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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Preview: England vs India, 1st Investec Test



First Test of the five-match series between India and England


July 9 to 13, 2013 


Trent Bridge, Nottingham 

The Teams


This Indian team may lack experience, but this is one unit that oozes confidence and fearlessness. The crux of the team may not have had much exposure overseas, but the Indian captain has instilled faith in this young unit and reiterated the fact that the team is getting better overseas. India have all the batting flavor they need in that line-up. If they have the calm of Cheteshwar Pujara at No.3, they have controlled aggression in Virat Kohli at 4. MS Dhoni has stressed on the fact that the preparations ahead of the first Test has been productive with batsmen getting runs and the bowlers ‘bowling in the right areas’. Ishant Sharma would be looking to lead the pace attack sans Zaheer Khan and the team composition will make for an interesting read after the toss of the coin at Trent Bridge. If conditions favour seam bowlers, Dhoni might consider giving all-rounder Stuart Binny a nod which would give more seam options for the captain and the much needed meat with the bat lower down the order.  (Also Read: MS Dhoni Press Conference - England v India, 1st Investec Test)


A refreshed and relaxed England captain Alastair Cook seemed quite excited ahead of the first of five match Test series against India. Familiar opponents, good results against them home and away and Cook & company have every right to be confident this Test series. They might be coming off a Test series loss against Sri Lanka, but they sure cannot be taken lightly. Like India, even England might be missing the services of a few experienced key players, but have an exciting team on paper. It is a young batting line-up and it would be up to Ian Bell and Alastair Cook’s experience to lead the batting surge against an unpredictable Indian bowling attack. Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior did suffer a thigh strain, but the England captain was most certain that Prior would take part in the first Test. Jos Buttler has been called in as cover though. England would be pretty confident of their bowling as India could well feel the shivers of Stuart Broad and James Anderson under their throats. (Also Read: Alastair Cook Press Conference - England v India, 1st Investec Test)

Key Players 

Ever since Sachin Tendulkar has left that No.4 spot vacant, Virat Kohli has been touted to fill those shoes. Those are huge shoes to fill for sure, but Virat Kohli has been the man in form over the last few Test series having scored Test tons in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. He is yet to play a Test match in England, and he would consider this as the litmus test in his career. He is one player that England would be wary of as he is one of the vital cogs in the Indian batting line-up. 


On a personal note, Cook has not been having the best of times after having suffered a loss in the recently concluded home Test series against Sri Lanka. His captaincy has come under scrutiny and his bat too hasn’t done much of the talking. Cook has reiterated the fact that he is not out of form, and it is all about getting into the groove soon. Cook has enjoyed success against India and he would want to believe that this is his best opportunity to get back in form. 24 innings without a Test ton sure do not make for good reading for the England captain and this 5-match Test series is important for Cook the captain and Cook the batsman. 


1. Average first innings score at Trent Bridge, Nottingham: 
Overall – 323

Since 2000 - 321

2. Average second innings score at Trent Bridge, Nottingham: 

Overall – 306

Since 2000- 308

3. Result summary at Trent Bridge, Nottingham:
Won by side batting 1st
Won by side batting 2nd
Since 2000
4. Head-to-head:

Ind won
Eng won
in England
at Trent Bridge

5. Last meeting between both sides at Trent Bridge, Nottingham:

Brief scores:
 July 29 – Aug 1, 2011

England (221 & 544) India (288 & 158). England won by 319 runs.

6. Form guide (most recent listed first):

India: Drawn, Lost, Lost, Drawn, Won

England: Lost, Drawn, Lost, Lost, Lost

The Squads

India: M.S. Dhoni (C & WK), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Wriddhiman Saha, Pankaj Singh.

England (1st Test): Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior (WK), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

source: bcci.tv


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