July 17, 2011

Sehwag's absence will hurt India

Without him they will have to be cautious against England's swing bowlers. But even so the series, with its several mini-contests and the No. 1 ranking at stake, is expected to be a mouth-watering one
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Occasionally fate serves up a delightful twist to an already irresistible contest. The Lord's Test in particular, and the India versus England series in general, is one such example.

Coincidentally the game at Lord's is the 2000th Test match, and it launches a series where the No. 1 ranking is on the line.

It appears that fate has come down ever so slightly in England's favour. The first two venues in this series, Lord's and Trent Bridge, are known to favour swing bowling. England's ability to swing both the new and old ball is a big reason behind their recent rise up the rankings. In addition, India are missing their greatest counterattacking weapon.

There's no batsman in the world who can disrupt bowling plans quicker than Virender Sehwag, and he'll be missing for at least the first two Tests. India could dispute that reasoning by saying that they played without Sehwag the last time as well, in 2007, and won at Trent Bridge to clinch the series.

They should have also won at The Oval but Rahul Dravid, in a surprisingly timid captaincy move, failed to enforce the follow-on. In the recent series in the Caribbean, MS Dhoni was accused of being similarly cautious in the final Test - for not attempting a difficult chase to try and extend India's victory to 2-0.

In both cases the Indian captain had a series lead and was disinclined to allow the opposition even a sliver of a chance to level. The counter to that argument is that a captain doesn't get too many chances to win Test matches, so he should grab every one and shake the life out of that opportunity.

The one time a captain should not be overly cautious is at the start of a series, when a team can take a huge step towards mental superiority by being aggressive. This is where Sehwag's absence hurts India; being at the top of the order, he's likely to gain the upper hand in the series just by batting normally in the first session.

Consequently India will have to rely more on a wearing-down process to subdue the England swing bowlers, rather than on Sehwag's bludgeoning tactics. On the bowling side, India's biggest plus from the Caribbean series was the much-awaited return to form of Ishant Sharma.

In a frank interview the young fast bowler said he had tried to copy his opening partner, Zaheer Khan, and this had brought problems. Having rectified that mistake he's now poised to form a lethal combination with Zaheer, who is the Indian bowler best equipped to utilise any swing on offer.

Zaheer has the added advantage of being the type of bowler who troubles England captain Andrew Strauss. If India can separate Strauss and Alastair Cook quickly, the England batting is vulnerable. Cook's consistent high-scoring was crucial in England retaining the Ashes against Australia.

England are also vulnerable against good spin bowling, and the best way to expose this flaw is to make early inroads. This frailty also presents India with a selection poser: do they pick two spinners or three seamers? If they choose three seamers, will they prefer Yuvraj Singh to Suresh Raina? Yuvraj's recent bowling renaissance in ODIs makes his selection enticing, as Kevin Pietersen has shown that left-arm orthodox spinners are his kryptonite.

However, India should pick the best batsman at No. 6, and also give serious consideration to playing Amit Mishra at some stage during the series. Given slightly helpful conditions the steady legspinner could expose the English batsmen's leaden-footed approach to playing tweakers.

In addition to the battles already mentioned there will be many other absorbing contests. Harbhajan Singh against England's two left-handed openers. Jimmy Anderson, the best swing bowler in the game when he's on song, will test India's ageing middle-order, never mind the less experienced opening combination.

And then there's Graeme Swann, a fine attacking offspinner operating against batsmen who are most comfortable playing spin. There's a lot to look forward to in this series even before the No. 1 ranking is decided.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 19, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    Indian batting looks formidable in sub continet conditions and timid in overseas conditions.the bowling is vice versa, so it is a inconsistent bowling attack versus a good allround side.I can see similarites between india and the aussie team which came a cropper in Ashes. the similarites are the indians do not have a settled bowling attack and they have a toss up between, ishant, munaf and sreeshanth. similar to the problems the aussies faced in playing harris, bollinger, johnson and siddle. indian batting is great on paper, i do nt recollect how many times 3-4 top order batsmenr have made an impact in conditions like england, SA, WI and Australlia. if anything has to be extrapolated from the recent windies tour, indians were tested by the west indian bowlers often on fast tracks and they managed to win the series becaise windies were windies.

  • arunnn81 on July 19, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    i dont know why you people dont count sreesanth as second best indian fast bowler if he is good form.dont forget that india have won in south africa twice mainly because of his bowling power

  • GDH62 on July 19, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    jagat777 get your facts corrected, ST has scored just over half the number of runs (14692) that the England team have (29093), assuming England play the same 11 they did against SL.

  • SRT_thebest on July 19, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Hey Alexk400 get your facts corrected, it's not sachin who contributes to losses it's that the team flops when tendulkar scores. We saw it even in WC agianst England and South Africa so don't go saying anything. Sachin has scored more runs than the whole english team combined. So it's either the bowlers who gave these many runs were bad or he definitly has your so called technique

  • on July 19, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    all know how important sehwag's presence is.no matter where he is plating,who is bowling,he just knows to hit the ball.the whole bretain eill miss sehwag's heat.

  • pankajkumarsingh on July 19, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Not a great Chappel fan... but I really like this article from him. Very subdued, careful analysis, mostly speaking of strengths of both sides. I guess why most of us are being careful is agressive analysis is because this series could go either way. Recent Ind/SA was spoken a lot about. And I remember India/Aus was one of greatest series of all (when Ind won 2-1 afer losing the 1st). But this has to be the mother of all series. Would be a great series and I hope it lives up to the hype.

  • Iyer on July 19, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    India's best chance is to win the fourth test and second test. India should be happy if they could manage a draw on the remaining two tests, although very unliekly as they are played at Lords and Edgbaston. Lords test will end in 3 days in favor of England. Without sehwag and against the mighty english batting and bowling attacks, india will come cropper.

  • on July 19, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    Ian, you are so right once again. India without Sehwag would find it difficult to beat England - he is the No.2 match winner for them - Laxman is No.1, usually ably assisted by Dravid. Hence, with Sehwag out, if any of their winning faithfuls in Laxman or Dravid is out of form, they can lose to England. I think that Tremlet is going to be more than a handful for the rest of the batting. As you have been rightly postulating over time, Tendulkar has achieved enough that he must be reckoned at all times, but not when the assessment is based on the winning cards of the team. As far as the bowling is concerned, Zaheer would have to do as well as he did the last time. If Sharma is really back to form, this series will prove it. If this is so, it improves india chances. I swould have taken Rohit Sharma instead of Mukund to open the batting, because I think after Dravid and Laxman, he is the best player of quick bowling in India. He is just unfortunate not not be given more chances.

  • on July 19, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    @ sunildjoshi, lol... raina already sealed middle order spot, who will open the batting?? yuvi??!!, stunning views from u dude...

  • akshayaram on July 19, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    My XI for the Lord's test will be Gambhir;Mukund;Dravid;Sachin;Laxman;Raina;Dhoni;Harbhajan;Praveen;Zaheer; Ishant Raina has improved his technique by leaps and bounds and he has dealt with the bouncer extremely well.And also because of his recent form in the West Indies and in the warm up match against Somerset he must be picked ahead of Yuvraj.

    Sehwag will be surely missed.The way he sets up his innings can turn the match around even in the first session of the test match.As Mr.Ian Chappel said he can disrupt any opposition bowler's rhythm in a matter of few balls.

    The bowling lineup looks good with likes of Zak, Ishant and Praveen. Praveen esp with his wristy action will be able to exploit the english conditions better.

  • on July 19, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    Indian batting looks formidable in sub continet conditions and timid in overseas conditions.the bowling is vice versa, so it is a inconsistent bowling attack versus a good allround side.I can see similarites between india and the aussie team which came a cropper in Ashes. the similarites are the indians do not have a settled bowling attack and they have a toss up between, ishant, munaf and sreeshanth. similar to the problems the aussies faced in playing harris, bollinger, johnson and siddle. indian batting is great on paper, i do nt recollect how many times 3-4 top order batsmenr have made an impact in conditions like england, SA, WI and Australlia. if anything has to be extrapolated from the recent windies tour, indians were tested by the west indian bowlers often on fast tracks and they managed to win the series becaise windies were windies.

  • arunnn81 on July 19, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    i dont know why you people dont count sreesanth as second best indian fast bowler if he is good form.dont forget that india have won in south africa twice mainly because of his bowling power

  • GDH62 on July 19, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    jagat777 get your facts corrected, ST has scored just over half the number of runs (14692) that the England team have (29093), assuming England play the same 11 they did against SL.

  • SRT_thebest on July 19, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Hey Alexk400 get your facts corrected, it's not sachin who contributes to losses it's that the team flops when tendulkar scores. We saw it even in WC agianst England and South Africa so don't go saying anything. Sachin has scored more runs than the whole english team combined. So it's either the bowlers who gave these many runs were bad or he definitly has your so called technique

  • on July 19, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    all know how important sehwag's presence is.no matter where he is plating,who is bowling,he just knows to hit the ball.the whole bretain eill miss sehwag's heat.

