England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge July 28, 2011

Determined England taking nothing for granted

  shares 31

England know what it is like to come to Trent Bridge and be caught out by India. Four years ago they were ambushed on the opening day by Zaheer Khan and never recovered. Ensuring no repeat of that is now top of Andrew Strauss's agenda as England aim to show the ruthlessness that can take them to the top of world.

The situation in 2011 is quite different for both teams compared to what they faced in 2007. For starters India have some major injury issues - and theirs far outweigh the potential loss of Chris Tremlett for the hosts. Zaheer has already been ruled out, they were already missing their most destructive opening batsman and now could lose their second senior opener as well. Meanwhile, England are buoyant after their 196-run victory at Lord's rather than frustrated after being denied by India's tail and the weather.

When things go bad for cricketers and cricket teams the players often claim not to take much interest in the media, but the praise being lavished upon Strauss's team since Lord's has been noticed. Yet they are only too aware how quickly fortunes can change and after enjoying their success in the dressing room on Monday evening it's now in the past.

"I'm not getting carried away," Strauss said. "If you are too self-satisfied you can get caught out pretty badly on the pitch. We came into the 2007 game pretty confident having just missed out at Lord's but got surprised on the first day. We were in trouble from ball one and India never let us back in the game.

"They showed their competitiveness and showed they weren't in England just to make up the numbers. I'm sure this side is very similar. I think we are better prepared to put in another good performance having won before because we did in Australia, but we aren't taking anything for granted."

That 2007 series also became increasingly bad-tempered with the infamous jelly-bean incident on this ground which left tensions frayed on both sides. Sreesanth, who is the likely replacement for Zaheer, was then involved in a number of heated moments but Strauss doesn't see this series going the same way.

"We've learnt our lesson," he said. "The guys are more mature now and understand their responsibilities. They understand things like that don't help the team win. It was a silly little thing, it won't be repeated."

At Lord's England were dominant for all bar one session, when Ishant Sharma rattled the top order on the fourth morning to leave them 62 for 5, and even though the end result was emphatic it is moments like that which Strauss wants to eradicated in the quest for perfection.

"We can still get far better at being more consistent," he said. "Being 60 for 5 in the second innings wasn't ideal - I don't think we should have let India back in the game - but it's an ongoing process. You can always improve, we could have caught better at Lord's, and it's very hard to put in the absolutely perfect performance. The key is to be good enough, often enough to win matches consistently."

During England's upward curve in Test fortunes since Strauss and Andy Flower took permanent charge in 2009 there has still been the propensity to suffer a rapid reversal after seemingly being in control. Twice against Australia, at Headingley and Perth, they have been heavily beaten with a major goal within sight (in that case either regaining or retaining the Ashes) and last summer they succumbed to Pakistan at The Oval having comfortably reached 2-0 ahead. India, it should be remembered, are still No. 1 and have some very fine cricketers who are capable of levelling the series.

"I think they are going to come back hard at us, their record certainly backs that up. We are expecting them to raise their performance and we have to raise ours accordingly," Strauss said. "We did a lot of things right at Lord's but had to work hard for the victory and have to be prepared to do the same again. They'll want to show they were better than at Lord's."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Rajmkp on | July 29, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Let us play unlimited number of IPL matches,and by doing so majority of players are unfit for the international matches.even our players never get injuries when they play in IPL but in international matches ,and they even had guts to boycott the WI series-" Well Done BCCI"

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    A serious development. The umpire's decision is final. Players can appeal. The umpire gets the message from the way u appeal. I have always been agst players asking umpires to xplain their decisions. Umpires should not allow it. And so we have the Broad/ Bowden situation & more recently the Kumar/Erasmus situation. Things can get nasty 1 of these days. ICC pls act before its 2 late. We love this game.

  • POSTED BY shaantanu on | July 29, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    @mesquite ice:Theres no place for ifs and buts in cricket.stop searching for excuses and just admit that we were beaten by a much better prepared english team......what if zaheer had not played the IPL and instead toured west indies.what if sachin had done the same.i know they would have been somewhat lighter in the pockets but at least they would have been better prepared for a series of this level.....

