Everyone thought it would be rain ruining India's shot to glory at Lord's but as it turned out, injuries to key players and some poor decisions did the damage. We take a quick look at the players who are fit to play in the second Test at Nottingham, the players who are unfit and the players who shouldn't be in the playing XI.
Rahul Dravid: Even at the age of 38 years, Dravid remains one of the fittest cricketers in the Indian team. He's also high on confidence after slamming an unbeaten century at Lord's. With Virender Sehwag out of contention and Gautam Gambhir nursing an injured elbow, Dravid remains India's only option as an efficient opener since he bats at No. 3.
Abhinav Mukund: He's young and inexperienced yet he will reap the benefit of Sehwag's absence. His knock of 49 runs in the first innings at Lord's will only consolidate his position. But Mukund will have to make most of the opportunity at Nottingham since Sehwag might return for the third Test. Either ways, it works for India.
VVS Laxman: With this man around, you know something special is about to happen. Laxman has proved his fitness and form at Lord's. However, the way he lost his wicket twice in the first Test, he would be desperate to make amendments at Nottingham. Needless to say, he picks himself.
MS Dhoni: Yes we saw him bowl at Lord's. It seemed more like a childhood dream than a cricket strategy. Now, it's time Captain Cool spells some magic with the bat. He was not too impressive in either of the roles at Lord's - batting, captaincy and err…bowling! And though he is as fit as The Hulk, we need him to perform.
Suresh Raina: After an impressive tour of the West Indies and a century in the practice match against Somerset, Raina made it to the playing XI of the Lord's Test. Undoubtedly, he is one of the fittest and agile players, but his selection over Yuvraj Singh and then his failure in the first innings had him and Dhoni facing the wrath of the fans and critics. He tried to make up for the duck in the 1st innings with a fighting knock in the second innings but that hardly helped India.
Yuvraj Singh: He's the man who has a terrific record against England. Although he hasn't really played after the IPL, Yuvraj needs just one knock to get back into the groove. As far as his fitness is concerned, one doesn't really know how fit he is. He had missed the Windies tour due to a lung infection. His claims that he was 100% fit for the England tour will be proved if he gets a chance in Nottingham. But with Raina making runs in the second innings at Lords, Yuvraj might just have to wait longer.
Praveen Kumar: He has been in great nick both in terms of form and fitness. After a successful West Indies tour, Praveen carried the momentum to England. In Zaheer Khan's absence he spearheaded the bowling attack and picked a five-wicket haul in the first innings. His ability to swing will be crucial in swinging the luck in India's favour at Nottingham.
Ishant Sharma: This lanky pacer might look all tangled in his tall structure with his long locks acting as blinders, but he is breathing fire in the cool climate of England. He is fit and among wickets. After a wicketless first innings, he changed the end in the second innings and picked four wickets.
Harbhajan Singh: The Indian spinner had little role to play at Lord's but every fit player counts in this Indian team.
Sachin Tendulkar: Viral infection had kept the Master Blaster out of the field for two sessions. Also that he could not make a fairytale come true with his 100th ton at Lord's can be blamed on the viruses. And even though he failed to score big in the first Test, the fact that he batted in both the innings suggests that he will certainly play in the second Test at Nottingham.
Gautam Gambhir: He batted in the second innings with a swollen elbow and the discomfort was evident. So one doesn't really know if he'll be fully fit for the second Test. Keep watching this space for the updates.
Zaheer Khan: India's most experienced and best pacer Zaheer Khan could not bowl more than 13.3 overs in the first Test after he injured his hamstring in the first innings. Though Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma did well, India without Zaheer lack the lethal element in their attack. Will he be available for the Nottingham Test? Fingers crossed!
Virender Sehwag: His presence at the top of the batting order infuses excitement and confidence in the Indian team. Unfortunately out of the first two Tests and doubtful for rest of the series since he is not fully fit, Sehwag is all India need to resurrect themselves.
Sreesanth: NDTV cricket experts Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Holding think he is just the right man to replace Zaheer Khan if he fails to make it to the second Test playing XI because of his troubling hamstring. Needless to say that Sreesanth is fit to play but can he keep his temper in check?
Munaf Patel: He did well in the West Indies but Munaf Patel getting a place in the playing XI ahead of Sreesanth looks unlikely.
Amit Mishra: The leg-spinner can be an interesting prospect. He has the knack of providing breakthroughs but it's very unlikely that Dhoni would get him in ahead of Harbhajan. And playing too spinners will be too much of a gamble.
Wriddhiman Saha: This young keeper in all likelihood will be warming the bench throughout the series. Fit or not, he doesn't figure in anyone's scheme of things till (God forbid!) Dhoni gets injured.
Aug 18 2011,15:30 (IST)
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