As it happened: Root, Prior take England to 199-5

by Dec 13, 2012

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16.25 PM- END OF PLAY

England 199-5 after 97 overs (Prior 34, Root 31): It's been an excellent revival for England, headed by Prior — a player who was expected to stick around and by Root — who has had a great start to his Test career. The partnership is worth 60 runs and even though they've scored at a run-rate of just 2.03/over, it's sticking around that mattered most for England after they lost Kevin Pietersen.

15.55 PM

England 189-5 after 91 overs (Prior 27, Root 29): The 50-run partnership is up. It has taken 23 overs, and even though it's worth just 50 runs, it has been vital for England. Joe Root has especially been solid — playing out 86 balls. The Indian bowlers aren't looking menacing at all.

15.30 PM

England 166-5 after 82 overs (Prior 14, Root 23): Drinks have been taken in the final session but the new ball has not. India have run through their overs at a brisk pace, unsurprisingly, with four spinners and only one fast bowler operating.  Root has shown a compact defense so far though, and his partnership with Prior is now worth 27, already the second-best of the innings.

- Almost after every delivery, Dhoni goes: "Bohot baddhiya Ojhi."

- England's Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to return home early from India due to injury.

15.10 PM

England 160-5 after 77 overs (Prior 13, Root 18): The floodlights have been kept on standby in case it gets too dark. Prior and Root have looked pretty comfortable. If India get one more wicket, they know that they can get England out before they reach 250. That will be Dhoni's aim. Prior, who's one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in the world, has rotated the strike well. Root is having a good debut too.

14.50 PM

England 156-5 after 73 overs (Prior 12, Root 15): Prior has been brilliant for England so far and he's again showing why. He quickly settles down, plays spin well and gets the bad balls away. Even though Pietersen is gone, Prior and Root have patiently crosses the 150-run mark. Prior's first boundary also comes through the off-side as Chawla bowls fuller than usual.

- England reach the 150-run mark in 70.4 overs.

14.35 PM

WICKET! Kevin Pietersen c Ojha b Jadeja 73 (188b 10x4 0x6): Jadeja strikes again! Pietersen has been playing some good shots on the on-side, but this time it's slightly lofted and Ojha takes a find diving catch at short mid-wicket. Pietersen has some doubt initially, but then starts walking... England are 139-5.

14.04 PM

England 133-4 after 65 overs (Pietersen 65, Root 10) That's tea. Good session for India but KP stands strong. Tough session again: 33 overs, 72 runs, 2 wickets. Jadeja and Chawla got the wickets to fall in the session. Trott and Bell were the batsmen to be dismissed.

13.50 PM

England 119-4 after 60.5 overs (Pietersen 64) And Chawla gave that air, Bell was into the shot and hit it straight to Virat Kohli, who was stationed for the drive. Bell's horror tour continues.

I Bell c Kohli b Chawla 1 (28b)

13.48 PM

The Indian team finally look like they have a plan -- it resembles what India would do in ODIs -- restrict the runs but at the moment, India will take anything and everything.

13.37 PM

Ishant is bowling well. PTI

Ishant is bowling well. PTI

England 112-3 after 57 overs (Pietersen 61, Bell 1): A interesting cat and mouse game being played. Two close in fielders on the leg-side and that's where Ishant is attacking. In the last over, Ishant almost got Pietersen. Just because the fielders are there doesn't mean that Pietersen will stop playing his shots.

13.33 PM

And just as we say that, Ishant is back into the attack. He has been India's best bowler and will get reverse swing to trouble the batsmen?

13.29 PM

Pragyan Ojha(sla): 17-7-29-0. An ER of just 1.70. Jadeja 13-7-22-1. An ER of just 1.69. They are bowling in tandem now and it's not allowing the England batsmen to get away. Super stuff.

13.29 PM

England 108-3 after 54 overs (Pietersen 57, Bell 1): It's all about Pietersen now. Get him and India will have a very good chance of winning this match and saving the careers of its captain and some other senior players. England would take 300 at this stage -- it's that kind of day. But of course, if Pietersen gets going, anything is possible.

13.26 PM

13.16 PM

England 102-3: The ball went straight on, no turn and strange error of judgement from Trott. He let it go and it disturbed the timber. He was expecting the ball to turn - but it just didn't. The partnership was worth 86 runs in 39.1 overs.

J Trott b Jadeja 44 (133b, 7x4)

13.10 PM

England 101-2 after 49 overs (Pietersen 51, Trott 44): India's spinners have been economical but the only Ishant has looked like taking a wicket. In the first session, Pietersen got 28 off 75 balls and now, in the post-lunch session 23 off 48. He is starting to take charge.

13.06 PM

A constant stream of instructions from Dhoni to Ojha. This is how it should have always been. At least today, Dhoni can he heard.

13.05 PM

And Dhoni goes: Badiya Ojhi! No wickets though.

12.55 PM

England 97-2 after 44 overs (Pietersen 50, Trott 40): Pietersen brushes a turning delivery off his pads and it has run away for four. That will be his 29th Test fifty. Six fours in that one and a patient one too — coming off 108 balls. Quality innings.

