Nottingham, July 27: Nine years ago almost to the week, India lost to England in the first test of that summer by 170 runs. That encounter also unfolded at Lords. It's deja vu to players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan who have just been subjected to a similar thrashing at the same venue.
England on that occasion as well, exploited the home-advantage to overcome a disoriented Indian team and now all eyes will be on the visitors to see how vehement a riposte they can come up with.
Back in 2002, as coincidence would have it, Trent Bridge Nottingham was the scene of the second Test. It was here that India exhibited some tenacity and fighting spirit as the visitors' bowlers fought valiantly and the batsman stayed stubborn.
India will once again be put to the test at the same venue and in adherence to their propensity to perform better after the opening encounter of a tour, will be expected to demonstrate a verve becoming of the world's No. 1 team.
Even if they hold their own and draw the next match, it would be a step in the right direction as they will then have had more time adapting to conditions. The exposure might then render them the impetus to turn the tables on the hosts in the next two games.
But, former England seamer, Angus Fraser, feels India have grabbed the short end of the stick and now won't be able to recover from their loss.
“I predict an England win. The first Test result could decide the series. It could be over before India could adjust to the conditions. India have come in looking a bit raw. They needed more cricket than they had in this country," said Fraser, director of cricket, Middlesex.
England would have set their sights on a two-game lead knowing that is what they need to retain at the end of the four-match series, to claim the world no. 1 spot. Fraser pointed out that India are bound to have problems regrouping after the recently-completed tour of the West Indies.
“Quite a number of the players played in the West Indies but a couple didn't, and you can't just switch and turn into Test mode. England are a side who are more used to these conditions. India will get better as the series goes on. They have their work cut out, to draw or win at Trent Bridge," said Fraser, who claimed 177 wickets in 46 Tests between 1989 and 1998.
Fraser felt that England's pace attack has given the hosts a huge advantage and that Zaheer Khan's injury will continue to hurt India.
“Zaheer is the leader of the attack but it seems he will be out of the team for some time now. It doesn't seem like he will play the Trent Bridge match. Praveen Kumar is a medium pacer while Ishant Sharma is a bit inconsistent. Then, you have Munaf Patel or Sreesanth to replace Zaheer. So England's got the better pace attack."