India in England 2014 July 7, 2014

India look for their Indian summer

Billboards are calling the series England's Indian Summer, but it is India who are looking for that period of warmth, redemption after the last whitewash, for they have seen how bleak the winter that can follow is
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"What's the score?" "One more gone?" [Laughter]

On January 17, 2012, India should have been playing tough Test cricket on the hard surface of the WACA Ground in Perth. They were not. Having been rolled over inside three days - their seventh successive overseas Test defeat - India rested on what would have been the fourth, trained on the fifth, and were back in the hotel by the time England's Test against Pakistan began in faraway Dubai.

The cricket was either not on TV or the players were going through their team exercises - gym and pool sessions, individual and team meetings etc. A few journalists were working in the team hotel's foyer. Every few minutes a player would pop out to ask for the score in Dubai, and be informed of another fallen wicket as England went from 31 for 1 to 43 for 5 to 94 for 7 and eventually 192 all out on the first day. There was visible pleasure on their faces. From little things big things grow.

Five days later, during India's next press conference in Australia, came their first cry for turning pitches when England and Australia would tour later in the year. Such moments were the lowest point of India's miserable run away from home.

Why are we still talking of the dark days during a lovely start to the English summer with days long and birds atwitter?

Because England matters. Of late England have been a bogey team for India in Tests. They have won three of the last five Tests that India have lost at home, they began the process of unravelling the strong Indian side in 2011, and three each of the five most successful batsmen and bowlers against India since 2011 have been Englishmen. Players of the 2011 Indian team must still be going to shrinks to deal with the recurring nightmares of long days in the field when nothing happened with the ball only for it to become unplayable when they batted.

In the recent past, more often than not, India have had to do with schadenfreude when it comes to England. Now that they are back in England, India have been provided ingredients for more schadenfreude. Around the time they were getting measured for final alterations on their tour blazers, the India players would have heard of the meltdown the England captain Alastair Cook had while responding to Shane Warne's criticism of his "boring" and "defensive" captaincy. By the time they were sipping their first Earl Greys or India Pale Ales, England had lost a home Test series to Sri Lanka.

No laughter this time, though. Not in public at least. Instead of turning the screw through some kind of mental disintegration, India have chosen to stay low key, which is usually their way unless they are rattled or the inimitable Virender Sehwag is at press conferences. The first signs point to a calm team quietly hopeful and confident. They know this is a good chance for a young group, which came awfully close to winning Tests in South Africa and New Zealand, to finally put one, and then more, on the board.

The hosts right now are in similar disarray to what India were when England toured India in 2012-13. Like then with India, the ruthless whitewash in Australia has claimed careers, and has left the hosts vulnerable. Consequently India's batting is more stable than England's, although they are bound to be less familiar with the conditions. However, they also know that Sri Lanka's attack had the same England batting in some trouble in both Tests; India's is not exactly a worse attack than Sri Lanka's. There is cause for optimism, but there is no way India - least of all - are considering themselves favourites.

That confidence must arise from a promising batting line-up as much as it does from England's disintegration. The hosts are in disarray, similar to what India went through when England toured India in 2012-13. Like then with India, the ruthless whitewash in Australia has claimed careers, and has left the hosts vulnerable. Consequently India's batting is more stable than England's, less likely to play weak shots to get out as they showed in their two previous trips, although they are bound to be less familiar with the conditions. However, they also know that Sri Lanka's attack had the England batting in trouble in both Tests; India's bowling is not exactly worse than Sri Lanka's. There is cause for optimism, but there is no way India are considering themselves favourites.

This whole tour is a vast unknown for India. Most of them have played, and done well in, ODI cricket in England, but only three - MS Dhoni, Ishant Sharma and Gautam Gambhir - of the 18-member squad have played a Test here. Only four - M Vijay being the other - have tasted Test success away from home. India last won an away Test just before going to England in 2011. None of them has ever played a five-Test series, though questions over longevity are being asked of England too, what with Sri Lanka proving stubborn, pitches good for batting, and seven Tests to be played in the summer. India's stock bowler, their workhorse, and also their most experienced one, boasts one of the worst records for any bowler who has lasted 50 Tests. Their captain has had tactics questioned, and has been labelled defensive, more often than his counterpart.

With the unknown comes the beauty of possibility. It's almost a clean slate for a majority of this team. If they see an England partnership developing, they are less likely to think, "Here we go again." The Indian newcomers of today aren't the newcomers of the '90s and before. They are confident, combative, aware, privileged with the best of facilities and finances, and do not build pressure on themselves by putting a tour on a pedestal.

And within that unknown, the India players are pretty certain of their roles, which will not change much from what they were in South Africa and New Zealand. Vijay will look to fight at the top with the discipline he scarcely gets credit for, Shikhar Dhawan will try to impose himself; Cheteshwar Pujara will play his usual game while Virat Kohli will look to take it to the opposition if he manages to get in; Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane will have to get runs with the lower-middle and lower order.

Bowling has always been India's worry, and will continue to be. This is where India can be hurt. This is the first time in a long time they have embarked on a big tour without their de facto bowling captain, Zaheer Khan, who would have been fit midway during the series. Picking someone not fit right then and there is a mistake they were not going to repeat after 2011. Over the last two trips, the bowlers have inspired to an extent and against the odds; now they will need to make it a bit of a norm. They can't afford for the intensity to drop in - at 42 days from start to finish - the most compressed five-Test series England has ever hosted.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will try to do what Praveen Kumar did on the last trip: swing the ball, either way, and look for edges. Mohammed Shami will be the impact man, looking to bowl fast and get seam movement. India will look to use him in short, sharp bursts. Ishant will have to do the donkey's work when the shine on the ball has worn off. Rangana Herath's success in the first part of the summer might just have tipped the scales in favour of Ravindra Jadeja to start ahead of R Ashwin. India haven't looked shy of experimenting with an extra bowler, but there is time to go before Stuart Binny is handed his Test cap.

The most important role - though he won't admit it and invite extra pressure - will be that of the captain Dhoni. He has won all there is to win in limited-overs cricket, but the last two Test tours to England and Australia have to rankle. Try as he might to keep the idea of legacy from clouding his current state of mind, the competitor in him will want to correct this record. More so because there were instances on both tours when India let Test matches drift in the field, something that can be pinned as much on the captain as on the bowlers. He has a younger and more athletic bunch in the field, which he has always sought, but they are also poorer in the slips. To manage with these bowling resources, not in limited-overs cricket with finite possibilities, but over a gruelling five-Test series with all its infiniteness, will be a stern test of Dhoni's captaincy.

