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

Determined England taking nothing for granted

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

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