India v England Day 3
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Last Updated: 07/12/12 11:09am
That brings an end to day three! England are in total command at Eden Gardens, leading India by 193 in the first innings with four wickets still remaining. Cook (190) and Trott (87) laid the platform early on before Pietersen (54) and Prior (41*) added quick runs down the order. England will look to increase their lead as quickly as possible tomorrow morning before having a bowl at the beleaguered Indians. I hope you can join me from 3am tomorrow for more of the same!
Swann collects two more through point after a misfield from Pujara, who is still wearing shin guards! It's been a third successive day of dominance for EnglandCries of anguish from Dhoni behind the stumps as Ojha drags one down and Prior cuts through gully for another boundary. Ojha can be forgiven, this is his 50th over of the innings... One over left in the day, England lead by 191More milestones for England; Swann brings up the England 500 and 50 partnership between these two off only 63 balls with a fizzing cut shot off Zaheer. That rattled into the advertising boards at quite a rate. Ishant cuts a forlorn figure on his follow-through. Not bad for a No.8...Just one over for Ishant, who may well be changing ends. A tired-looking Ojha is back on and a tired-looking full-toss is clinically dispatched to the extra cover fence by Prior, who is playing yet another blinder for his countryEngland could well be 200 runs ahead tonight! Prior sweeps Ashwin just out of the reach of short fine-leg to take England 178 runs to the good. We have four overs left in the day...Dhoni, desperate for a late wicket, brings Ishant back into the attack. Swann stands firm, though, blocking out a maiden. These two will want to be back in the middle together tomorrow morning to finish what they've started so well tonightAshwin tosses the ball up to Swann, who responds to the challenge by skipping down and clipping over midwicket for two more. This has been calculated batting from the Nottinghamshire man so far. I'm pleasantly surprised!Ojha, wary of both batsmen coming down the pitch, quickens his pace and restricts Prior and Swann to a single apiece in his latest over. The lead is now a very healthy 168England continue to find the boundary at will. Prior sweeps Ashwin hard and fine and England are on the charge here. India will be pleading for these final 25 minutes to disappear as quickly as possibleSwann joins the fun! Skipping down the track to Ojha and clubbing him over mid-off for four more. Very handy runs these from the England spinner. He shows restraint to block out the rest of the overOutrageous from Prior, who gets down on one knee and reverse sweeps Ashwin for four more! England are finishing day three with a flourish here and are looking good for a lead of 200+Swann has not batted at No.8 for England since the third Test of the 2010-11 Ashes series at the WACA. He gets off the mark with a crisp cut off Ojha backward of point which reaches the boundary. I wonder if we will see a more disciplined Swann now he is up the order slightly?? I think I know the answer...Bosh! After a few words of advice from Ishant to Prior, the England wicketkeeper has the final say by pulling the India seamer over midwicket for six to end the over! What a blow. Prior is dangerous in these situations and the lead is now worth 148WICKET! Patel has gone for 33! After two more boundaries off Ojha, the India left-armer gets his man. Looking to cut, Patel could only find Sehwag at slip, who clung on at the second attempt. A useful cameo from Patel but he'll feel he's missed out. In comes SwannZaheer continues to test out the middle of the pitch. Patel gets in a pickle when on the pull but is relieved to see the ball bounce off his body and away from the stumps. Three singles added, England lead by 129@iamapioneer has been in touch all the way from New Zealand. He's tweeted in saying: "Following the test from NZ. Disappointed that KP has thrown his wicket away again today - hoping that the tail can wag." A tad harsh on KP, he was looking to be positive and was clearly gutted when given out. Patel and Prior going along nicely at the mo...A productive over straight after drinks for England with nine runs added off Ashwin. Prior is the aggressor, driving Ashwin on the up against the spin - not normally advisable - for three and then skipping down and clipping the off-spinner over midwicket for a boundary. He might well go into one-day mode in this final passage of the day with India's fielders looking tiredBig hour coming up for both teams. Tweet your predictions to @skysportsdrabs and i'll post the pick of the bunchPatel continues in his positive vein by driving Zaheer through extra cover for another classy boundary. He is playing a useful cameo for England here. He picks up five runs off Zaheer's latest set of six and the players take drinks with England holding a lead of 117Plenty of bounce for Ashwin during his latest over. Patel is fortunate to see a sweep loop safe off his top-edge and bring him two. I'm surprised Dhoni doesn't have a man in place for that shot. Prior is then relieved to see the ball bounce off his glove and just short of the short leg fielder. India still probing with just over an hour left in the dayIndia have stuck to their task well today, they could easily have folded after Cook and Trott's big partnership. Another