  • pankajkumarsingh on July 19, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Not a great Chappel fan... but I really like this article from him. Very subdued, careful analysis, mostly speaking of strengths of both sides. I guess why most of us are being careful is agressive analysis is because this series could go either way. Recent Ind/SA was spoken a lot about. And I remember India/Aus was one of greatest series of all (when Ind won 2-1 afer losing the 1st). But this has to be the mother of all series. Would be a great series and I hope it lives up to the hype.

  • Iyer on July 19, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    India's best chance is to win the fourth test and second test. India should be happy if they could manage a draw on the remaining two tests, although very unliekly as they are played at Lords and Edgbaston. Lords test will end in 3 days in favor of England. Without sehwag and against the mighty english batting and bowling attacks, india will come cropper.

  • on July 19, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    Ian, you are so right once again. India without Sehwag would find it difficult to beat England - he is the No.2 match winner for them - Laxman is No.1, usually ably assisted by Dravid. Hence, with Sehwag out, if any of their winning faithfuls in Laxman or Dravid is out of form, they can lose to England. I think that Tremlet is going to be more than a handful for the rest of the batting. As you have been rightly postulating over time, Tendulkar has achieved enough that he must be reckoned at all times, but not when the assessment is based on the winning cards of the team. As far as the bowling is concerned, Zaheer would have to do as well as he did the last time. If Sharma is really back to form, this series will prove it. If this is so, it improves india chances. I swould have taken Rohit Sharma instead of Mukund to open the batting, because I think after Dravid and Laxman, he is the best player of quick bowling in India. He is just unfortunate not not be given more chances.

  • on July 19, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    @ sunildjoshi, lol... raina already sealed middle order spot, who will open the batting?? yuvi??!!, stunning views from u dude...

  • akshayaram on July 19, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    My XI for the Lord's test will be Gambhir;Mukund;Dravid;Sachin;Laxman;Raina;Dhoni;Harbhajan;Praveen;Zaheer; Ishant Raina has improved his technique by leaps and bounds and he has dealt with the bouncer extremely well.And also because of his recent form in the West Indies and in the warm up match against Somerset he must be picked ahead of Yuvraj.

    Sehwag will be surely missed.The way he sets up his innings can turn the match around even in the first session of the test match.As Mr.Ian Chappel said he can disrupt any opposition bowler's rhythm in a matter of few balls.

    The bowling lineup looks good with likes of Zak, Ishant and Praveen. Praveen esp with his wristy action will be able to exploit the english conditions better.

  • devils13 on July 19, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    Many are underestimating Indias pace attack,but they are a formidable attack when the bowl is swinging...but doubts can be raised over the batting as they never showed any kind of endurance resilience against good swing attack

  • on July 18, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    right

  • Alexk400 on July 18, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    My team XI. Sachin Gambhir Dravid Laxman Raina Yuvi Dhoni Bhajji Khan Sharma Sreesanth. Or Mukund Gambhir Dravid Sachin Laxman Raina Dhoni Bhajji Khan Sharma Sreesanth. Dravid Must not open at any cost. Sreesanth is there as a scapegoat. We need someone to blame for the loss. Sreesanth is great target with his antics. My guess is zaheer will be toothless and there by indias bowling will be ineffective. But match decided by who is taking 20 wickets. It is not possible for india to take 20 wickets. So it will be a contest of england bowlers vs indian batsman. England need to choke up runs by fielding well. Attack scoring areas. Incutter or slow ball (C&B) for laxman. Raina - short ball , Dhoni - outside offstump , Dravid outside off stump , sachin - LBW , Gambhir run out or LBW , Bhajji - short ball.

  • Alexk400 on July 18, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    We can analyse and predict until first ball bowled. I think both teams are evenly matched. Raina and VVS Laxman and Morgan are ones who gona play crucial roles in this series. Indian bowlers gona spray all over. if india bats first , India will lose the first test. if india bat second atleast they know what to do to draw. India will go into this game to play for draw. So toss is crucial. Swan play crucial role in wrapping up india tail. I hope broad do not play. He is mentally weak against indian. His style of bowling will be walk in the park for indians. Strauss need to stop supporting broad in india series. He needs to select bresnan or finn. Broad play yuvi will play. Hahaha.

  • Alexk400 on July 18, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Sachin contribution india is literally nothing. His contribution is for himself. He never contributed to win. His contribution is always for loss. I dislikes losers like sachin. he choked in the finals numerous times. Back to this match up. India can go about this two ways. 1) play mukund and hope he capitalize the oppurtunity and score big and there by we have unearthed another gem and good baclup opener. 2) Ask sachin to open and play yuvi and raina in middle. 3) never ask dravid to open because he puts the team in pressure in first ball itself. Darvid is ideal number 3. Sachin can open if he thinks he has the so called technique to handle swing not hiding behind dravid when there is no swing. There is a reason sehwag want to bat in middle order , so there is no swing to face and easier to bat in middle order than opening. One thing though sehwag must learn to be 5% of sachin's selfishness. Sehwag will be great if u worry about his stats like sachin.

  • on July 18, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Don't you just love the same old boring sterotyping?

    English batsman can't play spin - I think they can and especially in England. Didn't see Pakistan or Sri Lanka rip through them with spin did we?. Swann isn't bad himself and a more prolific operator in England than most spin bowlers. I personally think the Indian seam attack will do ok, it's really just a case of how well England bowl. If Anderson gets the movement like he did against Pakistan last summer then India will struggle, but they are a very good batting side.

    Should be a good series!

  • nag888 on July 18, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Chappel You comments are welcome to indian team, give better sujestions to Aus team. India will win.

  • sunildjoshi on July 18, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    Without Sehwag this team is like nail without sharpness. Can damage the fruit but needs extra pressure. Throw Mukund out and put Yuvi / Raina on the tip to add some sharpness....

  • on July 18, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Shewag is a batsman who uses his mind, hands and eyes for making shots and does not use his feet much which is essential to battle swing bowling in England. There is a reason why his average is below par in England as opposed to other countries. Ian Chappell in the process of giving credit to Shewag is failing to recognize rock solid Indian batsmen who can defend swing bowling with excellent foot work.

  • on July 18, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Ian Chappell is always ready to jump into the band wagon to critize Indian team or praise the opposition team that plays India. Here are the real pros and cons of both teams:

    1) Both teams have a strong batting line up even though Indian team has more experience than the Brits

    2) As far as bowling is concerned, both teams have equal strength. The home advantage means nothing as at least two of the Indian bowlers have played in English condition before

    3) Indian team has a better captain than England

    4) Weather makes the swing bowling powerful in England and both teams have batsman who can handle that

    5) Mental game begins from a team that needs the win badly and England has already started it

    6) Indians begin weak but gets stronger as the series progresses further. That has been their strength in the past. I won't be surprised if England wins the first test but I would give full credit to them, if they win the series

  • Rumy1 on July 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    We will surely miss Sehwag even though he doesn't have a great record in England. Instead of inexperienced and less qualified Mukund, I wish the tested and solid Jaffer would have faced the swing and bounce of Anderson/ Broad/ Tremlett and spin of Swan, better. Trying out inexperienced Mukund in easy climes of WI was fine. Had he fared well, it would have made sense to continue with him. However, that wasn't. Mukund still has to travel some distance to fare well at international level. West Indies attack was as good as any good Ranji side. England is a top notch team. Tour of England is a much more difficult one and an important one too.Jaffer would certainly be the best choice after Sehwag to face English bowlers in their conditions. In fact, Jaffer would do better than Gambhir in those conditions given his experience, better technique and skills.Hope Fletcher overrules Dhoni and gets Jaffer on board in England as quickly as possible given uncertainty of Sehwag for even 3rd Test.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    India's playing 11 for 1st test should be:- Gambhir Dravid Yuvraj Tendulkar Laxman Raina Dhoni Harbhajan Zaheer Praveen Ishant ...........I don't think Mukund deserves to be in final 11 against a formidable side in it's own home soil.

  • gung-ho on July 18, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    Ian Chappell = troll. You do not have to be an expert to state the obvious. A player of Sehwag's ability will be missed.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    @Rumy1

    I have to disagree with you. Jaffer's last tour to England was pretty bad - showed very little technique against the swinging ball.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    Given the summer we're having in England (i.e. it's like winter) I think the Indians will struggle with the ball zipping about all over the place. 3-1 England.

  • on July 18, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    @Dan Roberts

    Shrewd observations. Sehwag is definitely less likely to fire in swinging conditions. Chappell comes from the mental angle that if sehwag does fire, it puts India on top immediately and "fighting against time" to win a test match possibility comes down dramatically. You are going to need a "dravidian" innings to win a test match - a sehwagian innings will help your cause for sure.

  • m_kamb on July 18, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    ROB AND ANISH DONT FIGHT SEHWAG AND DILSHAN AVERAGES 21 AND 22 RESPECTIVELY IN ENGLAND..HEHEHE M_KAMB@YAHOO.CO.UK

  • RohanMarkJay on July 18, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    India are a very very good side. It is an absolute pleasure watching them play cricket. They have great cricketing skills especially in the batting department where no one else can touch them for text book batting technique.

  • on July 18, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    @Robayeth Robs don't make any comedy man... Dilshan don't know how to play pull shot and short balls... he is not at all a cricketer.... he he he

  • arup_g on July 18, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    Sehwag will be missed heavily as he is capable of taking any bowling attack apart, and ruin lines and lengths. Mukund may be a fantastic player at a Ranji level, but if him and Gambhir go into their shell then it may allow the English bowlers to get into their groove. India's chances lie with their middle order and this is where the bulk of the runs have to come. As for the bowling it is difficult to see where 20 wickets will come if Zaheer and Ishant are not clicking! Sreesanth is really a mood bowler, and can Bhajji get more than 5 wickets in an innings?!

    It will be an interesting series for sure. I am going win 1-1, although as an Indian fan I'd like to see 2-0 or 3-0! England are a much better team than that of 2007 and will surely win 1 test, if not the first

  • RohanMarkJay on July 18, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    India have a very strong team. If all India's key players are fit. Then India will win the series. Personally I will be very surprised if India didn't win the series. Any team with Sachin Tendulkar and the other wonderful batters and bowlers they got got to be favourites to win.

  • on July 18, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    My India team is Mukund, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Raina, Mishra, Zaheer, Ishant and Praveen. Harbhajan and Munaf are jokers. Bhajji has forgotten how to spin the ball and Munaf has so little pace he tries to spin the ball albeit even worse than Bhajji.

  • Jay_N on July 18, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    @Dan Roberts I disagree with you dude the point is everyone in the team dsnt hv to be dravid or kallis or tendulkar, that's what makes a team interesting, a combination of players who can perform different roles for instance a quick half century can be backed up by a solid innings from dravid. Even if you look at england they have got solid top three followed by the likes of pietersen and morgon who themselves are pretty aggrressive stroke players. In fact one of the reasons why england has been successful in the recent past is because they have peiteresen, bell, prior who score at a quicker pace and thus allow the english bowlers more time to bowl out the opposition.

  • on July 18, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how he goes. England is not an easy place for openers, evidenced by a Sub 40 average for Sehwag over here. If people think back to the last tour over here after the weather saved them at Lords (9 down with plenty of overs when the rain came), it was actually a very restrained, watchful and unspectacular Tendulkar that showed the way in England conditions. You are better off wearing the bowlers down than taking them on. In England it is the likes of Kallis, Kirsten, Dravid that we fear. A quick 100 t won't prevent 6 quick wickets leaving a total of less than 260, but a slow 100 will.

    I also remember Dravid at the Oval years ago, where he did exactly that, to the point where a run out was the only way we could dismiss him (albeit the track was flat).

    Swinging or bouncing ball against Sehwag, I feel will mean he comes off less often than usual.

  • on July 18, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    hmm.. always questions rises when India is in No.1 position or world champions. we are ready to take it as a challenge. You people always criticize Indians forgetting the fact they beat all teams, including your australia. And we are no.1 and world champions. sir, we don't get down by your words coz we are Indians. They used to overcome these situations but your people can not. Sir, did england ever touched or tasted world cup trophy. 1st please tell them to do that before beating us in the test, they cant even touch. At last you will say ohh.. england did well but even though India won the series. haa that's horrible.

  • on July 18, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    @Alexk400 - Are you serious?? You are now doubting sachin's contribution? Whos your fav player - wasim jaffer or sanjay manjrekar??? lol What you said applies to rahul dravid, dravid meandered the last two games to a draw from winning positions by batting as if he was batting against west indies of 80s on a rocky pitch...., i pity your limited cricket knowledge...

    @rahul_suda - Don't talk non-sense, if your basing your support to dravid based on his past statistics, why dont you ask for gavaskar being brought back into the team? he has a better record. Bottom line, any sport is played to be won, and games are not won by batting like a snail. Those who compare dravid with sachin that is the biggest joke, sachin has it in him to take on any bowling attack, and we all saw what dravid did against WI,. plz stop wasting everyones time

  • Rumy1 on July 18, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    India surely would miss Sehwag. Instead of the young, inexperienced and less qualified Mukund, I wish the tested Wasim Jaffer would have faced the swing and bounce of Anderson, Broad and Tremlett and spin of Swan. Trying out the inexperienced Mukund on an inconsequential tour of West Indies was fine. Had he fared well, it made sense to continue with him. The tour of England is such an important tour. Jaffer would have been the best choice after Sehwag to face English bowlers in their conditions. In fact, Jaffer would have fared better than Gambhir in English conditions given the better technique and skills of Jaffer. Hope Fletcher over rules Dhoni and gets Jaffer on board in England as quickly as Sehwag is still uncertain to be even fit for 4th Test.

  • on July 18, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    Dilshan is much much better who scored 192 at Lords....plays pull shot and short balls well than any Asian players

  • aarpee2 on July 18, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Ian, I believe has missed a trick here. In my view, bowlers win matches and India's rise to the top has been possible because the bowlers have consisitently claimed 20 wickets to bowl out opposition and win games. Don't forget Praveen Kumar can swing the ball either way even in unhelpful conditions and will prove a handful for the opposition in Ehelpful conditions -he may yet turn out to be India's trump card with Zaheer to guide him and Ishant to back up with his pace and steep bounce. If only Bhajji can shed his inhibitions and play the role of a strike bowler like Swan and Ajmal rather than perform as a stock bowler, the Indian bowling can be a major challenge to the English batsmen even in their home conditions. Batting is not a major worry with Gambhir,Sachin,Rahul and VVS backed by Dhoni,Raina and Bhaaji to follow. If Mukund can chip in with a steady start against the new ball the contest will be open and interesting. Sehwag is an impact player and will be missed.

  • on July 18, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Ian is right,sehwag is a nightmare for the opposition bowlers...he may get 50-60,but he upsets the rhythm and confidence of the premiere bowlers,as in the case of umar gul in world cup semi-final.if he would have been in the first couple if tests,england would have spent lot of time making strategies against him,and still under pressure from ball one!i hope he comes back soon!!!

  • anurag4u10 on July 18, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @hris ya bt poning's presence has nevr hurt india on indian soil bt sachin's presence do hurt aussies . and FYI aussies won 2 tests nd drew 1 dey played wdout ponting nd lost 1 wen ponting got included in d side

  • guan on July 18, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    what u thinks , sehwag is only current player in the world which srtike rate is 82 approx. means other batsman score less run but consume more ball. that 's why boller have then upper hand. so remember 83 made by sehwag against same opposition in 2008. 293 against srilanka to give india apple time to win by innings. so despite sachin great work ,sehwag is so important for india. well.

  • on July 18, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    india team - dhoni(c) (w), mukund, gambhir, dravid, tendulkar, laxman, raina, harvojan, jahir, ishant, probin.india team - dhoni(c) (w), mukund, gambhir, dravid, tendulkar, laxman, raina, harvojan, jahir, ishant, probin.

  • Iyer on July 18, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    If Mukund fails in the first test miserably when other batsmen doesn't fail, then he should be dropped for the second test. Dravid should be made to open the test innings. That way we can bring in yuvraj for the second test. It may sound bit unfair to Mukund, but there is a lot at stake. Cannot risk to give him match practice when the ranking is at stake.

  • on July 18, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Lets watch for this battle and have fun :-) zaheer vs strauss, sachin vs swann, laxman vs tremlet, jimmy vs gambhir, ishant vs trott, bhajji vs cook.

  • on July 18, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    sehwag would definitely b missed in india'a campaign against england he is such a brutal opener who can demoralize any attack in a session nd give upper hand to team india..... and all those who are saying that he is just good on flat tracks.. correct their stats because he has been more devastating than any other india batsmen after his comeback......

  • on July 18, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    Englands batsman don't have a weakness against spin at all, a good spinner will get wickets against any side but that doesnt make it a weakness. Also surely india have ruled out a return for yuvraj, raina has been in good form, he scored a ton in the warm up game, while yuvi managed nought and 0-76 off 10 overs with the ball. Also while sehwag is a big loss, Mukund will step up and show what he is made of and tho he wont score as freely as sehwag , he can still make some good runs with ghambir his partner. After seeing the scores for the warm up game surely ishant much be included instead of a wayward sreesanth, also bhaji will be there instead of mishra, then its a choice of munaf or praveen for the 3rd seamer

  • bigdhonifan on July 18, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    if india is 1-0 down after2 matches... India can level the series 1-1 after sehwag's return... if India can draw 1st two matches, they can win the series!!!! Mukund is feeling the pressure!

  • gothetaniwha on July 18, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    I disagree Ian when this guy Sehwag gets on a seaming deck or the balls swinging he gets found out , he couldn,t even get the ball of the block last time he came to NZ which conditions are similar to England ,the only time he score any runs were at Napier - which everyone knows is the flatest deck in NZ .

  • HKhanna on July 18, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Ok. Anybody with a brain knows that the absence of an opening batsmen will be detrimental to the team. I am surprised that Ian has decided to do Englands work for them... playing mind games with the Indian team.

