India v England day three
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Last Updated: 15/12/12 11:34am
That wicket from the first ball of the last over of the day brings the day's play to a close. Kohli and Dhoni defied England for five hours and looked set to steer India to a first-innings lead that would make things tricky for England. That's unlikely now, thanks to four wickets in a dramatic final hour, but England still have some serious batting to do before they can celebrate a series victory.
England are going to get a lead here. Four wickets in the final session as Swann spins the ball past Chawla's outside edge and into the off stump.You've got to give England credit for staying in this and getting their reward in the last hour.Skipper does skipper. Dhoni looks for a quick single to reach his century, but Cook's throw from mid-off finds him a frame short and the third umpire sends India's captain on his way for a brilliant 99. But what a poor end. Didn't need to do that.Ashwin plays out a maiden. Dhoni's been in the 90s for 72 minutes. He's got two overs to find a single before stumps.Dhoni works Ashwin into the legside and scampers hard but has to settle for a single to take him to 99. Anderson launches a comical appeal for lbw after bowling round the wicket to Ashwin and pitching the ball only a foot or so outside the leg stump. He then tries to sneak a couple of yorkers under Ashwin's bat but doesn't quite manage it. Ashwin works the second attempt into the legside for a single to keep the strike. That'll please the skipper...Ashwin gets a thick outside edge past slip for a couple of runs as Swann pushes the ball across him from round the wicket.Ashwin's spent most of this series looking like a proper batsman, and does so again here as he calmly gets off the mark with a back-foot punch off Anderson for two and then a push into the covers for one.Dhoni doesn't seem the kind of chap to be affected by the nervous 90s, but he plays and misses at Swann here for the second time in two overs.R Ashwin joins Dhoni in the middle. Until today, he'd been India's second-best batsman in the series, so England's work not done yet.This time the lbw appeal from Anderson is upheld. Nip-backer from Anderson traps Jadeja on the crease and in front of off stump. It's a good decision from the umpire.Dhoni misses a chance to get to three figures, slapping a short ball from Swann straight to a fielder and having to settle for a single.A weary-looking Anderson back into the attack. He keeps holding his thigh. His mood is not improved when Jadeja edges between keeper and slip (along the ground mind) for four and then survives a huge leg-before shout. Anderson thought it was out. Anderson was wrong. Outside the line.Jadeja plays out a maiden from Swann. Ravi must need a specially reinforced batting helmet. Keeping 90mph projectiles out is nothing compared to keeping all that hair in.First boundary for Jadeja as he slashes Bresnan wide of the sole slip and fine of the diving Trott at third-man.Dhoni picks up three, steering Swann through gully off the outside half of the bat before a glance to fine-leg brings Jadeja his first Test runs. Compton does well to cut off the boundary.Dhoni pinches the strike from the last ball of Bresnan's over.Almost 24 hours after it was slated to happen, Ravi Jadeja strides out to play his debut Test innings. Did a grand job with the ball, and has been scoring runs for fun in domestic cricket.The drinks break. It's taken more wickets than Murali and Warne combined. Swann bowling from round the wicket gets the ball to straighten and hit Kohli's pad in front of everything as he props forward defensively. Plumb as they come.The partnership has gone through the 500-ball mark. Closing on the 200-run mark. Dhoni cuts Bresnan to deep point for a single, and Kohli adds two with a clip off the hip before pinching the strike with a single from the last ball of the over. Kohli has many talents as a batsman; don't overlook his ability to count to six. He's also just gone ahead of Michael Clarke as the leading international runscorer in 2012. He can celebrate with a drink and the now-customary sit down.Kohli cuts Swann through the covers and punches the air once he realises the ball is going all the way to the ropes to take him to a brilliant, brilliant century. This innings - a triumph of patience, concentration and technique - would've been extraordinary enough even if not set against the backdrop of a terrible match situation when he came to the crease and a personal series that had been one long tale of woe.England bowling for run outs now. Quick single taken by Kohli, but it's quite safe.Dhoni joins Kohli in the 90s with a clever back-cut off Swann but then denies his partner a couple of runs by inadvertently fielding the ball with his bat at the non-striker's end. A tip-and-run single takes Kohli to 95. Eighteen overs left in the day.India's would love to just bat once here, but I wonder if declaring 150-odd ahead with four-and-a-half sessions to go would be the ideal scenario. Gives them two ways to win the game.Swann bowls a maiden over. England look weary.Kohli now six runs away from a century. England 21 overs away from only the fourth complete wicketless day of Test cricket in their history.Dhoni picks up three runs from the first two balls of Swann's over before Kohli flicks the ball behind square-leg as Panesar dives and half-stops the ball but has to administer a second stopping attempt while lying prone across the boundary cushions. Kohli keeps the strike and moves within seven runs of a quite brilliant century.A rare short ball from Panesar, and Kohli