wicket here and they are into England's lengthy tail. Prior gets off the mark with a single off Zaheer and Patel picks up two more runs of his ownWICKET! Ashwin finally has a wicket! Pietersen has gone for 54, adjudged lbw when on the sweep. He had connected with the previous sweep shot superbly, finding the fence at square-leg. He missed on the next attempt, though, and umpire Dharamasena raised the finger. Replays show it to be a fair enough call. A much-needed strike for India and Prior joins Patel in the middle with England 104 runs aheadDhoni gives Zaheer another burst after a successful stint from Ishant. KP adds a single to fine leg to bring up his 28th Test 50 and see England up to a lead of exactly 100. The camera then pans around Eden Gardens to applauding England fans, amongst whom is Beefy's daughter, much to his surprise. He had no idea she was there! Lord Gower is revelling in the moment beside him on commentary!A top-spinner from Ashwin causes Patel some discomfort, beating him on the inside and bouncing high into, and out of, Dhoni's gloves. Ashwin, despite a maiden, now boasts increasingly embarrassing figures of 0-146Shot! Imperious from Pietersen, who stands tall and dismissively punches Ishant through the covers for his eighth boundary. He looks in the mood to join Cook on 23 Test hundreds... The lead is 99Ashwin returns and if I didn't know any better i'd say England have a plan to attack the India off-spinner. After neatly working two runs behind square on the leg-side, Patel then skips down the pitch and clips Ravi over midwicket for a delightful boundary. Positive batting from Patel and England's lead is now approaching three figuresIshant is getting the ball to tail back nicely into Pietersen, who has to make sure he gets bat on all his wristy clips off middle stump. A nice battle between bowler and batsman at the moment. KP is content to see out a maidenA huge cheer from the crowd as Tendulkar fields the ball at long leg. He can't stop Pietersen adding two more though. Patel gets off the mark in confident fashion later in the over, pouncing on a short, wide delivery from Ojha and cutting hard for a boundary. England move past 400 and lead by 87Papa Bell will be keen to contribute here after an inauspicious start in Ahmedabad and then missing the Mumbai victory to attend the birth of his child. He steers two runs through point to keep the scoreboard ticking over. WICKET! Bell's gone for just five! A loose waft outside off stump catches his inside/bottom edge and Dhoni takes the catch. Ishant celebrates a wicket and in comes Patel. England still need to be careful here, they have a long tail now Broad has been replaced by FinnBang, bang, bang! Pietersen starts the evening session with three successive boundaries from Ojha's first three balls! He cuts, then drives through extra cover and down the ground to signal his intent. This could be fun...Another India huddle to start another session out at Eden Gardens. England will be looking to add another 100 runs tonight to extend their lead towards 165. India, on the otherhand, need wickets, preferably Pietersen. Sit tight...Worth noting that Cook's freak run out was the first time he has been run-out in first-class cricket... You imagine he's learnt his lessonEngland lost Trott (87) and Cook (190) in that session but still remain in total control of this Test match. The tourists lead by 65 runs and still have seven wickets in hand. Stay tuned for more updates after a quick breakEngland have played Ashwin incredibly well in this series and that has been one of the main factors behind this series fightback. Pietersen sweeps the off-spinner hard through square-leg for four in what is the final over of the afternoon sessionWho said England were playing for tea? Pietersen skips down the pitch to Ojha and launches him for a straight six. Glorious shot, and a nice reminder from KP that he still means business. A sharp single follows to take England's lead on to 60A tricky little spell this for England before tea. Ishant beats a defending Bell outside off stump but even if he'd nicked it, it wouldn't have carried through to Dhoni. The ball is beginning to keep a little low and England's seamers will be licking their lips at that. India need wickets, and fastBell is regarded by many as England's best player of spin, this would be a good time to show it... He hangs back and nurdles Ojha through the leg-side for another single before KP blocks out the rest of the over. England lead by 51Ishant is brought back into the attack in place of Zaheer as Dhoni continues to rotate his seam bowlers. He takes a while to adjust, over-stepping on the front foot and then straying on to KP's hips. The England No.4 doesn't miss out, wristily whipping the ball through square-leg for four. Classy shot from a classy playerEngland's lead stays at 45 after Bell plays out a maiden from Ojha. A rebuilding phase for England at present with tea 20 minutes awayAn interesting tactic from Zaheer here, who is looking to bounce Pietersen out! The England batsman is watching the ball loop harmlessly over his head at the moment but I dare say it won't be long before he takes on the hook shot. MaidenWell, I can't quite believe what I've just seen there. Quite unbelievable really. Either way, England are still in the box-seat here. Bell gets off the mark with a single off Ojha and KP follows suit with a run of his own. These two