1st Test, Day 3 India v England commentary
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Last Updated: 18/11/12 11:59am
Well, Cook and Compton have at least given England a glimmer of hope of saving this Test match with a gutsy unbeaten century partnership. The tourists remain 219 runs behind India, following on, and will have to bat all day tomorrow to stay in the game. Join me then from 4am GMT for more updates!
Compton and England survive! Just one single off the final over. Fantastic effort from the England openers... second time aroundAshwin to bowl the last over of the day...England are trying to make Ojha's return the last over but I don't think it will be. There will be time for one more. Compton sweeps for a single and Cook displays stoic defence to see out the remainder of the over. One more to go lads...Ashwin returns and Dhoni has three catchers back in place for Cook. There is no catching that, though, as Cook leans forward and drives an overpitched delivery through extra cover for four more. I'm running out of superlatives to describe this innings from the England skipperYadav tests Compton out with some short stuff but the right-hander is more than up to the challenge, punching two through the covers and working a single off his hip. Under 10mins now for these two to survive. Think of the hot shower and cold beer lads, it's not far away!A huge roar from the crowd as Tendulkar comes on for a late twirl. England must keep their concentration here. A mixture of off and leg-breaks from Sachin, but Cook negotiates the variations well and slams two rank short balls through extra cover and fine leg respectively to bring up the 100 partnership!Yadav sends down the 90th over of the day but we will play on until 11am GMT, such has been India's superb over-rate. Only a Cook single to report from that set of six. England have 18 more minutes to survive...Running a three at this stage of the day must be hard work, but Cook and Compton manage it after Dhoni fails to collect a leg-side delivery which flick's Compton's pad. England closing in on three figures without any damage...With time running out in the day, Dhoni reverts back to pace in the form of Yadav. Compton defends his first ball back for a single and Cook then finds the rope with a controlled edge wide of the slips. No matter what happens in this final passage, Cook and Compton can be proud of the way they have gone about their business hereCook seizes on a short ball from Ojha and brings up his 30th Test half-century with his ninth boundary of a really determined innings. The match situation maybe be rather bleak for his team, but Cook is leading some sort of fightbackCook continues to frustrate India, sweeping Ashwin for another boundary before taking a single off the final ball to move one run away from a gutsy half-centuryCan England reach stumps without losing a wicket??Compton continues to use his feet in an attempt to put Ojha off his length. He nearly yorks himself first time, but punches an assured single to mid off in his second foray. A sharply spinning delivery from Ojha to Cook prompts some excitement from Dhoni, but his counterpart is unflustered and sweeps the next ball for another singleOnly a short leg and slip in place for Ashwin now. Compton will be feeling lonely. You can't fault his temperament in this innings. He now has 25 from 77 balls and has only offered up one half chance of note, to Kohli at slip. Another over ticks byCook will be determined to cash in after being given a life from umpire Dar, that really was as plumb as it gets. He moves past his first innings score of 41 with a single through point. Dhoni now has a sweeper in that position such has been Cook's strength in that regionCompton misses out on a loopy full toss from Ashwin. He'll be disappointed after driving straight to the cover fielder. He's still hanging in there though and doing a fine job for his team. England trail by 265Compton squirts another single on the leg-side, prompting Dhoni to give Zaheer a ticking off, there shouldn't have been a single there. Cook then sweeps Ojha hard and finds the boundary yet again. He looks in great touch... As I say that, the England skipper is extremely lucky to survive an lbw decision when on the sweep again. Umpire Dar is having a bad day, that was destined for middle stump. Bowler and captain less than impressed. You might want to vent your frustration at the BCCI, gentlemen...Cook is picking up length very well and his trusty cut brings him another boundary through point at the start of Ashwin's over. Is there a better 'cutter' in the game? A minimum of 10 overs left to negotiate...Drop! Kohli fails to cling on to a really tough chance at second slip. The ball only just carried after Compton edged