is all over it as he jumps back in his crease and pulls it over midwicket for four.The run-rate is no longer at pre-lunch levels as Kohli clips Anderson through midwicket for three and Dhoni back-cuts with outrageous timing to pick up four.Two singles off Panesar's over. England have at least got the run-rate back to pre-lunch levels since tea.Kohli's defence rock-solid as he plays out a maiden over from Anderson.Another maiden for Panesar, his 15th in 41 near faultless yet still wicketless overs.Lovely shot from Kohli on any pitch, on this one it's close to other-worldly as he drives Anderson on the up through cover for three. First time I've seen any player on any side time anything that wasn't a long half-volley.Run out looks the likeliest wicket-taking option. Not that a run out looks particularly likely; just slightly likelier than any other option. Couple of "yes-no" interludes, but nothing to really cause alarm. But please, let me clutch desperately for these straws. A thick inside edge brings Dhoni a single as he plays for spin from Panesar that never materialises.Anderson starts the evening session with a maiden over.The draw odds-on at Sky Bet, now just 8/11. India in to 7/4, England out to 11/2. skybet.com is the place to go for a whole raft of in-play betting opportunities.Plenty for England to ponder. Even better session that for India, with Kohli and Dhoni managing to lift the rate to three an over. Maintain that this evening and they'll be pretty much level and with a real chance to put England under huge pressure on the final two days.Panesar bowls the final over before tea. England have thrice failed to take a wicket in an entire day's play. They're now two parts of the way to making that four. Kohli and Dhoni have been magnificent.Anderson back with a pretty ordinary over. I think he's struggling with something. Kohli whacks the last ball to the cover boundary as Anderson offers width and the opportunity to get on the back foot. Batsmen have all the time in the world to play their shots once they can go back.A beautiful delivery from Panesar spins just past Kohli's outside edge before missing the off stump by a similarly minuscule margin. Three singles from the over, though, and the partnership is past 150. The third 50 was approximately 17.4 times quicker than the first two.Close! Dhoni almost prods a return catch to Bresnan, but the ball just fails to carry. Next ball Bresnan throws his head back in disbelief when a full-throated lbw shout gets no response from Rod Tucker. It's missing, Bres. It's missing. Dhoni cuts to third-man for a couple of runs.England are going to have to bat for three sessions to win this series. That won't be bowel-looseningly nerve-shreddingly terrifying at all.England looking ragged here. Long-leg fails to pick up the ball as Dhoni clips into the legside and gets two before a horribly wide ball from Bresnan is hit towards point off the toe of the bat and Nick Compton dives over it to allow two more runs. Big appeal for leg-before against Dhoni to end the over, but missing leg by a distance. Forty runs off the last 10 overs. Bresnan keeps changing ends with no change in result. Anderson has bowled just three overs since the new ball was taken, which does rather suggest he's struggling with either illness or injury.Great footwork from Kohli to latch on to a short ball from Panesar and cut it through point for four. England's lead down to 118.Trouble bubbling up for England here. They are going to have some batting to do on days four and five to make sure they don't toss away the efforts of the last few weeks. Kohli back-cuts Swann for three before Dhoni smashes him way over midwicket for six.Sloppy five minutes from England. After those four byes in the previous over, India get gifted another run when Cook throws wildly past Prior as Dhoni takes a quick single and then jogs a second as long-leg tidies up.Swann into the attack. Rare lapse in concentration from Prior behind the stumps, letting the ball through his legs as Kohli misses a non-spinning ball outside off stump. Just don't think Prior expected the ball to beat the edge.Better over from Bresnan. The merest hint of shape back into the right-hander. It's not much, but it's something. And England have had nothing for most of the day.Almost the mistake England have been waiting for as a calling mix-up forces Dhoni to turn mid-pitch and scamper back to make his ground after Kohli initially called him through for a single before changing his mind. But Kohli does pick up four runs with a gorgeous cover-drive as run-scoring continues to grow easier and easier for this pair and alarm bells start to go off for England. They're going to need a bit more solid batting yet to put this series to bed. Time for drinks.Change of ends for Bresnan but no change of fortune. Still no assistance for him, and Kohli helps himself to four runs by driving a half-volley past the man at cover. England need a wicket; right now it looks like it will need a mistake.Cook turns quickly to spin, with Panesar into the attack just five overs after the new ball was taken. Two men in close on the drive, but Dhoni manages to place the ball between them to pick up two runs before working through square-leg for a single.Since those two deliveries Anderson got past Dhoni's outside edge in the first over with this new ball it has done absolutely nothing. England now perhaps just starting to think in terms of hoping this pitch holds together so that they don't have too many alarms when batting to secure a series-winning draw. Long way off yet, of course, but there really has been nothing for any of the bowlers