have the ability to take the game away from India very quickly and Dhoni will know that. They will need to break this partnership soonWICKET! Drama, complete drama! The long and the short of it is that Cook has been run out for 190. It was probably the only way he was going to get out in truth but he only has himself to blame. Kohli's shy at the stumps was direct and Cook was out of his ground after inexplicably attempting to get out of the way of the throw rather than grounding his bat. The umpires wanted to check and even asked Dhoni if he wanted to uphold the appeal such was the freak nature of it. The fact Cook had not re-entered his crease before looking to dodge the throw means he should, and was, given out. The England captain can't believe what he has done and trudges off to a standing ovation from the England fans. In comes Ian Bell...A bowling change for India as Zaheer replaces Yuvraj. Pietersen shows utter contempt for the new bowler by walking across his stumps a flicking a wide half-volley through midwicket. Not out the coaching manual by any means that shot but it brings him two runs neverthelessMore extras for England and not particularly inspiring wicket-keeping from Dhoni, who makes a rather lacklustre attempt to stop a leg-side delivery from Ojha, which spins away to the boundary for four byes. England's lead is now worth 41Not particularly clever bowling from Yuvraj though, who serves up a full toss to either batsman. Long-on is back for Cook so he adds just one, he is up for KP though, and he thumps his full 'bunga' back down the pitch and away for his second boundary. That also brings up the England 350. Runs starting to come thick and fast for England nowThe pitch is certainly wearing. Pietersen, batting well outside leg stump, is completely beaten by an Ojha delivery which goes on with the arm and cuts him in two. It somehow misses leg stump, and Dhoni, and races away for four byes. Clever bowling from Ojha and very unluckyPietersen is away! Capitalising on a full, wide delivery from Yuvraj and slamming it away powerfully through extra cover for his first boundary. He is definitely looking to attack wherever possibleDrinks are called after back-to-back maidens from India's left-arm duo. This will give Cook and Pietersen an ideal chance to thrash out their gameplan. They are still well in control of this Test match, leading by 23 runs, with time on their sideYuvraj is on! Maybe Dhoni has been reading my commentary?? He starts well, too, bowling a maiden to KP, who once infamously described Yuvraj as a "pie-chucker". I wonder how KP will look to play in this situation. Surely he has a license to thrill while Cook does his thing at the other end?WICKET! Ojha strikes at long last! Trott, pushing forward, nicks a spinning delivery and Dhoni does well to adjust his gloves and take a sharp catch standing up to the stumps. Trott made 87. The Kolkata crowd finally have something to cheer... but here comes Pietersen! This is the ideal situation for England's flair player, who gets off the mark fourth ballMaybe Yuvraj doesn't fancy a bowl? I woudn't blame him with the form Cook is in. He and Trott continue to tick along without alarm. The latter misjudges a sweep off Aswhin but there is no man catching on the 45 so England can canter to an easy twoSurely it's time for Dhoni to think outside the box? The current bowling combinations are clearly not working. Why not throw Yuvraj the ball and see if he can produce something?? This partnership is now worth 169 and showing no signs of ending any time soon...Who said England can't play spin? Sweeps, reverse-sweeps, England are just plain showing off now. The lead is 17Cook continues his attacking intent, flicking Ojha round the corner for two more. A sluggish Zaheer gives 'chase'. A mix up between Cook and Trott then ends the over, however the England captain has the presence of mind to get back in his crease before Dhoni whips off the bailsThis is sensational from Cook. With his team now in front he has pressed his foot on the accelerator. After paddling Ashwin for two, he then skips down the pitch and dispatches the India off-spinner back over long-on for six! Superb shot. England mean business nowAfter letting Trott hog the limelight after lunch, Cook adds a single to mid-on, aided by a sloppy piece of fielding from Kohli. The England skipper will be eyeing a 'Daddy' double hundred hereEngland lead! Trott cheekily puts England in front with a reverse-sweep off Ashwin which zips along the outfield and into the fence. Billy the Trumpeter bursts into life and two more Trott runs to long leg follow. It's all England at Eden Gardens!Three more runs for Trott through the leg-side off Ashwin. Without wishing to curse him, the England right-hander is looking very assured out there now. Great signs for England, who may have been starting to worry about his formAnother edge, and another boundary. These runs will be hurting India now. Trott closes the face of his bat too soon and a leading edge somehow races to the third man fence. This outfield really is rapid. Frustration for Ashwin, who is trying everything in an effort to force the breakthroughEvidence of that uneven bounce Athers mentioned as Dhoni is forced to field an Ojha delivery off his ankles. All encouraging signs for England, who will want the pitch to deteriorate later on. Maiden from the India left-armer to TrottOur man Mike Atherton out in Kolkata