England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge

Time for India's batting 'attack' to hunt in a pack

At Trent Bridge, before the openers set off into the sunlight, India's bowlers would well do to give all the batsmen a stern talking-to about the benefits of adopting a pack mentality

Sharda Ugra at Trent Bridge

July 28, 2011

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar steadied India after the openers fell, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 3rd day, July 23, 2011
India's renowned batting line-up needs to deliver at Trent Bridge © AFP
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It could have been the promo for a long-awaited Bollywood blockbuster set for Friday release. "A chance for someone to become a hero." Actually, it was MS Dhoni talking about the prospect of fielding a bowling attack without the man who, without doubt, has been pivotal in putting the number one into India's Test ranking.

On the eve of the second Test against England, Zaheer Khan's absence is the loudest piece of news and lamentation; it could well get overtaken by developments in Gautam Gambhir's left elbow on Thursday night. Zaheer turned up for light training this afternoon; Gambhir, elbow strapped, batted for ten minutes, then repeatedly flexed his arm and was later stretched by the physio. At the moment, Dhoni's team needs heroes in spades.

It is proclaimed that most of India's woes, regardless of format, mostly regardless of opposition, revolve around its bowling; their lack of express pace, the predictable slowing down of all young tyros, the orthopaedics-encyclopaedia injury list across its ranks and the absence of a new mystery spinner.

Lord's though was not a failure that could be distilled down to India's thin bowling; it was a game that was India's for the saving, with five wickets left at tea on the final evening. It is not as if India did not have the personnel capable of doing so. Or that they were without recent experience of having done exactly that. yet they were unable string their presence together into the score they needed.

At Trent Bridge, before the openers set off into the sunlight, India's bowlers would well do to give all the batsmen a stern talking-to about the benefits of adopting a pack mentality. If bowling in a pack is dinned to death in changing rooms, batting in a pack is about the ability to get partnerships to weigh down on the opposition; squeezing every last run out of even unfavourable batting conditions.

At Lord's, after Abhinav Mukund's departure, Rahul Dravid was the only one among nine batsmen to go past 35 in the first innings, the lead of 188 serving as a handy buffer to seize control of the game. England won by 196 runs. In the second innings, chasing 458 in the best batting conditions of the game, everyone in India's top eight went into double figures with no one grinding out. That England dismissed India twice well within 300 is as much a reflection on England's discipline as it is on the Indian batting's lack of it at Lord's.

At Trent Bridge, it is the batsmen, more than the much-maligned bowlers, who must find technical composure and mental rhythm. In a video interview after Lord's, VVS Laxman summed up what the Indians are thinking. "I wouldn't give too much of importance or hype to the way the English bowlers bowled (at Lord's). They bowled in good areas and they got the rewards. But saying that, it was not really an exceptional bowling attack where they ran through our batting attack."

Laxman's choice of the word 'attack' to describe India's batting is the method that he and his team-mates will need to employ in conditions that, while favouring the quicks, have always managed to draw out India's excellence on their previous two tours. A fourth-innings target closer to 260-270, Laxman said, in his gracious, non-chest-thumping manner, "we would have got easily."

Hypothetical calculations, however, mean little when the series scoreline reads 0-1. Laxman was talking about the absence of a third bowler to take advantage of England's 5-62 in the second innings. The only reality India can now practically address is that their batsmen have to lead the charge for parity. When asked what exactly acted as a spur for teams to pick themselves up after a poor opening, England captain Andrew Strauss said of his own experience, "When you have lost the Test before, there is a great feeling in your camp that you want to prove that you are better than what you showed in the last match. It is a big motivating factor ... They (India) will want to prove they are better than what they have shown last week."

More than want, India's batting certainly needs to do precisely so at Trent Bridge. The mental strength and improvement that Dhoni spoke of as being the reason the Indians have bounced back from poor starts recently must quickly find demonstration on the Trent Bridge scoreboard. India have won more overseas Tests in the last decade than in the previous 70 years not because their bowling has suddenly turned gone turbo, everyone bowls at 140kph and no bowler ever gets hurt. It is because the weight of their batting has been enough for even their most unheralded bowlers to take down the best of their opposition.

