So England are now in full control of the test series against India. After they edged what was an absolutely fantastic 1st test at Edgbaston, they demolished the tourists in a rain affected 2nd test winning on the 4th day at Lords by an innings and 159 runs. In fact only 170.3 overs were bowled across the match which actually equates to less than 2 days play. Outstanding from England, awful and gutless from India.
BIG TROUBLE AHEAD
In my preview blog for the series, I predicted a fast start from the hosts and a slow one for the Indians, mainly due to a lack of preparation, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. Just imagine if they had not had Virat Kohli, then the 1st test would not even have been a contest and that’s not even mentioning the dropped catches from the English. He had a niggling back injury at Lords and if he missed any (or maybe all) of this series then India will surely be done for when you look at the stats, the Indian captain has scored over a third of his sides runs, and even he cannot carry his whole team when it comes to getting a decent total on the board. A thrashing is on the cards unless something changes and fast.
NOTTINGHAM CALLING AND COOK NEEDS A SCORE
So now onto Trent Bridge, a place England love to play and have a very good recent record. One issue that needs to be looked at for me is the situation around Alastair Cook. His recent international form has been poor, 2 double centuries aside in his last 25+ test innings and only on one other occasion has he scored over 50. Surely his place is now in jeopardy. National selector, Ed Smith has already shown he is not scared of making changes and picking from outside of the box, Jos Buttler brought back in, Ollie Pope replacing Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid being selected despite not even playing any red ball cricket for his county. In my opinion two failures could mean the end of a test career for England’s highest run scorer as with 2 more games left in the series somebody would need blooding with tours of Sri Lanka and West Indies to come in the winter.
I went with a 3-1 series victory for England but as we stand with the hosts 2 up with 3 to play – 4 or 5-0 feels like a more likely outcome and let us be honest when England toured India in late 2016 they were crushed into the ground once the home team took the ascendancy, hardly ever letting the grip loosen throughout the final 4 tests, after a drawn opener. Joe Root wasn’t captain then, but now has the chance to rub Indian noses into the dirt in English conditions. Revenge could be very sweet indeed.
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