  • on July 18, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    Dhoni is wasted at no.6, if India bats first. Dhoni should open , if shewag is not there. In this way, both Yuvraj and Raina can be in the team for the important lords test. Dhoni can make quick runs and Gambhir Dhoni combination can be leathal.

  • on July 18, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    Every one forgot that india has a talismanic captain called MSD. Somehow his presence in the field make other indian player increase their performance level. He is talismanic, he is born to lead he is born to win.. 2020 world cup, world number 1 ranking, 5050 world cup.. list will continue in the years to come..

    He is sensational and a leader whom everyone loves.. england u better watch out dhoni's guile.. he has not lost a series as captain.

  • WC2011Champs on July 17, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Raina, Dhoni and Harbhajan must raise their game and bat like there is no tomorrow. In absence of Viru there are going to be 2-3 innings where the much vaulted middle order will yield to English bowling due to favorable weather conditions. That's very likely to happen in first two tests when India's slow start will be up against well prepared England. An anchor at spot 6 and 7 would not only get India back in the game but put as much pressure on English bowling for the rest of the series as Viru's echelon attack.

    If India were to learn anything from SL series, SL had no-name (exception Mahela, Sanga) batting line up and did well against the same English attack. And watch out for the weather turning against you like when SL thought that a draw was all but inevitable on the fifth day of test one and caught in the quagmire.

  • on July 17, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    Ian Chappell, a shrewd commentator and anlyst, has pointed out rightly.. Sehwag changes a game in a session... India bat first and Sehwag scores at a incredible strike rate and is not out till lunch.. India are aleady ahead in the game.. Another thing that Sehwag is good at is conversting starts to big scores.. He will be immensly missed...

  • girdoc1 on July 17, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    @sidzy, well - thats the point I want to make..when people talk about India, I have heard many say that Indians are champions only in India and discount(or forget) the wins India has achieved overseas. one small statistical error against Aus and you get annoyed .....hence I ask people to get there statistics right before saying India can only be better at home ...hope you got my point. I also know that India has not beaten Aus in Aus. But we have beaten most of other nations in there backyard. Cmon INDIA.........

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

    Sehwag not playing against England will be good thing for India, at least now they can try some other batsman and who might score some runs in England conditions, Sehwag has no foot work , he likes to play on sub continent wickets where wickets are flat no movement of the ball and ball comes to the bat slow, chances were Sehwag was going to have very hard time scoring a fifty let alone a hundred against English attack which is very good this time around for team India.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 17, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    We may not miss Sehwag if others rise to the occasion and come up with meaningful contributions. India have to go with traditional fomat with regular openers and middle-order and bowlers. Openers have to make sure that they dig it in and don't expose the middle-order prematurely to the new ball. I'm very confident of the young players who want to give 100% for the team. I'm worried about Selfish Ramesh Tendulkar's love for useless personal records and how he is going to deal with India's fortunes in the wake of adversity for the team vs personal records, averages and such stuff. Hope he plays with a sense of purpose for a change. What's the rationale in playing without a sense of purpose other than the obvious love for piling up useless records? Please don't bring up 1998, Sharjah and all. I'm not talking of that Sachin, the darling of India. I'm talking of the Selfish Ramesh Tendulkar of the present.

  • second on July 17, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    Chappel last time their is no shewag and gambir. Even though their is no shewag still gambir is their. Mukand also improved from each match

  • sidzy on July 17, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    @ girdoc1 when the hell did india beat aus in aus, ind just won one test match

  • on July 17, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    i do agree sehwag is gonna be missed bt it is goin to be a mouth watering contest.... waitin 4 it to start 4 mre days ..... :)

  • kmgnath on July 17, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    No doubt, India will miss Sehwag for this test series. Sehwag, scores big hundered in most of the time in first few of the test matches in the first innings.

    I have seen some of the comments made by few regarding last India's tour. Where Sehwag wasn't there, even then India won the series.

    Indian middle order performed well when there is a good opening stand/start. In the last tour, the make shift opener, Dinesh Karthik performed well, and shielded the middle order from initial collapese. This time i am not pretty sure about the current operner apart from Ghambir. Zak bowled well after the controversal incident.

    This series win mainly depends on(from Indian point of view) in the order. 1> Weather conditions 2> Toss (if it suites English bowlers....in the morning) 3> Opening Stand between Ghambir & whoever. 4> Indian pace atack 5> Indian middle order

    How can we forget, MSD's captaincy..

    England bowling attack is good Appreciate your comments.

  • on July 17, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    Sehwag factor runs in opposition captain's mind (when to declare the second innings?)....300/350/400 to set ? what a confusion.....just being a flat track bully cannot become a terror to rival captains......

  • kmgnath on July 17, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    No doubt, India will miss Sehwag for this test series. I have seen some the comments made by few regarding last India's tour. Where Sehwag wasn't there, even then India won the series.

    Indian middle order performed well when there is a good opening stand/start. In the last tour, the make shift opener, Dinesh Karthik performed well, and shielded the middle order from initial collapese. This time i am not pretty sure about the current operner apart from Ghambir.

    This series win mainly depends on(from Indian point of view) in the order. 1> Weather conditions 2> Toss (if it suites English bowlers....in the morning) 3> Opening Stand between Ghambir & whoever. 4> Indian pace atack 5> Indian middle order

    How can we forget, MSD's captaincy.. Appreciate your comments.

  • kriskini on July 17, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    No team will declare at the end of 4th day to chase a target of even 350 for India. Sehwag will be missed and England can take chances while declaration.

  • donda on July 17, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    India will miss Sehwag the most but Sehwag will not because he got his IPL check. Why to play for nation when you are getting free money playing IPL.

    Still Sehwag is all time legend opener and he can be deciding factor who is going to win or lose this series.

    Without sehwag the best option for india is to go for Draw series and retain #1 spot.

  • girdoc1 on July 17, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    I am sure INDIA will win this series 3-0. The greats, the genius and hard working players always win - in addition Indians are thinking cricketers. India beat Eng in Eng, Aus in Aus, SL in SL, NZ in NZ, WI in WI and drew against SA in there backyard. I think England will be one other team to beat - and bet it will be a cake walk. Cmon INDIA........

  • Umair_umair on July 17, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    If Ian Chappell says something; opposite will happen. There are several examples. But there is one specific incident which I can't scratch of my mind. Those were early days of Dhoni, in a match against in Srilanka in India, Dhoni scored a big hundred (183 perhaps). During the break Sanjey Manjreker was talking to Javagal Srinath and Chappell. He asked a question "Do you think Dhoni is the answer to India's wicket keeping problems?" Chappel Replied "No, I don't think Dhoni is the answer ………". Srinath Said "I think Dhoni IS the answer………". Rest is the History. Cricinfo should look for more former crickets from sub-continent to write. Or do we still prefer a foreigner praising our cricketers? During the much hyped India-Pakistan CWC semis. Former Pakistani cricketer Sikandar Bakht, said "I think now we should stop talking Bradman as a benchmark. Now we should give examples of Sachin, when we talk about batting greatness……". How many of you knew about this statement…..??

  • Jay_N on July 17, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    For those who say that sehwag is a flat track bully, just 1 example Ind v SL in 2008 @Galle when India were bowled out for 320 odd sehwag was unbeaten on 200 when none of the Indian and Srilankan batsman were able to do anythinfg signficant on that wicket. So really a flat track bully? and secondly if you can average 70 in the 1st innings who the hell cares about 2nd innings and by the way cricket is team game and not individaul sport if sehwag bats well in the 1st innings than Laxman is a 2nd innings specialist its all about how players compliment each other and team gels together

  • demon_bowler on July 17, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Even though he has a mediocre record in England, Sehwag is always liable to play an innings that transforms a match (a reminder that averages are not everything, even in Test cricket). So of course India will miss him.

    Another intrigue that Ian doesn't mention in his introduction is Tendulkar's poor record at Lord's -- top score 36. He has two more (or maybe just one) opportunities to get his name on the Lord's honours board. Only a fool would bet against him doing so.

  • nikhilvs on July 17, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    I'm sorry to say it, but I'm happy if Ian says India will miss Sehwag. He also said that Dhoni would not make a good captain/player.

  • muski on July 17, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Ian- I do agree that Sehwag will be missed. Had Sehwag being there for the Windies tour, the 3rd test chase would have been on. However these are ifs and buts. India do a have a strong swing bowling line up and this will make sure that the English batsmen do not score at will in the first two tests. As I said, I predict a 1-1 draw

  • Alexk400 on July 17, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    if india wants to challenge England without sehwag , Sachin the so called great batsman has to open that allows yuvi and raina play middle order. That give the oomph to the team batting strength. Will sachin open for team's cause? Sachin is just selfish guy , he never cares about team. He just talk talk but he just do what he always do , do his selfish run gathering is meandering draw and get out when things are dicey.

  • on July 17, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    England def holds upper hand for the first test atleast! How fast the Indian players get into rythm going to matter to make it a g8 competition. Indian top 3 batsmen holds the key !