As compared to the fuss around it is Gambhir's scenario that has complicated India's options further. Should he be out of the game, India's batting must quickly find new order and balance which was missing at Lord's - and an opener as well. Gambhir's most logical replacement, if not as opener, should by conventional logic be Yuvraj Singh, left-hand batsman and professional pie-chucker. It will mean that India must once again go in with a scratch opening pair. (Unless Virender Sehwag were to suddenly dash through the Trent Bridge gates a minute before Dhoni goes out to toss. As it is, he is due to arrive in these parts any time now.)

Picking a substitute for Zaheer is curiously far less contentious or difficult, despite existing skill-deficits. Sreesanth it should be, even though he is no winner in the popularity stakes with his captain and is as likely to turn up ticking sweetly as a wristwatch put together by a reality TV star. Yet, Dhoni believes everything that could go wrong at Lord's, did go wrong and new heroes must come forward; it is just the opportunity for Sreesanth to dive into the second Test, with bared teeth, flying hair and more importantly for India, all limbs functioning smoothly.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ayan.164 on (July 29, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

Indian batsmen need to play out of their skin and comfort zone if India is thinking about seriously protecting their World No. 1 ranking in Test Cricket. England's batting is average but their bowlers especially Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann can wield the willow. So its the best opportunity for Indian Batsmen to show their true CLASS. VVS Laxman is yet to score a century against England.

Posted by PTtheAxis on (July 29, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

what about dhoni's wicketkeeping, field placing & captaincy. if he had put a forward shortleg to pieterson there would be no double hundred. see the margin of victory. thats what made the difference.

Posted by ygkd on (July 29, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

Well their bowlers can't so some group will have to.

Posted by saaligar on (July 29, 2011, 9:48 GMT)

No Zaheer - so let sreesanth comin - Sehwag blossomed as an opener.. since he is in y not yuvraj?.. he can play the same n make a name..

Posted by 5wombats on (July 29, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

Hi @HatsforBats! The Indians have completely underestimated the challenge here in England. They are here with an unfit injured unprepared team. There is an overweening lazy arrogance about this approach which Laxman exemplifies when he makes those claims about England bowlers. The evidence of Lords does not support his claim - and he was guilty as charged. It looks for all the world as if India are just not taking this seriously. Maybe indias batsmen will fire, and if they do I'll be the first one to come on here to commend it. But England bowlers choked off the Aussie batsmen on their home pitches and I've seen nothing from the indian batsmen so far to really suggest that they can do any better against England bowling even on that beautiful flat Lords pitch in hot sunshine. PS - I had a drink for you at Lords, more than one actually..... :-)

Posted by RAJ_MI09 on (July 29, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

That is exactly what I have written in one of my comments in one of the articles.... England's bowling wasn't extra ordinary..rather India played extra ordinarily- ordinary to make it look that way... Hope they can rectify it this time..

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (July 29, 2011, 9:16 GMT)

Sreesanth, my dear fellow. I am gonna bet some money on you to be the man of the match. I am confident that you can do it. You have the skill and the strength. Just keep up the discipline in line and length. We need you to.

Posted by John-Price on (July 29, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

I never understand coaches and journalists who talk about the importance of 'building partnerships' as if they are providing some brilliantly nuanced insight into the inner workings of the game. Building partnerships is dependent on one factor - batsmen not getting out. Surely batsmen at international level don't need to be told that they should try to avoid dismissal?