has been in touch with his views on what England's gameplan may be from now on. He says: "I think England will look to bat another three and a half sessions, and get india in before tea on the fourth day if they can. The pitch is still pretty flat but has turned a bit more in the last hour and new ball had a little indifferent bounce but it will still be hard work. England will hope that india will be demoralised and the dropped catch this morning - as easy as it gets for a bowler - will not have helped."Cook brings up the England 300 in streaky fashion, driving Ashwin away from his body outside off stump and getting an edge to sail past slip at catchable height and away to the boundary. A sign that the England captain may be looking to up the run-rate now... Singles for both batsmen followAshwin resumes alongside Ojha and you feel these two have a lot of bowling ahead of them today. Ravi goes to 100 runs without taking a wicket after another Trott single. It is beginning to turn more than it has done in previous days, though. Good news for England, I guess...Ojha starts with a really loopy off-spinner outside off stump which would have come down with snow on it had it been bowled on these shores. Trott remains patient and nudges a single to get England going after lunchDhoni has his players back in a huddle on the outfield at Eden Gardens. A relaxed looking Cook and Trott walk out past them to resume their work. Will we see more of the same or can India launch some kind of fightback? We shall see...@thefafman has been in touch via Twitter, saying: "India must be foaming at the mouth in anticipation of taking a wicket with only KP, Bell & Prior waiting in the wings..." Could be a tough day couldn't it? Not many India fans in the ground at the moment, could be even fewer by tea...Another fantastic session for England, who have laid the plaform for a healthy first-innings lead out in Kolkata. Another 80 runs added in that morning session, but more importantly, no wickets lost. Both Cook and Trott took their time to get going and both had a little luck, but they are still there and will look to up the ante after lunch. They trail by just 20. Stay tuned for more updates.Can Ashwin give India a pre-lunch fillip??...No. Cook tucks two through midwicket before exchanging singles with Trott to safely see England through to the intervalThe field is very well spread to Cook now and he milks a single down to long-on. Trott is then relieved to see a leave just miss off stump. That went on with the arm from Ojha and nearly disturbed the furniture! One over left until lunch...Ashwin bowls noticeably flatter in this over - copying Monty perhaps? Trott and Cook are more than up to the task though and sweep with confidence for more runs behind squareCook shows Trott how to sweep to add the only run off Ojha's latest overA rare moment of excitement for India as Trott is so nearly bowled around his legs by Ashwin. The England No.3 got himself in an almighty pickle there when on the sweep and nearly paid the price. A welcome maiden for the home sideThe seam experiment is over, perhaps for the day... Ishant is replaced by Ojha. England look determined to bat just once in this match. The Sky Sports commentary team believe they will want to bat until around tomorrow lunch time - giving them a first-innings lead of around 200/250. What do you think? Tweet me @skysportsdrabsZaheer is replaced by Ashwin after an unsuccessful stint with the new ball. Will India be regretting playing two seamers I wonder? Three singles added off the off-spinner's comeback over. Encouragement for him, too, as he spins one past Cook's driving bat and has an optimistic lbw appeal turned downThree more singles added off Ishant. Two for Cook, one for Trott. That could be the last we see of the India seamer for a while. Another Cook record has been unearthed: He has made seven Test hundreds in Asia now - that is more than any other away player in the sub-continent. He is only 27!India are going through the motions somewhat now. They seem resigned to a long day in the field. Beefy on that Ishant dropped catch: "I've seen some dropped catches in my day but that is right up there." With the 'best' I presume he means...Trott is moving through the gears nicely now. Two things he enjoys more than most; pace on the ball and the cover drive. Both are handed to him on a plate by the unimpressive Ishant and Trott drives elegantly for four more. The deficit is now just 38That drop reminded me of when I used to try and give my wicket away against my younger brother in the back garden. It really was that simple. Less drama in Zaheer's latest over as Trott adds a single off the final ballShot! Another beauty from Cook, who leans forward and drives Ishant back down the ground for four more. What a player. Drop! What a miss! How has Ishant dropped that?! The easiest caught and bowled you will see has somehow been put down. He practically blocked that straight back to the bowler! What a let off for the England skipper. India's fielders cannot believe it!Very clever batting from these two now. With the field spread, they are more than happy to drop the ball and run. This will start to get rather demoralising for India soonSome athletic India fielding (and you don't type that very often) saves three runs immediately after drinks. Trott drove crisply to wide mid-off but Ashwin moved and dived well to save three runs. Just one run