England v India, 1st Test, Lord's July 20, 2011

England ready for the top - Strauss

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Andrew Strauss believes England are ready to fulfil the ambition laid out at the start of his captaincy tenure in 2009, and displace India as the No. 1 Test team in the world. A victory by two clear Tests in the forthcoming four-match series would be enough to lift England to the top of the ICC rankings, and on the eve of the series opener at Lord's, Strauss called on his players to produce "something special" in their final push towards the summit.

Strauss has been in this situation before with England, under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan. In the autumn of 2005, with six series wins in a row and the Australians recently scalped on home soil, England believed they were ready to usher in a new era. Instead they suffered a humbling 2-0 defeat at the hands of Shoaib Akhtar and Pakistan, and as injuries and illness tore at the fabric of their squad, they quickly melted back among the also-rans.

If any lesson could be taken from England's demise on that occasion, it is that the pursuit of sporting excellence is a relentless and unforgiving occupation. The traits of consistency, longevity and unwavering class - best epitomised on an individual level by the ageless Sachin Tendulkar - allow for no let-up whatsoever. It is that fact that makes the forthcoming England-India series so tantalising. One side or the other is going to have to give ground at some stage of the contest. And Strauss is adamant it will not be his men.

"We are going to go out and be determined to win every match in this series and if we get in a winning position it's important we're ruthless and make that count," said Strauss. "We have a great opportunity to play some really good cricket and hopefully pull off something special in the next five weeks. India are a very, very good cricket side, they have been for a while now, and if you want to be the best in the world you have to beat sides like India."

Hindsight now makes it clear that England were not ready for the No. 1 status back in 2005. The undoubted excellence of their first XI was not matched by the reserves who tried and failed to cover for men such as Andrew Flintoff, Simon Jones, Marcus Trescothick and Vaughan himself, while the tailing-off of Steve Harmison's form left England bereft of a genuine spearhead until James Anderson came of age in 2008. These days, however, their broader squad mentality allows much more flexibility in times of need - as demonstrated in the recent Ashes, when Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan replaced Stuart Broad and Steven Finn respectively, with instant impact.

For that reason, among others, Strauss is confident that England's time at the top has finally arrived. "I do, absolutely," he said. "I still think there are areas we can improve on so in that sense we aren't the finished article, but to be No. 1 is relative to what other sides are doing. Our cricket over the last two years, I don't think there's been a side that has been better than us.

"We've won seven out of eight series and the other [in South Africa] has been drawn, but this is a new challenge for us and our ultimate goal in the long term is not just to be the side who is No. 1 in rankings, but the side everyone agrees is the best side in the world. That's still a long-term goal, regardless of whether we win or lose this series."

Despite India's ranking, England expect to win because this is their home turf, and with overcast skies predicted for the coming week, the ball at Lord's ought to move through the air and make life pretty tricky for the visiting batsmen. "We have home advantage, which I think counts for a lot, and I think we have to use that wisely," said Strauss.

Nevertheless, when England lost their six-year unbeaten home record back in 2007, it was India who snatched it from them courtesy of a brilliantly executed victory at Trent Bridge, and as Strauss acknowledged, their oft-repeated fallibility outside of Asia is very much a thing of the past.

"You don't become the No. 1 side without being able to play away from home as well and that's probably the greatest improvement they've made," he said. "They've been far more consistent away from home and have a lot of experienced batsmen who have played all over the world. We understand the extent of the challenge, it won't be easy, but I think in our home conditions we back ourselves to beat anyone."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TheUnforgiven on July 21, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    @Radhakrishna Rao Your statement 'even a weak sri lankan team has defeated australia' is insulting for all the cricket playing teams other than India. The same weak sri lankan team went on to be the world cup finalists. If your assesment of the world cup finalist is 'weak', how do you rate the rest of the teams in world cricket?

  • valvolux on July 21, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    I don't think you indians should take england likely. we aussies had no respect for jimmy anderson...he tore us a new one in england. then we thought we'd batter him australia, but he tore us a new one there. he's a much improved bowler...and i think easily the most dangerous bowler in the world when its swinging. the guy you should target (like every team in the world does, with great success) is Broad. Broad is a hack and will be torn apart in this series by the classy indian batsmen. hopefully then england will realise that flinn has more promise than broad will ever have....along with tremlett and anderson...thats the best bowling lineup england can have.

