The Indian Cricket team starts its tour to England tomorrow with a Test Match at the Lords Ground. The newspapers have been carrying articles on the past tours of Indian Cricket team to England. The one consistent feature of all the tours barring the 1986 tour is that we have lost the first Test always. Even in the famous last tour where we almost one the series had it not rained in the last Test, we lost the first Test quite easily, with only Ajit Agarkar saving grace with a cherished hundred at the Mecca of Cricket.
This time around, my patriotic self, would like to see that we repeat the 1986 tour, winning quite comfortably. But my realistic self, says that given the Indian performance in the tour matches till now and the still undecided batting order, we may land up in a familiar situation. This is the last chance for the famous trio of Indian batting, Sachin, Saurav and Rahul to leave a lasting impression. Sachin has already shown his intents in the tour match with a match saving knock of 177 against the England Lions team. Saurav, though lacklustre till now, have in the recent times shown a penchant of staying on the crease for longish periods in both versions of the game, so he can be counted on for at least staying on the crease and wasting time if not on scoring runs. This may be helpful for us in case we have to save a Test. Rahul have always been reliable and had been India's best bat overseas. He is sure to come up trumps this time around too.
Of the other players I have great expectations from Dinesh Karthik. He has shown a lot of improvement in recent times and I would place my bets on him.
In the bowling department, the Indian pace attack, though dependent on Zaheer Khan, I would trust Sreesanth to get wickets and along with the ever reliable Anil Kumble could be the match winner. I don't have much faith in the other bowlers. But to win a match, it is the bowling that has to come good. Lets hope it comes good this time around, like it did in the first Test in the latest series against South Africa.
And lets also hope that the Indian team does not let go the initial advantage like it did in South Africa.
Best of Luck India!!