David Lloyd and Nick Knight reflect on day one of the first Test as Virender Sehwag steals the show
England's decision to leave Monty Panesar on the sidelines was a big mistake, says David Lloyd.
Last Updated: 15/11/12 1:40pm
India won the toss and piled on the runs in the morning and afternoon sessions, with Virender Sehwag leading the way with a hugely impressive run-a-ball 117.
Graeme Swann eventually breached the veteran's defences and helped England stem the tide but there is no doubt MS Dhoni's side will be the happier at the close of play on day one, with the hosts on 323-4.
Before the match England opted to leave Monty Panesar on the sidelines, with Tim Bresnan joining James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Swann in the attack. However, that was a significant error, according to Lloyd.
"England have picked the wrong team, without a doubt," he said.
"This is a perfect pitch for Swann; he's bowled a number of overs and got great reward of 4-85 - and it could have been better. But he needs another specialist spinner at the other end.
"They have to play Panesar in these conditions. It's got to be Bresnan who doesn't play in this team - you play the conditions. I'm certain it would have benefited Swann with a specialist spinner at the other end.
"Panesar is totally different to a worthy Samit Patel, who bowled 14 overs. Patel is a good batsman who bowls a bit. He's tiny but he doesn't spin it, whereas Panesar is tall, stands tall and makes it spin and bounce, which is perfect for Swann to work alongside.
"The pitch was crying out for Panesar."
However, as much as England's bowlers struggled to cause India problems, Sehwag was exceptional with the bat - and Lloyd said the conditions suited the 34-year-old perfectly.
"He was quickly into his stride," said Lloyd.
"He's a confident player and although he doesn't use his feet too much, he's a wristy player and he's got a piece of wood in his hand which is as big as anything I've seen and he just eases the ball around.
"On a flat, slow, low pitch he's in his element; this is tailor-made for him.
"Sehwag is vulnerable when the ball is bouncing, his technique doesn't stand up to that, but in those conditions, on a flat pitch, with the ball not swinging and no movement whatsoever, look out, because he's going to score runs.
"He will assess it very quickly, say 'yeah, this is right for me' and he didn't disappoint. When he was in they were scoring at 5.21 runs an over."
Nick Knight was also impressed with Sehwag and says he is one of the best in world cricket.
"He probably stands alone in the world as someone who can score runs as quickly as that, as consistently as that and be as entertaining as that," he said.
"It was a breath-taking innings. The impact that had on those around him and the opposition was huge."
England must improve their fielding, though, insisted Knight, after seeing Alistair Cook's side miss several opportunities throughout the day.
"You can give England some credit because they fought back well, particularly with Swann and I thought Cook had a good day as captain, manoeuvring his bowlers around. But England will be disappointed with their fielding efforts, yet again," he said.
"I'm afraid that is becoming a bit of a trend for them.
"But the one thing that will disappoint England more than anything is the fact the pitch has deteriorated more than we felt it would and probably more than they felt it would. It's definitely turning more and more."