Friday, July 29, 2011

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England eye repeat as India sweat on Zaheer

  • Friday, July 29, 2011
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • England will look for more of the same against India in the second Test at Trent Bridge starting here today. 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.

    Good cricket

    “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”.

    Four years

    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.

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