Here in England, headlines and billboards are calling this series England's Indian Summer. Some of their players might have, to borrow from The Doors' Indian Summer, loved India the best, "better than all the rest", but it is India who are looking for that late period of warmth, a bit of redemption after the last whitewash. They don't want Anderson and Broad, and Bell and Cook to love them better than the rest. They need their own Indian Summer, for they have known how bleak and full of agony the winter that can follow is.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on July 8, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    These are two teams in a very similar situation at the moment. Both have young but very promising batting line-ups, both have some issues with bowling and both have captains who haven't been very convincing in tests (Dhoni, of course, is a wonderful short-format captain).

    England's seam bowlers are more experienced, especially in English conditions, but they will sorely miss Swann. India's bowlers look to be quite well suited to English conditions, but only Ishant has played test cricket in England.

    England had one disastrous day against Sri Lanka, but were otherwise easily the better team. India played pretty well in SA and NZ, but lost both series.

    I see no real advantage to either team. This might be a series where momentum shifts from one side to the other constantly. It's likely to be decided by who wins the critical moments- catches taken/dropped, a brilliant spell of bowling, an unexpected partnership. I'm looking forward to a very close and tense series.

  • spot_on on July 8, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Why did England prefer a warm-up with SL to face India. They should have rather chosen to face Saffa B team. Now, at least the Srilankans here in this forum would have kept quiet.

  • nlambda on July 8, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    @xyz_79: you won 1 series with 1 ball to go and you are strutting around like you are a top team. How many tests have you won in India? zero. zilch. nada. Ditto in Australia. This was with Sanga, Mahela, Vaas, Murali all playing. I do not see SL winning any tests in India through this decade and likely not even in SL once Mahela and Sanga retire after the 2015 WC.

  • sudhindranath on July 8, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    The weather forecast for Nottingham on July 9 is : mostly cloudy with a max temp of 68F (20 C), partly cloudy in the morning and cloud+windy in the afternoon. No chance of rain (at least for tomorrow!)

    It will be interesting if England puts India in to bat first. If India can score 250+ losing less than 5 wickets, it would be their day. If England can get 8 or more wickets for 250 runs or less, they would come out on top. Anything in between, means the honors are shared.

  • starlin10 on July 8, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    My team for tomorrow's test match Vijay,Gambhir,Pujara,kohli,Rahane,Binny,Jadeja,Dhoni,Bhuvi,Shami,Pankaj,

  • on July 8, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    dhoni must go with binny to win this match. we need an alrounder.

  • on July 8, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    @budhavarti dont u think u rated dhoni too low a man who is in the top 10 batsman in odi for the last 7 years a man who had the average of more than 51 in odi and moreover whom do u think will be the captain of india kohli who doesnt have the temperament to behave like a captain who's ego is more than the team....sirjee right now there is no one to replace dhoni..and i tell u wait n watch let the series begin thn only i wll talk to u....

  • SICHO on July 8, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @GRVJPR Steyn's a rhythm bowler, everybody who's being watching cricket for a long time knows. Infact he only bowls in the mid 130 in search of swing in early parts spells. When things don't work out, then the real Dale Steyn shows, you had luxury to watch him at his fast and furious best in Durban. And don't tell about lucky wickets, the only error was Kohli's dissmisal (if your board allowed DRS all would've been well, SO DEAL WITH IT!!!). Everybody can close their eyes and swing their bats as hard as they can in IPL and T20s, they did that to likes of Steyn and Johnson, big deal. Lets put them in whites on an ideal cricket pitch (not dead Indian roads) and find out whether they can replicate their performance against the Steyns and Johnsons. One thing, if Shami is so quick, why is it only the Indians who see that?

  • on July 8, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    Winter is coming. Brace yourself India!!

  • on July 8, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    I have spoken enough about Dhoni so I'll just say, this might well be the last series for him. I hope even the fans patience is running out. Win or lose this series, as far as Dhoni can't justify his place in the side, he should go. Moving on, This is a series India should win. Kohli, Puji, Rahane know they have to do most of the batting and very well aware that they can't depend on Dhoni. I am sure they will succeed. Defining series for Rohit you'd like to think. He has the talent, all he needs is to quitely play along with Kohli, who is his ardent fan, and Rahane, both of whom are Mumbai's back. Dhawan will succeed but for Vijay to stay in the side, he needs to do more than play for 1 or 2 hours. At least 1 ton in his 4 innings. I also have confidence in this bowling unit that they will perform(I mean, unless you actually pick Jadeja that is). Overall 2-1 to India.

  • landl47 on July 8, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    These are two teams in a very similar situation at the moment. Both have young but very promising batting line-ups, both have some issues with bowling and both have captains who haven't been very convincing in tests (Dhoni, of course, is a wonderful short-format captain).

    England's seam bowlers are more experienced, especially in English conditions, but they will sorely miss Swann. India's bowlers look to be quite well suited to English conditions, but only Ishant has played test cricket in England.

    England had one disastrous day against Sri Lanka, but were otherwise easily the better team. India played pretty well in SA and NZ, but lost both series.

    I see no real advantage to either team. This might be a series where momentum shifts from one side to the other constantly. It's likely to be decided by who wins the critical moments- catches taken/dropped, a brilliant spell of bowling, an unexpected partnership. I'm looking forward to a very close and tense series.

  • spot_on on July 8, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Why did England prefer a warm-up with SL to face India. They should have rather chosen to face Saffa B team. Now, at least the Srilankans here in this forum would have kept quiet.

  • nlambda on July 8, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    @xyz_79: you won 1 series with 1 ball to go and you are strutting around like you are a top team. How many tests have you won in India? zero. zilch. nada. Ditto in Australia. This was with Sanga, Mahela, Vaas, Murali all playing. I do not see SL winning any tests in India through this decade and likely not even in SL once Mahela and Sanga retire after the 2015 WC.

  • sudhindranath on July 8, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    The weather forecast for Nottingham on July 9 is : mostly cloudy with a max temp of 68F (20 C), partly cloudy in the morning and cloud+windy in the afternoon. No chance of rain (at least for tomorrow!)