  • ThatPommyGuy on July 21, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    This is England's series, no doubt. This is the first time the established England team has played a worthy team. England have the potential and deserve to take India's position as the number 1 test nation. The pace attack as a whole is the strongest in the world, and can boast the best spinner (although India are experienced players of spin). The top six is exceptional, with two solid opener's (one in the form of his life), as well as two contrasting no. 3 and 4 in Trott and Pieterson- both can take the game away from the opposition. The support from Bell and Morgan is solid, although I think these runs will be nothing more than a bonus, the top four are strong enough to create a competitive score alone alone. India's sole warm-up match was underwhelming to say the least. Khan was toothless and the batting collapsed under an ordinary bowling attack.

  • on July 21, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    @Shreekanth Reddy Purelli what if England win 4-0?

    Of late this forum has become an Indian fans forum rather than a cricket forum. This should be used to recognise players from across the globe irrespective of their nationality. I am an Indian, but I admire players from other countries as well. Trott & Cook are run machines at the moment. KP has also found some of his lost form. However Indian batting stands tall with the likes of Sachin, Dravid and Laxman ably supported by Gambhir, Dhoni & Yuvraj/Raina. At the same time England have the edge in bowling department. So its going to be an evenly fought series. The winner will ultimately by TEST CRICKET.

  • on July 21, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    The mission Numero Uno will begin in few hours time, England will surely dominate this contest due to the fact that it's their Home Turf & a lot of Indian are not get used to the condition & the pitches they will play on. England is the future #01 for sure; Slaying India will be my proudest moment in recent times!! Good Luck Andrew & his boys!!!!

  • indianzen on July 21, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Well mate, it was the same England for the first T20 world cup and England could do nothing rather than clap for India, it will repeat again, Trott is facing India for the first time. With Ishant, Praveen, Rahul, Laxy and Raina in prime form, its a 2-0 win for India...

  • Trapdaar on July 21, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    @SnowSnake: Exactly! I don't see any fast bowlers in England side which can compare to Zaheer, Ishant and Praveen. If England prepare a swinging pitch, things will go horribly wrong because Indians are masters of swing. If it is a fast and bouncy pitch, then they won't fare any better either because Indians have plenty of practice facing fast bowlers and Ishant would become very dangerous on such a pitch.

    Its really only a matter of Indian batsmen adjusting to the conditions. If they have adjust well, England will not even get a look in.

  • Meety on July 21, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    @AKG0479 - LOL! India have the better spinners hey? Surely you are not saying the lower order batsmen & part time offie known as the Turbinator is better than Swann? LOL! Not over the last 2 years matey!

  • Meety on July 21, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    @ the_blue_android - whoaa there! England needs to beat India in India in a test series to be acknowledged # 1. Have India beat Oz & Sth Africa on their home soil yet? Not a smart arguement there! @landl47 - the same thing has been said about India for the last 2 years. The geriatric Indians probably DO still have one more series or more left in them. The biggest relief for India's most senior players is that England don't have any speedsters (145kph +), speed isn't everything as was shown in the Ashes, but against an ageing batting line up it will make a difference. @ 5wombats - re: arrogance - the answer is they don't know! @ SnowSnake - England actually won't be relying on speed, it will be controlled bowling lines & lateral movement in the 125 to 140 kph range. Sharma could possibly be the fastest bowler in the series. @donda - whilst I think England will win, I think you're right that Dhoni will go for the drawn series!

  • on July 21, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    @allenglish_dreamers: WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE ENGLAND AS A NO.1 TEAM..WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TILL NOW..now days, australia is not a bench mark..beat india in india and take that position..even a weak sri lankan team has defeated australia,and oz was not even interested in playing with them..it was apparent

  • TheUnforgiven on July 21, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    @Radhakrishna Rao Your statement 'even a weak sri lankan team has defeated australia' is insulting for all the cricket playing teams other than India. The same weak sri lankan team went on to be the world cup finalists. If your assesment of the world cup finalist is 'weak', how do you rate the rest of the teams in world cricket?

  • valvolux on July 21, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    I don't think you indians should take england likely. we aussies had no respect for jimmy anderson...he tore us a new one in england. then we thought we'd batter him australia, but he tore us a new one there. he's a much improved bowler...and i think easily the most dangerous bowler in the world when its swinging. the guy you should target (like every team in the world does, with great success) is Broad. Broad is a hack and will be torn apart in this series by the classy indian batsmen. hopefully then england will realise that flinn has more promise than broad will ever have....along with tremlett and anderson...thats the best bowling lineup england can have.

