa. west indies and australia both dominated for well over a decade, so far india have managed 2 years. please do not compair this indian team to past west indies or aussie teams! they are far from it!

Posted by   on (July 19, 2011, 23:41 GMT)

I have a feeling that this series will start of a rivalry that ensued between India and Australia, till last year, when it became obvious that Australia has lost its sting. Both the teams for sure will be well prepared. India is well known for its slow starts in a series, but they are also known to come back with a sucker punch. India's last 2 series in England, they lost and almost lost their first test at Lords but came back to win a Test match, thus drawing and winning the series. This is one thing India has to guard against and England should try to capitalize. And at the end of the day, what a venue and fixture to start the next greatest rivalry in cricket --- Lords, 2000th Test Match, 100th Test Match between India and England and Tendulkar on 99 Hundreds .... Let the game begin ...

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 19, 2011, 23:33 GMT)

if india win first test , fletcher should get all the credits. But i think it is forgone that india will lose first test. I am not sure there is any saviour. Sachin will make his hundred as usueal and india will lose the test. i think india can still draw if they bat second. 1 more day. we will wait and see.

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Andrew MillerClose
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
Tour Results
England v India at Cardiff - Sep 16, 2011
England won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining) (D/L method)
England v India at Lord's - Sep 11, 2011
Match tied (D/L method)
England v India at The Oval - Sep 9, 2011
England won by 3 wickets (with 7 balls remaining) (D/L method)
England v India at Southampton - Sep 6, 2011
England won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
England v India at Chester-le-Street - Sep 3, 2011
No result
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