    It will be interesting if England puts India in to bat first. If India can score 250+ losing less than 5 wickets, it would be their day. If England can get 8 or more wickets for 250 runs or less, they would come out on top. Anything in between, means the honors are shared.

  • starlin10 on July 8, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    My team for tomorrow's test match Vijay,Gambhir,Pujara,kohli,Rahane,Binny,Jadeja,Dhoni,Bhuvi,Shami,Pankaj,

  • on July 8, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    dhoni must go with binny to win this match. we need an alrounder.

  • on July 8, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    @budhavarti dont u think u rated dhoni too low a man who is in the top 10 batsman in odi for the last 7 years a man who had the average of more than 51 in odi and moreover whom do u think will be the captain of india kohli who doesnt have the temperament to behave like a captain who's ego is more than the team....sirjee right now there is no one to replace dhoni..and i tell u wait n watch let the series begin thn only i wll talk to u....

  • SICHO on July 8, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @GRVJPR Steyn's a rhythm bowler, everybody who's being watching cricket for a long time knows. Infact he only bowls in the mid 130 in search of swing in early parts spells. When things don't work out, then the real Dale Steyn shows, you had luxury to watch him at his fast and furious best in Durban. And don't tell about lucky wickets, the only error was Kohli's dissmisal (if your board allowed DRS all would've been well, SO DEAL WITH IT!!!). Everybody can close their eyes and swing their bats as hard as they can in IPL and T20s, they did that to likes of Steyn and Johnson, big deal. Lets put them in whites on an ideal cricket pitch (not dead Indian roads) and find out whether they can replicate their performance against the Steyns and Johnsons. One thing, if Shami is so quick, why is it only the Indians who see that?

  • on July 8, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    Winter is coming. Brace yourself India!!

  • on July 8, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    I have spoken enough about Dhoni so I'll just say, this might well be the last series for him. I hope even the fans patience is running out. Win or lose this series, as far as Dhoni can't justify his place in the side, he should go. Moving on, This is a series India should win. Kohli, Puji, Rahane know they have to do most of the batting and very well aware that they can't depend on Dhoni. I am sure they will succeed. Defining series for Rohit you'd like to think. He has the talent, all he needs is to quitely play along with Kohli, who is his ardent fan, and Rahane, both of whom are Mumbai's back. Dhawan will succeed but for Vijay to stay in the side, he needs to do more than play for 1 or 2 hours. At least 1 ton in his 4 innings. I also have confidence in this bowling unit that they will perform(I mean, unless you actually pick Jadeja that is). Overall 2-1 to India.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on July 8, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    @ xyz_79 - one good away series and you guys think SL is the next best thing in world cricket ! lets see SL winning even a single test match once sangakara retires , as for the england series you guys were lucky it was just a 2 match series , anything longer than that and your team would have been humiliated as usual

  • Diaz54 on July 8, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    Following on from my earlier comment....despite concern for India's bowling strength....I am looking forward to seeing Kholi bat which should be good. He is most exciting batsmen from either side. I am hoping Moeen Ali does get another chance for England.

  • SpaMaster on July 8, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    India really needs to find a quality Test-class spinner, particularly when they travel overseas. Ashwin has not been doing well. Jadeja has done his best given what he has been asked to do. We either need to find/groom some young spinner or bring back Harbhajan (He looked pretty good in IPL and the domestic season was not bad as well). Something needs to be done. Jadeja may do the holding job this series and do it well. But India really needs to find a very good spinner soon.

  • waqas-mazhar on July 8, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Waiting for a 5-0 win for English team.

  • Diaz54 on July 8, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    GRVJPR....you must not count your chickens to early in cricket...it bites you. If you check Aus A score you will,see they have scored over 500 runs. The 1st team bowlers of Australia are 1 day bowlers, all rounders! That said I do believe India has talent in producing good batsmen generally. However in test cricket you need to take 20 wickets there lies the problem. Indian bowlers are only good at home because of the surface they play on which basically means spinners. If look at uk county scene over the years , no Indian player has dominated here not even a batsmen! Where as Pakistan and Sri Lanka players to lesser extent have. I remember Great Zaheer Abbas scoring 13 centuries in one season!! Bowlers so many to mention!

  • on July 8, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Recently in the news - Lots of guys in the Indian team (Kohli, Pujara included) have said they are 'confident' ahead of the test series starting tomorrow. On what grounds are we confident? We lost to #8 ranked New Zealand the last time we toured. I understand if we have been winning and appear over-confident. Losing and stating you are confident is worse.

  • sgrp on July 8, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Ajith Agarkar has been talking in the negative over the Indian team performance. The boys need to prove him wrong.

    I am sure Ajith has the best interests of the Indian Team and is saying what he is only to ensure that there is no sign of overconfidence creeping in the team dressing room.

    Duncan Fletcher has already said that the team lost the previous two outings against SA and NZ due to overconfidence.

    Cheers Ajith.

    PS. Duncan you should ask Ajith to join the team to mentor the pacers. Not a bad idea at all. And if the great Kapil Dev is available as part of the commentary team. He could lend a helping hand too :-)

  • on July 8, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Just read this line "Five days later, during India's next press conference in Australia, came their first cry for turning pitches when England and Australia would tour later in the year. Such moments were the lowest point of India's miserable run away from home." in your article.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand what the big deal is about preparing square turners when Australia, England, South Africa or New Zealand visit India on tour. The whole idea of a home-and-away format for Test cricket, to my mind, is not only to witness how teams fare against each other over a period of time but also to test the players' abilities to acclimatize, adapt & then flourish on different surfaces.

    (continued in next comment)

  • roversgate on July 8, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    The article is good but am I happy that the writer is not the one doing the team selection. Why does India have to always be so conservative? This is the one time we have a pace bowling allrounder who is doing well with bat and ball and you are saying that he is not ready for a test cap. Well as it turns out no one in this team is particularly ready for English conditions but they will all be expected to make the adjustment. Binny has to play in place of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma should not be allowed to play. Also, Jadeja might be a much better option than under-performing Ashwin. India is where they are due to the inability to experiment.

  • on July 8, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Indian summer? Indian bowling looks incapable of 20 wickets in a test match. From where will that win come from? Our batsmen are extremely vulnerable to decent swing bowling too. I don't see Indian winning a single test, but would be most happy to be proved wrong.