  • spiritwithin on July 17, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    somebody mentioned that sehwag only scores in the 1st innings,to win a test match u need some players who can score in first innings and some in second innings,sehwag by scoring well in the first innings does set up the match,if a team goes on backfoot after their first innings then very few team actually recovers and thats where sehwag is an asset,he set up the match at the very start,its no coincidence that sehwag is one of the major factor that india doing well at present,in SA he scored just one half century last time but his presence was enough to ward off Smith from declaring his innings early in the 3rd match,thats where he does well,he puts a pcychological pressure on opponents,he may not score a run but his presence is enough to help india when they r on backfoot coz everybody knows if he manages to survive even 50balls then its game over for opposition and thus his mindset puts pressure on the opponents & sehwag averages 39.5(almost 40) in england way better than kallis's 25

  • on July 17, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Frankly, I really don't give England much of a chance. India has proved that even with a depleted batting and bowling attack can negotiate toughest of the conditions in the Carribean.

  • on July 17, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    India should open with Harbhajan!!

  • spiritwithin on July 17, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    @epochery,the only one bad session by SL also won england the series against them recently,and all teams r good in their own condition but unlike SA/india the english team is too much handicapped when playing in a condition other than a swinging condition,india will struggle in england for sure but england will struggle in subcontinent even more....

  • daretobwise on July 17, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    kiwi rocker was the same guy who said india will nvr ever win world cup so he was in shock for 3 months now this pakistani posing as kiwi has again predicted as he is paul the octopus of world cricket

  • DaGameChanger on July 17, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Onus is on England. India have defeated them at their home ground in England and even in India. So India already had achieved what they had to. If England is rising power in test world, let them prove it. FYI, wait for Tendulkar special this series.

  • on July 17, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    @Kiwirocker: And you forgot to say one more thing...."Ignorance is Bliss!!"

  • upper_cut on July 17, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    yup; i fully agreed that sehwag is only first inning player, only scores in first inning and but I think this is his biggest advantage. Being an opener first inning is the most important inning of the match , if u score there u set the match for ur team and veeru has done it regularly,. i would have 2 or 3 more players with 75 + avg in first inning. because i dont need a second inning to finish the match.

    even if he scores 35 the impact is equal to sachin (50) . ponting (50). kallis (70) . and dravids (100).

    and all those questioning his average , guys he is an opener (toughest slot ). and what about his conversion rate every time he score 100, it almost 150+

    he is an asset, i know all cursing him want this type of man in their own team , i m sorry there is only one VEERU . he is there where he belongs to.

  • on July 17, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    ..... (continuation) @KiwiRocker, while it may be fair to say that India is not yet a test force as Australia used to be, but is rightly placed above england. What has england done but beat a depleted australian side after something like an enternity... and they shoot to number 1 in your rating? if anyone could stop the Aussie train in their peak it was the Indian side.. remember the 5-0 whitewash?? the team that could stop or even challenge THAT Aussie team is rightly now placed as no 1 :) and some simply cannot accept it. as usual Indians are slow starters of any tour, and they tend to come back into a series, as might be the case with this one. England's best chances are to not give them any practice matches and get the prestigious Lord's test out of the way while the tour is still young, which they are doing brilliantly. (there are some slight metaphors and exagerations in my comment to match up with yours, nothing personal or bullish)

  • kumarcoolbuddy on July 17, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    @Vikraman Gopalakrishnan, your point might be true but critics always point at only negatives but not positives. So critics are helpful for us in some way to overcome those negatives. Moreover India is on top currently (now adding much improved bowling after WI tour) so we will definitely have more criticism than anyone has.

  • on July 17, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Really, Ian should quit writing columns and find a new hobby. India went to SA and Mr Chappell said Sehwag will be the biggest factor, what happened? Sehwag was a big flop where Sachin, Laxman shone. India hosts the WC, Mr Chappell said, Sehwag will be the biggest factor, what happened? Apart from tormenting helpless Bang, he was again a big flop. Ian only has three topics these days, telling Sehwag will be a key factor, asking Tendulkar and Ponting to retire and making fun of Depleted Aus Squad. Oh, yeah I forgot; the MIRROR Remark and Sachin-Warne clash. Seriously Mr Chappell; sing a new song; would you? P.S. I aint saying Sehwag wont be a big factor, but we have 10 other men in the team playing out of which Sachin and Dravid have always had great English Summers and Laxman is in good touch too. Really, India should forget about weaknesses and pay attention to its many strengths.

  • AdityaMookerjee on July 17, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Sehwag's performance in England, if he was in the squad, would have depended on the weather. If Sehwag goes after the swinging ball, chances are he will be out. However, if he would have played in England, like he did during the 2011 World Cup, then he would be very difficult to get out. Gambhir is a reasonably attacking opener. If the other opener, whomsoever he may be, can keep things quiet at one end, India will advance in score reasonably. I do not expect all the first choice stalwarts to be fit for every series. Imagine if Zaheer Khan had been injured, and Sehwag was playing the series? Sreesanth and company would have their task cut out, then. I have faith in the team, the captain, and the coach. I would say, England have a superb team.

  • on July 17, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    India will b outclass by England...like Somerset did

  • on July 17, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    ya it will be a big loss but this indian team (no1test team and odi world champs) are not at all dependent on one player we can without him too but hope he will be back as it will make england over coutious my team without him -gambhir,dravid,laxman,sachin,yuvi,raina,msd,bhajji,zak,praveen,ishant wont play mukund coz he is too in experienced for such a big series and occasion and has shown promise but struggled

  • epochery on July 17, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    There is mention of england losing in the west indies. that was one bad session england played, the rest of the series was played on featherbeds look at the scores engalnd posted i am thinking 500 runs in 3 innings and couldnt get anything out of the wicket. i personally dont think there is much between s.a, england and india they are all good teams in their won conditions.

  • epochery on July 17, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Can someone please explain England's frailties agianst spin, I can't remember anyone running through England in recent years. Warne in Adelaid in 2006 is the last one that springs to mind. Also can I add that Engalnd won more test matches than anyone last year and have started reasonably well this year. This may be for no.1 position immediately but by my reckoning South Africa will be ranked no.1 by the year end. I would also like to add that England are unbeaten at home since I believe South Africa won there 3 years ago I think and have only lost two home series since the 2001 ashes and have recently drawn in south africa and won comfortably in australia and lets not forget the last series in india was interrupted by a terrorist attack. still india will be a tough nut to crack but if england can get them out i am sure england have enough runs in them to win this series.

  • on July 17, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    dont look at the sehwag's average. why cant anyone look at his strike rate? one must watch him closely. when sehwag was playing ,the opposition will shuffle their fielders consistently. have anyone seen 9 inside circle and 2 outside the circle when he was batting?

  • on July 17, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Surely India will miss Sehwag.. Sehwag inning or two at the start of the series would have given the upper edge to India............. still we hope India will do well.

  • on July 17, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    I think India should take a risk for taking both Yuvraj & Raina. And play Dravid & Gambhir as opener, Laxman at 3, Tendulkar at 4, Raina at 5, Yuvi at 6, Dhoni at 7, Bajji at 8, Jaheer at 9, Ishant at 10 and I will go for Sreesanth not for Munaf though munaf is more accurate than Sree. But we need pace here. If yuvi plays we will get an extra option in bowling also & remember England can not play spin well. If mukund play then raina is an automatic choice after today`s confident innings. I agree with Ian about Sehwag`s impact. Without Sehwag`s Gambhir has to play as an anchor Mukund should play his natural game. Dravid & Tendulkar should come forward this time as well as VVS. This is their probably last tour to England. Dhoni should bat well as taking the responsibilty as a leader. Raina & yuvi should show their talent in the contest. Vajji has to contribute more with the ball and bat also if team needs him. Zak, Ishant should lead the pace while other should support them. Go INDIA GO!

  • on July 17, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    Eagerly waiting for the lords test.... Since Sehwag is a doubtful starter for the test, my winning combination for India would be 1.Gambhir 2.Dravid 3.Laxman 4.Sachin 5.Yuvraj 6.Raina 7.Dhoni 8.Harbhajan 9.Zaheer 10.Praveen 11.Ishant. I am a lil sceptic having Mukund open the innings after looking at his technique in WI. (Sehwag is the only exception to have success even with lack of footwork in Cricket LOL). This is really going to be a riveting contest. England are a tough nut to break in their home conditions and India have the skill to break toughest of nuts... It just boils down to who can hold their nerve till the end in a gruelling duel. Wishing Good luck to team India Jai Ho!!!

  • on July 17, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    @RajeevAlukkal:Sachin is our regular opener in ODIs and used to open regularly in Tests before.

    .Friend,sachin never opend in a test match...!Dravid opend two or three times...!