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

On paper, without zaheer and gambhir, england look by far the better side. There is no question that their bowling is better but now it looks as if their batting is a lot better as well. With bresnan in the side, they bat down to number 10, and cook, trott and peiterson are in great form... doesn't really look good for the indians.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 29, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

India failed to bowl England out twice at Lord's yet England not only took 20 wickets, but dropped five catches and had a couple of shocking ump decisions go against them. So, well done, VVS, calling them "not really an exceptional bowling attack." This is just the sort of call that England will respond to! Flower might well pin it up in the dressing room to depress the England bowlers - Ha! For a great batsman of the recent past, he doesn't do humility, does he? Disrespecting your opponents is a dangerous game! As for batsmen hunting as a pack, it has always been a mantra of the greatest sides that bowlers win matches (backed by excellent fielding). India doesn't really bother too much with bowling or fielding. The pack mataphor is more appropriate to bowlers than batsmen. And England's attack (i.e. the bowlers!) DO hunt as a pack! India's bowlers will probably lose focus at some stage and any good work done can be lost as tiredness, through lack of fitness, sets in!

Posted by rockz.andy on (July 29, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

@IndianTestCricketFan India Scored 364 in their first inns of 3rd test against SA in Jan 2011 Sachin the highest scorer of that match with 146

@nikkam Raina at no 4 not a bad idea sachin may not play after one year harldy he can play less than 10 tests let TENdulkar make the best at his favorite position.I am looking forward to see sehwags batting in the 3rd test he will be the difference

Posted by rajrele on (July 29, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

Well guys, I must say i saw more wicket taking balls from England than before, those balls came into play because India went into a shell. England's bowling looks good when on top. India has shown they have atleast 2 bowlers who can trouble England, a third fast bowler is needed. The English batting looked as weak as India's when Ishant was on fire, if he had someone to take the baton the story would've been different....

I would still say England got away due to Zaheer's absence, no one is talking about that strangely. Let us not forget India have beaten FULL strength teams to get here. SAF and AUS were bristling. Let India bring the best 11 men and then lets see.... till then England can gloat....

Posted by samirawool on (July 29, 2011, 8:08 GMT)

sachin has done big mistake by keeping him at no. 4 in the test cricket. i am dam sure, if has started playing as a opener in test cricket, picture would be so different from this 1. sachin would had more than 16000 runs surely including 7-8 double hundreds & 1-2 triple hundred. sachin really mad, who kept him at no. 4 even being world's most fantastic batsman.

Posted by BubbleNish on (July 29, 2011, 6:41 GMT)

Saha should be included in for gambhir and yuvi for bhajji...at least yuvi can bat better than bhajji(as he is a batsman now)...

Posted by nikkam on (July 29, 2011, 6:31 GMT)

looking forward positively to this test...i think if gambhir is injured...dravid and mukund can open, with sachin, yuvraj, laxman, raina and dhoni.in that order...with harbhajan and yuvraj used as spinners, while sreesanth, ishant and praveen making up the pace attack....

other option would be to send raina at no. 4...he seems to be most comfortable and in-form batsman as of now....can sachin open?...if so, then dravid can be at usual position

Posted by IndianTestCricketFan on (July 29, 2011, 6:25 GMT)

By the way, when was the last time India scored more than 350 in a innings? anybodys got the stat?

Posted by bhaloniaz on (July 29, 2011, 6:20 GMT)

Without Tremlett England is not the best bowling attack. Without DRS Swan is not that much of a danger (Indians play spinners on the front foot). Anderson can be unplayable at times (but he is not consistent, his record is on par with Zaheer where Zaheer is far more consistent these days). Broad is also not consistent. Bresnan is good, but Tremlett's bounce and accuracy would be worst thing to face for any batsman (Indians are vulnerable to him). Trot is great. Dravid, Laxman, SRT, Raina all are good. Indian batting is a little stronger. It all depends on which bowling lineup fires without their most consistent threat. If Anderson gets into his groove India will go down 0-2.

Posted by indianzen on (July 29, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

coming back from a bouncy track, got into a swingy track, It generally takes time to adopt, but like Manjarekar said, cant afford a test... But i am sure that India will bounce back, just needs some time and thinking. But I think its time to drop Bajji and look for Ashwin to bring into the tests, From his profile, Ashwin has played a lot of domestic circuit and has been quite successful and wow, he has opened his batting for quite a few years and has got runs...