  • ThatPommyGuy on July 21, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    This is England's series, no doubt. This is the first time the established England team has played a worthy team. England have the potential and deserve to take India's position as the number 1 test nation. The pace attack as a whole is the strongest in the world, and can boast the best spinner (although India are experienced players of spin). The top six is exceptional, with two solid opener's (one in the form of his life), as well as two contrasting no. 3 and 4 in Trott and Pieterson- both can take the game away from the opposition. The support from Bell and Morgan is solid, although I think these runs will be nothing more than a bonus, the top four are strong enough to create a competitive score alone alone. India's sole warm-up match was underwhelming to say the least. Khan was toothless and the batting collapsed under an ordinary bowling attack.

  • on July 21, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    @Shreekanth Reddy Purelli what if England win 4-0?

    Of late this forum has become an Indian fans forum rather than a cricket forum. This should be used to recognise players from across the globe irrespective of their nationality. I am an Indian, but I admire players from other countries as well. Trott & Cook are run machines at the moment. KP has also found some of his lost form. However Indian batting stands tall with the likes of Sachin, Dravid and Laxman ably supported by Gambhir, Dhoni & Yuvraj/Raina. At the same time England have the edge in bowling department. So its going to be an evenly fought series. The winner will ultimately by TEST CRICKET.

  • on July 21, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    The mission Numero Uno will begin in few hours time, England will surely dominate this contest due to the fact that it's their Home Turf & a lot of Indian are not get used to the condition & the pitches they will play on. England is the future #01 for sure; Slaying India will be my proudest moment in recent times!! Good Luck Andrew & his boys!!!!

  • indianzen on July 21, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Well mate, it was the same England for the first T20 world cup and England could do nothing rather than clap for India, it will repeat again, Trott is facing India for the first time. With Ishant, Praveen, Rahul, Laxy and Raina in prime form, its a 2-0 win for India...

  • Trapdaar on July 21, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    @SnowSnake: Exactly! I don't see any fast bowlers in England side which can compare to Zaheer, Ishant and Praveen. If England prepare a swinging pitch, things will go horribly wrong because Indians are masters of swing. If it is a fast and bouncy pitch, then they won't fare any better either because Indians have plenty of practice facing fast bowlers and Ishant would become very dangerous on such a pitch.

    Its really only a matter of Indian batsmen adjusting to the conditions. If they have adjust well, England will not even get a look in.

  • Meety on July 21, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    @AKG0479 - LOL! India have the better spinners hey? Surely you are not saying the lower order batsmen & part time offie known as the Turbinator is better than Swann? LOL! Not over the last 2 years matey!

  • Meety on July 21, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    @ the_blue_android - whoaa there! England needs to beat India in India in a test series to be acknowledged # 1. Have India beat Oz & Sth Africa on their home soil yet? Not a smart arguement there! @landl47 - the same thing has been said about India for the last 2 years. The geriatric Indians probably DO still have one more series or more left in them. The biggest relief for India's most senior players is that England don't have any speedsters (145kph +), speed isn't everything as was shown in the Ashes, but against an ageing batting line up it will make a difference. @ 5wombats - re: arrogance - the answer is they don't know! @ SnowSnake - England actually won't be relying on speed, it will be controlled bowling lines & lateral movement in the 125 to 140 kph range. Sharma could possibly be the fastest bowler in the series. @donda - whilst I think England will win, I think you're right that Dhoni will go for the drawn series!

  • on July 21, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    @allenglish_dreamers: WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE ENGLAND AS A NO.1 TEAM..WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TILL NOW..now days, australia is not a bench mark..beat india in india and take that position..even a weak sri lankan team has defeated australia,and oz was not even interested in playing with them..it was apparent

  • 5wombats on July 21, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    @bookie7600; you've picked on the wrong guy. @landl47 is one of the best posters on this website; Aussies learned to respect him - so should you. You may not like what he or me, any other commenter here says but Australians gravely underestimated England recently - and it looks as though you are making the same mistake. I'm off to Lords to watch some cricket now. But a VERY grey morning here in London :-(

  • Meety on July 21, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    @abhi_cricinfo - LOL! The origin issue never fails to amuse! @Papan Sarkar - umm, ah, you may want to come up with a bit better sledge matey! Slurping on Englishmen may raise different connotations! LOL! @phoenixsteve - I agree that "...number 1 title changing hands and it should happen..." with the emphasis on SHOULD! India's attack maybe a lot better than what people give it credit. I think Zaheer matches Anderson, I think Sharma COULD match Tremlett, whilst Swann is the form spinner in the world at the moment -Singh's career resume is superior. It comes down to Bresnan/Broad v Munif/Kumar where England hold an edge. Batting wise - I think Dravid is past it - but he scored runs on difficult pitches against a reasonable W Indies attack, can't write SRT off & Laxman is still a match winner. I think England are specials to win the 1st Test, (India's traditional sluggish starts will cost them), but I can see India winning at least one of the remaining tests. Picking 2-1 England (just)!

