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England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 5th day
Match merited a result
July 23, 2007
Andrew Miller gets Ian Chappell to sum up the first Test at Lord's
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Andrew Miller: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo talk, I'm Andrew Miller and today I'm joined by former Australia captain, Ian Chappell to discuss the concluded Test between England and India here, at Lord's. Well, Ian, it was all set up perfectly for this final day, one more wicket England needed and then bad light closed in, it's a bit of a shame the way the game finished?

Ian Chappell: Unsatisfactory, Andrew. When you have had a good Test match, there has been good cricket, fine bowling, good batting, then the match is called off because of bad light and rain. When two sides have battled so hard, you'd like to see it come to a conclusion. You get very few Tests that are so evenly poised at the end of the fourth day that you hate to see those sort of games spoiled. I guess for India going to Trent Bridge will feel almost like a victory after having got out of this.

AM: What's your opinion on the current laws on bad light? Because in the end we saw two spinners, Michael Vaughan and Monty Panesar, clearly there was no danger to the batsmen as such but the issue is something to do with safety?

IC: Sure, you have got to consider the safety of the batsman. That really wasn't a consideration because of the two bowlers who were operating. But, to be fair to the batsmen, you need to able to get a bit of clue of the seam coming through the air. And, you do have to think of the paying public, but in the end of the day, it is a game and you're trying to decide a result, so I guess you have to hit the very happy balance of providing the entertainment and be fair to the competitors out in the middle.

AM: Well, there certainly were some pretty good competitors in this match; you just mentioned England's seam attack in particular. James Anderson and his mates, relatively new to the international scene, they put their predecessors in a bit of shame, didn't they?

IC: I got the feeling that in this game Anderson may have come of age. And I say that because of his consistency of performance in this match. He has always had the ability; there has never been any doubt about that. Ryan Sidebottom, I like the look of him. The things that I like about him are that he can swing the ball and he can swing it pretty consistently, which tells you that he has a good feeling for his action. Chris Tremlett, he didn't disgrace himself in a Test match debut. He adds another dimension to the attack with the bounce that he gets. So it is a nice combination. And one must not forget Panesar. When you think of quickly Panesar has come from being a spinner with potential and now all of a sudden he is a matchwinner. And he has done that in a space of twelve months. So he is a very important cog in this bowling machine. Panesar can play so many different roles; you put him in the same bracket as Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. He can perform their role which is the wicket-taking role but he also can contain the batsmen.

AM: What of India's prospect for the next Test? Their middle order didn't build on any starts, but their bowlers did. They had a slow start but came into the game towards the end.

IC: They have got to eradicate poor starts. Their most experienced bowler is Zaheer Khan. We saw some of his best and worst in this match. Unfortunately for India we saw the worst at the start of the game. Then you saw some bad stuff at the start of the second innings. You can't afford to have those poor starts and be giving the opposition some easy runs at the beginning. There were some positives, RP Singh, terrific spell from him in the second innings. Sreesanth, his problem seems to be bowling to left-handers.

AM: I guess the last word will go to Kevin Pietersen? He claimed that this is his finest innings yet, he is a very special batsman, where do you rate him in the world?

IC: He is right up there. Ricky Ponting is the outstanding batsman in world cricket at the moment, but Pietersen is closing fast. I can see why he thinks this is his best innings so far because he had to battle hard of the third evening and fourth morning, he really had to work hard for his runs, and that's the big improvement Pietersen has made in his game. Players who are thinking about how they can win the game, gee, they are terrific for a team.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is a a columnist

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