(Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the tongue-in-cheek name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)
India in trouble as Zaheer strains hamstring
India may have a batting line-up studded with some of the world’s best but the one man they needed fit to win this series was strike bowler Zaheer Khan. They were dealt a big blow when Zaheer left the field on day one clutching his hamstring. With no Zak, the British media were quick to starting penning India's obituaries. BBC’s Jonathan Agnew feels that his absence gives England a great opportunity to go one up in the series -
India have taken a risk in only selecting four bowlers, especially allowing for the fact that Zaheer has only played one first-class match in seven months.
Given his lack of cricket, it was no huge surprise to see him hobble off, and it does raise questions over India's decision to only schedule one warm-up match ahead of this series.
I know they have a very busy schedule over the next few months, but that is no way to prepare for a Test series as big as this.
The other talking point in the British press was off-spinner Monty Panesar coming out to Lord's to help Sachin Tendulkar practice. England skipper Andrew Strauss had expressed shock over the incident and Monty took to the papers to defend himself -
Here he is in the Telegraph -
I thought it would be a chance for me to get some tips for my bowling. I’ve known Tendulkar since I took my first Test wicket and the session was a massive benefit to me. It’s valuable for a youngster like me to have the chance to bowl against the best. These things are great opportunities and it gave me a chance to add further development to my game.
Staying with the Master Blaster - One of England's all-time greats Ian Botham lavished praise on Sachin in his column in the Mirror but also chipped in with a little warning -
As much of a fan as I am of his, I do think our bowlers can succeed in checking his progress.
In fact, I think England will win this series because in my opinion they are already the best team in the world and this summer will simply confirm it.
They are the coming force in world cricket and unlike India, who have a lot of players in their twilight years, this is a young, vibrant England with more power to add.
Other stuff of interest on the web –
- John Etheridge in The Sun on the man who has a better average than Tendulkar and the man himself Jonathan Trott on all the hard work ahead.
- Former England coach David Lloyd in The Independent on Duncan Fletcher and India’s fielding woes.
- The Telegraph is asking its readers if the England vs India is bigger than the Ashes. Check the results here.