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    England doesn't even command the 3rd spot leave alone the first spot. First of all a no. 1 team is not about winning one team or one series at home. You have to play at home, at the opponents home and at a neutral venue. That to me is a test of class. I don't see English cricketers any less capable than Indian cricketers but seem to be a mechanical side. They usually don't have players with big hearts (great to see swann and broad try to do it) and feel that the result is everything. Just imagine if broad pulled a hamstring after picking up the first 2 wickets and they have lack of practice, and pieterson has a viral fever, assume strauss had not yet recovered from a shoulder surgery, and trot bruised his elbow, the English team would have just surrendered meekly. I back kiladisher's point. If England inspite of all this doesn't win the series 3-0, then England should be ashamed about themselves. And to all the dhoni retractors, wait for a roller coaster ride through this season

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | July 29, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    There is something for England fans in this idea that losses with an injury depleted team somehow don't count. We could then try to pretend that the 2006/7 ashes didn't happen, which I've been trying to do ever since.

  • POSTED BY SudharsanVM on | July 29, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    People comment here that india doesn't have backup players. I am not here to comment on giving excuses like others. Yes Indian have lot of problems and cannot be given excuses. ENG payed really well and they deserved the victory at lord's. They say that bresnan can easily replace tremlett. Just think of a situation where Swann gets injured? who will be the replacement for cook or strauss or trott or prior if they gets injured. Yes, There will be replacements but will it be so effective as trott or cook or prior. Just in Fast bowling ENG seems to have replacements. Yes Indians were underprepared, didn't play like no.1 team. But that doesn't mean that ENG has replacements at all batting postions. ENG seems to be a well settled team when only all their top 11 palyers available.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    I don't know why people are anointing England as the best team/no 1 already. Even if their recent results are good, by and large, they are at home. Obviously, India's record is superior to them till date. In fact, don't forget, India won the last series vs (and in) England. England's noticeable away series victory was in Australia, and it is true that India has not yet achieved it, but very little else to show outside home. Why, they had lost to India in India in last series, too. India has won last two series in WI and from what I recall, England did not win their last series in WI.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 29, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Excuses, excuses, Khiladisher. What will it be this time? I'm sure you'll come up with some reason why England thrashing India doesn't mean India lost.

  • POSTED BY matt4912 on | July 29, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    khiladisher - you are talking rubbish! If the Indian players are not fit enough or prepared for a test series they don't deserve to win! England's victory was not hollow and will be followed up with a more resounding victory this weekend!

  • POSTED BY thebarmyarmy on | July 29, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    khiladisher England will deserve number 1 if they win. All these Indian excuses about injury. Just shows that theres no back up for India unlike England who will easily replace Tremlett. We have other bowlers lined up for his spot.

  • POSTED BY Rajmkp on | July 29, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Let us play unlimited number of IPL matches,and by doing so majority of players are unfit for the international matches.even our players never get injuries when they play in IPL but in international matches ,and they even had guts to boycott the WI series-" Well Done BCCI"

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    A serious development. The umpire's decision is final. Players can appeal. The umpire gets the message from the way u appeal. I have always been agst players asking umpires to xplain their decisions. Umpires should not allow it. And so we have the Broad/ Bowden situation & more recently the Kumar/Erasmus situation. Things can get nasty 1 of these days. ICC pls act before its 2 late. We love this game.

  • POSTED BY shaantanu on | July 29, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    @mesquite ice:Theres no place for ifs and buts in cricket.stop searching for excuses and just admit that we were beaten by a much better prepared english team......what if zaheer had not played the IPL and instead toured west indies.what if sachin had done the same.i know they would have been somewhat lighter in the pockets but at least they would have been better prepared for a series of this level.....

