Thank the Rain Gods
The first Test is over, while most of the fans were disappointed to see the sixth wicket fall with over 50 overs remaining and resigned to the fate of another Lord’s defeat, I had started my rain dance and heartfelt prayers to Varuna. The rains came, and yes, India were lucky to get out of jail; and to be fair England deserved to win. But life isn’t always fair and that’s that.
But still, there were positives
While a lot will be written about the positives and negatives of this match (Mohan Krishnamoorthy already has some incisive comments after Day 4), Dravid can take heart for the fact that 3 of his youngsters put their hands up to be counted – RP Singh, Karthik and Dhoni.
What was most impressive was that our inexperienced pace attack helped to dismiss England twice for under 300.
The middle order of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman didn’t have a spectacular outing but there were periods where they looked in control, even if not on top of the bowling.
The English bowling
Apart from Monty, India haven’t faced much of the English pacers in the Test arena. Sidebottom is a much-improved bowler compared to his disastrous debut in 2001. The Indian line up except for Ganguly is all right handed and it is not easy to face a lefty who consistently swings it in. I am certain the Indians would have learnt their lesson and play him just a fraction late and mostly on the front foot (tip by Jeff Boycott on BBC) at Nottingham.
The real surprise package was James Anderson who bowled exceptionally well. The Indians need to come up with something to tackle him at Trent Bridge. For starters – a positive attitude will be of great help.
The Laxman question
India is likely to go in with the same eleven and so will England. Laxman is likely to get the nod again ahead of Yuvraj.
Laxman is a class act but needs time to settle down before he can let loose his array of strokes. This often means he will be a slow starter. Another problem is that if Dhoni gets out early, in my opinion Laxman doesn’t have the ability to shepherd the tail. He can be slow to adapt to the changing situation of the game.
I believe (much to the chagrin of Tendulkar fans and fellow bloggers), Tendulkar and Laxman should swap places. Tendulkar has the ability to shift gears as well as rotate the strike better than Laxman. For once, let us be bold and try something different.
Heck, we can still beat England. Just win the toss, put 400+ on the board and get Pietersen cheaply 😀