England eye repeat as India sweat on Zaheer Khan
England will look for more of the same against India in the second Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham tomorrow. They thrashed the tourists by 196 runs on Monday, with James Anderson taking five for 65 in front of a full house at Lord's in the 2,000th Test of all-time.Updated: Jul 28, 2011 09:53 IST
England will look for more of the same against India in the second Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham starting on Friday. They thrashed the tourists by 196 runs on Monday, with James Anderson taking five for 65 in front of a full house at Lord's in the 2,000th Test of all-time.
England, who will replace India at the top of the ICC's Test table if they win this four-match series 2-0 or better, had things pretty much their own way at Lord's, with Kevin Pietersen making a double century, Matt Prior a reviving second innings hundred and Stuart Broad returning to his best bowling form.
And even when dropped catches or contentious lbw decisions, for which there are no reviews this series because of Indian objections to ball-tracking technology, went against England, it made little difference.
"We know we're playing really, really good cricket at the moment," said Anderson.
"Everyone's chipping in -- and if we need someone to step up, generally someone is.
"We're trying to improve each day, as individuals and as a team. If we can do that, we know we can do great things."
Anderson, often a beneficiary of the swing friendly conditions on offer at Trent Bridge, has dismissed Sachin Tendulkar six times in seven Tests, including lbw for 12 in the second innings at Lord's to leave the India great stranded on 99 international hundreds.
"When you get him out you know it's a key dismissal, so we know we've got to be on top of our game to do that," Anderson said.
England had a huge break at Lord's when Zaheer Khan broke down early with a hamstring injury and then didn't bowl at all in the second innings.
An India spokesman said Wednesday that Zaheer's fitness was "improving considerably".
But if the left-arm quick, who four years ago at Trent Bridge took nine wickets in what turned out to be a series-clinching win, is ruled out, India will have to decide between erratic fast bowler Shanthakurman Sreesanth and the steadier Munaf Patel.
"Ishant (Sharma) has been doing really well -- he was the man of the series in the West Indies -- and Praveen Kumar has taken five wickets (at Lord's)," said India batsman Abhinav Mukund.
"Sreesanth is waiting in the wings as well, so it's not that we have a depleted attack.
"It's just that when you lose a fast bowler during a game it's a completely different scenario."
England have a doubt over fast bowler Chris Tremlett, unable to train on Wednesday because of a tight hamstring.
If Tremlett is sidelined, fellow Ashes-winner Tim Bresnan will be recalled.
Rahul Dravid was the only member of India's celebrated top order to make a century at Lord's but the likes of Tendulkar and Venkatsai Laxman will be keen to post a significant score.
So too will 21-year-old left-hander Mukund, opening while Virender Sehwag recovers from a shoulder injury.
Sehwag has an unrivalled ability to attack the new ball whereas Mukund, who made 49 and 12 at Lord's, is a far more orthodox opener.
"I don't want to replace Sehwag or play like he does, because it's not possible," Mukund said.
"I just want to go out and play how I know. If it comes off it will help the team."
And he insisted India were well-capable of demonstrating the resilience that had taken them to the summit of Test cricket during the rest of this series.
"Being the world number one, the India team has conquered a lot of challenges on the way here.
"We've come here to take up this challenge, and will definitely give it a good fight."
First Published: Jul 28, 2011 09:49 IST