England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 1st day July 21, 2011

England's batsmen made to toil on damp day

Foul weather disrupted the first day at Lord's, but the overhead gloom also gave just enough encouragement to India's seamers to make for an intriguing battle
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At some stage in this benighted summer, the persistent rain will surely have to abate. Unfortunately, on a day that was intended as a celebration of all that is good in Test cricket, the heavens just couldn't resist getting mixed up in the action once again. In the England-Sri Lanka series just gone, some 369 overs were lost in the course of three Tests, so today's shortfall of 40.4 was typical of yet another frustrating day at the office.

Nevertheless, the gloom still served a purpose, for the action that was possible - particularly in the hour-and-a-half before lunch - was a fine and timely tribute to Test cricket's most compelling virtues. Lord's, as they say, is a venue where you look up, not down, and sure enough when India won the toss and took their chance to bowl first, they quickly settled into an attacking rhythm that wasn't seriously disrupted until Zaheer Khan left the field with an ominous twinge in his hamstring.

The significance of that scare won't be known until the morning. However, England's batting line-up still displayed a diligence that befits a group of players in some of the most pristine form imaginable, and was all the more impressive given how hard they were made to work for their returns. Not since Pakistan's pacemen were zipping the ball both ways last summer, before the spot-fixing zenith, had England been subjected to such an examination of their credentials. And whereas they wobbled on numerous occasions back then, this time they dug in like a side that has not been bowled out for less than 486 in five consecutive contests.

"I think it's pretty even," England's top-scorer on the day, Jonathan Trott, said. "The pitch looked good when the covers came off, and at Lord's with the overhead conditions and a pitch that's been under cover, most teams would bowl first. You obviously want to make inroads as a bowling unit, and we did well to combat that and played pretty well. We are pretty happy with where we find ourselves, and there's a lot of hard work tomorrow."

From the moment Zaheer zipped his first delivery through the air, off the seam and into the upturned fingers of MS Dhoni behind the stumps, the ball did all the talking as England's batsmen were subjected to the sort of interrogation in which the only appropriate response was "no comment". Survival in those circumstances was England's first and only objective, and though Alastair Cook - for once - was unable to do so, India's end-of-day tally of two wickets was below par for the conditions. It left their coach, Duncan Fletcher, ruing a length that had given their quarry too much time to adjust and avoid the edge.

All the same, after being bullied to all corners of Taunton by Somerset last week, this was a vital demonstration of India's bowling credentials in traditional English conditions. Zaheer's 0 for 72 spell in that contest could have become 3 for 9 in 12.4 overs today had Dhoni not ushered a regulation edge from Trott to the boundary, while the extravagance of Praveen Kumar's outswing took the breath away at times. It's arguable that they were bowling from the wrong ends for much of the day - a little less zip down the slope and Praveen could have snagged many an edge, but England now know the extent to which they'll need their wits about them.

India's early strikes could have undermined a less composed outfit. When he played down the wrong line to Zaheer, Cook was sent on his way for his lowest Test score since the final innings of the 2010 summer against Pakistan. Moreover it was the first time he had failed to pass fifty since England's Ashes defeat at the WACA back in December, six innings ago. However, the shock of the setback did not initially rattle his partner Andrew Strauss, whose eventual dismissal at Zaheer's hands seemed a rare moment of recklessness, rather than anything more sinister to England's series prospects.

The hook shot hasn't been a particular flaw in Strauss's armoury since his grim run of form in 2006-07, when he stepped out of his comfort zone in a bid to fill the void left by his more forceful opening partner, Marcus Trescothick. He fell in that manner twice at Brisbane and again at The Oval against India nine months later, when Zaheer was again the bowler, but on this occasion, it did not seem indicative of anything other than overconfidence. The weather had been threatening to clear, and England sensed a chance to raise the tempo after a dour morning. Nevertheless, the fact that Ishant Sharma was still lurking at deep backward square was intriguing. Perhaps Fletcher knows his former pupil better than the batsman does himself.

Kevin Pietersen is another man whose card will have been marked by India's coach, but his initial foray was atypically cautious, not least when Praveen began operating with Dhoni standing up to the wicket. Against a lesser opponent, Pietersen might well have taken the bait and been left to regret it, but the manner in which he built up his form throughout the recent Sri Lanka series suggests he is back in the zone mentally. An overnight score of 22 from 73 balls is no more than a beginning, but he'll take it.

So far, Pietersen's performance has had echoes of his determined century in this same fixture four years ago. He said back then he'd never had to work harder for three figures, and while it sounded at the time like standard KP hubris, by the time England had been beaten 1-0 in the three-match series, his assessment seemed far more justified. Zaheer was the thorn in England's flesh then, as he was for 13.3 overs today. The speed of his recovery could hardly be more critical to the balance of the match.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jaggadaaku on July 23, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    How Strauss played in practice game with strike rate over 80 in both innings, and in this match, he just survived for only 22 runs with strike rate of only 26. So, the bottom line, never predict the result from practice match performance. Both teams are equal in statistics and averages of their players. They have few advantages-they play in their own country, the great Sehwag is not playing, India have only one specialist opener, so they can break thru easily. India should have given Dravid a chance to open and should have include Yuvraj, the last World Cup's hero and man of the series. A Mukund already failed to show his performance in previous series against one of the struggling team as WI, but still got a chance in this series against one of the strongest team because of South Indian Srikanth is the chief selector of Indian team. What a poorness of India.