  • anandshankar82 on July 8, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    India should lose this 5-0 in all probability and if this does happen then MSD can say goodbye to playing tests any longer

    Eng are a far better team and their performance against SL is only because SL is also a far better team than IND

    If India manage a draw by the skin of their teeth it will be a miracle but all those who are supporting IND to win or fight should probably think again

  • Proteas_Power on July 8, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    @getsetgopk I totally agree with you. I bet England will sure beat India 5-0. We beat them 1-0 in England & now they will beat them 5-0 in England all would happen in a gap of a month only. Lankans & Pakistani players are much more talented than Indians but we got less matches to play against big teams as Australia & S.Africa. But we have potential to beat big teams like Aus & S.Africa in their own den as we did in England a month ago.

  • india_boy33 on July 8, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: I was pretty harsh on my last comment so really I apologise for that. All in all we all are bound with each other thru cricinfo. With due respect to every team I just want to say in my last comment that we all know SA is a good team may be best in test cricket right now but it doesn't create so much influence in world cricket as Aussies do in past & they are still going. I mention only Aussies name becoz only 2 teams were dominate the world cricket W.Indies & Australia. W.Indies goes down badly & only T-20 format suits them. So Australia side is the only side who dominate the world cricket from 80's to till now. Only 2 series 1st with against us in India & 2nd against Poms in England ashes (3-0) were write them off. In that period they were in rebuilding phase. & now they are no.1. it's true if we compare man to man this SA side with Aussies side lead by Waugh or Ponting SA is stand nowhere close with that sides

  • parvez04mnit on July 8, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    If India need to win..they need to keep Ashwin and Ishant away from Playing 11. India should go with genuine swing bowlers and Jaddu. Binny has to be given chance. Ashwin should be called when test series is played on muddy Indian pitches. And Ishant should never be called.

  • xtrafalgarx on July 8, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    People should accept that at some point, these Indians WILL step up away from home. You can't always rely on history, that's what England did against Australia. The Indians have got a young side, but they are hungry and they want to be the best, i really think they will step up sooner rather than later.

    We, in AUS have to prepare for this. After 5 tests in England, 2 in NZ and 2 in SA, the Indians will now have a good understanding of foreign conditions. I very much doubt it will be a walk over, we need to be ready.

  • on July 8, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    India needs to go with this team 1. Rohit 2. Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Ashwin 7. Dhoni 8. Jadeja 9. Shami 10. Umesh (Instead of Bhuvi), 11. Aaron (Instead of Ishant). 12. Vijay 13. Bhuvi 14. Gambhir 15. Pandey 16. Saha 17. Pankaj 18. Ishant.

  • on July 8, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    England should have won both tests against SL. When they get to match-winning positions in future they will not let them slip so easily. I don't think this will be an easy tour for India - unless the pitches take a lot of spin.

  • nlambda on July 8, 2014, 1:05 GMT

    @getsetgopk: whitewash is when you lose all tests in a series, like how Aus beat Pak in 2009, 2006, 2002, 1999 and SA did in 2013. The Ind defeats to SA and NZ were not whitewashes.

  • vik-expert on July 8, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    This will be a very close series. 1st test is not going to decide who is going to win the series. I Sharma is the man if bowls like he bowled in NZ & if he gets his wrist right then he will get seam movement. Indian batting still looks better than England. Cook, bell, Prior looks rusty. On other side Pujara, Dhawan, Rahane looks in good touch but Pujara will be the key. The interesting fact is there in only one Indian Medium Fast bowler who bowls on English condition length which is Roger Binny. He will be the surprise package. The 1st test 11 will be Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami.

  • IndianSRTfan on July 7, 2014, 21:21 GMT

    @getsetgopk: Indeed let's get our facts straight. 'Almost losing' isn't a whitewash. So the missing word would be "TWO" not "FOUR". And since India can tour only one country at a time, the reference was for the previous England tour. However I am sure Cricinfo will consider your much valued critique when India tours Australia next.

    @Greatest_Game: Look at it through any glasses you want, SA during that Jo'burg test were behind for most of the time. And it needed exceptional individual brilliance against a 3 man attack consisting of an aged workhorse, a recent debutant, and an ordinary medium pacer, to get SA even back in the game. Hence the words India almost 'won' despite your usual oh-so-lucid objections.

  • on July 7, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    @GreatestGame I apologize sincerely for Ind.Rosh.111 's comments. we tend to be a pretty sensitive lot when it comes to cricket. Although I have to say I agree with him in you unnecessarily bringing up SA, but then again he would too if ind were doing well. SA are the best team in the world at present. Period. However, that might very well change in the near future, depending on how SA tackle kallis's and smith's retirements. I don't have much hope for peterson, but De Kock looks a bright prospect. I might be pretty optimistic, but i believe if Shami were to keep away injuries and Yadav/Aaron can learn to direct their substantial pace well, Ind might have a very passable attack in the near future. And I sincerely believe apart from SA there is still no batting lineup who can match the current Indian lineup, which while inexperienced, might very well be the most talented lineup in the history of televised cricket, in the near future.

  • mtvnjoy on July 7, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    Along with those four, Pujara also has seen a Test victory away from home. He played in the VVS and ZaK orchestrated victory in Durban in 2010.

  • r2d3 on July 7, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    If Sri Lanka can beat this England side and win a series in England, why can't India ?

  • fguy on July 7, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    the part in the article about india's reaction to england performance in UAE confirms what i always suspected - that india lost at home to england not because they were the weaker team but because they were over-confident (bordering on arrogant). after eng's 0-3 whitewash loss to pakistan & their embarrasing batting in their wt20 match against india, Indian team thought they would just have to turn up & they'd win. the 1st test reinforced that & when they reached mumbai for 2nd test they must have felt that an innings win was on the cards. but you should never ever underestimate your opponent. even after mumbai loss they probably considered it as one-off because even with a decent gap they took a break & went home instead of practicing. so i hope they dont commit the same folly here thinking that eng are under pressure so we'll win easy. especially if they somehow happen to ake a early lead. in 5 match series anyone can comeback.

  • on July 7, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    To be fair, this is going to a close test series. Neither team are favourites. But England definitely has got an edge given their home conditions and India's vulnerability. Even if India lose, they have nothing to lose. This is not a star studded team which toured in 2011 and which failed miserably. And losing abroad is not new to India. Even one or two wins, the boys can have their heads high.

    And when we say SL won, they won bcoz they played well. Bcoz SL had won, it doesnt necessarily mean India will win. Hopefully it is not a one sided massacre as it was in 2011. Hoping for some spicy and close fought contests.

