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'We are bracing for an Indian backlash'

Last updated on: July 28, 2011 20:58 IST

'We are bracing for an Indian backlash'

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Bikash Mohapatra reports from Trent Bridge.

Though Andrew Strauss was not the captain of England when India last toured in 2007 (Michael Vaughan was), he did realise what went wrong for his side in that series.

Four years on, leading England against the same opposition, the 34-year-old is making sure his team doesn't make the mistakes they did back then.

- Zaheer ruled out of second Test, Gambhir doubtful

It is a perfect case of once bitten, twice shy, so to speak.

"The last time we played them (in 2007), we narrowly missed out on beating them at Lord's and they responded by beating us here in Trent Bridge," recollected Strauss, on the eve of the second Test, beginning Friday.

"We lost the toss and were in trouble from ball one. To be fair, India didn't us let us come back into the match.

"So this time we are not taking anything for granted," he said.


Image: Andrew Strauss
Photographs: Getty Images
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'We are expecting India to raise their performance'

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To the captain's advantage, going into the Nottingham Test, England is in a much better position than in 2007, having scored a morale-boosting 196-run win in the opening Test at Lord's earlier this week.

However, with the visitors' recent record of coming back strong after an opening defeat, Strauss doesn't want to take any chances whatsoever.

"Yes, we expect a backlash from India," he admitted.

"Their record of coming back after losing a Test backs that up. So we are expecting them to raise their performance. We, therefore, need to increase ours," he added.

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Aware that the strength of his team lies in its bowling attack, Strauss wants to cash in on it.

"At Lord's, we managed to stop the batsmen from scoring by being accurate. If the batsman wants runs, he has to break the shackles and take a risk, thereby increasing his chances of getting out.

"We will try to do the same thing in Trent Bridge," he explained


Image: Chris Tremlett undergoes a late fitness test on Thursday

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'Bresnan hasn't let any one down so far'

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Going into the match, though, all is not well in the England set-up. Chris Tremlett, one of the key contributors towards that win at Lord's, has pulled a hamstring and could miss out. And Strauss is adamant he won't take a risk with a bowler that crucial.

"We are not picking him (Tremlett) if we are not sure," he said, matter-of-factly.

At the same time, he exuded confidence in the abilities of the likely replacement.

"You always want the bowlers to do something they naturally do," he explained, adding, "The brief for all our bowlers is to bang in to that length consistently.

"And (Tim) Bresnan's job will be no different. He hasn't let any one down so far and I am sure he will do his best should he play."

Fully aware that a win in Trent Bridge will help England move a step closer to the No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings, Strauss albeit made his preference clear.

"The No.1 situation is secondary vis- -vis winning the series," he said categorically. "We are doing a lot of fundamentals right.

"The key is to continue doing the same on a consistent basis." 


Image: Tim Bresnan

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