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

I was all confident that India would save the lords game especially after being at 80/1 overnight. India had done it in the past. I remember Dravid scoring a final day century in Tendulkar's Ball Tampering issue rocked series in South Africa. Apart from Dravid & Laxman we did not have hope on others to fight it out & save the game for India. As Dhoni said... All that could go wrong went wrong!

Posted by JohnnyRook on (July 29, 2011, 5:42 GMT)

@ns1000...here we go with yet another "when we need them" moan. We need them in every match. Sometimes they deliver, sometimes they don't. When most of them don't, we lose the match. But they do deliver more often than not. This is why we not win a lot more than when Sanjay Bangars and Vikram Rathores were playing...

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

@ Team Selector. When has Sachin opened in a Test match?

Posted by Thomas_George on (July 29, 2011, 5:10 GMT)

A lot of people commenting here seems to know all the answers to our team woes, and how their favorite punching bags did not get it right. The problem is that our selectors have trouble getting credible replacements for any of these 'sore losers' -- the same set who by stroke of luck managed to win the world cup in favorable conditions. Maybe, it was Gary Kirsten after all. That said, I hope that the team management will repose their faith in a few bench players, and rest all who are unfit.

Posted by rkannancrown on (July 29, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

The selection of Saha ahead of Patel and Kartik as the second keeper and the decision to keep Sehwag in the touring party has complicated matters once a opener gets injured. dhoni should look at some unconventional ideas like opening the batting with Bhajji. He can swing at the bowling and a few lucky blows would remove the pressure. Dravid is comfortable at No.3 and has often walked in to bat in the first over.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

One of the better articles amongst quite a few that are full of excuses for India's failures at Lord's. Can someone point me to any article on cricinfo PRIOR to the series start on India's lack of preparation - apart of course from the obvious reference to a singleton side game before the first test? Instead, the it was hype galore about two of the best teams in the World going at it. Not one journalist stood up and pointed to lack of Test match practice of India's key players such a Sachin or Zaheer...

Posted by HatsforBats on (July 29, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

@ 5wombats: not only does Laxman deride the quality of the Eng bowling attack (which is currently the best in the world, as much as it pains this Aussie to say), but he also suggests that were India chasing 200 fewer runs, they would have won! The man is a genius! Let's change the laws so that the team batting last get to choose their target. If Dravid opens that will help Eng, the RR will be less than 2 for the entire 1st session. Raina showed he has the skill & temperament to go in at 5, so Yuvraj can slot in a 6. I won't be suprised to see SRT stay hiding away at no.4 hoping for the ball to stop swinging or the clouds to come out.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 4:29 GMT)

Play 4 seamers in seam friendly situation with Sreesanth and Praveen opening the attack...... while Yuvi and Raina can play the role of spinner in the team ...........

INDIA need not to be panic because it will be a great combination with 4 seamer two spinner and other top quality batsmen in the world........... Go INDIA GO.......

Posted by zero_knowledge on (July 29, 2011, 4:25 GMT)

@teamselector "sachin has opened numerous times" really? in tests? i can think of only one innings out of 178 tests he has opened.. can you pls enlighten me?

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 4:14 GMT)

@TeamSelector .....good that you are not actually a team selector :). Tendulkar to open? are you serious? comparing ODIs with tests are comparing apples with oranges mate

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 4:11 GMT)

@Sharda Ugra: I don't agree with your assessment about the batting, if we had four bowlers in the first and second innings at Lords, India's deficit in either inning would not have been 188 and 196. England would have scored within 30 runs of India's score in each inning, and I know this is conjectural. But batting is not an exact science, even if the batters had played 4 practice matches before Lords there was a chance of ending up with a Lords sort of first innings total. I think if Zaheer had bowled in the second innings of the Somerset match (and probably become injured there), we would have had a full complement of 4 fit bowlers at Lords. OK India had less than necessary preparation for Lords, but did India make use of the Somerset match entirely? I'm not so sure.

