Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Battle For Test Supremacy!


So less than 20 hours to go for the much awaited India-England Test series, fans are eager to see some quality cricket after a long time and expecting a lot from both the teams. There is immense hype surrounding this series, lots of speculation going on over the series result, team composition and most importantly the English weather.

The first Test at Lord's which is starting from tomorrow is going to be 2000th Test match in the history of cricket since the first Test match played between England and Australia in 1877. Also it will be 100th Test between India and England, for the first time India will be playing 100 Tests against one cricketing Nation.
Both India and England are playing some quality cricket for quite a while now and are ranked 1st & 3rd in the ICC Tests rankings respectively. If England manages to beat India by the margin of 2 Tests then they will topple India as No.1 Team (personally I don't think its going to happen).

Fact is that England haven't won a series against India since 1996, neither in India nor in England. This time England has a better team compared to their previous teams (thanks to some South African born cricketers), bowling is their strength and with Cook, Strauss, Trott, Pietersen there, batting looks fine too. But the big question remains, do they have it in them what it requires to be No.1 Test team? Only time will tell. 

India will miss Sehwag for sure in first 2 Tests (considering he will be fit for the 3rd Test), his role is not just limited as a player but the attitude which he brings in the team. Filling his place will not be easy but as we know an injury to someone is an opportunity for other, hope Abhinav Mukund lives up to expectations and play some good knocks.

I am sure Team India is willing to prove its critics wrong by winning here but for that they have to play tough cricket. Apart from Trio of Sachin, Dravid and Laxman, Indian pacers will play an important role in the series. If Zaheer, Ishant and Praveen (add Sreesanth and Munaf too) stay fit and keep a good rhythm then it will be very tough for England batsmen to face them in seaming & swinging conditions.

India lost the series 0-1 in 1996 under Azhar, leveled the series 1-1 in 2002 under Ganguly, won the series 1-0 in 2007 under Dravid. Now its time for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to keep the improvement going and do better than the best!!

(Image via ESPN-Cricinfo)

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