Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Pataudi Trophy - India vs England Preview

A few hours from now would mark the start (the English weather permitting) of the most anticipated Test series of the year. India, the no. 1 ranked Test side in the world, undefeated in a Test series since 2008 (away in Sri Lanka) against England who have retained the Ashes after beatin the Aussies in Australia (hence the best team in the world according to their supporters). A pretty good series is expected given how evenly matched the sides are expected to be.
Man for man cant have asked for a more matched lineup. Only in the opening department do England hold a slight advantage with Strauss can be considered better than Mukund but not with his recent form against Sri Lanka (I am ignoring the tour match where he played for Somerset). Cook and Gambhir are evenly matched though we don't know how Gambhir will perform in English conditions. Arbit Stat - Mukund & Gambhir will only be the 2nd ever left handed opening pair for India. The first one was Gambhir & Irfan.
Now to the middle order - Dravid, Tendulkar & Laxman may be getting old but they can still score a few, then look towards the youngsters in both teams and shout "Bbhuddah Hoga tera Baap" (though being thorough gentlemen, they are not likely to) . Against them Trott, Pietersen and Bell, all in good touch. Add Raina & Morgan at no. 6 both considered good limited overs players and surprising everyone that they can survive in Test cricket. Even the no 7s the 2 wicket-keepers are evenly matched up. Though Dhoni is more reliable behind the stumps.
Now for the bowling. Swann against Harbhajan in the spin department. Zaheer, Ishant, Praveen, Sreesanth match up on almost every count to Anderson, Tremlett, Bresnan & Broad. Be it the ability to make the ball talk (Zak vs Jimmy), height & bounce (Tremlett vs Ishant), a hardworking medium pacer with swing (Bresnan vs PK) or even some craziness (Sreesanth vs Broad). And the batting abilities of the tails are also almost evenly matched.
With Collingwood retired from England and Raina added to Indian team, even the fielding sides are not much different now. Raina's off-spin against Trott's military medium for 5th bowling options?
Almost nothing to choose between the sides. Now if Sehwag joins the side then?
Now time for some more stats
  • The 2000th Test ever played going to start at Lords today. Though some poeple want the Test status for the Super Test between ICC XI and Australi to be removed from the records.
  • 100th Test between India and England
  • India have not lost to England in a test series since 1996. Wondering why this fact is not being highlighted much.
  • India and England dont like winning more than 1 match in a series against each other. 1996: 1-0 for Eng in 1996, 1-0 win for India in 2001, 1-1 in 2002, 1-1 in 2006, 1-0 for India in 2007, 1-0 again for India in 2008.
Series predictions
Likely to end in 1-1 tie. Some weather issues and a bit of safety first approach from Strauss and Dhoni likely to prevent more results.

SRT to get his 100th international 100 during the series but not at Lords.

1 comment:

  1. "If Sehwag joins" well that would make 1-1 a 2-1 at Oval... And for SRT, I think Trent Bridge is the stadium!
    Btw good man-for-man comparison.



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