Posted by vaidyar on (July 29, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

Sreesanth on his day can be unplayable too. He has pace and can move the ball both ways impressively off a straight seam. The only thing to be seen is if he can hold himself together. It's always his temperament that gets in his way to a regular cap. The sooner he realizes that, the better. Zaheer's absence won't be felt if Sree and Ishant can come good. They both are good enough to take down any line-up together. Batting is a tricky issue. Things work fine with Dravid at 3, SRT at 4 followed by VVS. Any disruptions there can have chain reactions on the rest of it. With all due respect to the latter, Gambhir is more crucial than Zak for this match, especially given the absence of Sehwag.

Posted by m_ilind on (July 29, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

I agree with the author. Eng will be ruthless. They did it to Aus last year. India's batting must fire...our batsmen need to keep their personal quests aside and bat as a team.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 2:44 GMT)

Play five bowlers -- Sreesanth and Munaf -- if you want to win this test. Playing just four bowlers may work out to a draw.

Posted by S.N.Singh on (July 29, 2011, 1:33 GMT)

ENGLAND WILL PREPARE A FAST BOWLER'S WICKET, THIS IS LOGICS. IF THEY WIN THE TOSS AND THE CONDITION SUIT THEM (DAMP) THEY WILL SEND INDIA IN TO BAT. SIMILARLY INDIA COULD DO THE SAME WHICH IS THE NORMS IN ENGLAND. INDIA MUST PLAY MISHRA AND YUV RAJ WITH HARBHAJAN. ON THIS VERY WICKET SHANE WARNE AND MURALICHARAN DID EXCEEDING WELL. SET A GOOD FIELD TO RESTRICT THE BATSMAN AND GET THEM TO PLAY THEIR SHOTS SHOULD DO THE TRICK. PIETERSEN,TROT, AND PRIOR WILL GO FOR THEIR SHOTS ( LEGSIDE) THERE WHERE THE BATTING WAS IN THE 1ST.TEST. PARVEEN, SHARMA AND SREESANT WILL ALWAY BOWL WELL IN THE ENGLISH CONDITION. SO INDIA NEED 5 BOWLERS IN THIS SIDE AND SIX BATSMEN. WHICH MEANS MUKUND WILL HAVE TO WAIT. DRAVID, TENDULKAR, LAXMAN, RINA,DHONI, YUVRAJ, DHONI, HARBHAJAN,MISHRA, ISHANT, PARVEEEN AND SREESANT. SREESANT WILL BE VERY USEFUL WITH THE OLD BALL. HE GET'S THE REVERSE SWING. THIS IS THE BEST TEAM. IF GAMHBIR IS FIT WILL CREATE A PROBLEM WITH THE SELECTORS ? S.N.SINGH U S A

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 29, 2011, 1:08 GMT)

What's all this nonsense about Dravid opening. He did it many times for the sake of the team and he doesn't have great numbers there. It's time Sachin for once behaves like a team man and opens in Tests. He cried hoarse when he was told that he isn't going to open in ODIs. Will he rise his hand now and be counted? He won't. So, don't exploit Dravid anymore. Let Yuvraj or Dhoni open. Even if we lose an early wicket to a ripper, it won't be the most valuable player Dravid. Cricket is a mental game as much as it is a game of talent and coming in at your well earned position adds to your spirit and sense of responsibility. Yuvraj is a no namer in Test Cricket. He should toil and prove his worth for the team. He can't just come in and push the most valuable player and rare genius Dravid all over the place. This is not the time for unrealistic experiments with the most valuable player Dravid. Hope Dhoni has some sense left over in him.

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (July 29, 2011, 0:18 GMT)

It's a conspiracy. India want to rid Fletcher. What better place to underperform under him than in the country he coached last? India is going (staying?) down in this series. You've heard it from me first!