  • on July 17, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    i dunno y when it comes to india alone, the No.1 ranking is questioned.. when australians were at their peak for more than 10 years(since 1996), indians have won more tests against each other than them.. does it mean they didn't deserved to be no.1 then.. does losing to england in england question their no.1 ranking.. then what about england who haven't proved yet in India.. Indians have done well against all opponents since 2004.. better than any other side.. and also everywhere.. had it not been for the infamous sydney test match (which India should've won had 50% of the wrong decisions been corrected)

  • StatisticsRocks on July 17, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    @Rahul Well said. @Ravi Darira and @ IndianPunter: First of all u guys don't know what test cricket is all about do u, otherwise u would have recognized the value that the WALL brings to the team. HE just scores 12000 runs in test cricket and is only 49 behind Aussie great Ricky Pointing. Out of his 32 centuries RD has 18 centuries away from home (> 50%).

  • serious-am-i on July 17, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    missing sehwag will be a big blow. I just hope Mukund rises up to the occasion. If he can bat at least like what Sanjay Bangar did the earlier English tour, he would save the cause. Some one joked Sachin or Dravid must open, are you a fool to expose ur top batsmen in a wild swinging conditions ? The runs which Dravid scored along with Sehwag were dead flat tracks and both Sachin,Dravid hate opening in tests. Raina should get a nod ahead of Yuveraj because of his current test form and the 100 he got against Somerset. I would like to have Praveen as the 3rd seamer, as he can swing with any ball & can better than the other pacemen we have.

  • on July 17, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    India can think of going in with Yuvraj and Gambhir to open the innings and Raina coming after Laxman. I understand the specialist position that Mukund deserves but in the absence of Sehwag if Yuvraj plays the way Sehwag usually does, India could control the proceedings from the start. It would be an unexpected move and can surprise England. Then there is the added benefit of Yuvraj v/s Kevin Peterson showdown.

  • time2goback2dbasics on July 17, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    @red000.........agree with u...some people are jealous of sehwag fearlessness

  • Jay_N on July 17, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    There is no doubt that all eyes are on Zaheer and anderson, Tremlett and Ishant but the dark horse of this series could well turn out to be Praveen Kumar. I think it is a very good selection to include him in test squad and probably why they took him to westindies as well. With his accuracy and ability to swing the ball both ways, in these conditions especially with the red ball he will surely give english batsman something to think about.

  • Percy_Fender on July 17, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Ian Chappell has always been a great supporter of Viru Sehwag and rightly so. But in his absence which cannot be helped till the 3rd Test,Dravid and Gambhir could open and be quite effective. This will facilitate Yuvraj and Raina both to play at Nos 5 and 6. Yuvi is a fair enough spin bowler as well and has a good record against England. India could then play Ishant,Zaheer and Praveen with Harbhajan as the bowling attack. After his century against Somerset,no one can have any doubt that Raina is in a confident frame of mind and should not be denied a place.England may be better prepared without a doubt and the weather forecast promises an more of an English summer. But strange things happen. The last time they played in such conditions at Nottingham, England lost the toss, India bowled first and won. In fact when weather conditions were English last year, Asif and Aamir gave the Englishmen a tough time.So I feel luck will play a big part in this series betwen two evenly matched teams.

  • asho777 on July 17, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    I agree India will miss Shewag immensely as he is the game changer for India with his destructive batting in the intial overs

  • SunnyBhaiFan on July 17, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Your brother, Little Greg, was the best batsmen in your playing days. He batted at No.6 ?

  • on July 17, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    yeah, absence of viru is going to hurt india in big manner..nowadays he's very crucial player than tendulkar in any formate of game....

  • pes22001 on July 17, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    I am glad others have corrected KiwiRocker but what I dont like is partisan fans on both sides. India are slow starters..they got hammered in S Africa in 1st Test and nearly won the series. They also started the WC slow and didnt look like winners until the final moments of the WC but they got hammered in media. Yes they are tournaments where they started bad and ended bad. Then theres England on paper have a good bowling attack edging Indias but anderson is prone to a few patches of indifference and broad is not in form and Swann is no guarantee to have success vs India. India on other hand Zaheer is coming back and should do well in Tests. Ishant and praveen will do better then Sreesanth and munaf. Its more balanced then one thinks. I can guarantee Indias fans and media will give up hope like they did in WC if India start slow but I am glad Dhoni is not like that. You can only judge India and England at end of series. Only fans never realise this and start getting carried away

  • on July 17, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Surely India will miss Sehwag who is by far the most effective and destructive opener world cricket has ever seen but I ndia is the no.1 side in the World not just because they are good at their backyard but also they have steadily improved overseas. The other aspect of their game which they have borrowed from the OZs is the ability to bounce back from direst of situations(remember the second test win against SA after the trashing in the first last year) . I think after Windies India should feel confident enough that they can still bat in trying conditions.Also if you have swingers of the breed of Zak and Ishant Sharma along with Kumar u can utilize the conditions really well.

  • Zainu.Munawari on July 17, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    @snoopy47: that will be a very good opening pair, because, Dravid have 400+ runs of partnership stand with Sehwag against Pakistan.... So, Dravid can be the best choice to open the innings....

  • Herath-UK on July 17, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    It is definite Indians will miss Shewag;When Jayasuriya in full cry Sri Lanka won;good example is Lankans thrashed England 5/0 when he was there but lost 3/2 without him. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • RajeevAlukkal on July 17, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Indian team for the Lord's Test: Opening: Gambhir and Tendulkar, 1 down: Dravid 2 down: Laxman 3: Yuvraaj 4: Raina 5: Dhoni 6: Harbhajan 7: Praveen Kumar 8. Zaheer 9. Ishant. In this way we can have both yuvraaj and raina and Sachin is our regular opener in ODIs and used to open regularly in Tests before.

  • on July 17, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    @ Radhakrishna Rao: Don't make me laugh. Comparable to the West Indies?! Have you been watching cricket or are you just in some crazy dream world? England is up there with India and South Africa. Every cricket commentator is saying how this is a battle for # 1 where as they didn't say that while you play WI. Your own players have stated that England is a massive threat and I think they know a little bit more about the calibre of England's cricket then you do ;). England deserve respect for what they have done over the past 2 years. I am just looking forward to a thrilling test series.

  • RaghuramanR on July 17, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    India had won in England only when players had shown aggressive intent. Kapil Dev won a test series long ago. If India thinks it is top-heavy, bear in mind that 'high-techno' Gavaskar averaged pretty low in UK compared to other nations! I expect Dhoni to fare abysmally in this series. His wicket-keeping can be 'bye-passed'' ;)

  • sankar8000 on July 17, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Yes Chappel is Spot On! India will Miss Sehwag Very Badly!

  • red000 on July 17, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    GET THE FACTS RIGHT

    I...feel extremely dissapointed when each time everyone redicules sehwag as flat track bully......

    I want to know is australia ,england,newzealand,southafrica are flat tracks???? 1. AUSTRALIA He made two tours ...in his 1st tour..he had given gr8 starts also made incredible 194 in opening day ofa match..inhis second tour inthe only match he played scored a big century and saved a game 2. england he had toured england once...and had good tour and had century's Newzealand : in his 1st tour..faced impossible wickets tobat...everyone in the tour struggled ...also kiwis....both test and ODI wickets are horrible...he is only one to get century and he got two of them southafrica he made his test debut in sothafrica....on wickets indians fear the most and he got hundread in his debut CANT DIGEST: How come a player can play as agressively and as freely as sehwag in test cicket...when everyone sees test cricket is tough and this guy makes it look extremly easy.

  • ssenthil on July 17, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    @Alexk400: .......Posted by Alexk400 on (February 13 2011, 18:05 PM GMT)

    I would drop yuvi instead of raina. Play yuvi against weak team to get his confidence back. He is succeptible against spin.So do not play him against SL or Bangladesh........ This how your all assessment. You would have Dropped the World Cup man of the Series. ROFL. Still you are predicting, hmmmm I wonder do u know ABC abt cricket?

  • vismorkel on July 17, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Oh yeah,Sehwag is a flat track bully,he made a hundred in his debut test match against the likes of Ntini,Pollock,Klusener,Hayward & Kallis on a fast Bloemfontein pitch when the team was tottering at 4/68.His second test hundred was against Poms at Trent Bridge.A big hundred against aussies in a boxing day test in Melbourne.And he saves a test match batting in the fourth innings in Adelaide by scoring a 151.This guy made his first tour to Australia when they were at the peak of their powers & his scores in that series were 45,0,47,47,195,11,72,47 with an average of 58.This guy really is a flat track bully because if he scores 195 in Melbourne then he scores 309 in Multan,if he scores 180 in Gros Islet then he scores 319 in chennai,if he scores 151 in Adelaide then he scores 293 in Mumbai.The difference between his scores inside & outside the sub continent are really big.But I would still play this flat track bully on every surface served up on earth.Keep whining losers.

  • on July 17, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    the articla itself mentions that indian cricket team is stronger..and england's bowling is better..in my opinion, this english team is comparable to the windies team. whose bowling attack was better but batting was average..

  • on July 17, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Its not about Sehwag scoring 100+ runs. Its about how effective his innings are. Even if the scores 30 runs, its as effective as someones hundred in destoying the morale of the opposition. Because he puts the opposition in defensive mindset from the very start of the test inning.

