Tue, Jul 19, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Strauss’ team can hurt under-prepared India, selector says

AFP, LONDON

England selector Geoff Miller has warned India that Andrew Strauss’ team are in the perfect form to take advantage if the tourists are below their best in the first Test at Lord’s.

India have struggled against Somerset during their only warm-up match ahead of Thursday’s clash in London and Miller believes they could pay the price for such a short preparation period.

Somerset piled up a massive 425-3 declared, before bowling out India for just 224 and then cruising to 260-2 in the second innings of the drawn match.

To make matters worse for India, England Test captain Strauss rediscovered his form with scores of 78 and 109.

Miller hopes England take advantage of India’s struggles and he said: “It’s tough for India to come straight over from the West Indies and play in our conditions. It hasn’t been ideal preparation for them.”

“They didn’t seem to do particularly well with the bat the other day in their first innings against Somerset — but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to turn it on at Lord’s,” he said. “We prepare very thoroughly and are ready, so we hope we can hit the ground running and I’m sure we will. We’re playing good cricket at the moment and India will have to play very well to actually combat that. We know they’re a good side and it could be a fascinating series.”

Miller named a 12-man England squad on Sunday ahead of the Lord’s clash, which included a return for Nottinghamshire pace bowler Stuart Board.

Miller revealed that a scouting trip in Nottingham had persuaded him and his colleagues Broad is returning to form.

Broad, almost bereft of international wickets so far this season as he has made his way back after a winter wrecked by injury, was dropped for England’s one-day international decider against Sri Lanka.

Instead he played in a County Championship match for Nottinghamshire at home to Somerset and responded with match figures of 6-162.

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