Sri Lanka controlled the game in first session of 2nd test match at Lords after winning the toss but failed to capitalise on a good start provided by their bowlers. Lankan bowlers proved Dilshan’s decision correct when they picked up 3 quick wickets upfront which included the wicket of in-form batsmen Jonathan Trott and Captain Strauss. But Cook had other ideas and he got perfect support from Ian Bell as duo helped England in reaching safe total. Matt Prior and Eoin Morgan further strengthen the position of England. Prior is still not-out and looking good to get another hundred. Bell, Cook and Morgan scored brilliant half-centuries. It was unfortunate that Cook got out on 96 and failed to get one more hundred but he certainly saved England from embarrassment.
Sri Lanka did everything right in first session but lost their way in second session and they allowed England to claw back from the hopeless situation. Lankan bowlers however picked up six wickets at the end of first day but advantage is with England now as they are in comfortable position to dictate terms. Lankans really missed Malinga and Muralitharan and it was written all over on their day’s performance. Score was 22 when 3rd wicket fell but Lankans allowed England to get away with huge score at the end of first day. Tough times ahead for Lankans as series loss looming large over their head.
India eager to start campaign with a win.
Pitches in Caribbean are much like sub-continent nowadays and this will certainly help the Harbhajan & Co. Looking at Indian team it has some exciting talent and this talent have to perform on this tour because this tour will decide future of these young cricketers. it’s a golden chance and needs to be grabbed with both hands.
India will open with Pathiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan,that is sure. In middle–order India have players like Kohli and Raina who are in tremendous form and they will be supported by Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan and Badrinath. All these batsmen had a great IPL and will be looking to transfer their good form in International cricket. Who ever perform well on this tour will certainly get the ticket for England which will be following Caribbean tour. It will also test the captaincy skills of Suresh Raina who will be leading this Indian team 2nd time in his career. Duncan Fletcher have big challenge ahead of him.
Looking at bowling, India have only Ishant Sharma who is genuinely quick. Likes of Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar are swing bowlers. They will not get enough assistance from the slow low pitches of West Indies. According to me spinners will going to play big role on this tour as we all saw how Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal destoryed the West Indian batting recently.
Looking at West Indian side, they are bit below par in the absence of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo. But they are in re-building phase and they will try out few youngsters against India. Among all the players Darren Bravo and Andre Russell looks like good talent. Apart from these two players West Indies have players like Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Devendra Bishoo, Marlon Samuels who can turn the tides in the favour of home team.
I think it is going to be an even contest considering both teams don’t have the services of their frontline players.
Suresh Raina (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Subramaniam Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, R Ashwin, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and R.Vinay Kumar.
Darren Sammy (c), Christopher Barnwell, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Andre Fletcher (wk), Danza Hyatt, Ashley Nurse, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons.