India v England commentary
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Last Updated: 14/12/12 11:07am
Excellent day for England. Having extended their first innings to 330, Anderson has left India reeling on 87/4. India still trail by 243 runs and the victory they need to level the series looks a long way away.
Jonathan Trott bowls the final over of the day. Inexplicably he doesn't take a wicket.Dhoni plays out a maiden from Bresnan. One more over to go tonight.Panesar drifts legside now, and Kohli picks him off through midwicket for two.Legside singles for both Kohli and Dhoni as Bresnan just gets his line a bit wrong.Kohli whips Panesar through midwicket for two runs and blocks out the rest of the over.Bresnan back into the attack with a good over. Getting some nice shape back into Dhoni who survives an lbw appeal - going over the top, which is rare on this pitch - and then drives in the air but just wide of the diving Jonny Bairstow at cover. Bairstow's on the field for Swann, I think.Panesar almost sneaks a quicker ball through Kohli. Batsman does well to adjust and jab the bat down on the ball having been deceived.Dhoni defending Anderson off the back foot. Not sure that's a policy with a long-term future.Two right-handers at the crease now, which may explain Panesar coming on to replace Swann. Couple of legside singles in the over.MS Dhoni promotes himself to number six above Jadeja and almost chops his first ball into the stumps.Real problems here for India. It's that man Anderson again, moving the ball away just enough to find the outside edge as Gambhir attempts an ambitious drive through the offside. Prior does the rest.Quality cut shot from Gambhir off Swann brings three runs as Trott reels the ball in just inside the rope.Anderson is a wonderful bowler to watch when he's in a purple patch. Probably only Dale Steyn in full flow a finer sight. Superb over here to Kohli, who just about manages to survive. Last ball of the over whistles past the outside edge.Kohli off the mark as he punches Swann through the covers off the back foot for three.Virat Kohli may well be India's next number four. He's in now at five, and blocks the last ball of the over.Anderson gets Tendulkar for a record-breaking ninth time in Tests with a nip-backer that keeps low and rattles the timbers via an inside edge. Not the delivery you need when trying to work your way back into form. The end of a great career is nigh.Drop! Tough chance as the ball finds its way through to Prior via Gambhir's inside edge and pad. It hits Prior high on the arm and bounces to safety. No real chance of grabbing that at the first attempt - needed a kinder ricochet.Tendulkar having real problems against Panesar, but he does manage to cut the ball away for a single and Gambhir nurdles another.Good maiden over from Swann, well dealt with by Gambhir.Panesar rips the ball past Tendulkar's outside edge. The next one spins as well, roughly doubling the number of deliveries that have spun today.Rough on Pujara, but one can only have limited sympathy for India as long as they keep their head in the sand over DRS. Good from Cook, too, to get Bell in there in place of Root. Bell kept low, which gave him the chance to take the 'catch' and give the umpire the chance to make an error.Stunning bat-pad catch by Bell, sticking his right hand out to grab the ball millimetres off the turf. Only problem is that it wasn't bat-pad, or glove-pad but was in fact elbow-pad. Pujara shaking his head but has to drag himself off the field. Cue Sachin.Maiden for Panesar as Pujara is twice sent back by Gambhir when looking for singles.Swann back into the attack. Pujara works him to leg for a single, and Gambhir defends the remaining five solidly enough.Another Gambhir-Pujara running mess but no harm done this time as Root's wild throw allows the diving Gambhir to get home safely.Fifty up in streaky style as Bresnan this time finds the outside edge but it's wide of Prior and away for four. No slip in place, but it wouldn't have carried anyway.Gambhir misses an attempted cut as the ball keeps low, prompting Monty to jump excitedly in the air. A push down the ground brings a single as short mid-on and Panesar get in each other's way.Bresnan again gets the ball to straighten from round the wicket and go past Gambhir's outside edge. The left-hander keeps the strike with a clip to long-leg.Pujara defends Panesar straight into Root's shins at silly-point. Not really a chance, but notable that Root was quite upright there. Needs to stay down with the ball.Top shot from Pujara, latching on to a short ball from Bresnan and pulling it hard in front of square to give long-leg no chance of getting round and cutting it off.Dangerous leave from Pujara who is hit on the pad by Panesar. Big appeal, but it probably just spun enough to be missing the off stump. A classy drive brings three runs before Gambhir scampers back for a slightly dicey second run after working the ball into the legside. He was involved in two run-outs in Kolkata, with Pujara one of the victims.Good start from Bresnan after tea, getting the ball to straighten from round the wicket and beat Gambhir's outside edge. A couple of legside deliveries bring singles.England will have been pretty happy with their 330 and delighted to remove Sehwag in the first over. But since then Pujara and Gambhir have looked largely untroubled.Swann