England’s second Test
James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers on the final afternoon of England’s first Test match against India with 5-65, steering them to a comfortable 196-run victory at Lords. Andrew Strauss could not have asked for a better start to the series but all is still to play for as they prepare to get underway in the second Test at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge on Friday. England should be full of confidence on the back of a sublime opener which included unbeaten scores in the first innings of 202 for Kevin Pietersen and 103 from Matt Prior that allow the home side to declare on an unassailable 474-8, with an onslaught of bowling to follow.
No changes are expected to be made for the second Test, much to the dismay of 12thman Tim Bresnan who will have to watch on from the pavilion. Chris Tremlett is the only worry for England after complaining of back soreness and a tight hamstring at the weekend, but it isn’t thought to be a major concern and is expected to feature in the starting XI.
Broad was firing on all cylinders at the Oval, taking a career best of 7-94 and should have had the scalp of Sachin Tendulkar for lbw had it not been for the dubious decision of Billy Bowden, who could not refer to the Decision Review System that is normally in place. The usually unflappable Bowden was guilty of making a number of controversial decisions against England in the first Test and although it didn’t affect the overall score in the end, it is something Coach Andy Flowers believes could cause unnecessary problems in the remaining Tests for either side.
Something else the Indians will have at the back of their minds when they face the tenacious bowling of Anderson is his impressive record at Trent Bridge. The swing bowler has taken 20 wickets in just four Test matches at the ground, with four five-wicket hauls. Anderson had this to say to The Telegraph of his liaison with the ground: “It’s nice to play at a ground where you’ve had success before but on Friday I won’t be thinking about my past successes.”
The Tourist’s prospects have nosedived considerably in the last few days as they may be without their strike bowler Zaheer Khan, who was forced to retire early in the first Test with a strained hamstring. Team manager Anirudh Choudhary is confident Khan will be fit for Friday even though he was still moving awkwardly in training earlier this week. The news will be a relief to England who lost nine wickets to Zaheer the last time the sides met at Trent Bridge.
If England can win just two of the remaining four Tests they will become world number one in the ICC’s official world rankings, leapfrogging their opponents who currently hold the prestigious position. Strauss is convinced after his team’s performance on Friday they are more than capable of achieving their aim, so long as they keep their focus and do not get complacent after such an impeccable start to the series. The captain told to Skysports: “It’s the first of a four-match series but we’ve demonstrated that when we play well we’re a match for anyone. Now we just have to play well again.”