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    England doesn't even command the 3rd spot leave alone the first spot. First of all a no. 1 team is not about winning one team or one series at home. You have to play at home, at the opponents home and at a neutral venue. That to me is a test of class. I don't see English cricketers any less capable than Indian cricketers but seem to be a mechanical side. They usually don't have players with big hearts (great to see swann and broad try to do it) and feel that the result is everything. Just imagine if broad pulled a hamstring after picking up the first 2 wickets and they have lack of practice, and pieterson has a viral fever, assume strauss had not yet recovered from a shoulder surgery, and trot bruised his elbow, the English team would have just surrendered meekly. I back kiladisher's point. If England inspite of all this doesn't win the series 3-0, then England should be ashamed about themselves. And to all the dhoni retractors, wait for a roller coaster ride through this season

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | July 29, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    There is something for England fans in this idea that losses with an injury depleted team somehow don't count. We could then try to pretend that the 2006/7 ashes didn't happen, which I've been trying to do ever since.

  • POSTED BY SudharsanVM on | July 29, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    People comment here that india doesn't have backup players. I am not here to comment on giving excuses like others. Yes Indian have lot of problems and cannot be given excuses. ENG payed really well and they deserved the victory at lord's. They say that bresnan can easily replace tremlett. Just think of a situation where Swann gets injured? who will be the replacement for cook or strauss or trott or prior if they gets injured. Yes, There will be replacements but will it be so effective as trott or cook or prior. Just in Fast bowling ENG seems to have replacements. Yes Indians were underprepared, didn't play like no.1 team. But that doesn't mean that ENG has replacements at all batting postions. ENG seems to be a well settled team when only all their top 11 palyers available.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    I don't know why people are anointing England as the best team/no 1 already. Even if their recent results are good, by and large, they are at home. Obviously, India's record is superior to them till date. In fact, don't forget, India won the last series vs (and in) England. England's noticeable away series victory was in Australia, and it is true that India has not yet achieved it, but very little else to show outside home. Why, they had lost to India in India in last series, too. India has won last two series in WI and from what I recall, England did not win their last series in WI.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 29, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Excuses, excuses, Khiladisher. What will it be this time? I'm sure you'll come up with some reason why England thrashing India doesn't mean India lost.

  • POSTED BY matt4912 on | July 29, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    khiladisher - you are talking rubbish! If the Indian players are not fit enough or prepared for a test series they don't deserve to win! England's victory was not hollow and will be followed up with a more resounding victory this weekend!

  • POSTED BY thebarmyarmy on | July 29, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    khiladisher England will deserve number 1 if they win. All these Indian excuses about injury. Just shows that theres no back up for India unlike England who will easily replace Tremlett. We have other bowlers lined up for his spot.

  • POSTED BY Silloh on | July 29, 2011, 2:31 GMT

    England I predict will go two up in the second test. The English are firing on all cylinders and by all means deserve to be the # 1 team. It's not their fault that this India team sounds like a depleted "hospital " one, although I believe its too many darn excuses being put forward and so many permutations on their selection. Why are the Indian players who were rested from the Caribbean tour so unfit when it was stated that their India B or C team was sent recently to play the Windies and the big guns were rested. Or was that an excuse too against the Windies # 7 ranked team who gave them a fight without also their fit fast bowlers and top batsmen ? India in my opinion is an over rated inconsistent team. Let's hope for the good of Test cricket they bounce back quickly and not fall over the Trent Bridge !

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    Injuries are part of test cricket, I'm afaid khiladisher, Especially, as in Indias case with Zaheer, that they were not match fit, there is no excuse. Fitness is as important an aspect to test cricket as batting, bowling and fielding. LACK OF FITNESS IS NOT AN EXCUSE. So you lost Zaheer, that was a blow, but he should have played more games first. That didn't stop your batsmen from being rubbish, and Dravid apart they were. Gambhir got injured for the second innings, well thats just cricket. Don't forget India's refusal to use ball tracking DRS saved you a couple of wickets too. England Outclassed India in every department, and don't tell me Sehwag would have made the difference in swinging English conditions. Because he won't.

  • POSTED BY Tucker92 on | July 29, 2011, 1:09 GMT

    England are working hard for the No. 1 slot, it'd be more likely that India would rely on their "ability to bounce back." England will win. GO ENGLAND!

