Home > News >

India look to wipe off past scars against England in 1st Test at Trent Bridge

India look to wipe off past scars against England in 1st Test at Trent Bridge
Under MS Dhoni, India’s last overseas Test win had come against the West Indies at Kingston in June 2011 © Getty Images

By Chetan Narula

Nottingham: Jul 8, 2014

Devoid of experience but propped up by a confident bunch of youngsters, India would be looking to wipe off the past scars and reverse their poor overseas record when they take on England in a five-Test series starting on Wednesday.

It is a great opportunity for a young visiting side as they play five back-to-back Tests in this hectic 42-day series. The next four Tests will be played at London (Lord’s), Southampton, Manchester and London again (The Oval).

Under MS Dhoni, India’s last overseas Test win had come against the West Indies at Kingston in June 2011.

Since then they have gone on to lose 0-8 in two tours to England and Australia.

A new overseas journey began in the 2013-14 season, which saw them play four overseas Tests in South Africa and New Zealand. But they couldn’t get back to winning ways, losing two and drawing two matches.

That, however, isn’t the only fact hurting Indian cricket. Their Test form against England has really seen a downward curve in the last two encounters as after the 0-4 embarrassment, they suffered a humiliating 1-2 loss at home in the 2012-13 season.

It was the first series win for England in India since 1984-85, one that marked their ascendancy in modern-day Test cricket.

However, things have changed a lot for the hosts since then. Their current Test squad bears a dissimilar look to the ones that dismantled India with such ease in their last two meetings.

Cricketers who really shone in those encounters are either suffering from poor form or fatigue — Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, James Anderson — while some — Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott — have vanished from the scene altogether.

The combination of Anderson and Swann (with ample support from Broad, Tim Bresnan and Monty Panesar at different times) proved lethal for India on both the previous occasions.

Whether away or at home, there was no respite for their batsmen as quality pace and swing backed up by some sensational spin bowling caused havoc in their ranks.

The duo accounted for 34 out of 79 Indian wickets to fall in the summer of 2011, while their tally went up to 32 out of 55 dismissals in the winter of 2012-13.

Swann’s absence is hurting England because they now have to play an additional seam bowler while off-setting the spin duties to Moeen Ali, a move that hasn’t invoked much confidence.

It meansadditional burden on their primary medium pacers, Anderson and Broad. But if the recent trend of placid wickets — like the ones at both Lord’s and Headingley in the recent first home series-loss to Sri Lanka — continues, the hosts will find that taking 20 wickets will not be an easy proposition.

Bowlers need the cushion of runs to take wickets in Test cricket and Cook’s form is the great worry herein. The English captain has now gone 24 innings without crossing the triple-figure mark and the visitors can look at this fact with some joy.

In their last two meetings, Cook buried the Indian bowling under an avalanche of runs — 910 runs in eight Tests (14 innings).

While he searches for runs at the present moment, his captaincy has suffered and he has come under severe criticism from many quarters, a point of possible exploitation for Dhoni and his men.

Pietersen was the other great scorer for England in those two encounters — 533 runs in 2011 and 338 runs in 2012-13 — and that chapter is more or less closed now.

With Trott missing, it puts great pressure on Ian Bell to become the second scoring pivot in this upcoming series as the batting line-up is otherwise replete with youngsters trying to fit in.

England are undergoing a massive transition at this moment and five Tests is ample opportunity for any side looking for a revenge job on them.

If there is an R-word this Indian team is looking for, however, then it is redemption. The 18-man squad bears a completely different look to the one that toured in 2011 or played at home in 2012-13.

Only Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma played here three summers ago, while the others who stepped into the team during the latter series were taking a first step in their respective international careers.

It provides an opportunity to break away from the past and build for the future, signalling an end to the long and painful transition period.

Dissociated with the sufferings of 2011 then, this side will look to build on the positives gained in South Africa and New Zealand.

The young batting line-up, bolstered by Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, stood up in alien conditions and made a firm impression.

In eight innings on those two tours, India crossed the 300-mark on two occasions, going on to score 421 at Johannesburg and 438 at Wellington.

They should have won at least one and at most two of those four Tests, but the inability to take 20 wickets has hurt them badly.

It is this question that needs answering and in turn will ascertain the playing XI for this first Test in Nottingham.

For long, Dhoni has searched for a medium-pacer all-rounder to deploy overseas and Stuart Binny looks like the answer to his prayers.

The Karnataka player has enjoyed a long work-out in the two practice games at Leicester and Derbyshire, ahead of the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin.

For, these are the two players who will certainly miss out if Binny comes into consideration. Ashwin has been pushed to the bench by Ravindra Jadeja who looks set to be retained as the lone spinner with the Trent Bridge wicket bearing a brownish tinge.

Meanwhile, Sharma has done little of note in the eight innings (one fifty) in South Africa and New Zealand, and it was noted that Rahane (one hundred and two fifties in South Africa and New Zealand) batted before him in the two practice games.

Despite his troubles in the warm-up matches, Ishant Sharma will probably be selected on account of his past experience in these conditions, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami giving him company.

But a regular four-bowler attack might not cut it any more. If India do go in with five bowlers, it will be an early indication of their intent in this high-profile Test series.

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Rain interrupts play

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Incheon Asian Games 2014 India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Perth Scorchers

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Match stopped due to rain

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights lose Kane Williamson early, make slow start

Rohit Sharma launches cleanliness campaign

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

India vs West Indies 2014: Delhi High Court gives green signal to DDCA for Feroz Shah Kotla ODI

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Players scoring 50-plus in both innings of a Test match most number of times

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Alcohol could leave you sleepless even after you have quit

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

Ello might be ad-free, but it is far from claiming Facebook’s throne

Champions League T20 2014 Points Table & Results of CLT20: Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings top Group A Points Tally, through to semis

NGOs pursue education for all

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Cleanliness campaign launched by Rohit Sharma

Samsung reportedly manufacturing displays for Apple’s iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro

Bigg Boss 8: Karishma Tanna takes a dig at Diandra Soares’ bikini!

Krushna Abhishek and Bharti Singh reunite for Comedy Classes!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here