  • candyfloss on July 21, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    @ phoenixsteve Well even if the over hyped number 1 tag does change and goes to England supposedly it will still remain over hyped. Lets take a moment here.We Indian fans will be the first to agree that we are not as crushing as WI or Aus of the past.Like everyone expects India to prove themselves in conditions alien to them the same rules apply to England.There will still be doubts about England's status as the no.1 team until they prove themselves by beating India & Sri Lanka in he sub continent.

  • AKG0479 on July 21, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Swan may take 3 or 4 wkts in each innings but at the cost of 150+ runs & the Indian scoreboard reading not less than 400-450 runs. English media will hail him as the greatest spinner which no other people give a damn care. Indian spinners will be far better & I will not be surprised if Indian seamers also outclass the English . We may see a slightly panicking Indian batting line up in the first 1-2 sessions of the series but improving and dominating from there on. Indians will win courtesy their disciplined bowling. Sachin will surely score multiple tons & I have no doubt even English fans will come to see it. Yes series will be evenly fought due to England's home advantage. I don't see an English 2-1 or 2-0 series victory by any chance. All this mind & mouth game from Strauss are nothing but distractions.

  • jonesy2 on July 21, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    ahaha all i can do is laugh. what. a. joke.

  • donda on July 21, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    A series to watch and remember thats what i can say. Win or lose but this is really going to decide who is number 1 test team in the world. Beating eng in eng is tough but batting lineup of India can do any wonders.

    I think it will be 1-1 draw series. India will go for draw to maintain #1 spot. Dhoni is not going to risk it.

  • nzcricket174 on July 21, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    If India win or draw the 1st test I think they will win the series. If India lose the first test it will be draw or England win. To me it looks like a matter of how long India take to adjust to conditions.

  • Navdeeep on July 21, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    I think they have become more than half ready when they had come to know VIRENDER SEHWAG is not playing for first 2 test matches. This is the one of the big factors which i personally feels has really boosted them up.

  • Ajronald on July 21, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    If india wins the first test or even draws - the dream is gone. Let them live on hype - they could earn some publicity like the soccer players

  • K.A.K on July 21, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    I hope the teams will play for results and not to settle for draws. Looking forward to some exciting cricket!

  • on July 21, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    Let us take a Hypothetical case that somehow England is able to beat India in the Series, but will it be actually an English victory because portion of the team is either South African or Irish (Eoin Morgan). So, England must go an prepare an English team first :P And people who talk about "Senior Citizens" in the Indian team, we let me point it out, the "Senior Citizens" have more youth in their batting than the plodders like Cook and Trott ... and yes mark my word, fitness permitting Sachin Tendulkar will still be spanking you when your "green horns" retire ;-)

  • SnowSnake on July 21, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    I don't get it. Why are English bowlers are any better than Indian bowlers? To me both teams have essentially same bowling attack. WI and SA had better bowling attack, but Indian fast bowlers had same bowling averages as WI and SA bowlers in last two test series. If England is relying of having their fast bowlers tear Indian batting apart then they will be surprised. None of the English bowlers are anywhere close to the likes of Steyn, Malinga, F. Edwards, J. Taylor. Speed is not going to bother Indian batsmen. If that is what England is relying on then they are seriously under prepared for this series.

  • subbass on July 21, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    Yeh India are miles ahead of everyone else in the rankings, so much so that a rubbish team like England can overtake them if they win by two tests.

    The over confidence of some Indian fans is staggering, you guys are marginally the number 1 side, you have a lot of old stars who are due to retire soon, and ys we may not have beaten India at home for a few years but the reality is it is only 2 series, and in all that time india has won 2 yes just 2 test matches in England. Get real indian fans or you will be in tears come the end of the series.

  • kuntala on July 21, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    @Shreekanth Reddy Purelli: well said rofl :) India will win this test series by 2-1.