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 23:12 GMT)

i still dont understand why india doesn't take it seriously when it comes to all rounders.If we had an allrounder(bat/fast or bat/spin)we would have easily picked the fourth bowler in tothe team....... ]

Posted by ns1000 on (July 28, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

Where is Sachin when India really needs him...and Dhoni...and VVS....and Gambhir....and Harbajan....and well the list is pretty long.

Posted by TeamSelector on (July 28, 2011, 22:36 GMT)

Tendulkar has opened for India many times before, so for the team's sake he should open the innings & leave Dravid @ #3 ..... with Laxman coming in @ #5. Sree over Patel ........ & Bhajji over Mishra ........ & Yuvi must play. 1-Gambhir, 2-Tendulkar, 3-Dravid, 4-Yuvraj, 5-Laxman, 6-Raina, 7-Dhoni, 8-Harbhajan, 9-Praveen, 10-Ishant, 11-Sreesanth.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 28, 2011, 22:28 GMT)

"A fourth-innings target closer to 260-270, Laxman said, in his gracious, non-chest-thumping manner, 'we would have got easily.'" Don't think that sounds gracious or modest at all, Mr Laxman. England bowled you out twice for under 300 on a flat deck. And yes, you probably would have got 260-70, but so what? I could probably run the London marathon if it were 10 miles rather than 20.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (July 28, 2011, 22:24 GMT)

Interesting piece. India have all the problems to solve and this talk about batting with pack mentality can't help! Surely they should be thinking about batting in pairs and creating partnerships? "Pack mentality" is a strange concept. Pack of what? Dogs or cards? We all know what happens to a house (pack) of cards! If England perfrom like they did at Lords; they should record a second win. If the toss works out right and the Friday weather is overcast England may choose to bowl first and they could dismiss India very cheaply with a swinging seaming track and batting that has proven fragile.... Expecting a resounding England win! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by sreesam on (July 28, 2011, 22:23 GMT)

Why not Munaf instead of Sreesanth? He is far more better and uses his brains to suss out conditions while sreesanth just bowls like a machine ball after ball!!

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 22:18 GMT)

My 11: Mukund, Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni, Praveen, Sreesanth, Ishant, Munaf in this order

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 28, 2011, 22:12 GMT)

Good concept. But it works only if there is no pressure to perform. No one ready put up their hand as go to man in pressure situation. VVS played well sometime but in favorable conditions. India won't win the second test if they go with a spinner. My idea is if india start attacking all out it can draw the game, Less england can score less pressure on indian batsman to score more in second inning. Trent bridge not going to spin. Indian fast bowling has no heroes. After zaheer khan , sreesanth on his day can remove top order batsman. If Dhoni is ready to be a hero , he can open and blast of with quick 40-50. My team is 1.Dhoni 2. Mukund. 3. Dravid 4. Sachin 5. VVS laxman 6. Raina 7. Yuvaraj 8. P kumar 9. Ishant 10. Sreesanth 11. munaf patel. India can attack with both bat and ball. yuvi / raina can do spin duties and one end occupied. So fast bowlers can bowl around them. Sachin also should bowl. Every one should bowl for their country. India can draw trent bridge by attacking.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

Whatever happened to India on the fifth day, I believe , must have been the team meeting discussion on the eve of the 5th. day. The team management must have decided to go for a draw instead of a "win attitude" and thats what Captain Strauss must have gambled on -" put up a Big Score so that India cannot win and will try to save the match".