today and the new ball has not altered that.A pull from Dhoni brings a single and a hundred partnership that's taken a mere 52.4 overs of careful, watchful resistance from this pair. Kohli adds another single to a deep legside fielder as Bresnan tries the short ball again. Not the right choice, but Bresnan persists with it and Dhoni crunches four through point to bring up his slowest Test half-century. England just starting to look concerned.A couple of forward prods off the outside half of the bat bring Dhoni first two and then a single. England are already displeased with this new ball, looking at it quizzically and getting in the umpires' ears.Kohli carefully plays out an accurate if not hugely threatening over from Bresnan with the new nut.Anderson takes the new ball and starts with a horrible loosener; short, wide, slow and whacked to the cover boundary by Dhoni. Anderson excellent after that, though, beating Dhoni twice as the ball nips away. and actually carries nicely through to the keeper. These next few overs so precious for England.Panesar continues with the old ball. Can surely only be down to the end Anderson wants to bowl from with the new one.Dhoni leaps out of his bunker to slog Swann over midwicket for four. New ball time, which is probably relevant to that shot from Dhoni.Dhoni hits Panesar to mid-on off the back foot for a single. So much time to play once you can get on the back foot.Dhoni nurdles a single on the legside. Two overs until the new ball when, surely, Something Will Happen.Kohli brings up a 50 much-needed by both team and player in good style with a well-timed drive threaded through a packed offside field. Taken him 171 balls, which is probably among the slower half-centuries he'll have made.Swann reacts to a minor setback with his usual quiet dignity, throwing his head back and bringing out the double-teapot as Anderson is caught slightly on his heels to allow a quick single. One for Anderson to remember the next time Swann dives out of the way of a half-volley at second slip to protect his shins.Panesar with a maiden. Suspect there will be another five overs from the spinners and then over to Anderson and Bresnan for new-ball spells that will have a key bearing on the direction of this match. New ball usually brings runs or wickets, and this match is in desperate need of one or the other.Swann starts the afternoon with the ball for England. Kohli tries a couple of times to knock the ball into the legside for a single, and succeeds from the last delivery of the over.Ian Oldham: "Fifty-nine in the opening session with India needing to win, they are still 184 behind and playing with fire, if they think they are batting for a lead then good on them, can't see it. They need to push on the score a lot quicker and hope England collapse in their second innings. I can't see England throwing this away, they are too good for that."No surprise that the draw is the big mover after that session. It was a 9/4 chance at Sky Bet before play this morning; it's now even money favourite, with an England win 9/4 and India 11/4. Head to skybet.com for a full range of in-play markets.Trev in Walsall: "There were a few mentions of DRS in the text commentary yesterday. I thought that the Drag Reduction System was only used in Formula 1. What is going on?" Sport loves Three Letter Acronyms (or TLAs) and there just aren't enough to go around.A good session for India, but it's been a lot of hard work to advance their victory chances by the tiniest of fractions. At the rate runs have come throughout this Test they are still three sessions away from parity. England will hope the new ball - seven overs away - enables them to move the game forward to their advantage after a frustrating morning where little happened for any of the bowlers.Joe Root bowls the last over before lunch. It's about as effective as you'd expect from a chap with eight first-class wickets on a pitch offering nowt. Dhoni picks him off for a couple of twos.Monty does a diving stop off his own bowling. Highlight of the session.Alastair Cook for some reason deploys a fielder stood in front of the non-striking batsman. Can't see much of a reason for it other than to make the batsman think "What's he up to?" but it does give us something to write about. Otherwise we'd have been back to the ironing board.Kohli drives Panesar to mid-off for a single. Nothing much else happens.Ironing fan Bresnan tests Kohli out with a short ball. Fair enough as a surprise tactic, but not something to try too often. As pointless a waste of time and effort as ironing your underpants. Kohli helps the ball out to deep square-leg for a single.Panesar bowls a maiden. Have you ever seen an international cricketer purchasing mundane household items? Perhaps you saw Martin McCague opting against the extended warranty on a microwave from Currys, or Mark Lathwell perusing the kettle and toaster sets in the Argos catalogue. Please email Dave.Tickner@bskyb.com with all the juicy details.Bresnan back into the attack. I saw him once, buying an ironing board from Tesco in Batley. That's a true story. Inexplicably, Heat magazine didn't want to know. Meanwhile, back in Nagpur, Ian Bell dives over the ball at cover to allow Kohli a couple of runs before a legside nurdle brings a single.Kohli places the ball neatly between two men on the drive and jogs a single as long-off fields.Strangely poor fare from Swann today. Don't want to be giving away easy runs on a difficult pitch, and he's dragged the ball short too often. Spoils this over with a long-hop to finish, and Dhoni slaps it through cover without minimal fuss.Panesar bowls a maiden