India, England both looking for success
India and England have taken contrasting routes for success ahead of the NatWest Challenge opener at the Trent Bridge ground tomorrow.
Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
Nottingham :India and England have taken contrasting routes for success ahead of the NatWest Challenge opener at the Trent Bridge ground tomorrow. It could be a difference between progress and retardation in days to come. England have gone for a complete reliance on youngsters while India is sticking to its plan even in face of depressing outcomes, believing form is temporary and class is permanent. After a disastrous performance in the triangular one-day series this summer when they won only one of their six games against West Indies and New Zealand, England have sacked five and infused fresh blood. Experience matters India, on the other hand, despite the setbacks in Sri Lanka and Holland, are still going with the tried and tested rather than blood youngsters like Dinesh Karthik. England have put their faith in the likes of Gareth Batty, Alex Wharf, Anthony McGrath and Andrew Strauss as they look to build the nucleus of the new side. It is largely an inexperienced side despite the presence of Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick, explosive allrounder Andrew Flintoff, Darren Gough and Ashley Giles. Fast bowlers Steve Harmison and James Anderson gives them hope that they could settle the insult of NatWest Trophy of 2002 when India lost only one game to them and successfully chased 326 in the final at Lords. Most of them carry an injured pride from recent matches and would like to recapture their batting glory. A lot to prove Tendulkar's absence also gives a chance to skipper Sourav Ganguly to take position as opener and Laxman too moves up the ladder at number three. Both Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid have much to play for in coming weeks and the same is the case with Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. The bowlers have been placed in the hands of experienced coach Bruce Reid even though his is an ad-hoc arrangement. Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble will again vie for the spinner's slot in the team. As of now, Laxmipathy Balaji, Irfan Pathan and Ashish Nehra look certain starters. (PTI)