    Good luck Dhoni & boys.

  • india_boy33 on July 7, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    @Greatest_Game Why are you put SA in all of your comments. We Saffas/we S.Africans we this we that blah blah. This is India Eng thread & you in all your comments without any cause describing about SA team & it's members. Nobody here is interested in your team. Your team was going to do well only from when Aussies & Indians were slightly goes down becoz of retirement of their legends & other teams were gone in rebuilding or transition phase. Aussies team of Steve Waugh & Ricky Ponting was far far better team than your current team. See the previous records & why previous, see the last Aussies visit to ur home. Come to India & then show ur guts no body in this world even Zim or Ireland is afraid ur team.

  • getsetgopk on July 7, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    And the missing word is "FOUR". India seeks redemption after their last FOUR whitewashes. If I remember it correctly, India toured England in the summer of 2011, got whitewashed, followed by Aus tour, same thing happened there, then they toured SA and finally NZ where they lost almost everything. Lets stick to the facts shall we?

  • binu.emiliya on July 7, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    This will be the eleven for the first test Vijay,Dhawan,Pujara,Kohli,Rohith,Rahane,MS Dhoni,Jadeja,Bhuvi,Ishanth,Shami

  • indianzen on July 7, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    It all depends on the first test. If India wins the First test which is more likely, then England are in big trouble... Brit batsmen were a mere unconfident ducks against a not so good SL bowling attack...

  • bumbles11 on July 7, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    Broad and Anderson love Trent Bridge, England have not lost there in years. Lords is likely to be draw, Old Trafford is quick and again expect Plunkett and Stokes to do well. The Oval isn't fast anymore but good fro spinners which favours India but by 5th will be too late. India don't have the attack or experience of batting in English conditions. I don't think it will be 5-0 but 3-1 or 4-1 with odd draw to England....even under Cook and young players. India need to find fast bowlers, they will never win away.

  • RonG on July 7, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    For all the talk of Cook's captaincy and SL beating England - I do not see India winning a single test match. Indian bowlers do not know how to bowl outside India. Indian fast bowlers just cannot pick up wickets outside India even though they get more assistance, it is truly baffling. Indian batsmen will be under huge pressure because they will be facing 450+ England total every time.

    My prediction England winning all test matches unless weather intervenes.

  • on July 7, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    @TimeKiller on (July 7, 2014, 15:51 GMT):

    Most of the successful record of Karnataka, during the season just concluded, came from the efforts of its batsmen. Rahul & Karun are playing in Australia. Binny is in England.The only major exception from the bowling group was Vinay; and Vinay had been tried and tested at national level, anyway, with mixed results.

  • TimeKiller on July 7, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    @GRVJPR You are right, but if we go by your logic, then the triple crown winners this year (Ranji, Irani, Vijay Hazare) in Indian Domestic Cricket, 'Karnataka' team members should be playing in England, not the current bunch! It is sad that not a single pure bowler from Karnataka is in this Indian team, not even in the India-A team! Does the domestic performance count for nothing? All cricket experts in the media (i.e. ex-Mumbai players) think it doesn't count, because Mumbai is not doing well in domestic cricket these days!

  • milepost on July 7, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    Sri Lanka won with ease and now it's India's turn. This should be the end of Cook's captaincy. At least England fans should hope so or they have their head in the sand, as Warne suggested. There's more liabilities in the England team than one would like, unless you've got an eye on the next Ashes in which case things look great for the number 1 Aussie team.

  • on July 7, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    England easily for the first Test.

  • on July 7, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    Indian batting is too good for England to win the series. England will be lucky if they do not lose. Cook is mentally a nervous captain who is making his entire team nervous. England would be better off grooming Moen Ali as Captain and appointing him Captain soon for next 10 years.

  • on July 7, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    I'd expect England to win at Trent Bridge, it's Anderson's fave ground and India haven't had a lot of preparation. Possible high-scoring draw at Lords, after which Anderson and Broad will be worn out - then it gets interesting. If the weather stays warm, Manchester and The Oval could both prove spinner's wickets bringing Ashwin into play.

    So.. England to take an early lead, India to fight back? Could be epic. Or I could be wrong, of course.

  • Greatest_Game on July 7, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    @ Devsonu on writes "England seem attack is good enough to take 20 wikets while will struggle to take 20 wickets."

    England could not take 20 Sri Lankan wickets. Anderson & Broad are half the bowlers they were. If they get back to form India will have to work hard. If not, big centuries will be scored.

  • Greatest_Game on July 7, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    @ ThePacifist10 asks "Tell me one instance of England fighting in the last 7 months!"

    I can't do that. The poms have no fight left in them - unlike us Saffas!

    I have said several times that India has a good chance to take this series - they just need some real bowling. In SA & NZ Pujara, Kohli, Rahane etc did fight, & fight well. No question. But taking 20 wickets is the problem. That is where India stumbled - they could not bowl out the Proteas. They did better with run-outs, if you consider the number of chances! Rahane's run out of du Plessis saved the 1st test for India

    And that's why India did not come "awfully close to winning." Bowling did not get them there. Batsmen did great, but to win you need 20 wickets. That was not inexperience: that was weak bowling. Zak & Bajhi used to TAKE wickets, not wait for them to happen. They would grab them & take them. That is what India need.

  • HolyShmoly on July 7, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    I don't understand how anyone thinks India will win a test with this team. SL were way better in bowling and batting. Agreed, Eng hasn't had the best time recently but they were very close to winning the first test and not losing the 2nd against SL. On the other hand India were very close to losing the 1st test against SA and while we could all say, India could have won the 1st test against NZ, their bowling in one innings of each of the two tests was awful. For all the optimism on England's batting not being the best, India's is no better and England's bowling and fielding are hands down better than India's. With that said even if it is not a whitewash, 4-0, 3-0 whatever, India will surely not win or draw this series and even more not win a single test here, not with this pathetic bowling attack. On a side note, I can't remember when India or any team other than Aus and Eng played a 5 test series. WI regularly used to until the empire collapsed in the 90's.

  • sudhindranath on July 7, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    What is worrisome for the Indian team is not just that they haven't played Tests in England before, but that almost none of its players (except Gambhir) has county cricket experience. That experience can be very valuable. It is different from touring England as a player in the India "A" team, which one or two of them seem to have done. If you are part of a county team, you get more intimately associated with the English cricket conditions and the culture because you are surrounded by other English players and have the chance to reach out and make friendships and learn. You also play a lot more matches in a season than an India "A" team would.