  • vismorkel on July 21, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Why so much hype around this series??? & why is it being played in a neutral venue??Why is an International team wasting its time playing 4 test matches against an A team??..........Now stop all this hype & enjoy the cricket between India & South Africa A.Too bad that they aren't playing this series in South Africa,but I guess it's freezing right now.

  • phoenixsteve on July 21, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    @Maddy20... I'm not that old (57)and I vividly remember recent times when India were a joke test team! They weren't taken at all seriously and were dismissed by England often well inside the 5 day allocation. The chief reason why Gavaskar is so highly rated is that he was the only Indian batsman worthy of the opposition. He was a very good player but hardly an all time great! A very good player for an Indian - is the praise I recall.... The tide is changing for India who have been in the top 4 for 15 or so years with a good batting lineup. The Indian reluctance to accept accurate umpiring in the shape of UDRS tells it's own story? Wind your necks in Indian fans and get used to losing - there's lots of to come! When you think of recent great test teams only two sides qualify .... West Indies and Australia. This should be a great test series with test cricket the WINNER! Come on England!!!

  • bookie7600 on July 20, 2011, 23:52 GMT

    @ landl47 on (July 20 2011, 20:39 PM GMT).. I urge all the INDIAN supporters to not "SLINK AWAY" after this series (which would surely be won by India) is over and give this LANDL47 a special mention in all your comments. This is not the weak Aussie or in-experienced Sri-Lankan team mate! Its the worlds NO 1 team that u are up against. CIao

  • maddy20 on July 20, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    @landl47 Aus and SL also said they will win the worrldcup and we all know what happened. Do you even remember when was the last time Eng won a test series against India? We have pulverized them both at home and away. We shall do so again!

  • zxaar on July 20, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    @landl47 about your senior citizen part, the best player who is in form for england is Trott. He averages 62 and this is why most of English fans are thinking they will roll over India. In the same number of matches Trott has played , Tendulkar averages 78 (compared to Trott's 62). So while Trott was playing good, Tendulkar the same time was playing much better. You should be worried because Tendulkar averages 62 in England and if things go normally, his average there will only increase.

  • 5wombats on July 20, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip; dead right! A lot of india fans here are crowing about how arrogant Strauss is or how arrogant England are, etc, etc.. Has it occurred to any of them how arrogant THEY appear??? All he/England are saying is what any rightly confident captain would say on the eve of battle. What is arrogant about that?

  • 5wombats on July 20, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    It's started already, the excuses; "lack of time spent acclimatising"... "and the diabolical wet weather which is alien"... "and the fact that mediocre bowlers like Anderson will make the ball swing". I agree - that's a bit off isn't it - a mediocre bowler using an underhand tactic like making it swing in order to take wickets. It's so shocking when mediocre bowlers make the ball swing - tantamount to cheating that is.

  • on July 20, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    Fellas, enough of the talk! lets the game begin..India will show what it can do.. Yeah, that is hurting the pride! Let's see who's better..

  • on July 20, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    its been like 2 yrs rofl .. n people say India cant hold on its No 1 spot..!!

  • kumarcoolbuddy on July 20, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    @Shreekanth Reddy Purelli, you are right. It's surprising they are not sick of doing all these stupid pre-match activities. One thing is sure that ENG is under high pressure. Even for WC matches they gave similar statements in India. I know Cricinfo supports ENG and India but moslty first ENG since the time ESPN has acquired this.

  • on July 20, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    England will always be ready for top. But will never be on top... How about that?

  • on July 20, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    phoenixsteve I would count England, Australia, NZ, Pakistan and SL out of the equation at a stroke. It is possible India will lose at Lords but this is down to the lack of time spent acclimatising and the diabolical wet weather which is alien to country boys like Praveen Kumar and Ishant and the fact that mediocre bowlers like Anderson will make the ball swing. I expect Swan to get a hiding if the weather gets hot and Shewag is back in the frame. England must be counting their Lucky stars there is no Shewag to take them to the cleaners

  • rationalthinker on July 20, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    some time i feel we fan play more psychological games the actual players by talking opposition down....come on guys this is going to be a very close series....both teams are very strong...even though i am hardcore indian fan but i believe england will start as slight favourite ...england have better pace(swing) bowling and also swan is better than bhaji..... so our bowlers and batsmen have to stand up and show that they really deserve top rank

  • landl47 on July 20, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    I always like to see the Indian supporters (and in the last two series the Sri Lankan supporters and Australian supporters) in here before the series saying how their side will crush England. Then afterwards they slink away, wondering what happened. India is a good side, but they come in poorly prepared, they have 3 senior citizens (in cricket terms) in their side, and with all due respect to Zaheer, who is a class bowler, their bowling as a whole is nowhere near as good as England's in any conditions, let alone in England. The England side is on the way up, while the Indians are clinging on by their fingertips, hoping that Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman have another series left in them. My prediction is 2-0 to England and it might be more than that if the weather is good and the pitches are lively.