As a captain Dhoni should have gone in to bat to win the match rather than to save it from the first ball on the fifth day . The game of Cricket is all Positive attitude -whether one is a bowler or a batsman, the will to knock the opposition out.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 21:17 GMT)

It is an opportunity for India to prove the adage"when the going gets tough,the tough get going".Many columnists especially the English press are writing off the end of India's tenure as no.1 and it provides Dhoni and his men to once again display the mental fortitude and cricketing skills that they have displayed repeatedly in the recent past.If Gambhir is unable to play ,Dravid must open (despite his reluctance ) with Laxman at one drop and Yuvi at no.6 after Raina.It may even be worthwhile considering Dhoni as one drop and play attackingly to upset England's plan.Shreesanth must play and Dhoni and the other seniors must support him as he can fill in Zaheer's shoes on his day.Mishra for Bhajji as Bhajji seems too monotonous and scared to experiment.He has become too complacent and the captain has to set his personal likes and dislikes aside in the teams greater interest.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 28, 2011, 21:13 GMT)

OMG - I've re-read this article and noticed Laxman's comment; "...it was not really an exceptional bowling attack where they ran through our batting attack". Well! what are we to make of this from a player remember, who also said that "A tour of England is not the toughest". Am I not alone in thinking that this is complacency of the highest order? This too from a player whose contribution over 2 Innings was 66 runs and who got out to a desperate shot in a situation where he could, on his own, with a little application in bright sunshine on a perfect batting surface, have saved the Test match for india. Sure - this is "legendary" alright! He wouldn't get picked for England precisely because of that attitude. India is a "team" of individuals - it is wholly incapable of working together to "hunt in a pack".

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 28, 2011, 20:48 GMT)

Can we please get rid-off Harbhajan Singh? He has been an eye sore for as long as I can remember. Please send him back to domestics or bid adieu for good. We have more than enough spinners in Ashwin, Mishra and Ojha. Try them. They can't be worse than Harbhajan Singh. Could they? I have no reason not to believe that it is the blessing hand of Sachin that is protecting Harbhajan Singh. I already said before in my prediction that India is going to lose this series. If they don't get their act right ranging from selection issues to Captaincy issues, my prediction will turn out to be true. I hope at least from the next series we will have a captain who is a proper cricketer. Let Dhoni go and play ODIs, t20s and gully cricket with those huge grass cutting cross court ungainly hoicks and front foot still moving and in air defences....What a sorry state of affairs in Indian Cricket! This is heart breaking.

Posted by Rahulbose on (July 28, 2011, 20:47 GMT)

You miss the obvious problem with Indian batting. They are too old, watching them bat in Lords reminded me of watching Buddah hoga tera baap a few weeks earlier. There comes a time when all legends must retire, but this lot have chosen to hang on until they get the boot.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 28, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

INDIA WILL WIN THE TEST MATCH AND DRAW THE SERIES AT 1-1 AND WHEN SEHWAG COMES BACK IT WILL BE 3-1 FOR INDIA.

Posted by vickyrIND on (July 28, 2011, 20:29 GMT)

Its no doubt that India's batting unit failed in Lords and their perforance was much poorer compared to their bowling unit. I do feel that India's batting need to be clicked if they want to save the series and if their bowling clicks they are going to win the series as well. In tomorrow's match Dravid should open with Mukund if Gambhir is not fit, as Dravid is a 1 down batsman and have enough experience to handle the new ball compared to Yuvi. In place of Gambhir Yuvi should be give a chance and should come ahead of Dhoni and Raina in the batting order. In bowling, india should drop out Harbhajan for good sake and can draft in Mishra or Munaf in place along with Sreesanth for Zaheer. With Yuvi in team they can go for all Pace attack as well and that will be a healty combination and will give them a chance to Win.

Posted by immit13 on (July 28, 2011, 20:09 GMT)

Heard so much about this "bouncebackability" of India since the 1st match loss that I am getting sick of it now... and have a very bad feeling that the series might just be an ANTICLIMAX to what is being presented as (No.1 vs No.2) with India losing 0-3 or 0-4. I am an Indian fan yet this is what i feel and will like to have some response from guys who think the same. And INDIA WILL LOSE not because England team is better or they have superb bowlers in great form or because our batting is not clicking or anything of those sorts... INDIA WILL LOSE ONLY BECAUSE PLAYING LONG IPL HAS DRAINED OFF EVERY BIT OF ENERGY FROM EACH PLAYER after a superb WC win and thus bringing the FITNESS of each player to a substandard LEVEL and also because BCCI don't value FITNESS so much!! value only money! I believe you need both physical and mental strength to perform at the highest level of Intl cricket and unfortunately India are looking dull in both while English team looks much fitter& better in both.

