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India 87-4 after 41 overs (Kohli 11, Dhoni 9): And that’s stumps on day 2. India trail by 243 runs with 6 wickets remaining in the first innings. Anderson was brilliant for England — returning figures of 9-2-24-3. The wickets being Sehwag, Gambhir and Tendulkar. It doesn’t get bigger or better. As things stand, India are in big, big trouble. But then again England were 139-5. So perhaps there is some hope… not much though.
India 85-4 after 40 overs (Kohli 10, Dhoni 7): India look like they have shit shop for the day. Fletcher stares at replays on the computer, Sehwag and Piyush have a chat in the dressing room, Pujara looks disappointed — but not a smile in the dressing room. This is pretty grim. India trail by 245 runs.
India 79-4 after 36 overs (Kohli 5, Dhoni 6): The India batsmen seem rather lost. They don’t know whether to attack or to defend. It’s rather sad to see them falter like this on tailor-made pitches.
WICKET! G Gambhir c Prior b Anderson 37 (93b, 4×4): What was Gambhir doing? What! It was outside his off-stump and he went for the drive, bat away from the body. He was batting on 37, surely he should have known better. Ball was angling away from him, no need to play that shot. India 71/4 after 31.4 overs.
And shockingly, the man walking in to bat isn’t Ravindra Jadeja, who has two triple centuries in domestic cricket this season, but the skipper. So was Jadeja picked as a batsman or a bowler or an allrounder? You tell me!
India 71-3. Still trail by 259 runs. Gambhir 37 and Kohli 3.
WICKET! Sachin Tendulkar b Anderson 2 (13b): That kept low and came in sharply. It took the inside edge and straight on to the stumps. Anderson has now dismissed him the most times in Test matches – 9. India are 64-3 in reply to England’s 330.
WICKET! Cheteshwar Pujara c Bell b Swann 26 (72b, 3×4, 0×6): Oh Bell has taken a fantastic catch at forward short-leg, but that has clearly come off Pujara’s forearm. He stops for a few moments in disbelief before eventually walking out. India are 59-2 now.
India 57-1 after 20 overs (Gambhir 30, Pujara 25): Almost… Gambhir was almost part of a third run-out as he and Pujara hesitated, only luckily scrambling into each other’s creases. ‘Suicidal’ is what Ravi Shastri called it. And India don’t need any of it now.
India 45-1 after 15 overs (Gambhir 21, Pujara 23): First boundary of the session comes as Pujara hooks Bresnan in style. He then drives through the covers, but it doesn’t quite pierce the field. These two looking pretty solid as of now.
14.10 PM- TEA
India 32-1 after 12 overs (Gambhir 17, Pujara 15): Gambhir welcomes Monty Panesar with a huge heave over the on-side for four. He has scored the last ten runs and looks set to continue with his good form.
India 22-1 after 8 overs (Gambhir 7, Pujara 15): India have scored at a quick rate after the early set-back. Pujara has had a couple of close shaves though—as he stops midway his cover drive for the ball to loop in the air and cut through the field. The other close chance was when his backfoot shot almost cut back onto his own stumps.
India 10-1 after 3 overs (Gambhir 3, Pujara 6): The England bowlers are getting a lot more out of the pitch then the Indians were. More swing, more pace and things aren’t looking quite as dead. Did India make a mistake by going in with 4 spinners? Ishant sure could have used some support in the pace bowling department.
India 1-1 after 0.3 overs (Gambhir 1) What a delivery! Anderson was all over the place with his first two balls and that was virtually the first ball that pitched in line. There was a bit of inswing and bam! It knocked back the top of the middle stump. Sehwag actually played inside the line. What a ball, what a start!
V Sehwag b Anderson 0 (2b)
Wow. The Indian openers are out to bat and so much depends on that. If India can get off to a good start, they will have a good chance of winning the Test. If not, we might we in for a thriller. Sehwag, as always, will be key.
England 330 all out after 143.4 overs Chawla ended up getting four wickets ( 4 for 69, his best figures in Tests) — Anderson hit it to the leg-side but an alert Pujara took a good catch at short-leg. Prior and Root put on 103 runs after England were reduced to 139-5 and that might be a very important partnership in terms of this match. Root and Swann added another 60 runs.
J Anderson c Pujara b Chawla 4 (17b)
England 325-9 after 143.4 overs (Anderson 2): One ball after smacking Chawla for six straight down the wicket, Swann tried to play the reverse sweep for some strange reason. He missed and the ball struck his pads in front of the stumps. Umpire Ron Tucker had no doubts. Enterprising knock though.