  • on July 20, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    England does have a slight edge in bowling but if the condition s work for Anderson and co it will also work for Zaheer, Munaf, Praveen and Srikkant. And while Swann may be ranked number one spinner Harbhajan is still far more wily with his experience and knowhow. So whatever Swann can do can be replicated by Harbhajan. And yes England does have a powerful batting side but in terms of experience and the ability to tough it out Indian are far ahead in the trio of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. True they will miss Sehwag but Gambjir, Dhoni, Yuvraj and the young brigade are more than capable of filling the gap. With the exception of Struss, none of the English batsmen have a similar capacity to graft and teh discipline to make careful shot selection for hours on end. So the bias of Cricinfo is clear when they herald England as the favorite, especially given that in terms of sheer ruthlessness India are far ahead as they are in terms of captaincy skills and talismanic hold.

  • the_blue_android on July 20, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    Being # 1 is one thing, acknowledged is another. England needs to beat India in India in a test series to be acknowledged # 1.

  • bigwonder on July 20, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    One more attempt at the comments; @A_Vacant_Slip, aren't you already offended by something that has not happened yet? If you are indicating that old batsmen can't play then you are not watching cricket. VVS, Dravid and SRT can bat far better then England's new Wicketkeeper. Arrogance knows no bounds. It will be interesting to see if England bowlers resort to short balls or use their skills to swing the ball.

  • Vilander on July 20, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    its such a tease, who among sa eng india are going to move ahead now. if india win then they will be true champions going for their final test in aus and all their old war horses can retire.

    If eng win they will be true contenders or even next no 1.where does that leave SA they have played better than Eng in india.

    @phoenicsteve, sorry no SL Pak NZ, they are not good enough.

  • maddy20 on July 20, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Have a good look at the trophy Strauss. You will never get to see it again once we bring it home!

  • DaGameChanger on July 20, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Swann will be tamed in matter of hours by Indians and suddenly Strauss will have nowhere to go especially when ball is neither too old or too new. if Strauss relies heavily on Swann then his plans may all be doomed. England can bowl hours and hours to this Indian line up without getting wickets thats the mental power of Gambhir, Drvaid, Tendulkar and Laxman

  • on July 20, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    They will perish because of their"home arrogance"....

  • A_Vacant_Slip on July 20, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    I'm certain there will be a hail of offended fans who will claim that it is very arrogent and presumptuous of England to even walk onto the same pitch as India still less have the brass-balls to challenge them for number one status. England may not be the finished article true - but I can't see a weakness in this team; batsmen are in prime form, a dangerous wicketkeeper batsman - rightly compared to the great Alan Knott, and ALL the England bowlers are all capable of running through a side. Swann is a superb find - I don't care what indians say about their "liking" for spin bowlers. He's class. India's bowlers are not in the same league as England's - and bowlers win matches. The indian batsmen are old - they didn't go to WI because they had been busy filling their pockets playing IPL, which shows that their loyalty is to money, not to putting WI away 3-0. Like England footballers at the last world cup - India will be found to be over-paid and under-skilled.

  • on July 20, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Go on Andrew and hail your home squad... 5 English players have come out and said they will win.. and you say they are expected to win.. People are not willing to give an iota of thought as to what India did on bouncy,lush wickets in South Africa...I think the English media has decided that India is not fit to be the No.1..Lets see who's got what...Eagerly waiting for tomorrow...Hope the best side wins!