Ojha, but thankfully for England Kohli could not pull off a wonder catch. The Somerset batsman plays back thereafter and plays out another maiden. Great pressure from India's spin twins as we head into the last hourEngland have reduced the number of men around the bat to two. Ashwin gives Cook a thorough working over from around the wicket but the England skipper holds firm and plays out a maidenThe players resume after a drink, England have 13 more overs to survive after Ojha's return over is negotiated without alarm. Cook and Compton have been really busy in the last few overs, running the India fielders hardCook brings up the 50 partnership with his fifth boundary, tucked off his pad and to the fine leg fence. That sandwiches a couple of singles and England, dare I say it, are batting rather well... Cue collapseThe injury can't be serious as India's left-armer returns to the fieldZaheer replaces the injured Ojha. He was getting the ball to reverse nicely in the first innings but there's no encouragement from him in his opening over of this innings. Compton continues to look assured and pinches a single final ball to move onto 20*Back-to-back boundaries for England as Ashwin over-pitches and Compton squeezes a drive through gully for a boundary. The England debutant then rocks back and tucks a single through square-leg. Owch! Ojha is in trouble here. After sliding (on advertising carpet) to retrieve that ball, Ojha has done himself some damage to either elbow or wrist, or both! He has left the field for further treatment and may not bowl again today. A boost for England, albeit in unfortunate circumstances. Harbhajan comes on as replacement fielder and jokingly loosens upAfter a rather uneventful period in the game, Cook breaks the shackles with another crisp cut through backward point for four off Ojha. England on top of India's spinners? Surely not for long...A change of ends for Ashwin, too, as Sehwag can consider himself unfortunate to be taken off. Compton, who has faced 42 balls for his Test best 13*, plays out a maidenSimply a change of ends for Ojha, who almost turns one into Cook's leg stump last ball. England are digging in with a minimum of 19 overs left to survive todayA left-field bowling change from Dhoni as part-time off-spinner Sehwag comes on in place of Ojha. It nearly does the trick, too, as Cook tentatively plays at a ball he need not do, edging just short of slip. Sehwag is no mug, he has 40 Test wickets to his nameCook feasts on a short, wide delivery from Ashwin, cutting hard to the point boundary. That is meat and drink for the England skipper. Ashwin then tosses one up and Cook makes it into a half volley and drives elegantly to the fence. Wonderful batting, at last!After an expensive previous over, Ojha bounces back well with an attacking line. Cook holds firm and then finds a gap on the leg side to pick up a single. The crowd is still vocal, despite the lack of on-field actionAshwin keeps things tight with an over which yields only a Cook single. What a fine bowler he is, making the batsmen play every ball with deliveries which can turn either wayCook joins the boundary trail with a delightful shot of his own, skipping down and clipping Ojha over midwicket for four. Clever, calculated batting from the England skipper and a rare round of applause from the England batting coach Graham Gooch. Three singles follow as England rotate the strike wellCompton is growing in confidence here and, after clipping Ashwin around the corner for two, he brings out an audacious reverse-sweep to find the boundary. What a shot that was! You get the feeling India won't mind him playing it, thoughDavid Gaskin has been in touch with a theory of his own. He says: "I get it now....After losing the toss and having to bat second, this is all part of a cunning plan by Cook to ensure India bat last. Brilliant!!" I like your optimism David, I like it a lot!Both England openers remain in survival mode as Yadav continues. The India seamer offers up a full toss, but Compton can only push for one. He appears to have settled now after a shaky start. Slow progress for England neverthelessAshwin dismissed Compton in the first innings with a peach back through the gate. The Somerset man ensures there will be no repeat by getting to the pitch and defending a single to cover. Cook then angles two backward of square before an overthrow gives Compton another run to his nameYadav continues to charge in and bowl at a lively pace. Cook stylishly pulls for a single before Compton gets off the mark through square-leg. A reminder that England have 33 overs to get through today. Here comes Ashwin...Foothole repair work takes place midway through Ojha's latest over - much to Bumble's annoyance. Compton keeps his concentration well