The battle for the 1st spot in the ICC Test rankings will continue when England take on India in the 2nd Test match at Trent Bridge from Friday. The hosts are already ahead by 1-0 in the four-match Test series having won the first Test at Lord’s by 196 runs.
India have been nowhere near their No. 1 status in the series so far, as they failed to perform even in the practice match against Somerset, which was followed by the crushing defeat at Lord’s last week. India were a bit unlucky with some injury problems in the first match. So, skipper MS Dhoni will have a tough time along with Coach Duncan Fletcher in putting up the best line-up for the second test.
England looks in control of the series after this all-round performance, to which the Indian side had no reply. It will be interesting to see what mentality Dhoni adopts at Trent Bridge against the hosts, because his decisions in the last Test and the West Indies tour have been questioned as India missed out on winning the series in West Indies and let the Lord’s Test slip through their hands after Ishant Sharma had ripped apart the England middle-order in the 2nd innings.
Team News – India
There has been a lot of discussion since last week on India’s decision to play Zaheer Khan in the 1st Test without any warm-up. The left-arm pacer bowled just 14 overs in the match as he limped off due to a hamstring injury. India will hope that Zaheer returns at the earliest, but will also have to look for options for his replacement if he fails to recover in time.
Gautam Gambhir, who had his elbow injured at Lord’s, looks fit to play the 2nd Test alongside Abhinav Mukund in the opening pair. Sachin Tendulkar, having missed the opportunity to score his 100th ton at the ‘home of cricket’, will look forward to cross his milestone after recovering from fever.
Team News – England
England doesn’t seem to have any major issues related to injuries.
Kevin Pietersen, who scored a double-century at Lord’s, showed no signs of his hernia problem which took him out of World Cup midway & the IPL 2011. It looks as if he has recovered well.
Stuart Broad has jumped back a high level of confidence after giving a strong all-round performance at Lord’s. His innings of 74 not out in the 2nd innings played a crucial role in the match’s outcome. Broad, who was backed by Strauss during his recent bad form, will be looking forward to giving another brilliant performance at Trent Bridge.