  • on July 20, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    Cricinfo and English media making a hype... of England being .. No. 1? lol for real if they loose series 4-0 then they r out of top 5 ranks why cant u point it out then 2-0 win to be No. 1 lol..!! its India with players abt 5 of them played over 100rd test .. lol ? Stop day dreaming Strauss

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 20, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Keep dreaming Strauss. This is the sort of arrogance SA portrayed when India toured them recently. Smith and AB De Villiers where telling the press how they were going to 'displace' India from the #1 ranking. Andrew, I feel you have a good team under your command BUT you lack the experience, quality, endurance that India possess. Age is never a factor in life if your heart and soul are in the right place. I have experienced this in my life. Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni, Laxman etc have their heart and soul at the RIGHT place and that is to keep India at #1 for a long time. England might win 1 test match out of the four but the series is for India. Cheers.

  • SnowSnake on July 20, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    The problem with England is same as the problem with SA and India. They can get to the top, but cannot stay there too long.

  • on July 20, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    India 2 - England 2 Tied test series

  • phoenixsteve on July 20, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    It'll be good for cricket to see the over-hyped number 1 title changing hands and it should happen. India are staring at mediocity with key players who are past their sell by date. Let's not get too carried away though? In the past 30 or so years there have been only 2 runaway champion teams; the mighty West Indies and the ruthless Aussies. Today SA, SL, India, Pak, England, Aus and NZ are not that far apart from each other and given home advantage you can see any of them beating the other. It all makes for great entertainment and fascinating CRICKET! Add the UDRS to even out umpiring errors and it will all be much fairer. What a fantastic sport we are blessed with.... CRICKET LOVELY CRICKET!!!

  • bigwonder on July 20, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    I still don't get it. Why is it the home advantage when both the team have good seamers? Did England forget how dangerous Munaf or PK can be? Are England batsmen too good at playing in seaming conditions. Can they stop playing mind games and remember that they are playing against India and NOT Australia?

  • on July 20, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    England ready for the top but Unfortunately all the Bowlers and Batsmen of England will Flop

  • on July 20, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    india will make juice of english bolwers n drink it

  • abhi_cricinfo on July 20, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    It is not a candy bar or something like that. Beating No.5 Australia after 1000 years in their home turf doesn't mean you are ready for top . Mark my words , South Africa will sneak top position (because they have 11 South Africans while England have only 4 South Africans)

  • on July 20, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    And what happened in 2007?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 20, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    And what happened in 2007?

  • abhi_cricinfo on July 20, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    It is not a candy bar or something like that. Beating No.5 Australia after 1000 years in their home turf doesn't mean you are ready for top . Mark my words , South Africa will sneak top position (because they have 11 South Africans while England have only 4 South Africans)

  • on July 20, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    india will make juice of english bolwers n drink it

  • on July 20, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    England ready for the top but Unfortunately all the Bowlers and Batsmen of England will Flop

  • bigwonder on July 20, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    I still don't get it. Why is it the home advantage when both the team have good seamers? Did England forget how dangerous Munaf or PK can be? Are England batsmen too good at playing in seaming conditions. Can they stop playing mind games and remember that they are playing against India and NOT Australia?

  • phoenixsteve on July 20, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    It'll be good for cricket to see the over-hyped number 1 title changing hands and it should happen. India are staring at mediocity with key players who are past their sell by date. Let's not get too carried away though? In the past 30 or so years there have been only 2 runaway champion teams; the mighty West Indies and the ruthless Aussies. Today SA, SL, India, Pak, England, Aus and NZ are not that far apart from each other and given home advantage you can see any of them beating the other. It all makes for great entertainment and fascinating CRICKET! Add the UDRS to even out umpiring errors and it will all be much fairer. What a fantastic sport we are blessed with.... CRICKET LOVELY CRICKET!!!

  • on July 20, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    India 2 - England 2 Tied test series

  • SnowSnake on July 20, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    The problem with England is same as the problem with SA and India. They can get to the top, but cannot stay there too long.

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 20, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Keep dreaming Strauss. This is the sort of arrogance SA portrayed when India toured them recently. Smith and AB De Villiers where telling the press how they were going to 'displace' India from the #1 ranking. Andrew, I feel you have a good team under your command BUT you lack the experience, quality, endurance that India possess. Age is never a factor in life if your heart and soul are in the right place. I have experienced this in my life. Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni, Laxman etc have their heart and soul at the RIGHT place and that is to keep India at #1 for a long time. England might win 1 test match out of the four but the series is for India. Cheers.

  • on July 20, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    Cricinfo and English media making a hype... of England being .. No. 1? lol for real if they loose series 4-0 then they r out of top 5 ranks why cant u point it out then 2-0 win to be No. 1 lol..!! its India with players abt 5 of them played over 100rd test .. lol ? Stop day dreaming Strauss