got through that over quickly enough for Panesar to sneak in another maiden.Swann into the attack with a maiden before tea.Gambhir reaches 4000 Test runs in fine style, dancing down hte track and almost clearing the ropes at long-on. The left-hander adds an easy single later in the over as the fielder drops back to the fence.Glorious cover-drive brings Gambhir four runs, and he adds a single off a thick outside edge to keep the strike.England go early to spin and, as is usually the case, it's Panesar into the attack before Swann. He starts his work with a maiden. No real turn.Two dicey moments for Pujara, who is early on a drive and sends it looping through cover and then almost drags the next delivery into his stumps. A crunching drive down the ground brings him four runs of real authority and a word in his ear from Anderson.Bresnan offers width to Gambhir, who takes full toll with a sweet square-drive.Good maiden over from Anderson carefully played by Pujara.Bresnan drifts into the pads and allows Pujara to whip him away to long-leg for a single.Timing the ball was difficult for England on this pitch, but not for Pujara here as he blocks Anderson off the back foot and sends the ball racing to the point boundary.Big lbw shout against Pujara to end Bresnan's first over, but it's got little going for it. Thumping great inside edge, missing leg.Pujara in at three and off the mark with a clip off his toes for two.What a start for England! Anderson's third delivery just shapes back and beats the dangerous Virender Sehwag's forward defensive to knock the middle stump out of the ground. Sehwag actually managed to play inside it.Both sides probably reasonably happy with that score, but from the overnight 199/5 England will be the happier one suspects.Excellent catch from Pujara at short-leg, grabbing the ball as it comes straight off the face of Anderson's bat.Mid-on is set back for some reason, and England's last two batsmen each help themselves to an easy single.Monty Panesar survives the last two balls of the over. Half-centuries from six, seven and nine very, very handy for England here.Eventful. Swann survives a huge lbw shout after playing back to a Chawla googly, then whacks a six down the ground before being given leg-before after missing a reverse-sweep.Swann gets a bonus run as a wild throw turns a tight single into an easy two, and he cashes in by clubbing a four down the ground and then defending into a gap at cover to reach that elusive half-century. Swann being Swann, he celebrates like a loon in front of the Barmy Army. Cracking innings, though, taking just 87 balls to reach the landmark on a pitch where run-scoring has proved tricky.Anderson plonks a drive past point for a single, Swann adds another to long-on. Batting really doesn't look too hard here.Anderson off the mark with a legside nurdle and Swann then chips Ashwin down the ground for two. Hasn't scored a Test 50 since 2009.Anderson kicks Chawla into the legside for a leg-bye before Swann clubs a boundary down the ground to move into the 40s.Root's fine debut innings finally comes to an end as he looks to work Chawla into the legside and gets a leading edge to give the bowler a simple return catch.A single apiece for Swann and Root off Ashwin.The 300 is up for England as Root sweeps Chawla hard to the square-leg boundary.Ashwin deceives Swann with a top-spinner that beats the outside edge. Two singles from the over.Excellent runs these for Swann and England as he clips Jadeja into the legside for two and then slog-sweeps over midwicket for the first six of the Test to bring up the 50 partnership.A short ball from Ishant takes an eternity to reach Swann, who waits patiently and dabs it to third-man. Root sees out the over.Jadeja bowls an over that isn't a maiden as Swann works him into the legside for two and then hits down the ground for a single.Ishant back into the attack. He's absolutely convinced he's got Root lbw, but the ball hits pad a couple of inches outside off stump despite jagging back off the seam.Jadeja. Maiden. Jadejaiden.Three singles from Ashwin's first over of the afternoon. Still bowling round the wicket.Jadeja starts the afternoon session with Yet Another Maiden.Decent morning for England, excellent one for Root. The tourists closing on 300 despite the loss of two quick wickets after drinks. Swann proving a handy ally for the impressive debutant, who has moved on to 65 at lunch.Ishant back for a final over before lunch. Swann gets a leg-bye after a whack on the thigh, and Root unfussily plays out the over.Root is clearly very proud of his forward defensive and is very keen to show us it at every opportunity. Very good it is too.Root defends Ashwin through point for a single. Swann plays out the over in watchful defence.Good use of the feet from Swann, skipping down the track to plonk Jadeja over wide mid-on for four.Good over for England as Root uses the depth of his crease to work Ashwin into the legside for two and then pushes into the offside for a single and Swann then cuts to deep point for a couple and scampers a quick run to keep the strike.Swann plays out a maiden from Jadeja.Ashwin back into the attack. Stays round the wicket and almost gets Root the same way he got Prior, but this time the ball slides past the off stump.Swann slogs Ojha through the legside for four. Dangerous batsman is Swann, albeit he doesn't