  • POSTED BY demon_bowler on | July 29, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    khiladisher -- bad loser, or what? Whose fault is it that Zaheer arrived overweight, unfit, and out of practice? Whose fault is it that Sehwag (who has a mediocre record in England anyway) delayed his operation to play in the IPL? The only genuinely bad luck was the blow to Gambhir and Sachin's virus. Good teams, let alone no.1 teams, rise above such setbacks, they certainly don't offer them as excuses. You didn't hear Tremlett whining about his niggle. And please turn off your caps lock.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | July 29, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    Yes, England played well. Really well. Of course, we couldn't get 300 in both the innings and that's pretty poor. India didn't play well on that front. But, Indian team was depleted with the lack of Zaheer. Would Englad have scored so much with a fit Zaheer? We would never know but the odds are that they would't have. How does such a win at home make England deserving of no.1 is beyond me! Hell, it's not that they even beat a depleted India in India!

  • POSTED BY _agummadi_ on | July 29, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    @khiladisher: Credit where credit is due dude.. India got outplayed. You can go ahead and question why the heck were they unfit. they had about 2 months off. England played better.. no question! in the words of Dominic Toretto, "winning's winning"!

  • POSTED BY shilsen on | July 29, 2011, 0:10 GMT

    @khiladisher - I beg to differ. Just because I'm an Indian fan doesn't mean I can deny how totally the English dominated India. Presumably things would have been better for India without the injuries and absences, but there's no way to be certain that Sehwag and Zaheer would have been successful. I'm hoping that India does better in the upcoming three tests, but even if India had everyone that it would want, England looks like a more solid and well-rounded team to me. And shouldn't the #1 team have substantial bench strength? Australia certainly did when it was #1 and England currently seems to.

  • POSTED BY vijaykanth59 on | July 28, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    @khiladisher cant agree more...England cannot claim the No1 slot just by beating depleted India one time in home conditions..

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    @khiladisher: I don't think you were commenting here when India had their 2-0 home series win against a severely depleted Australian side with the help of some umpiring right? I bet you didn't talk about "hollow wins" and "severely depleted sides" then. Australia then came with all their 1st choice pacers injured and a guy like Peter George drafted into the side. Katich had to play with a broken thumb. Bollinger got injured in the middle of the match just like Zaheer. But the Indians celebrated that time. So why are you concerned about English fans celebrating? They deserved their win.

  • POSTED BY Ashique129 on | July 28, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Yea yea... enough about the rating. This topic about who's no. a is killing me. The ratings are not reflective of the performance anyway. Australia has been poor for a while, yet their prior records kept them up till last year. Quite frankly, the top 5 nations seem pretty close to each other and can beat anyone on their day. This is so healthy for World cricket!! It looks like England is the more balanced and consistent among the 5. Can we get back to cricket now? Agree with 5wombats. I really like Straussy's men for remaining so grounded and humble after the win. The interview of Pietersen during the man of the match award is a great example of humility and steadfastness. I believe all can learn from it.

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    If England win the series they deserve the top "test team" spot. Indian fans complain that England only won because of injury and ommissions. Not true. A test is a test, of skill and stamina. highlighted in this test was the stamina. Anyone can be a flat wicket bully, but it takes courage to continue and win on more "even" surfaces. I'm looking forward to the next match!

  • POSTED BY dunkhood17 on | July 28, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    @khiladisher India's players being missing was totally down to their lack of preparation and proper fitness. Hardly characteristics of a number 1 test team.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 28, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    For Pete's sake @khiladisher; give it a rest with this "THE ENGLISH DO NOT DESERVE TO BE #1 TEAM BY BEATING A SEVERELY DEPLETED INDIAN TEAM" rubbish. And PS. Turn your Caps Lock Off.

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 28, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    ENGLAND WILL LOOSE THIS MATCH .

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 28, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    England is the most grounded Test team in the world. They'll have to work hard - but they know that. Unlike Australia - England accept their mistakes and see them as learning opportunities. There were a few mistakes at Lord's; dropped catches, Cook failing - I'll bet those mistakes won't happen again. England to win this one too.

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 28, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    THE LORDS WIN AGAINST INDIA IS A HOLLOW WIN FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT INDIA WAS MISSING A LOT OF ITS FRONTLINE PLAYERS DUE TO INJURY AND FITNESS ISSUES.