  • on July 7, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    @Tanmay Athawale- No dude, India won't miss Dravid as Dravid is already in England as team mentor & sky commentator.He will b with Indian team all the time, In stadium, In hotel, Everywhere.. Only he won't be playing for Team India but Pujara will definitely make us forget him in a jiffy.. Because Dravid was a raw product which molded itself into what he is today, A test batting legend not just for India but for the world.. Pujara is a straight from the factory product with all the finishing required, He just requires a little bit of polishing before declaring himself the next great wall of India.. He has already done what Dravid couldn't do in his early career but that in no means belittles Dravid's brilliance and excellence.. He is and would always remain the original great wall of India.. Just let these youngsters express themselves.. These are the future greats for India, India is blessed cricketwise to always produce gems like Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Dhawan and many more.

  • on July 7, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    better think is we should play as 1. vijay 2.dhawan 3.pujara 4.kohli 5.dhoni 6.ashwin /rahane 7. jadeja 8.binny 9.bhuvi 10 shami 11. pankaj, this best choice 4 pacer and 2 spinners, as well as batting line up is well

  • Nampally on July 7, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    The 2011 Team started their tour of England on wrong foot with at least 3 unfit players still recovering from surgery. The current team is fully FIT! The squad is missing at least 3 significant players. Otherwise it is much better on paper than 2011 squad albeit with the same captain who has dismal overseas record. A good XI can lose the series via poor captaincy. The first hurdle Dhoni has to cross is selection of balanced XI taking lessons from SA/NZ failures. He cannot win with 3 specialist bowlers! The second critical issue for the batsmen is to eliminate poking at the balls outside the off stump, play with patience & discipline. Thirdly the bowlers have to bowl in the right areas with off stump line & decent length. The slip fielders need to position themselves correctly & take catches. India definitely have in Kohli & Pujara 2 of the Top 10 batsmen in the world today. Kumar & Shami are a good pace combo if they bowl at the right spots. Play up to your potential- Victory follows!

  • on July 7, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    It will be a good, happy England summer for India.. Anyone saying otherwise is just too polite..

  • arif_cric on July 7, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    After 2011 series lost, i waited England to tour India but big disappointment again in 2012 / 13 series lost, but now i believe this young Indian team can win the series in England as well as in Australia, this Indian team has everything good batsmen good bowlers very good fielders, my team for 1st test, GAMBHIR DHAWAN PUJARA KOHLI RAHANE DHONI BINNY JADEJA KUMAR SHAMI ISHANT,

  • on July 7, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    India will definitely miss Dravid here in England....

  • on July 7, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    I fully support the current India team. The reason is they are young and fresh blood. I was so frustrated when I saw the experienced Indian were failed to deliver. Now we should support this team irrespective of results. Remember 1996 India tour of England. We have Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly. The same way India have recognized VVS Laxman in 1999 tour of Australia. I still remember when Steve waugh rated Laxman's innings was breath taking of that summer. But we have lost the series. what happened in the following years was history. So all the very best Team India.

  • StickoRhubarb on July 7, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    I cant understand this endless confusion and debate re bowlers pace... I have noticed some Indian commentators seem to describe basically all seamers as 'medium pacers', this is rubbish.

    Of current Indian seam and swing bowlers, Aaron is consistently 140kph+ which makes him Right-arm-Fast in my book. Shami is 135-140kph which is Fast-Medium. Kumar and Ishant are both more in the 130kph area which is Medium-Fast. Only stuff below 125kph can fairly be described as just 'Medium'. But As we all know pace is only a part of the puzzle anyway!

  • PCMondal on July 7, 2014, 12:44 GMT

    I think india will loose 5-0, dhoni is not good for test cricket captaincy, dhoni will not pick gambhir in playing X1 in 1st test but he will pick in 2nd test after 1-0 loss & in the current selection no spinners are good to do well in eng except bhajji & the seamers are also not well to bowled out ENG in 10inning ie, 100 wickets I think end will declare there ings in almost 8 ings and indian batting depend upon Dhawan,gambhir,virat & pujara rest all are will complete the playing X1 only.

    Best of luck for Dhoni for ur last test series.

    My Playing X1-Dhawan,Sehwag,Gambhir,Pujara,Virat,Rahane,Dhoni,Bhajji,Bhuvi,U Yadav,I Pandey/Sami/P Singh

  • ThePacifist10 on July 7, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    @SICHO

    I wouldn't say Shami hasn't lived up to the hype. After India he hasn't had the conditions necessary for reverse swing. Dale Steyn did not use reverse swing to get a five-for against us. Hell, he didn't even use swing that match. It was fast and furious pace with good line and length. Something Shami has shown in patches in SA and NZ. I remember when he got ABDV and JPD out in one over. That was pretty amazing! Then there were the performances in Wellington and Auckland. Granted, he may be a little expensive in the limited-overs formats and has a slight weakness against left-handers, but he bowls with good pace, maintains a good line and length and swings and seams the ball. He's pretty complete for an Indian fast bowler. Remember he was trained by Wasim Akram! Not only that, but his attitude and knack of picking up wickets is fantastic. He has 79 wickets in 35-odd matches in his international career! Not bad for a 24 year old Indian pacer! When India field, he will be watched!

  • Roshan_P on July 7, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    England are a good team talent-wise. England produces some good talent considering it is probably the third-favourite sport in England. With better leadership England can beat India. Though I am an Indian living in England, I am going to support England as Britain need some sporting triumph in what has been a bleak summer for football, tennis, rugby and cricket.

  • GRVJPR on July 7, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    @SICHO, That's a blatant lie. We have seen shami clocking 145 plus even on dead tracks in India without making excuse like dale steyn and some aussie bowlers about heat and humidity. As far as wickets of steyn are concerned they were not of reverse swing balls. On fifth day he was gifted 3 wickets by umpires. Ball hitting shoulder of kohli, Off the thigh pad of Vijay and Pujara sliding down the leg side. In fact I remember all commentators including Pommie M Bangwa saying at commentary that Indian seamers have out ball south african counterparts. SA got away with luck and inexperience in Indian side. A 2 test series alsoi saved them basically as Indian batsmen were in prime form with pujara, kohli, Rahane all scoring heaps of runs with ease. Vijay looked very comfortable in all outings and he was just about getting into his stride. In fact its dale steyn who bowls in mid 130's these days and even smashed by rookies in T-20 world cup and IPL.

