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India v England, 2nd Test, Mohali, 3rd day
Lloyd: My few rupees are on India
December 21, 2008
A dramatic final ten minutes puts India firmly in the driver's seat in Mohali
 
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'It was a typical Pietersen century with sweeps, drives and one of those outrageous switch hits had the crowd rocking' © AFP
 

David Lloyd: We were fogged off this morning in Mohali and it was like being in Manchester on a damp, cold, winter's day - just like home. There was just one hour's play before lunch in which we got just 12 overs and in that time England started disastrously losing two wickets. Andrew Strauss, hero of Chennai, was lbw and Ian Bell was bowled. Both the opening bowlers for India were right on the money. But Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen led a counterattack - which was good to see - and England at lunch, were 57 for 2.

Cook once again had a start and once again fell after getting a start - this is becoming a problem for him. He has been out 10 times in his short career - which is a really good career - in the sixties. He was out here for exactly fifty to a beauty from Zaheer Khan. It hit him straight on the foot to trap him in front, lbw.

Yuvraj Singh and Pietersen - well what can we say? They had a frank exchange of views and seemed to be separated by umpire Asad Rauf who told them to get on with the game. I have mentioned that Yuvraj is England's public enemy No. 1 and he was goading Pietersen about his dramatic antics regarding his rib injury. Pietersen had his say - we could hear it on stump microphone - and it was funny that Rauf said, "Can you please treat each other like human beings?" I thought it was quite funny and harmless as well but Rauf did right to step in.

Amit Mishra was brought into the attack after 30 overs and struck immediately. It was an absolute beauty of a leg break that took the outside edge of Paul Collingwood's bat and England were in trouble at 131 for 4. Enter Andrew Flintoff who clipped his first delivery for four through midwicket. All England fans want to see Flintoff and Pietersen together. Well, the two big guns were still there at tea with Pietersen having gone to a typical KP century: sweeps, drives, and one of those outrageous switch hits had the crowd rocking.

Tea was taken with England on 211 for 4 from 48 overs but England were still 242 behind. We had a stalemate session for a long time in the evening with Zaheer bowling wide outside off stump and Mishra pitching it outside leg and with England deciding they did not want to play at those deliveries. Pietersen scored 144 with 17 fours and one six before he was dismissed and all the drama started in the last ten minutes of the day's play. It unleashed a terrific episode of cricket, talk about the game turning on its head. Flintoff was out right at the end of the day's play for 62 and it was a dramatic end - a real sting in the tail, which puts India very much in the driving seat.

This pitch is a belter and unless either team has a shocking session, this should be a draw. But England have all the work to do. Will India push for a win, 1-0 up in the series? Everything points to an India victory. But England can still get something from this and Pietersen, in an interview, right at the end, said that a draw would be a good result for England.

It's been a dramatic end to day three. There are still two days left and I think that it could go either way, with a draw or an Indian win most likely. I don't think England can win from here. And so my few rupees, right at this stage, are on India.

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