The Lords Test is over. Let there be light !
In my opinion, neither side quite knows what to take away from the sun and rain of London. If the English believe that the bowling was on par with what they had dished during the Ashes of 2005, I strongly suggest they look again (At the Ashes, ideally – for that was outstanding Test cricket.). The bowling was good – but the expectations being low helped. No only did the English not look forward to their bowlers delivering much, the Indian batters did not have much to go by either. Additionally, England had the better conditions to play the game with. For four days and almost two sessions. On the batting front, I still reckon that the first innings difference in attitude was the key. It got accentuated by a couple of things. The Indian bowling on day one (highlighted by the easier conditions) and Kevin Pietersen’s brilliance on Day 4. India’s batting has got a fair amount of stick – not the least for its inability to put up partnerships and thats the part that they will look to correct in the rest of the series. Notwithstanding the fact that England showed the more positive intent in the batting stakes though and have statistically the better averages (amazingly! – and how they lie) among the batters, its clearly where India has the advantage and need to express it. Not being positive is not the answer.
Trent Bridge has a myriad history and you’ll find a few sources that will detail where various strengths lie. As the Lord’s Test showed though, history doesn’t count for much either from a pitch behaviour point of view or indeed from a relative performances perspective. I remember it as the venue where England won the Test that swung it in their favour in the Ashes 2005. First time in 191 Tests that Australia followed on. Then England chased 125 to win and nearly choked with Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard taking them over the line…
Its expected that both sides go in unchanged. Both flattered to believe at Lords.