and comfortably plays out a maidenCook tucks England's first runs of the innings away off his hip through square-leg. He will be keen to farm as much of the strike as possible to help out debutant Compton you would imagine. Anyone out there think England can make India bat again?A really nervous start to his second Test match innings from Compton, who survives a huge lbw appeal second ball. Just missing leg. He gets himself in a mess later in the over, thinking about sweeping and then just padding up. Another appeal rightly turned down. He survives though, for nowAfter an impressive showing in the first innings, Yadav is handed the ball at the start of the second. He gives Cook a stern working over, beating the England skipper outside the off stump during a probing maiden. Ojha will bowl the second over to Compton. All the best Nick...Right, here we go again. England have another 33 overs to survive today. Cook and Compton are out in the middle. England trail by 330...Athers: "It's a pretty hopeless situation but England will try and improve in this second innings. Each player will have to find their own way and they need to show India that they can play spin in these conditions."No surprises there with England 330 runs away from making India bat again. "They have got to come up with a completely different way of batting", says Bumble at the breakTea will be taken early with England bowled out for just 191. Prior (48) and Cook (41) the only England batsmen to offer any resistance after another display of incompetence against spin. We will discover if England will follow on shortly.WICKET! Swann gets off the mark with three but Prior falls next ball and becomes Ojha's fifth victim of the innings. Attempting a big heave over extra cover, he misses, Ojha hit. England all out for 191. Dreadful.Zaheer errs down leg first ball and England pick up a welcome boundary via Broad's pad. The England left-hander then adds three more with a confident push down the ground. Another lbw appeal is then turned down, Zaheer is getting the ball to reverse sharply now. WICKET! Broad is out! Another lbw appeal is upheld this time and Zaheer celebrates! It nipped back, caught Broad on the crease and looked a fair enough call. Broad trudges back for 25. Swann is England's last hope and he survives a huge lbw appeal last up. That looked very closePrior and Broad continue to add a hint of respectability to the total with a single apiece off Ashwin. Seven overs until the new ball is due, I wonder what Dhoni's tactics will be??A probing maiden from Zaheer to Broad, who plays and misses on a couple of occasions. Zaheer has now bowled seven maidens from his 14 overs. Prior receives some attention at the end of the over, he appears to have a problem with his elbow. Hopefully not a major oneAnother strong lbw appeal from Ashwin and co is turned down. Prior, sweeping, appeared to be hit on the pad in front of the stumps, but umpire Hill adjudged it as runs. Prior finds the rope next ball, with a helping hand from Zaheer, who refuses to use his when running around from square-leg. Prior is now three runs away from his half-centuryEngland maintain their attacking intent against Zaheer. Prior steers two through point to move into the 40s and join Cook as England's highest-scoring batsman. Can England get past 200?Broad goes on the charge! 14 runs off Ashwin's latest over and the first six of the innings! After clearing his front leg and slamming Ashwin's first delivery through wide mid-off for four, Broad ends the over by swatting the off-spinner back over his head for six! Just what England need to do now. They have absolutely nothing to lose. 155 more runs needed to avoid the follow on...Zaheer continues to plug away without reward as Prior and Broad add a single apiece. Prior has to hurry to make his ground from the latter single. The last thing England need at this stage is a run out!WICKET! Another one bites the dust! Bresnan's battling innings of 19 comes to an end and Ojha gets his fourth wicket. Pushing forward, Bresnan could only pop a simple catch to Kohli at second slip/gully. That partnership was worth 47. Broad is the new man. Please, please, please play some shots. And not the forward defensive ones! First ball - four! That's the way! With the spin, Broad slams Ojha over midwicket for a boundary and then scampers two after an inside edgeAnother maiden over from the economical Zaheer. I can't help but think he is the bowler England should be looking to attack here. The field is fairly well spread and singles should be easy to come byBatting has certainly become easier now the ball has softened somewhat. Bresnan adds two more to his score but will be disappointed not to have cashed in on another loopy full toss from Ashwin, who