score anything like as many runs as he should.Big appeal for leg-before against Swann, but that's sliding down leg. The batsmen scamper a leg-bye.Root top-edges a sweep to fine-leg for three runs. Good ball from Ojha to end the over, a quicker one that spins and finds Swann's outside edge but brings four runs for the batsman.Root blocks Ishant into the offside for a single. Swann plays a couple of nice drives but picks out fielders.Good stuff from Root here, paddle-sweeping Ojha fine on the legside for four and then scampering a quick single to pinch the strike. Ojha through 30 overs without a wicket.Graeme Swann the new batsman, and he's pleasantly off the mark with a clip off his toes through square-leg for four. He loves the banter, so will definitely be telling all the batsmen that scoring runs is easy on this pitch.Big tick for Dhoni. Ashwin out of the attack straight after getting the wicket, Ishant back on, Bresnan plumb lbw second ball playing all round one that just nipped back.This has been a great game for forward defensive fans. Plenty of lovely examples from Root in this over.Tim Bresnan joins Root in the middle. Yorkshire.Very odd. Regulation off-break from Ashwin, operating from round the wicket, but Prior plays his forward defensive well inside the line and the ball hits the inside of off stump. Prior can't quite believe he's missed that. Me neither. Fine innings, though.Prior plays out a maiden to take us to drinks at the end of a perfect first hour for England. Runs, no wickets, batsmen in caps. It just doesn't get any better than that.Hundred partnership comes up as Prior drives Ashwin - into the attack for the first time today - through the covers for three as Jadeja's hair gives chase. And now a debut 50 for Root as he sweeps to deep square-leg. Splendid effort; a half-century on debut in Nagpur for the 21-year-old means the Cook comparisons are inevitable. This partnership, meanwhile, has kicked on rather nicely this morning. Forty-two runs in 16 overs is not exactly express but the scoreboard has been ticked over in impressive, risk-free fashion. Never really happened at any stage yesterday.Prior, every inch the cricketing throwback with his cap and plain bat and beardy face, plays out a maiden.BOTH BATSMEN ARE BATTING IN CAPS. It's just lovely to see.Prior keeps calling "Yes, mate" and "No, mate" in the style of a club player batting with a young whippersnapper called up from the U15s whose name he has instantly forgotten. No need for calling or tunning here, though, as another short ball is cut away for four to bring up Prior's half-century. What a player he has become. And he's batting in a cap. Hero.MATT PRIOR IS BATTING IN A CAP. Always lovely to see in Test cricket. Should get 10 bonus runs for it. Or something. Four singles from the over. Batting very easy this morning. "Keep bowling, Pishi," is the sage advice from Dhoni to Chawla.Four bowlers used in 11 overs this morning as Pragyan Ojha comes on for a trundle. R Ashwin again seemingly the odd man out in this bowling attack.Good start this for England today. Ten overs, 25 runs, and absolutely no alarms.Three boundaries in four overs! Madness. Giddy, giddy madness. Short and wide from Jadeja, Prior smacks it away through point.Piyush Chawla into the attack, and spoils a good opening over by offering width that allows Root to cut the ball away behind point for only his second boundary in Test cricket.Textbook Yorkshire batting from Root. Five blocks, and then a pinched single to keep the strike.Good-looking pushed drive through the covers from Root. The outfield is slow, but so too is Ojha and the batsmen complete three runs. A genuine outside edge from Prior carries very nearly halfway to Dhoni as it scuttles away for four.Huge excitement as MS Dhoni moves short-leg to silly-point. You scoff, but if we learned anything from yesterday it's to take excitement where we find it. Root takes advantage of the shift in field and an error in length from Jadeja to nurdle a single on the legside.Ooh, look, a maiden over. First one of the day. It won't be the last.Jadeja gets one to turn, which didn't happen at all yesterday, but the ball scoots wide of slip off Root's outside edge and the batsmen scamper two runs.Ishant Sharma shares the first-up bowling duties, and each batsman picks up a single to third-man in the Indian Pace Attack's first over of the day.Ravi Jadeja opens the bowling on day two. His hair very much the highlight on day one. Prior nurdles to leg for a single to bring up the 200 for England. Root plays four lovely forward defensives to conclude the over. No-one catching in front of the batsman - so easy for Root to just smother everything. It's India who need to make the running in this Test, something they seemed to forget when letting the game drift in a succession of lengthy drinks breaks and sit downs yesterday evening.It looks very much the same. The cracks haven't opened up and one very much doubts it's suddenly got any pace in it. Survival is pretty straightforward; runscoring somewhat trickier.Morning all. Curious old day yesterday, wasn't it? It seems unlikely the pitch will suddenly get any better, so it could be another day that sends cricket writers everywhere scurrying off to try and find another word for attritional. Matt Prior and Joe Root looked rock solid last night, and England need them to go on and on today.