Live Cricket is back in the Spotlight when India takes on England in the 1st Test of the RBS Cup Test Series between India vs England 2008 at MAC Stadium in Chennai on December 11th 2008 since the terror strikes in Mumbai, the game now takes centre stage. Weather permitting, one of the most significant Tests in recent memory is about to be played – with plenty at stake.
India go into this match after beating the No. 1 side in the world. Their pace bowling is in the best health witnessed for decades, the openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have put together 50-plus stands in seven of their last eight innings, and in Mahendra Singh Dhoni India have a street-smart, innovative leader. Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra played a critical role in Australia’s two defeats, and with spin accounting for 62% of England’s wickets in India since 2001, they will aim to apply pressure.
Gambhir returns after a one-Test ban to accompany a red-hot Sehwag at the top, displacing M Vijay. Yuvraj will slip into Ganguly’s spot in the middle order. Apart from that India’s team will be the same from the one that beat Australia by 172 runs in Nagpur exactly a month ago.
India : (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Yuvraj Singh, 7 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Amit Mishra.
England: 1 Andrew Strauss, 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Kevin Pietersen (capt), Paul Collingwood, 6 Andrew Flintoff, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Graeme Swann, 9 James Anderson, 10 Steve Harmison, 11 Monty Panesar.
Pitch and conditions
Players from both teams were forced back to the dressing room on Tuesday after a nets session at the MA Chidambaram Stadium was cut short due to rain. Tamil Nadu, a coastal state in south-east India, is not unaccustomed to monsoon and cyclonic weather patterns at this time of the year. Intermittent heavy rains left the outfield slushy and more rain has been predicted in the hours leading up to game day. There is a strong chance that the cricket will be affected.
“You could say we can’t lose in this situation, but that’s also a way of looking at things negatively. There is to be no nonsense said about what has happened. I told the boys this morning that it’s a case of coming to this Test match series like it would be in England.”
Kevin Pietersen is not interested in excuses expects his teammates to ignore all distractions
“Every series is important, be it against Bangladesh or a low team. It is an international series. It goes into your records.”
Dhoni tries to keep it as simple as possible, against the backdrop of the last couple weeks