added from Ishant's latest set of sixEngland added 50 runs without loss in that opening hour, which saw 18 overs! Some going from India's bowlers, who have certainly kept me on my toes if not England's batsmen. England trail by 50Landmarks! Glorious landmarks! Trott feasts on Zaheer through the leg-side, whipping the erring left-armer for back-to-back boundaries to move to his 13th Test 50. He needed this, badly. The second boundary also brings up the 100 partnership between these two, who are not finished yet... Drinks.A new ball, but nothing new about the state of play. The runs are beginning to flow for England now as the returning Ishant is driven to the cover boundary by Trott after over-pitching. England are in total control out in KolkataA sumptuous tuck off his hip takes Cook to his seventh score of 150 in Test cricket - level with Colin Cowdrey. You get the impression that both England batsmen will rather enjoy facing this harder ball, which, on that evidence, will race even quicker to the boundaryZaheer is back and armed with a new cherry...Trott is growing in confidence here and you can sense a bit of frustration creeping in to Ashwin, who is paddled for two by the Warwickshire man, who then drives through cover for his first boundary of the day. Much better from England, who now trail by just 70Another single tucked around the corner from Cook. The new ball is due by the way. This one hasn't worked for India and I'm surprised they haven't taken it as yetCook continues to quietly go about his business this morning, adding another single on the leg-side after Ashwin drops a tad short. Trott then hangs back and edges the India spinner along the ground past slip for two more to end the overTrott has a long look at Ojha's first five balls before driving the sixth confidently through point for two. How the England No.3 needs a big score today - he has made only one Test century since May 2011Boundary! Cracking shot from Cook, who presses forward and drives Ashwin with the spin to the extra cover fence. The bowler responds well, turning the very next delivery just past the left-hander's outside edge. That was so close to the bat. Two further singles are added and England are inching towards first-innings parityWell, not the most entertaining half an hour of cricket you'll ever see comes to an end. England have added 11 runs in 10 overs this morning. You still awake?RUNS! Finally! Trott improvises twice to sweep for two, twos. The first is struck firmly, the second paddled cleverly behind square. Cook adds a single to-bootAnother over of spin, another maiden. England are grinding to a halt somewhat here, keen to squeeze the life out of India before cashing in later in the dayIndia are rattling through their overs this morning. Ashwin sends down a maiden to Cook and the India off-spinner so far this morning has produced tight figures of 4-3-1-0The first bowling change of the day takes just five overs as Ojha replaces Zaheer, who will be back with the new ball shortly I imagine. Cook finally adds to his tally with a confident single to long-on while Trott continues to push forward and defendBack-to-back maidens for India and so nearly a wicket-maiden as a huge lbw appeal from Ashwin on Cook is turned down. On the sweep, Cook is struck just outside off stump and the 'not out' call from umpire Dharmasena is the correct one. An early scare for the England skipperTrott continues to farm the majority of the strike this morning. India's bowlers have started well, not offering up any free-bees as yet as Trott plays out a maiden off Zaheer. Still very little movement either in the air or off the picth for the India left-armer, though, and there is no reason why England shouldn't open up a big lead todayA rather uneventful start continues as Trott adds another single off Ashwin, but not before being rapped on the pad with a flighted dleivery which turns back into him sharply. Cook is yet to add to his tally. Not that he will be bothered in the slightest!Zaheer starts alongside Ashwin and finds a hint of early reverse swing back into Trott, who plays with it to add the first run of the day off the bat. Cook remains watchful and leaves the final two deliveries of the over. So what about England's captain then folks, how many 100s do you think he will go on and make?Ravi Ashwin is charged with the opening over of the third day. He mixes up his pace and flight to Trott before the first run comes via the England No.3's thigh pad. A rousing rendition of 'Jerusalem' can also be heard from the Barmy Army, who have once again travelled in good numbersAn animated MS Dhoni has his players in a huddle on the outfield as Cook and Trott stroll out to the middle. Sit tight for over-by-over updates from a misty Eden GardensIt is far too early for me to do all the work this morning so feel free to join in. Send your opinions and predictions on this Test match my way at Joe.firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me @SkySportsDrabs. Will England bat big or will India show some spirit and fight back??England have been on top for the first two days of this Test match and will look to establish a healthy lead today after resuming on 216-1 in reply to India's first-innings 316. The run-machine that is Alastair Cook is poised on 136*, with Jonathan Trott 21* for companyGood morning everyone and welcome to interactive text commentary of day three of the second Test in Kolkata