  • on July 7, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    Anyone whose team does not consist of M Vijay, does not know anything about cricket or life.

  • GRVJPR on July 7, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    Many people here don't seem to understand what is young in test cricket. When I say Naman Ojha is young I mean he is young experience wise. He is first time playing in Australia. Also for a wicket keeper to flay test bowlers of Australia like faulkner is commendable. I haven't seens Aus A winning anything in India on spinning tracks. No one makes someone great (like ponting) by scoring all runs of familiar true bouncing bouncy wickets of Australia. Against spinner neither he had a footwork nor the skills to control bat speed which made him constant failure in India. This is where Sachin scores above everyone else, his skill to adapt to any wicket any where against any attack. Even lara had few flashy rememberable innings but was never a consistent performer.

  • SICHO on July 7, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Shami has had some hype sorrounding him since made his debut about being able to "reverse swing the ball with pace", this has all being a myth. Last time they were here (SA). He ONLY touched the low 140s in his first 3 overs or so and from there he was going back and forth in the region of 133 Ks to about 137 Ks. Nothing more, and when Dale Steyn reverse swung the ball all over the place on his way to 6/100 in Durban, everything he bowled was dead straight. If batsmen stick around long enough, he loses hi sting pretty quickly. Another Munaf Patel perhaps? You'll never know.

  • on July 7, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Shikhar rahane pujara virat rohit dhoni binny jadeja Ashwin bhuvaneshwor shami

  • on July 7, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Still I think that India should play with Five bowler 2 spinners & 3 pacers. Couse what we are lacking in away tours to take 20 wickets & our batsman have shown potential. So My best combination would be for Fist Test: 1. Dhawan 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Ashwain 7. Dhoni 8. Jadeja 9. Bhuvi 10. Shami 11. I Pandey

  • matsub on July 7, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    i think India will struggle.

  • Vilander on July 7, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Shami is neither dibly dobly nor medium pacer, he is 135-148K swing bowler. Bhuv is more a 125-140 medium pacer.

  • arup_g on July 7, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    This will be a big test for a young Indian team without their batting stalwarts, and will potentially carve out the immediate future of Indian test cricket. A lot will depend on the batting, and mainly Pujara and Kohli to score the bulk of the runs, but how the openers perform against the English new ball will be key to whether India score 400+ or less than 200.

    India's bowlers also need to find the right length very quickly. In the series against South Africa and New Zealand, it took them too long to find the 'right' length, which resulted in good second innings performances, but by then the match was already lost. If they are going to persist with Ishant, he needs to lead the way! It is about time he performed to the level that we expect from him.

    I really hope India go with Binny as the all-rounder, and do not play 7 batsmen because he will offer a very good seam bowling option, which is something they've not had for a very long time.

    Good luck India!

  • on July 7, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    @Grvjpr. Suppose cause India can't win a series in Australia that you have to take pleasure of the A teams that no one even cares about. Mitchell Marsh etc are hardly test bowlers are they? Come back when India can win a series in Australia like SA and England. As must be embarrassing for you that India being mentioned as big "3" when SA are bigger than you and have a greater record around the world , come to think of it , even England are better than you as you couldn't even beat England at home.

  • on July 7, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    @greatest-game. You mentioned that SA were close to chasing that record 4th innings score , but you also failed to mention that SA bottled the chase in the end as they should of got it but the fear of losing crept into SA too. You had wickets in hand too.

  • Devsonu on July 7, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    Eng will win 3-0. England seem attack is good enough to take 20 wikets while will struggle to take 20 wickets.

  • ThePacifist10 on July 7, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    @Greatest_Game

    I beg to differ. In South Africa we had Vijay, Jadeja, Kohli, Pujara and Rahane fight hard for us with the bat and in the field. In New Zealand Jadeja, Rahane, Dhawan, Shami, Kohli and Rohit stepped up in one way or another. I can tell you several instances where we created chances of winning a match, only to lose it due to inexperience. And don't give me this "Defensive Dhoni" excuse. The man does what he can with what he has. Tell me one instance of England fighting in the last 7 months!

  • shivs_cricket on July 7, 2014, 10:23 GMT

    we cant decide the talent of a player by playing only one game what ever happen success or failure my way player need min 5 games to check every thing technical, statistical, mental strength and improvement of his game. today and yesterday young Indian's done excellent job i wish them to continue like this. and also best chance to the in experienced and classical talent Indian players to show what they are to the world.

  • Goju on July 7, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    I genuinely don't think Indian bowler's will struggle. Wickets in the first session is a must, and India's dibbly doubly medium pacers (kumar, shami) should find swing. Cook is woefully out of form which is great news. Second session is the scoring session and where Ashwin and Jadeja and some real pace (Aaron not Sharma) can do the trick of controlling the flow and picking up the odd wicket. And session 3 is where reverse swing may place a role - especially if its overcast.

    That being said - Indian bowlers are known to create world class batsmen.

    By the way - what has happened to Umesh Yadhav? Would have been nice to see Yadhav and Aaron bowling in tandem.

    1 Dhawan 2 Gambhir 3 Pujara 4 Kohli 5 Rahane 6 Dhoni 7 Jadeja 8 Ashwin 9 Aaron 10 Shami 11 Bhuvi

    Potential Subs: 12. R. Sharma (for Rahane) 13. S. Binny (for Jaddu) 14. P. Singh (for Bhuvi) 15. I. Pandey (for Shami) 16. M. Vijay (for Dhawan) 17. Saha (not going to play) 18. Ishant Sharma (pls never play)

  • on July 7, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    GRVJPR: Naman Ojhs is neither a youngster (he is 30 years old and with Dhoni around for a few more years has no chance of representing India) nor was the pitch he scored bouncy or menacing. please read reviews; it was an easy paced wicket. However, still a good knock nevertheless but I don't think it is going to do anything to his career.

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 7, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    @GRPVPR, If in all the unofficial tests, jaspreet bumrah and umesh yadav does good, will they get india ODI cap for tri-series ind-aus-eng 2014 and WC2015? What do you think?

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 7, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    @spinkingkk, I agree with you mate.

