India vs England Test series preview

December 9, 2008 at 11:53 am 3 comments


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After weeks of uncertainty over this series, after terror attacks in Mumbai, it is good that we finally get some cricket. England’s decision to send their strongest team to India sends a message to the terrorists and provides a boost for the cricket mad Indian public. India test matches have previously attracted a low turn out, but India’s win over Australia will raise the countries expectations and Interest in this series. It sees Mahendra Singh Dhoni take charge of his first test series after Kumble’s retirement against Kevin Peitersen’s first test match in charge in the sub continent.

Selection

The talk all this week from the England camp was who would go and who would stay, but the group made a collective decision to play in the test match. For England, Amjad Khan comes into the team to replace Sidebottom who has been ruled out of the test series. Amjad Khan provides a different option for England bowling at 90mph and also able to make use of reverse swing. He will provide healthy competition to Harmison and Anderson who both struggled in the recent ODI series. His inclusion could depend on whether England decide to play 5 bowlers and whether they play 2 spinners. It is likely that England will play with 5 front line bowlers because of the hot and humid sub continent conditions and the inclusion of Swann as the second spin bowler will depend on the conditions of the pitch. Australia went with just a single front line spinner, Krejza who took 12 wickets in 1 match, with Harbijan and Mishra claiming 29 wickets between them in three matches, highlighting the significance of spin in India. Stuart Broad misses the first test but is likely to replace Harmison or Anderson in the second test adding more stability to the batting line up. England have retained the same batsmen with Owais Shah taking the place of Vaughan in the squad. Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara and Michael Vaughan will be desperate to get into the team for the tour to the caribbean, placing the likes of Strauss, Bell and Collingwood under increasing pressure with the bat. All three batsmen struggled in the summer and will need to up their form if England are going to claim a series victory.

The Indian’s have recalled Yuvraj into the side after his terrific form in the ODI series. He is likely to replace Ganguly, a member of the ‘fab four’ in the Indian middle order. In the test arena he is not the same player as he is in the limited over games. That has been down to his struggles in facing the shorter ball which he is likely to come under again this series. The Indian team has been weakened from their last test series after the retirement of Kumble and Ganguly. Kumble, however is unlikely to be missed as his replacement Mishra recently outshone his former skipper against the Australians. His retirement means that the selectors can name their best spin attack of Harbijan and Mishra without the pressure of sticking to Kumble because he is captain.

Conditions

The Indian conditions are likely to assist spin bowling with both sides likely to employ two spinners to make best use of conditions. The spin bowlers took a large majority of wickets in the India vs Australia test series and are expected to do so again. With the sweltering heat of the sub continent, both sides should play 5 bowlers, for England that is likely to come as 5 front line bowlers plus Peitersen and Collingwood, for India that will consist of 4 front line bowlers and Sehwag, Yuvraj and Tendulkar.

There is unlikely to be too much assistance for swing bowlers, so the success of the swing bowlers will depend on their ability to vary line and length and get the ball in good areas. This is something that Zaheer Khan is good at, along with a change of angle to right handers, making him difficult to play. Harmsion will also have a lot of hard work on his hands with the conditions also not allowing too much bounce. Brett Lee only managed 8 wickets in 8 innings on the tour, expect Harmison to have similar difficulties but he will still be a threat if he bowls fast and in good areas. There is however likely to be a bit of reverse swing later in the innings. The matches could depend on who makes best use of these conditions, with Inshant Sharma and Zaheer Khan using the reverse swing to good effect to trouble the Australian batsmen. Of the England team Flintoff used the reverse swing well in the 2005 Ashes series but it remains to be seen the ability of Anderson with the ball reverse swinging. Amjad Khan however is a good exploiter of reverse swing, bowling at 90mph and generating reverse swing is a deadly combination and one that could see him pip Anderson in England’s bowling attack.

Squads

England: KP Pietersen (capt) T Ambrose (wkt), J Anderson , IR Bell , S Broad, P Collingwood, A Cook, A Flintoff, S Harmison, M Panesar, M Prior (wkt), O Shah, A Strauss, G Swann, A Khan

India: M Dhoni (capt & wk), V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, S Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Y Singh, A Mishra, Zr Khan, I Sharma, H Singh, S Badrinath, M Patel, M Vijay, P Ojha.

Prediction

This series is likely to be more closer than the test series with England looking to end the tour on a high and India looking to move into second place in the rankings with a 2-0 series win. England will be short of practice after just arriving in Chennai on Tuesday, with rain likely to interrupt practice sessions and the warm-up games being cancelled. India meanwhile are on a high after beating Australia and winning the ODI series and at the moment the world’s in-form cricket nation looks like claiming a series win. After not managing to get a result right so far, I could go for the safe option of a Indian series white-wash, however, I think that England can sneak something, so I’m going for 1-1

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

Amjad Khan earns England call up India vs England 1st Test

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cricket Rules  |  December 10, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I agree, I was extremely happy to hear England are resuming their tour and returning to India. I was also very happy to hear they had decided to donate half of their match fees to Mumbai victims. It is acts like this that show the true human spirit which cannot be defeated by heartless terrorists.
    I myself am an Australian but unfortunately don’t believe that I do not think Aus would return if they were in the same situation. It is very sad as this should not be the case and I congratulate England for their courage and fighting spirit.
    I am tipping India to win the series 1-0.

    Reply
  • 2. CricketMAN  |  December 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I like the preview…very good.
    I think england will be demolished so 2-0 to INDIA ME THINKS!

    Reply
  • 3. Terror » Blog Archive » INDIA VS ENGLAND TEST SERIES  |  December 24, 2008 at 5:30 am

    […] India vs England Test series preview « England Cricket 9 Dec 2008 … The spin bowlers took a large majority of wickets in the India vs Australia test series and are expected to do so again. … englandcricket.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/india-vs-england-test-series-preview/ – 22k – Cached – Similar pages […]

    Reply

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