is experimenting more than perhaps he needs toYou get the feeling that Prior and Bresnan would be happy facing Zaheer all day, the bad news is that they won't be allowed too. Both batsmen pick up singles, Prior looks for more, but his expansive drive final ball is not timed at all and bobbles to extra cover. It won't be long until Dhoni goes back to spin from both ends, you feelA Bresnan single at the start of Ashwin's latest over is a notable one for this pair, whose partnership of 41 is now the highest of an otherwise forgettable England innings. The fightback is on!Zaheer replaces Yadav as Dhoni continues to chop and change his bowlers. The left-armer also finds some reverse swing, but fails to complete a sixth maiden in nine overs when Prior steers the penultimate ball of his comeback over through third man for fourI once overheard Prior say on stump mic: "There are two things you should never do; cut an off-spinner and pat a burning dog". Bresnan does the former on two occasions to pick up two twos. England going along nicely after lunchThis partnership is now worth 31 for England after a couple of singles and is the second highest in the innings. Yadav is getting the ball to reverse nicely at pace, but both Prior and Bresnan are up to the challenge and would much prefer facing this than Ashwin's bamboozling spinDrop! A life for Bresnan this time as Ashwin nearly marks his return with a wicket. A perfectly-pitched 'carrom' ball from Ashwin squares up Bresnan, catches the edge, but Sehwag can't cling on at slip. He came up a little early and ended up going with one hand. Missed chance. Bresnan cashes in next ball with a crisp drive through the covers for fourYadav continues to mix up his pace well to keep Prior honest. Slower balls are much more effective when you have the ability to push it through at 90mph. Prior prevents a maiden with a single off the final ball. Ashwin looks to be coming back into the attack...Bresnan continues to dig in and, dare I curse him, looks solid enough against Ojha's flighted spin. He safely sees out a maiden. Your silence on England's chances of avoiding the follow-on is deafening by the way...Yadav has his hands on head first ball when Bresnan just manages to get his bat down in time after the India seamer finds a hint of reverse swing back into him. The bowler can only admire the batting final ball, though, as Prior caresses an elegant drive through extra cover for four. That flew off the middleThat a way Bressy lad! A sumptuous extra cover drive to the boundary gets Bresnan up and running. He follows that up with a sharp single. Anyone out there think England can avoid the follow on? Another 207 runs required to do soThe impressive Yadav continues and he too starts with a maiden after lunch. Bresnan is currently sitting on a 17-ball duck as Ojha prepares to skip in with four fielders keeping the burly Yorkshireman company around the bat...The afternoon session starts with an ambitious lbw appeal on Bresnan, it had nothing going for it in truth. Bresnan plays with his bat thereafter and sees out a maiden. I wonder what England, and more specifically Prior's, approach will be this session. Any thoughts? Send them my wayPrior and Bresnan make their way back out to the middle. Their lunch won't have tasted as sweet as India's, that's for sure. Bresnan on strike, Ojha the bowler...Plenty of debate in the Sky Sports studio over Bell's dismissal at the lunch break. Beefy can see why the Warwickshire man attempted to break the shackles, while Nick and Athers strongly disagree. Athers remarks: "He can take as much paternity leave as he wants after that shot." Tweet your views to the team @skycricketAnd that's lunch. India's dominance continues in Ahmedabad as England continue to speed towards a crushing series-opening defeat. Pietersen, Bell, Cook and Patel all came and went that session with the England captain the only batsman so far able to hold his head up high. Ashwin and Ojha have three wickets apiece and England trail by 411 runs. Stay tuned for more updates and send all thoughts (legal ones) my way @skysportsdrabs and e-mail Joe.email@example.comShot! Prior pounces on some width from Yadav and cracks a fierce cut shot through backward point for another boundary. He is England's last hope of avoiding the follow-on. Still 212 more runs required to do so...Ojha returns for what will probably be the penultimate over before lunch. Prior picks up a single before Bresnan blocks back five successive dots. After a mediocre bowling display (and that's being as polite as I can be at this time in the morning), Bres desperately needs some runs hereIt's not just spin which is causing England problems here. Yadav hits 90mph on the speed gun for the first time in the match and a yorker