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England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day
'Ganguly's spell was crucial' - Shastri
July 27, 2007
Ravi Shastri discusses the proceedings of the first day of the 2nd Test at Trent Bridge
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Siddhartha Vaidyanathan: Hi, this is Siddhartha Vaidyanathan for Cricinfo and joining me at the end of the first day's play at Trent Bridge is Ravi Shastri, the former Indian captain. Ravi, a fantastic day for India to start with and a good toss to win.

Ravi Shastri: Good toss to win, it was just what the doctor ordered because the conditions were such; it was overcast, the ball was going to swing and also, if you looked at the pitch there was grass on it. Even Michael Vaughan said at the toss that he was going to bowl first. Having said that, you still have to bowl in the right areas, and I thought India did an excellent job today. Especially with the new ball, it was a big improvement from the way they bowled at Lord's. The confidence of bowling England out twice under 300 at Lord's showed. They took their catches, they bowled in the right areas and I thought, during the spell just after tea, [Sourav] Ganguly did a very good job in keeping things tight and exercising control. He got support from Zaheer [Khan] and then Sreesanth came back and struck, and Zaheer came back and got couple more. The only blemish was the one dropped chance by [Sachin] Tendulkar. Otherwise, you know, it was a perfect day.

SV: I was just going to ask you about that spell Ravi because, half an hour before tea, it appeared as if the bowlers were going off line. They came back well after tea.

RS: Yes, they stuck to the basics. Ganguly's spell was very important because by keeping things tight and getting support from the other end, you could literally feel the pressure building and you could sense a wicket round the corner. And as things would have it, Ganguly struck himself - getting the important wicket of [Alastair] Cook, who I thought really applied himself well. It wasn't easy out there with the ball swinging and his was an important wicket.

SV: A word on the pitch Ravi. Was it really difficult to bat on? Or must the credit go to the bowlers?

RS: The credit must go to the bowlers. Yes the ball swung. There was some grass on the surface, but I thought that the catching and the bowling was good. They lost the plot and tried too much for just that half an hour to forty minutes before tea. But otherwise, on the whole, if you win the toss and decide to bowl first, you would settle for this kind of a performance on day one.

SV: The bowlers got England all out on the second day at Lord's as well but the batsmen didn't make it count. This is a big chance for them to make it count ...

RV: Big chance, if one of the middle order, one batsman in the top six gets a hundred, then India could get a substantial lead here. That would be so crucial in the way the game progresses. I think, if the sun does come out tomorrow, and you take the heavy roller then the pitch will ease out. It will get a little harder and might just encourage stroke play as well.

SV: Thanks a lot Ravi. That was Ravi Shastri at the end of the first day's play. This is Siddhartha Vaidyanathan signing off from Trent Bridge

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