Posted by BravoBravo on (July 28, 2011, 19:53 GMT)

In my opinion IND has to put a decent score of 300+ on the board as a starter, though it has been a rarity for them in recent times. As far Sehwag goes, he could not play long innings. Although at the start of WC11, he made the statement he will be playing longer innings, the only time he palyed more than 10 overs was against BD in inaugral game of world cup 2011. He has been spoilt by playing too many matches against SL for past 2 years, those days SL vs IND matches were occuring on daily basis. Excuses won't serve any good to IND. ZAK is nowadays (rightfully) labelled as most influential player in IND camp, I thought it was SRT who use to CONTROL THE GAME. IND if you get a chance, please don't play like as you did in very recently concluded 3rd Test against WI. That did not look good on the #1 ranking. Good luck.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

In batting, Once again we are looking at Rahul Dravid to score some good and useful runs..... other guys need to support him.... Hoping for the best! Good luck Team India...

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 19:44 GMT)

If india asked to bowl they have to open with ishant and sreesanth.They have to contain the top five english batsmen as early as possible as they did at lords in the 2nd innings.I feel this duo have the perfect pace and swing to get the most out of the grassy pitch at Trent bridge. If india win the toss they have to take batting whatever the conditions are and open with mukund and dravid or raina.They have to score at least 400 to win the match and sqaure the series.I hope sachin will definitely hit a big ton to answer the tablaoid critics.Go india all the best.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

The penultimate paragraph of this article states that Gambhir's most logical replacement would be Yuvraj singh. Well he is the ONLY OPTION ISN'T HE as India forgot to bring an extra specialist batsman when they packed for the tour. I was looking through my old 1993 Ashes annual and remembered that When Australia came here (England) they brought with them about 3 additional batsman and 3 backup seamers for the tests. My Pakistan tour book for 1992 when the visited here (england) also shows they brought a few extra batsman and bowlers. Why have India come here with just one extra batsman, one extra wicket keeper(Saha), just two reserve quicks and one extra spinner (mishra). Bizarre planning.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 19:06 GMT)

My 11: Mukund, Gambhir/Yuvraj, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Raina, Dhoni, Praveen, Sreesanth, Ishant, Munaf/Mishra.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 18:43 GMT)

Injury to Zaheer Khan and prospect of Indian winning a Match forget about winning the series have Dractically Changed.

Thats not what No. 1 Teams are made of.

Australia without All Time Greats like Gilchrist, Mcgrath and Warne are still a Top Side.Not to foret that Hyden & Langer were among the Top 5 Opening Pairs. But still australia is force to reckon. I dont see that Happening to India when Sachin , Dravid and Laxman are Gone.

India still hopeful , after 11 years since his debut , that Yuvraj will replace any of them. Thats not a good sign.

Posted by sweetspot on (July 28, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

As unusual as it may seem for India, they are almost being pushed into the underdogs' pen. It is a great place to be!

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 18:34 GMT)

Injuries are Part of any Game . They cant be excuse for any Defeat.

No Mention of Pathetic Performances by Harbhajan and Dhoni !! ... Both are Proven Champions ... but Its High Time that they need to Perform in a Test Match.

Also Dhoni's excuses after any Defeat are getting Pathetic day by day ... right from playing Piyush Chawla in World Cup league Matches to playing Srishanth in Final. Since he won the Cup, no one bothered.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 28, 2011, 18:26 GMT)

Well - that should be fairly entertaining to watch. We're talking about Trent Bridge here, not Eden Gardens.

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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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