should have seen the back of Bresnan lbw, but neither bowler, nor umpire, realised that the ball struck the Yorkshireman's pad before bat when in line with middle stump. It's clear to see why only South Africa have won a Test match in India in the last eight years...Prior brings up the England 100 with a well-struck sweep past square-leg and away to the boundary. He follows that up with a crisp drive through the vacant cover region for four more after Ashwin had tossed one up outside off stump. Fine batting from England's wicket-keeper, who may just have some fun hereWelcome to the game, Umesh Yadav. The India quick is given a quick burst before lunch and immediately hits his straps at up around 88mph. WICKET! Patel is given lbw! It's another stinking decision from umpire Dar - clearly missing leg-stump. Patel walks off shaking his head and well he might. He departs for 10 and is replaced by BresnanDrop! Huge let-off for Prior! Ashwin, experimenting with what looked like a leg-break, floated up a loopy full toss only for Prior to pick out the only man in the deep - Zaheer at backward square-leg. Thanfully, though, the India veteran spilled the chance and the ball bobbled for four. Ashwin cannot believe it, neither can PriorProgress! Two singles that over! That will wake everyone up... With Yuvraj just floating up his gentle left-armers, surely it's worth chancing your arm??I'm not sure what England's thinking is here. They are simply waiting for another wicket-ball. There is no intent to score a run at the moment. The situation is already desperate, why not try something different to get out of it? Ashwin. Maiden.A change of bowler, but the trial by spin continues as Yuvraj replaces the superb Ashwin. Prior continues to block off both front and back foot and plays out four dots after a Patel single. 30mins til lunch, can England survive until then?The Sky Sports Hot-Spot technology confirms that Patel would indeed have been heading back to the pavilion had India had the ability to use DRS there. Meanwhile, Prior plays out the 512th maiden of the inningsTwo gifts for England, the first from umpire Aleem Dar, who inexplicably fails to raise his finger with Patel hit bang in front of middle stump by Ashwin. The next is by Dhoni, who doesn't even attempt to collect a leg-side delivery, which spins away for four byes. If DRS was in operation this Test, England could well be all out by now!This isn't a scenario Prior will relish, either. He faces Ojha for the first time and is swiftly beaten by an absolute pearler which somehow fails to take either edge or off stump. Hit out or get out, springs to mind...WICKET! Cook goes for 41! Ashwin flights one beautifully outside off stump and Cook, looking to drive, can only edge straight to slip, where Sehwag pouches comfortably. This nightmare Test match continues for England. Prior comes in and gets away in streaky fashion with a single. Ashwin and Ojha have three wickets apiece and England look destined to follow on todayPatel appears to be growing in confidence and holds back and punches Ojha for a couple after another Cook single. The ball is still spinning and bouncing, but nothing too out of the ordinaryThe break in maidens didn't last long... Patel tries his best to get Ashwin away, but can't. The fielders-around-the-bat count is currently five. I do not envy either batsman one bitThey must have heard me. Patel works a single through leg and Cook finishes the over by getting down on one knee and sweeping Ojha hard through backward square-leg for a boundary. Cracking shot from the England skipper, who has contributed over half of his side's totalThe seam bowling experiment lasted just three overs and Zaheer is promptly hauled off with Ashwin returning. He is bang on the money and Cook blocks out a maiden. Surely England must show some attacking intent now? Not to the degree of Bell, but singles would certainly help...Drinks! Patel plays out another maiden against Ojha and drinks is called. What on earth must Cook be thinking here? His team are staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat in his first Test in full-time chargeMore on that Cook appeal last ball of the previous over... Sky Sports' technology shows that it would have just clipped leg-stump so any use of DRS would have seen it stay with the on-field decision. Patel gets off the mark with a single off Zaheer. What a situation for the Notts man to find himself in! England still need another 252 runs to avoid the follow on!WICKET! The pressure eventually tells on England as left-arm spin once again does for Pietersen! Ojha gets one to slip straight through his rather questionable defence and bang into middle stump. Great bowling and fine captaincy from Dhoni to keep Ojha on. Pietersen made 