over. It's the first for 10 overs. Calm down, you crazy batsmen.Couple of nurdled singles off Swann's over. Runscoring - and it's all relative of course - just starting to look a fraction easier for this well-set pair.Kohli attempts two cut shots. One of them almost gets him bowled, but the second is gloriously played. Just a touch short and a smidge wide from Panesar, and it's wristily put away behind point.After that ball that turned and bounced in his last over, Swann has adjusted his line. Before that he was bowling his usual attacking line outside the off stump but he's now going straighter with short-leg moved to leg-slip.Kohli visibly growing in confidence here, almost offering a catch to Bell at mid-off with an attempted drive. Aggression from the batsman certainly offers England more chance of a breakthrough. Panesar then beats him with turn outside the off stump before Kohli again nicks the strike with a single from the final ball of the over.Surprising turn and bounce from Swann, but Kohli turns it away past short fine-leg for four. The next ball keeps low and doesn't spin, which is more what is to be expected but Kohli seems surprised by it and only just gets the outside edge to the ball to prevent it scooting into off stump. That brings two runs, and Kohli keeps the strike with a single from the last ball of the over. Swann's three overs today have cost 15 runs, very nearly half India's total today.Couple of singles from Panesar's over. That'll be drinks after an hour that's been hard work for everyone.Swann not quite getting his lengths right here. Kohli picks him off through point for three, and Dhoni adds a single as the man goes back on the rope. The run-rate for the day leaps giddily to a dizzying 1.5 per over.Panesar changes ends. Survival looking fairly easy for Kohli and Dhoni, but at some point India have to take this game to England. Kohli does manage to get a single from the last ball of the over thanks to a misfield at mid-off.Graeme Swann replaces Panesar. A rare boundary for Dhoni, cashing in on a short ball from Swann and crashing it through cover.Attritional. Turgid. Day For The Purists. Cliches. Dot Balls. Maidens. Bresnan: Heavy Ball.After the giddy thrill of that boundary in the previous over, it's back to the real business of the day. Panesar bowls a maiden.Kohli is a prolific bat-twirler. Alec Stewart levels. Hundred up for India as Kohli leans on a half-volley from Bresnan and times it through the covers for four; an achievement on this pitch something akin to splitting the atom or landing on the moon. Good comeback from Bresnan, nipping the ball back from a good length to find Kohli's inside edge.So much of England's recent success before 2012 went the shape of a pear was built on 'bowling dry'. This pitch makes such a plan almost comically easy.Tim Bresnan replaces Anderson. Definite reverse-swing for him as well. Kohli visibly frustrated after playing a nice drive that trundles slowly and harmlessly to mid-on. At present speed and course, India will need to bat for another 121 overs - well into the afternoon session tomorrow - to get level with England. Increasingly difficult to see how they can level this series unless England do something crazy.Dhoni even suspicious of full-tosses now, carefully blocking a loopy delivery back to Panesar. That's what a pitch like that does to the mind.Kohli clips an Anderson inswinger away to long-leg for a couple to maintain the two-an-over run-rate.Outside edge from Kohli lands short of Jonathan Trott at slip and rolls away for a single.Back-to-back maidens as Dhoni spends the over watching Prior creep closer and closer yet still take everything at ankle height. Maidens currently leading boundaries 54-44.Kohli plays out a maiden from Panesar. Getting much beyond two runs per over has proved monumentally difficult here.Four for Dhoni to third-man off a genuine outside edge as he pushes hard at the ball outside off stump. No slips in place despite the movement Anderson is getting, which is fair enough; they would be merely possible run-savers as nothing - this shot included - is going to carry.Monty Panesar starts his day's work with a tidy and typically accurate over, just a single from it as Dhoni pinches one to mid-off who is on his heels a little bit.Anderson starts the morning with a big reversing inswinger that Dhoni just about gets the inside edge of his bat on to avoid being bowled or lbw and pick up a single. Kohli then beaten by one that holds its line outside the off stump and just about carries through to Matt Prior.News from Nagpur is that the cracks in this very odd pitch have opened up further which could offer yet further assistance to England's in-form spin twins.It's another Crucial Session this morning on the Crucial Third Day. Anderson has bowled better and better as this series has gone on, and yesterday he was quite magnificent. There are plenty more wickets on offer for him here, although India still have some quality batting stocks available. Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are at the crease, with triple-century specialist Ravi 'The Hair' Jadeja and Ravichandran 'VVS' Ashwin still to come. So some reasons to be cheerful, or at least not hopelessly miserable, for India fans there.Morning everyone. After the efforts of Joe Root, Graeme Swann and James Anderson yesterday, England are now probably one good day from pretty much wrapping up this series. It really would be some achievement - especially after the thrashing in Ahmedabad. India need somehow to drag themselves up to England's total, and to do so while scoring faster than the match run-rates to date. Tricky.