  • Greatest_Game on July 7, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    " They know this is a good chance for a young group - which came awfully close to winning Tests in South Africa …"

    …but they came oh so much closer to conceding the largest 4th innings run chase in test history, to a 10 man team! When the entire Indian team was circling the boundary, desperate to save runs, you know they were not attacking and trying to finish off their opponent, but desperately fighting to stave off defeat instead! Against a 10 man team. That is not quite "awfully close to winning," but rather awfully close to losing!

    And in the 2nd test, they were not even in the game. Slaughtered!

  • Worldcricketlover on July 7, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @GRJVPR i agree with you. Also Dhawal Kulrani is need to be mention here. I believe he is far better then Bhuvi. Because his pace is slightly better then bhuvi also his line and length are just impeccable. He was good even on patta pitch in India during IPL. If india play without Ishant and include Pankaj singh and if bowler bowl on right length , it can win the first test. But we all are aware that No matter how ishant's form is . MSD will always favour him . MSD;s tactics and kohlis slip fielding were two reasons of India's last failure .

  • spinkingKK on July 7, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    @Yuvi_storm, good selection. However, Vijay hasn't done anything bad to get dropped. True, Gambhir has the experience. However, for a starter, I will be giving Vijay at least one match. Good selection of the bowling unit. Just what I thought they should do. But, most likely, you will see Ishant Sharma replacing Pankaj and Ashwin replacing Jadeja from your line-up. If that happens, I still can't blame them. They would have just gone for the experience.

  • on July 7, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Two young teams with two more experienced, defensive captains at the helm. England's pace attack will test India as much as India's batsmen will test England's bowlers. I'm very hopeful for a good series. I'm an England fan but I don't think India will be anywhere near as bad as they were a few years back. I think they'll really test England on the back of the narrow Sri Lanka defeat.

  • GRVJPR on July 7, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Further proof how good Indian domestic cricket is. Always produces talented cricketers. Ricky ponting has no FC double hundred in India, but our youngster Naman Ojha scores a double in a first match he plays in Australia. Who worries about pace and bounce!

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 7, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    I think Ravindra jadeja and shikhar dhawan will be "Player To Watch" considering CT2013 success. My XI for 1st test. 1.S.Dhawan 2.G.Gambhir 3.C.Pujara 4.V.Kohli 5.A.Rahane 6.S.Binny 7.M.S.D. 8.R.Jadeja 9.B.Kumar 10.M.Shami 11. Pankaj Singh.

  • GRVJPR on July 7, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Today is a good day since youngster Naman Pjha has scored a brillinat 200 not out on fast bpuncy brisbane wicket against Australia A which included Aus test bowlers. In reply Aussies struggling at 126/6. This shows 1) Indian domestic cricket produces good talent 2) Indian domestic bowlers are able to get wickets. 3) Based on 1 and 2 all the cricket experts in india are liers since they say standard of domestic cricket is not good. MS Dhoni should be replaced by Naman Ojha in test squad.

  • GRVJPR on July 7, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Today is a good day since youngster Naman Pjha has scored a brillinat 200 not out on fast bpuncy brisbane wicket against Australia A which included Aus test bowlers. In reply Aussies struggling at 126/6. This shows 1) Indian domestic cricket produces good talent 2) Indian domestic bowlers are able to get wickets. 3) Based on 1 and 2 all the cricket experts in india are liers since they say standard of domestic cricket is not good. MS Dhoni should be replaced by Naman Ojha in test squad.

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 7, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    I think Ravindra jadeja and shikhar dhawan will be "Player To Watch" considering CT2013 success. My XI for 1st test. 1.S.Dhawan 2.G.Gambhir 3.C.Pujara 4.V.Kohli 5.A.Rahane 6.S.Binny 7.M.S.D. 8.R.Jadeja 9.B.Kumar 10.M.Shami 11. Pankaj Singh.

  • GRVJPR on July 7, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Further proof how good Indian domestic cricket is. Always produces talented cricketers. Ricky ponting has no FC double hundred in India, but our youngster Naman Ojha scores a double in a first match he plays in Australia. Who worries about pace and bounce!

  • on July 7, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Two young teams with two more experienced, defensive captains at the helm. England's pace attack will test India as much as India's batsmen will test England's bowlers. I'm very hopeful for a good series. I'm an England fan but I don't think India will be anywhere near as bad as they were a few years back. I think they'll really test England on the back of the narrow Sri Lanka defeat.

  • spinkingKK on July 7, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    @Yuvi_storm, good selection. However, Vijay hasn't done anything bad to get dropped. True, Gambhir has the experience. However, for a starter, I will be giving Vijay at least one match. Good selection of the bowling unit. Just what I thought they should do. But, most likely, you will see Ishant Sharma replacing Pankaj and Ashwin replacing Jadeja from your line-up. If that happens, I still can't blame them. They would have just gone for the experience.

  • Worldcricketlover on July 7, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @GRJVPR i agree with you. Also Dhawal Kulrani is need to be mention here. I believe he is far better then Bhuvi. Because his pace is slightly better then bhuvi also his line and length are just impeccable. He was good even on patta pitch in India during IPL. If india play without Ishant and include Pankaj singh and if bowler bowl on right length , it can win the first test. But we all are aware that No matter how ishant's form is . MSD will always favour him . MSD;s tactics and kohlis slip fielding were two reasons of India's last failure .

  • Greatest_Game on July 7, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    " They know this is a good chance for a young group - which came awfully close to winning Tests in South Africa …"

    …but they came oh so much closer to conceding the largest 4th innings run chase in test history, to a 10 man team! When the entire Indian team was circling the boundary, desperate to save runs, you know they were not attacking and trying to finish off their opponent, but desperately fighting to stave off defeat instead! Against a 10 man team. That is not quite "awfully close to winning," but rather awfully close to losing!

    And in the 2nd test, they were not even in the game. Slaughtered!

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 7, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    @spinkingkk, I agree with you mate.

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 7, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    @GRPVPR, If in all the unofficial tests, jaspreet bumrah and umesh yadav does good, will they get india ODI cap for tri-series ind-aus-eng 2014 and WC2015? What do you think?

  • on July 7, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    GRVJPR: Naman Ojhs is neither a youngster (he is 30 years old and with Dhoni around for a few more years has no chance of representing India) nor was the pitch he scored bouncy or menacing. please read reviews; it was an easy paced wicket. However, still a good knock nevertheless but I don't think it is going to do anything to his career.