17. In comes Ian Bell...WICKET!! First ball, what is he doing?! Bell skips down and hits his first delivery straight up, where Tendulkar gobbles an easy catch at mid off. Incredible scenes. India are in dreamland and Ojha is on a hat-trick with new man Patel at the crease. The batsmen did cross though a Cook sees out hat-trick ball, just, as his prod drops just short of leg slip. A disastrous over almost gets worse when a strong lbw shout on Cook is turned down. That was close. Double wicket maiden'Turgid'. That's the best I can describe this at present. We have had 20 dots in a row now after another maiden from Zaheer to Cook. You still awake out there?If you were to be critical of England this morning you would say they haven't rotated the strike as much as perhaps they could. Especially with this right-hand/left-hand partnership. Another maiden comes down, this time from Ojha to PietersenSeam is introduced for the first time today as Zaheer replaces Ashwin. Cook watchfully sees out a maiden. No movement either in the air or off the pitch from India's canny left-armer. I'm sure England will be happy to see him come into the attackAnother over of spin safely negotiated by captain Cook and Pietersen, who pick up a single apiece. The England captain sees an appeal for a bat/pad catch rightly turned down, only pad involved there. The umpires have got everything right so far todayPietersen asks 'what's all the fuss about' as he sweeps his first ball against Ashwin of the day for a single. The India off-spinner then floats up a full toss and Cook cashes in with a sweetly struck boundary through midwicket. Runs beginning to flow for England hereCook is rewarded for his patience against Ashwin with a short, wide delivery from Ojha which he gleefully cuts away for four after a Pietersen singleA fourth maiden in a row from Ashwin to Cook! The England captain looks relatively untroubled, though">KP continues to attack and rocks back and cuts Ojha through the covers for three more. Cook follows suit but his attempted heave over midwicket hits the inner half of the bat and yields only a single. The over ends with a huge lbw appeal on Pietersen, who pads up to a straighter delivery than anticipated. It hit him just outside the line, though, and umpire Hill didn't think it was turning enough to trouble the stumps. Bowler and captain protest. You didn't want DRS, gents...That's 18 successive dot balls from Ashwin to Cook this morning and the pressure is building. The England skipper is trying everything to get the off-spinner away but misses with sweeps, flicks, drives. A leading edge almost reaches mid-on later in the over. England hanging onA confidence-boosting boundary for Pietersen, who skips down and flicks Ojha through wide mid-on for four. He attempts to repeat the trick later in the over, only to get a leading edge which bounces just short of point. Ojha is winning this battle at the momentTwo overs from Ashwin to Cook this morning, and two maidens. This is a huge test for the England captain, who has plenty of company around the bat. Host broadcaster ESPN Star ask their audience - Will the match reach a fourth day?? A reflection of their confidencePietersen continues to look very uncomfortable against the left-arm spin of Ojha. He survives a stumping chance first ball when, after stepping down the track, Ojha throws one outside leg stump, beating KP, and Dhoni, with the ball sailing away for four leg-byes. A big let-off for England there and Dhoni will be kicking himselfNo prizes for guessing who starts with Ojha... yep Ravi Ashwin! I'd be surprised if we see any pace today. Plenty of turn and bounce from the right-hander's opening over, but Cook safely negotiates a maidenA nervous start from Pietersen, who is beaten all ends up by Ojha's first delivery outside off stump, a ball which turns slightly and beats everything - bat, pad and Dhoni and England scamper a bye. Cook adds a single, with plenty of company around the batThe players are all in position out in the middle. Pietersen is on strike. Ojha has the ball...Well, it makes an unusual change for me to be getting up, rather than getting in, at this time on a Saturday morning. Where are you all joining me from? Will there be any other outcome than an India win? Let me know by e-mailing Joe.firstname.lastname@example.org and tweet me @skysportsdrabsRather bleak, from an England perspective, it's fair to say. The tourists will resume shortly on 41-3 in reply to India's mammoth 521-8 declared. The first target will be to avoid the follow on - England need another 281 runs to do so. Captain Alastair Cook (22*) and Kevin Pietersen (6*) are at the creaseGood morning everyone and welcome to interactive commentary from day three of the opening Test in Ahmedabad