- Direct hit! Batsmen run three and third-man's direct hit comes a second late. Not out.

12.40 PM

England 84-2 after 36 overs (Pietersen 43, Trott 35): Pietersen's defence is absolutely rock-solid. This is clever batting... great concentration in defence and then waiting to put away the bad ball for a boundary. He has just scored an exquisite cover drive, with the Indian fielders just able to stare at it.

- Pietersen looks to flick Ishant again, and it was in the air and just out of reach of Pujara. Close.

12.20 PM

England 70-2 after 36 overs (Pietersen 36, Trott 29): Pietersen has already scored the first boundary of the session, flicking of his pads towards mid-wicket for four. Ishant and Ashwin bowling in tandem and it's a pretty attacking field set by Dhoni.

- Back up and running at Nagpur

LUNCH- 11.30 AM

England 61-2 after 33 overs (Pietersen 28, Trott 28): England made a recovery of sorts after two early blows. Ishant took both wickets as the so far impeccable Cook was LBW and Compton was caught behind. A couple of questionable decisions in that first session too, with Trott given not out when it looked out and Cook given out when it was a much closer appeal.

11.15 AM

England 60-2 after 30 overs (Pietersen 27, Trott 28): Dhoni is experimenting with his bowling attack. Ishant and Ashwin are the two new bowlers in tandem now. Pietersen and Trott haven't been troubled, but the runs have been hard to come by. The current partnership is worth 44 runs and India could do with a breakthrough.

- After a long wait of 29 overs, Ashwin has been handed the ball.

- England have brought their fifty up, courtesy a boundary from Pietersen.

11.00 AM

England 49-2 after 25 overs (Pietersen 22, Trott 22): That last update told you Pietersen had slowed down. Looks like his patience finally ran out. He's smacked Chawla for  back-to-back boundaries to take the attack to the Indian spinners. They have not done anything special until now.

- Pietersen has slowed down considerably. He has 10 runs from 40 balls — hasn't quite accelerated after those two boundaries early in his innings.

10.50 AM

England 36-2 after 21 overs (Pietersen 9, Trott 22): Lots of half-appeals in this match. Pietersen has refrained offering a shot and the ball has struck his pads a few times. But the Indians are just trying their luck, to be true. At the moment, Jadeja and Chawla bowling in tandem.

- Piyush Chawla is into the attack now. 20 overs have been bowled so far.

10.35 AM

England 31-2 after 15 overs (Pietersen 9, Trott 17): Pietersen has made his intentions clear, heaving a four over Ojha's head before sweeping away Jadeja to the same result. The pitch looks very uneven and though there's no turn on it, the bounce is what is troubling the batsmen. England need Pietersen to click, cause they look in a bit of trouble.

- Ravindra Jadeja is out to bowl now. That too, before Ashwin. He is also wearing glares.

10.15 AM

WICKET! England 16-2 after 10.3 overs- Alastair Cook lbw b Sharma 1 (28b, 0x4, 0x6): Was Dharmasena looking to make amends for not giving Trott out? We'll never know, but that looked like it was missing off-stump. Ishant's appeal however, doesn't go unheard and the big wicket falls.

10.00 AM

England 9-1 after 7 overs (Cook 1, Trott 5): Ganguly, before the game said that India should have played another seamer, and maybe he is right. The bounce is so inconsistent that it's pretty hard for the batsmen to gauge anything. Trott has scored the first boundary of the innings, executing a lovely straight drive.

9.45 AM

WICKET! England 3-1 after 4.2 overs- Nick Compton c Dhoni b Sharma 3 (12b, 0x4, 0x6): That should have come as a surprise to Compton. The first ball of the over didn't even carry to Dhoni and the second one almost did. The pitch is misbehaving already, but this time India take advantage of that.

9.35 AM

England 1-0 after 2 overs (Cook 1, Compton 0): Nothing of significance in the first over, but there was a close chance for a run-out in the 2nd. Pragyan Ojha is bowling in tandem with Ishant.

England playing XI: Alastair Cook, Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, IanBell, Joe Root, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar

India playing XI: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, R0 Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha

England have won the toss and will bat first

Pre-match: Down in the dumps after back-to-back defeats, India’s under-fire cricketers will have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and compete on equal footing against a confident England in the perform-or-perish fourth and final Test commencing tomorrow.

India under pressure. AP

Trailing the buoyant visitors 1-2 in the rubber after being outplayed in the second and third encounters at Mumbai and Kolkata, the home players need to sort themselves out on several fronts to level the series at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.

Under-performing senior players in the Indian line-up, including skipper Mehendra Singh Dhoni and veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar, are under severe pressure not only to lift the side with supreme personal efforts but also to save their careers after India’s spineless displays at the Wankhede Stadium and the Eden Gardens.

It would need a monumental display of grit and determination from several below-par players if India are to bounce back from this dismal situation and prevent England from walking off with their first Test series win in India in 28 years.

Pre-match report: PTI

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