  • lakhanpal.amit on July 17, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    guys talkin about sehwag being flat track bully guys 1 day track are best for bowling with a bit of juice in them and he averages 75 in that area............and england being the best team right now give me a break they r at number 3 first they should think about being no.2 and then about challenging INDIA..for the No. 1 spot....and to be calledgood team .. england should win few series in subcontinent...where they have no clue about spin bowling.....just by wining AShes Against lowly /depleted side of australia dosent make u any good a team

  • hakapuu on July 17, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    @kiwirocker: haha..kiwi rocker u make me laugh.... India has won both home and away against ENG... They also have drawn home and away with s.Africa ... Beaten Aussie twice at home.... Beaten Sri Lanka at home and drawn away all in the last 3 yrs. They have also Beaten pak away when they played their last time.... I am not sure wht u r talking abt!!! The sad truth is England havpent beatEn india in a series both home and away since 1996!!

  • on July 17, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    Sehwag's a big miss, but it gives the perfect opportunity to see how good this Mukund is at grinding out an innings, also more pressure on VVS to convert his fifties, Raina and Dhoni to put in a useful contribution

  • on July 17, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    India 2-1 in tests India 3-2 or 4-1 in ODI's

  • spiritwithin on July 17, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    @KiwiRocker,[''India failed to win in SA, SL, Pak, England and Australia in their last series'']>>>india won their last series in england,india drew in SA and so does SA in india,india lost in aus but aus was thrashed in india,india drew in SL but SL was thrashed in india,india won their last home & away series against England,so will u plz explain how u come to conclusion that england is the best followed by SA & Aus??as far as i know Eng lost their last series even in WI,they lost in SL,their only away win comes in aus & nz but that is upset by their two home loss against india & SA..regarding Aus,they lost two home series against SA/eng and lost in india,eng..the overall record of these four team(sa,india,eng,aus) against each other in their last series(home & away) is ind-won3,lost1,draw2,SA-won2,lost 1,draw3,Eng-won2,lost3,draw1,Aus-won2,lost4..incidentally Eng won only against Aus. Against India & SA they lost 3 out of 4series and drew once(not a single win),properly check again

  • snoopy47 on July 17, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Indian team for the Lord's Test: Opening: Gambhir and Dravid, 1 down: Laxman 2 down: Tendulkar 3: Yuvraaj 4: Raina 5: Dhoni 6: Harbhajan 7: Praveen Kumar 8. Zaheer 9. Ishant

    In this way we can have both yuvraaj and raina and dravid is flexible to open also.

  • on July 17, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    @Kiwirocker do you ever follow cricket..you are commenting on ind vs eng series..but you do not know that we won in england last time...it is not we won series everywhere..it is mainly because we atleast drew many series...where as other nations come and loose in india..only SA could drew in india let alone winning in india..austrailia vs india in india...in last two series..6 tests..4 ind..0 aus..so this is the main reason for our no.1 ranking..as we have no gr8 bowlers, we can never become invincibles like previous australian team..

  • on July 17, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Hi KiwiRocker, the one who is waiting for the series to start, and not saying much before it does. for the records, India WON the previous test series against England as far as I can remember. Talking about Sehwag's over rating, He has a strike rate of 85 in test matches which is matched only by A Gilchrist and Viv Richards, not to mention 2 triple centuries which had almost become 3- which would have been a record in itself. Yes he can murder you in flat tracks, at least he can do that better than most other batsmen in the world, and I fail to see how that should be a negative. It is incorrect to say he can ONLY play in flat tracks, just cos India has had flat tracks and he has played well in them, and there is enough in his records to prove that. and Tendya, if close to a 100 international centuries is a fluke and the compliments coming thereof an over rating, then it is indeed a 'surprise' why arent there many other over rated batsmen. ( tbc )

  • prat1204 on July 17, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    World can never find a replacement for Virender Sehwag! The series would have been twice on the excitement quotient...had Sehwag been in the side. Viru up against Anderson and Tremlet would have been relishing. Wishing him a speedy recovery so that he can play the third and the fourth test.

  • anikbrad on July 17, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    REALLY, HE PLAYED WHOLE IPL AND MISSED WI AND PROBABLY ENG SERIES AND WE MAY BE RELEGATED TO NUM 2 AND STILL INDIANS CRICKETERS ARE PLAYING FOR NATION AND NOT FOR MONEY. BCCI IS DOING WHATS BEST FOR IND?? WHY SHEWAG AND GMBHIR WITH DD AND KKR ARE NOT SUSPENDED FOR TOYING WITH THE FUTURE OF INDIAN CRICKET CAN THE BOARD REPLY TO THE CRIK LOVERS. IF OPERATION WHICH WAS LONG OVER DUE WAS DONE AFTER WC HE WOULD HAVE 3-4 WKS MORE TO RECOVER AND SURELY PLAYED ENGLAND FROM. WILL PONTING, STRUSS, SANGA, DO THAT I DOUBT THAT WHY THEY PLAY FOR NATION AND SACHIN, SEWAGS ARE SLAVES OF BCCI OR MONEY NOT INDIA. THEY SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO WARE TRICOLOR AND SHOULD PLAY AD TEAM BCCI AND NOT INDIA. SHAME THAT WE SAY THEM NATIONAL HEROS. SORRY I AM ASHAMED OF ME AND OTHERS AND I WANT IND TO LOOSE ALL MATCHES. LET THEM BE IPL MEMBERS. CHEERS IPL BOOO BOOO INDIAN CRICKET. IPL IS THE REAL CRICKET

  • KiwiRocker- on July 17, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    I do realise that I have been quiet in the recent past that is because I am waiting for this series to start. As far as I am concerned, England is the top team in world followed up SA, then Australia and India is no better than a 4th ranked test team. However the ICC ranking system is flawed and makes no sense. India failed to win in SA, SL, Pak, England and Australia in their last series so how are they number one is a mystery to me and many. Sehwag is a flat track bully who has an average of 31 in fouth innings of a test match so how is he the match winner? Sehwag is an over rated batsman along with most over rated batsman of all time Tendulya. Ian Chappel is trying to milk cash rich cow named BCCI and keeps coming up with strange biased articles- Ian Chappel's world cup Semi final predications were laughable. India's best batsman is VVS Laxman and if and when England gets his wicket, it will be al over for India. I will be be surprised if this series is a 4-0 in favour of England!

  • henchart on July 17, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    @Alexk400:'England will win the first test'.Man, are you Nostradamus or what? Neither of these teams are going to go the extra mile to become world beaters.Toss is going to play a crucial role . Among the current Indian batsmen barring Maestro Tendulkar and dogged Dravid none seem competent to counter moving deliveries in cold and overcast conditions.Dhoni is not bad but needs to come up the order and take the bull by the horn .He wont do that,though.

  • on July 17, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    LOL...funny article,,,,1s1 thing sehwag can score only in flat tracks if it on day 1 , 1st innings, he is such a boring in 2nd innings even in flat tracks,,,,,,,,,,india should look for permanent alternative of sehwag in test who can score in both innings and play short ball and pull short well. oh yes..should .include sehwag when they are playing in india,,,,he scores well in india :P

  • manju-amruth on July 17, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    if andreson swings the ball, y cant zaheer, sree, they are also good bowlers, and no one s better swing bowler than pk.i agree ll miss sehwag but ll win the series.

  • spiritwithin on July 17, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    @Sehwag_Is_A_Flat_Track_Bully...sehwag's average is 39 in england which is not bad for an opener and considering the fact that sehwag's presence plays in the mind of opposition captain and thats enough to ward off declaring early even if the indian team is in backfoot,the last ind-sa series is a nice example where smith did'nt declared the innings early in the 3rd tests coz one good session of sehwag in a series is enough to win the match,just for an example-Laxman also had just one good innings in SA last time and that innings was enough to level the series...so its better if ppl does'nt just go by the stats coz on the field it does'nt matter

  • buddhikapm on July 17, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Thanks to IPL...see the resuilts

  • Alexk400 on July 17, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Ian chappell did n't predict. He only said india will struggle without sehwag. So i do the prediction business. England will win the first test. Second test will be a draw. 3rd and 4th test depends on whether sehwag play. Lots of people bringing stats to prove their point of view like sehwag is flat track bully , his average will be low. if he really wants average ballon up he can do at will. He can do it all , it is such that if he does it will take lots of energy out of him. He is just playing for few highs not average medium. Inconsistent ? may be..but when he playes...game is won if team grab the advantage he gives. Dhoni knows how to use his weapon. Unlike dravid Dhoni rarely miss out on the advanatge given by sehwag. Anyway...bring on your prediction...its fun.

  • 2011Wc on July 17, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    India is not a team that depends on any individual player... pom may depend on cook and trott alone.. but any indian batsmen can stepup against this eng attack and do miracles.. thasy v, the indians are No:1 and WC 2011 winners.. Go india.. Poms ll never match us

  • Alexk400 on July 17, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    There is one more tit bit future news...zaheer khan will be injured or ineffective and toothless.

