• Saturday, March 07, 2015

English pride at stake

Third Test starts today

Afp, Southampton

England won't just be looking to end a sequence of 10 Tests without a win when they face India in the third Test at Southampton from Sunday, they will be aiming to restore their pride.
Monday's 95-run defeat in the second Test at Lord's, a result that put the tourists 1-0 up in the five-match series, came after England had won the toss on a pitch that might have been made to captain Alastair Cook's specific instructions and against an India side who had not won away from home in 16 previous Tests.
Whether it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling like a classic seamer or opener Murali Vijay's invaluable second-innings 95, India excelled in disciplines that were once common to every county, let alone England, team.
And then compounding the 'role reversal' was the way the match ended, when several England batsmen succumbed to a bouncer-trap baited by Ishant Sharma who promptly took seven for 74 as India won only their sixth Test in England.
It was somehow typical of England's present plight the only player who was actually dropped from the squad for the third Test was left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan, who didn't play at Lord's.
For India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the unexpected but welcome problem is how to guard against complacency.
"We don't have too many experienced players but it is important to seize our chances and put the opposition away, said Dhoni.

"Being humble in cricket is very important."
ENGLAND (from): Alastair Cook (captain), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes.
INDIA (from): Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin.
Umpires: Rod Tucker (Australia) and Marais Erasmus (South Africa)

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, July 27, 2014

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