Disaster was waiting to strike unprepared India
Looking back at Lord's, it is evident that the side that was better prepared, won. England deserve credit for the way they prepared for the series, mentally and physically. Nasser Hussain writes.Outside viewindia Updated: Jul 27, 2011 02:51 IST
Looking back at Lord's, it is evident that the side that was better prepared, won. England deserve credit for the way they prepared for the series, mentally and physically. While the home series against Sri Lanka a few weeks earlier prepared England well, many of India's top players missed out on the Windies tour last month.Stark fact
It is no coincidence that the performers on the India side were those who had recently played the Test series against the West Indies. Apart from Rahul Dravid, who is always a class act but had some trouble with the away-moving deliveries, and VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina in the second innings, no batsman was comfortable against the swinging ball.
James Anderson, Chris Tremlett and Stuart Broad had a fantastic game, sharing 18 wickets between them, while Greame Swann got the other two and also took some good catches.
Amongst India's bowlers, Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma bowled exceptionally well in both innings, and had Matt Prior been dismissed cheaply in England's second innings the result could have been different. Zaheer's injury is a strange one. For the country's leading bowler, surely he could not have been expected to prove his fitness in a Test match. His injury is a real blow to India's chances in this series. They must learn from this fast, though there is hardly any time before the next game at Trent Bridge.
Viru also a worry
Virender Sehwag's match fitness, should he become available, is also a matter of concern. The Lords' loss is going to be crucial. Had they applied themselves a bit more on the last day, and drawn the game, India would have been psychologically at par with England, despite all the niggling injuries to Zaheer, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir.
While T20 cricket has cemented its place in cricket, too much of it can be detrimental to a side's preparation for the real thing - Test cricket. After a fantastic Ashes, England made an early exit from the World Cup. Thereafter, its players did not play much T20 or county cricket, instead they chose to get valuable Test match experience against the Lankans in the build-up to this series. On the other hand, the India players, after winning the World Cup, went on to play almost two months of IPL — and that's all the cricket some of them have played before this series.
The umpiring at Lord's was of high standard, though mistakes did happen. I strongly feel that DRS is necessary to remove the emotional angle from the game.