  • 2011Wc on July 17, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    This ian chappel started again.. but these mind games wont work this time.. lets c wat jimmy and co is capable of the best batting line up in the world.. with 4 batsmen averaging more than 50 and laxman 47... other 2 dhoni and raina good in hitting any bowlers around the world..even bajji continue to be a alrounder nowadays.. so poms jus try to put 100% effort even to draw a single match.. Watch out for Raina(he ll cement his place in No1 test team this series with atleast 2centuries)

  • indianpunter on July 17, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    @Ravi Darira. Completely agree. I was watching Dravid live in that test in 2007, and was speechless as to how someone could surrender initiative like that. To give credit where it is due, Dravid is an Indian test great, but his days are numbered. For the greater good on Indian cricket, i hope he retires after this series. It would be an unmitigated disaster to take a 39 yr old RD to Australia where his returns 4 yrs ago were miserable ( except in the perth test).

  • CricketFreud on July 17, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    is there something in this article that we already don't know ??

  • RednWhiteArmy on July 17, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Although its only a 4 test series i think England will win 5-0

  • on July 17, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Sehwag is a special talent. He can flay the opposition on any track: irrespective of the conditions. Whether the ball is darting around, keeping low or is being hurled at his head Virender Sehwag will have a go at it. It truly is marvelous entertainment. Gambhir is an attcaking player too but he seems to knuckle down and build an innings. Mukund, well, for his sake I hope he isnt a dour strokeless batsman.

    How about giving Yuvraj a go at the top of the order? He's pretty attacking as well. On current form, I dont see Yuvi getting the nod ahead of Raina for the No 6 spot.

  • rahul_suda on July 17, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    @Ravi Darira

    Dude..From when u start watching this cricket... India is not winning bcoz of dravid n we shud remove him??...lol..Thanks for enlightening with ur great cricketing knowledge...!! we indians never give the credit they deserve to the people. Do we?? poor bloke dravid...he scored just 12,000 odd runs..he scored just 32 hundreds which india lost only once in those matches....poor guy he is the best slip fielder in the world taking 202 catches...yeah..buddy..he is poor..we ll remove him..!! Funny..!! U can't put this guy out of india team even in EA sports cricket...!!

  • on July 17, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    What happens if india lose the series... will they lose the No.1 rank ?

  • Aniruddha_K on July 17, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Good article....but how many times is Mr.Chappell going to repeat this stuff about Sehwag's value, aggressive captaincy Anderson's ability to swing the ball etc? There was hardly anything in this article that the cricket followers haven't read from Ian Chappell. Not surprisingly, he didn't mention another quirk of fate....the prospect of Sachin getting his 100th hundred at Lords. However, this is just the type of contest cricket fans look forward to for years....

  • Alexk400 on July 17, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    First test is the key for this series. First day pitch condition play big in how match goa swing. India has to fight for draw without sehwag's presence. Every run will be difficult. Doubts will creep in in every shot. India has to bat second to salvage draw in every game if pitch has demons and lots of bounce. Every defensive shot at chest length needs lots of energy. You get lazy on one shot...mishit , you will be out. People india did n't struggle against england bowlers in the last trip. true. But this time around tremlett and bresnen can topple india along with anderson and swan. England should not play broad against india. He is just mentally not strong against india. i think first test can be close if india fight it out. Not sure india can score more than 4 run per over without sehwag. So india bare minimum gona play for draw in all games start with. India will try bat for long and one spell can turn around for england to win the first test. Second test mostly draw.

  • hris on July 17, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    @ Sathish Thiruvenkataswamy there u go with ur excuses again. Sachin was not there in that series but so was Ponting missing from the Aus team.

  • on July 17, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    Rahul dravid is the common factor to all drawn tests tht shd hv been won easily, 12 off 96 in the second inngs is just an example, he makes every pitch and bowling attack llook very difficult, as if batting is a burden, he is going to do the same in this series, drop him and we will start winning more matches....

  • ssenthil on July 17, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    Sehwag Avg less then 40 in Eng, Less then 30 in SA and NZ shows he was Never a capable batsman at swinging conditions. So stop commenting as Avg Fan who can't analysis well or just to give England the undue advantage, No one cares about your comments honestly.

  • Amarjitmadan on July 17, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Yes Ian is right to quite an extent particularly about absence of Sehwag. However it cant be ignored that Gauti also averages very well and doesn't take long to dig in and once he does a price tag has been put on his wicket.I am not too sure about Mukund but given the few outings he has shown class and courage.Rahul,Sachin and Laxman if two of thm get going will be great for India.I wil go l with Ian that Mishra should be picked in place of sixth batsman which promotes MSD and Bhajj better still Gauti is partnered by Dravid and both Raina and yuvraj warm the benches or or?? Dravid replaces Mukund as opener with Laxman at 3 and Yuvraj or Raina5.Most of the players in the side are the same when they lost to India but some have matured further.Tremlett is a real good addition with Jimy and Swann and it would be nice to have a real contest between bat and ball which will be a treat to watch.i

  • deep123 on July 17, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    What happened in SA series?? Sehwag scored just one half century still the series ended up as draw. This shows the batting strength that India has. In the last Eng series Sehwag didn't play still India won. I don't think it worries much India. The only worry is how the Indians handle the first test. Indians are poor starters. So that's the only worry India have. From second test onwards India will be tough to beat.

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Sehwags absence may hurt india.. but Eng is no match for indian cricket team.. jus wait and watch.. Zaheer,Ishanth,Sreesanth will do better then Jimmy,Stuart andTremlet.. singh is king........ NOthing is ter to compare eng batting verses Indian Greats... Wit n watch Raina will cement his test spot here with this series aginst ashes winners

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    I completely agree with you Ian...England might have just lucked out with Sehwag's absence..much like how Australia benefited from Saxhin's absence during 2004 India series..Sachin missed first 2 tests, then had to be rushed in half fit

  • intcamd on July 17, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    Oh wow, I hope India put up a better fight than in the prep game, or this is going to be a pretty long tour for India. Ineffective bowling, followed by a pathetic batting display against willoughby, what will they do versus the Jimmy and Chrissy ahow?

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    Surly miss sewag's fire power

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    Am surprised an article by Ian Chappell had no insight whatsoever :-P

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    Am surprised an article by Ian Chappell had no insight whatsoever :-P

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    Surly miss sewag's fire power

  • intcamd on July 17, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    Oh wow, I hope India put up a better fight than in the prep game, or this is going to be a pretty long tour for India. Ineffective bowling, followed by a pathetic batting display against willoughby, what will they do versus the Jimmy and Chrissy ahow?

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    I completely agree with you Ian...England might have just lucked out with Sehwag's absence..much like how Australia benefited from Saxhin's absence during 2004 India series..Sachin missed first 2 tests, then had to be rushed in half fit

  • on July 17, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Sehwags absence may hurt india.. but Eng is no match for indian cricket team.. jus wait and watch.. Zaheer,Ishanth,Sreesanth will do better then Jimmy,Stuart andTremlet.. singh is king........ NOthing is ter to compare eng batting verses Indian Greats... Wit n watch Raina will cement his test spot here with this series aginst ashes winners

  • deep123 on July 17, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    What happened in SA series?? Sehwag scored just one half century still the series ended up as draw. This shows the batting strength that India has. In the last Eng series Sehwag didn't play still India won. I don't think it worries much India. The only worry is how the Indians handle the first test. Indians are poor starters. So that's the only worry India have. From second test onwards India will be tough to beat.

  • Amarjitmadan on July 17, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Yes Ian is right to quite an extent particularly about absence of Sehwag. However it cant be ignored that Gauti also averages very well and doesn't take long to dig in and once he does a price tag has been put on his wicket.I am not too sure about Mukund but given the few outings he has shown class and courage.Rahul,Sachin and Laxman if two of thm get going will be great for India.I wil go l with Ian that Mishra should be picked in place of sixth batsman which promotes MSD and Bhajj better still Gauti is partnered by Dravid and both Raina and yuvraj warm the benches or or?? Dravid replaces Mukund as opener with Laxman at 3 and Yuvraj or Raina5.Most of the players in the side are the same when they lost to India but some have matured further.Tremlett is a real good addition with Jimy and Swann and it would be nice to have a real contest between bat and ball which will be a treat to watch.i

  • ssenthil on July 17, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    Sehwag Avg less then 40 in Eng, Less then 30 in SA and NZ shows he was Never a capable batsman at swinging conditions. So stop commenting as Avg Fan who can't analysis well or just to give England the undue advantage, No one cares about your comments honestly.

  • on July 17, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    Rahul dravid is the common factor to all drawn tests tht shd hv been won easily, 12 off 96 in the second inngs is just an example, he makes every pitch and bowling attack llook very difficult, as if batting is a burden, he is going to do the same in this series, drop him and we will start winning more matches....

  • hris on July 17, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    @ Sathish Thiruvenkataswamy there u go with ur excuses again. Sachin was not there in that series but so was Ponting missing from the Aus team.