G Swann lbw b Chawla 56 (91b, 6×4, 2×6)
And Swann has reached his fifth Test 50 with 6 fours and 1 six. Great knock, it gives the England bowlers that vital edge. Yesterday, Dravid and Co reckoned that 300 would be a good total, England have gone past that now.
Wicket And then he played one shot too many. Chawla gave the ball air and Root was quickly out of his crease but he didn’t quite get to the pitch and hit the ball straight back to the bowler. Good bowling this but what an important innings for England, who are now 302-8.
J Root c & b Chawla 73 (229b 4×4)
Root is growing in confidence and that is evident from the way he is playing his shots. Another four from the right-hander takes England to 300-7.
England 295-7 after 137 overs (Root 68, Swann 33): First six of the innings from Swann brings up the 50-run partnership. Swann was also beaten a couple of times by Ashwin, but the off-spinner has been irregular in his line and length, thus allowing the batsmen to push for singles around the pitch.
England 281-7 after 133 overs (Root 67, Swann 21): It’s there for everyone to see that Ishant Sharma is the only one making an impact for India. He’s just had a huge shout for LBW turned down. It looked pretty good, but maybe pitching outside line is what made the umpire give not out. Is Dhoni already regretting his decision to play only one pacer?
Will Joe Root be the third?
11.30 AM- LUNCH
England 277-7 after 129 overs (Root 65, Swann 19): Very frustrating for India. They managed to get two quick wickets but have failed to capitalise on their good moments. The pitch of course, has nothing to offer, but it’s equally hard for both the teams and England so far have ground out the runs. 300-plus on this track might actually be very good.
England 265-7 after 119 overs (Root 61, Swann 12): The sudden burst of excitement has died down again. Swann has defended very well off the spinners and Root is back to rotating the strike with ease. However, the hundreds of school children who are watching the game have no dearth of enthusiasm.
England 259-7 after 119 overs (Root 60, Swann 8): Root and Swann have both scored three boundaries after Bresnan’s fall. Rather than fall in a heap, they’d do better to score as quickly as possible. 300 looks like an optimistic target to reach before they are all out. India have continued with Ojha and Sharma in the attack.
WICKET! Tim Bresnan lbw b Sharma 0 (2b, 0×4, 0×6): Bresnan wanted to play this one off the pads, but misses the in-swinging delivery and Ishant’s appeal is successful. The umpire did have to confirm whether the ball was legitimate, and the 3rd umpire gives his consent.
England are now 242-7.
WICKET! Matt Prior b Ashwin 57 (142b, 6×4, 0×6): Ashwin came round the wicket and Prior missed completely as the ball didn’t turn as much as he expected it to. That’s the breakthrough India have been waiting for. Now to make it count.
England 241-5 after 113 overs (Prior 57, Root 50): Fifty on Test debut for Joe Root. That took 154 balls and consists of just two fours… so lots of running between the wickets and clever batting in the middle from the youngster.
England 235-5 after 111 overs (Prior 52, Root 48): Quality stuff from Matt Prior, as he cuts away for four to reach his 24th Test fifty, and his 5th against India. This has easily been one of the most strategic partnerships of this series.
England 221-5 after 106 overs (Prior 44, Root 43): Runs for England! First Root puts away Chawla through point and then Prior cuts Jadeja confidently for four more. Both the players scoring in tandem and this bodes well for England.
- The ball continues to stay low. Ishant’s latest delivery doesn’t even carry to Dhoni.
England 204-5 after 99 overs (Prior 36, Root 34): The pitch looks as dead as it was yesterday. Prior and Root are using the same strategy — rotate the strike as much as possible. If these two get till 300, then Dhoni will take that as a failure.
England 199-5 after 97 overs (Prior 34, Root 31): Patient resistance has been the mantra for these two batsmen. For Dhoni however, it will depend on what sort of tactics he can deploy in the first session. If India get an early breakthrough, it will put them in a fine position.
Pre-match: Indian bowlers let England off the hook and allowed the visitors to recover from a difficult position as they reached 199 for five at stumps on the opening day to leave the crucial fourth and final cricket Test evenly poised here today.
The home team had England in a real spot at 139 for five soon after tea but failed to seize the initiative as debutant Joe Root and the experienced Matt Prior batted for nearly 30 overs to add 60 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket stand.
The new-look Indian bowling attack had kept the high-flying England batsmen under tight leash and made them struggle for every run in the first two sessions before Prior batting on 34 and Root undefeated on 31 added valuable runs in the final hour.
Kevin Pietersen was the top-scorer for England with an innings of 73 while debutant Ravindra Jadeja got two wickets for 34 runs having bowled 25 overs.
Day one report: PTI