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 28, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    THE ENGLISH DO NOT DESERVE TO BE #1 TEAM BY BEATING A SEVERELY DEPLETED INDIAN TEAM-THE LORDS VICTORY HAS LOST ITS SHEEN BECAUSE IT CAME AGAINST AN INDIAN TEAM THAT WAS MISSING SEHWAG-ZAHEER AND TOTALLY UNFIT SACHIN AND GAMBHIR.

  • POSTED BY allblue on | July 28, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    As ever, Strauss is a voice of reasoned calm. England are going into this game strong and confident, so India are gong to have to step up a gear or risk being blown away. Of course they are quite capable of doing that, and if they do so another cracking Test match is in prospect. If Bresnan does come in at 8, with Broad at 9 and Swann at 10 following that powerful top seven, I wonder if that could arguably be the strongest England batting line-up ever?

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | July 28, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    What is obvious is that India has the headroom to play way better than they did at Lord's. Question is - how much better can England play? In the WC, England's best performance came in that tie against India, but after that what? Only hot air. Right now there is deserving praise for England, but also a lot of gushing nonsense coming out. India are keeping pretty quiet and I'm happy to see that.

  • POSTED BY AjaySridharan on | July 28, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    I like Strauss' attitude. He is exuding quiet confidence and unwillingness to rest on past laurels. Dhoni is giving me the impression that he had let things get to his head a bit and verging on arrogance. But the kind of leader that he has shown to be in the past, I'm sure he will recognize it and marshal his troops well. This will be a gripping series

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Lets see strusy :) whats in card

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  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Lets see strusy :) whats in card

  • POSTED BY AjaySridharan on | July 28, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    I like Strauss' attitude. He is exuding quiet confidence and unwillingness to rest on past laurels. Dhoni is giving me the impression that he had let things get to his head a bit and verging on arrogance. But the kind of leader that he has shown to be in the past, I'm sure he will recognize it and marshal his troops well. This will be a gripping series

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | July 28, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    What is obvious is that India has the headroom to play way better than they did at Lord's. Question is - how much better can England play? In the WC, England's best performance came in that tie against India, but after that what? Only hot air. Right now there is deserving praise for England, but also a lot of gushing nonsense coming out. India are keeping pretty quiet and I'm happy to see that.

  • POSTED BY allblue on | July 28, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    As ever, Strauss is a voice of reasoned calm. England are going into this game strong and confident, so India are gong to have to step up a gear or risk being blown away. Of course they are quite capable of doing that, and if they do so another cracking Test match is in prospect. If Bresnan does come in at 8, with Broad at 9 and Swann at 10 following that powerful top seven, I wonder if that could arguably be the strongest England batting line-up ever?

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 28, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    THE ENGLISH DO NOT DESERVE TO BE #1 TEAM BY BEATING A SEVERELY DEPLETED INDIAN TEAM-THE LORDS VICTORY HAS LOST ITS SHEEN BECAUSE IT CAME AGAINST AN INDIAN TEAM THAT WAS MISSING SEHWAG-ZAHEER AND TOTALLY UNFIT SACHIN AND GAMBHIR.

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 28, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    THE LORDS WIN AGAINST INDIA IS A HOLLOW WIN FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT INDIA WAS MISSING A LOT OF ITS FRONTLINE PLAYERS DUE TO INJURY AND FITNESS ISSUES.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 28, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    England is the most grounded Test team in the world. They'll have to work hard - but they know that. Unlike Australia - England accept their mistakes and see them as learning opportunities. There were a few mistakes at Lord's; dropped catches, Cook failing - I'll bet those mistakes won't happen again. England to win this one too.

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 28, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    ENGLAND WILL LOOSE THIS MATCH .

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 28, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    For Pete's sake @khiladisher; give it a rest with this "THE ENGLISH DO NOT DESERVE TO BE #1 TEAM BY BEATING A SEVERELY DEPLETED INDIAN TEAM" rubbish. And PS. Turn your Caps Lock Off.

  • POSTED BY dunkhood17 on | July 28, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    @khiladisher India's players being missing was totally down to their lack of preparation and proper fitness. Hardly characteristics of a number 1 test team.