Pace and bounce key for England ahead of India showdown

July 14, 2011

by Hobbs Luton

A British Airways flight from Barbados arrived at Gatwick yesterday, carrying the world’s best cricket team, ahead of their upcoming series with England. India are ranked number one in the world in Test match cricket, and only a few months ago were crowned world cup ODI champions on their home turf in Mumbai.

However, Dhoni and co will be well aware of the challenges that confront them over the next couple of months. An in-form, England side waits, who will be chomping at the bit to remove that tag of best side in the world. The build-up to this contest will be huge, and England will be desperate to deliver the goods.

Sachin Tendulkar is just one century away from being the first man ever to score 100 International hundreds. There would be no place more fitting on Earth than Lords cricket ground to achieve this. Tendulkar has yet to register a Test match century at the home of cricket and will be eager to see his name on the honours board come next weekend. If Tendulkar can achieve this feet, it will give the whole of the Indian cricket team an injection of spirit, because he is the one man that drives them on, time after time. If Tendulkar cannot perform on this tour, India’s self-confidence will be drained away quicker than that of an Arsenal team at a back end of a premier league season.

Although statistically all of the Indian batsmen can be classed as greats of the game, England will know in their own conditions that these same guys can be fragile. It won’t take any phone hacking for India to realise that conversations between Andy Flower and grounds man will be along the lines of ‘pace and bounce please’. Traditionally Indian batsman are not used to the ball bouncing above knee height on the slow low dustbowls that they play on in India. British Airways will have allowed more cabin space for arm-guards and chest pads this time around.

England now possesses a battery of tall fast bowlers who will be keen to test out the middle of each surface. No more so than Surrey’s Chris Tremlett. Last time India toured England Tremlett caused all of the Indian batsmen problems with his extra height, and I have no doubt that Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss will be inking Tremlett in for all four Test matches this summer.

A tough series to call but if each grounds man can produce 22 yards of pace and bounce I am expecting England to win.

The Scoop 14/07/11

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