  • stormy16 on July 22, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Eng the happier side after being asked to bat to only loose two wickets and now with Zaheer uncertain Ind want to make sure they get some wickets today before the Eng batting line up racks up another formidable score. I am surprised that Sreestanth didnt play ahead of Sahrma (unless he injured) as these conditions would have suited Sree better. Sharma got wickets in the Windies but this is a totally different ball game. Is Trott ever going to stop and what was Dhoni thinking- that should have been a straight forward chance and a game changer.

  • hbkvarun2003 on July 22, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @awg3599 : Buddy your sense of humor is awesome .... Jimmy Anderson the best bowler in English Conditions...Joke of the century ..... if he's so good...then why even after a century and a half of cricket's history...why haven't England haven't won a single World Cup..the problem with English fans is that The Ashes is world Cup for them....Since they've retained the ashes..they think that they've conquered the World....every time whenever there's a world event...English rise up and say ..they'll win it...and every time they fail....history will repeat itself again in this series....and sense would prevail...and India will win this seris 2-0.

  • hbkvarun2003 on July 22, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    @ tjsimonsen : buddy....long are the days gone when we use to rely on a individual to deliver the goods....look at the Indian record over the past 3 years .... there are hardly ay individual performances that stand out...it has always been a team effort that has boosted the victory for team India... Zaheer's injury I once again say is goig to hurt...however, we have bowlers who can pick 20 english wickets .... take a man to man comparison in terms of bowling....english bowlers don't even come into frame barring Swann..... and he can't pick 20 Indian Wickets... everytime... and I gyess you have forgotten the Mighty Indian batting line-up .... It's a joke even to think that England can bowl out this line-up .... Cheers !!!

  • zxaar on July 22, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @5wombats with the rate England are making runs, they will need 25 days to accumulate anything that would surpass what India would score in 2 days. As far as this test is concerned England are playing for draw. They have no desire to win, all their batsmen want is their personal records. And this is what they will get in the end.

  • on July 22, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    without Zaheer the indian bowling lacks sting and venom..the indian loss cud be huge were he suffer longer.Not the fittest athlete/fast bowler ever to ave worn a cricket shirt but he more than makes it up with cunning and experience..may ave been a bit rusty/undercooked going into this game at Lords after having missed the Carib leg..

  • awg3599 on July 22, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    As usual, the comments from the Indian "cricket fans" are almost as entertaining as the cricket itself - though I do often wonder whether I have been watching a different match! Let's be clear, on a day like yesterday you put a team in to bat if you win the toss and you expect the opposition to at least be 3 down by lunch if you have made use of the conditions. With the one exception, India's bowling was woeful backed up by some equally inept fielding. The one good thing - which might temper the comments of the Indian fans here - is that the forecast over the 5 days is pretty consistent so yesterday's conditions might be replicated on any other given day and then we will get a masterclass from Jimmy Anderson in swing bowling in English conditions (name a better bowler in the world in such conditions?) So we shall wait and see if 127-2 is a good or poor effort. I suspect in similar circumstances India would have been 160-8.....India's attack seem to be a one trick pony.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 22, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Trott should have been back. Dravid dropped a very very difficult one. We had to move on from there. But what with the next sitter that Dhoni got? That was unpardonable! I'm very disappointed with Dhoni's judgement there....

  • tjsimonsen on July 22, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    @hbkvarun2003: You are absolutely right that a side need to win. So how can you belive that India will win 2-0? After all that means that India will have to bowl out England twice several times, and given their perfaormance yesterday that seems a little unlikely - with the exception of Zaheer who may not last the series.

  • ansram on July 22, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    India was unlucky not to take a couple more wickets ( and they did lacked pace as well and Trott played really well) and a score like 120-4 would have been par on day one. 127-2 is deffo advantage England and sets up the platform to score at least 400 unless India can deliver on Friday and grab a couple of wickets ( and remove Trott) in quick time.

  • Jaggadaaku on July 23, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    How Strauss played in practice game with strike rate over 80 in both innings, and in this match, he just survived for only 22 runs with strike rate of only 26. So, the bottom line, never predict the result from practice match performance. Both teams are equal in statistics and averages of their players. They have few advantages-they play in their own country, the great Sehwag is not playing, India have only one specialist opener, so they can break thru easily. India should have given Dravid a chance to open and should have include Yuvraj, the last World Cup's hero and man of the series. A Mukund already failed to show his performance in previous series against one of the struggling team as WI, but still got a chance in this series against one of the strongest team because of South Indian Srikanth is the chief selector of Indian team. What a poorness of India.

  • stormy16 on July 22, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Eng the happier side after being asked to bat to only loose two wickets and now with Zaheer uncertain Ind want to make sure they get some wickets today before the Eng batting line up racks up another formidable score. I am surprised that Sreestanth didnt play ahead of Sahrma (unless he injured) as these conditions would have suited Sree better. Sharma got wickets in the Windies but this is a totally different ball game. Is Trott ever going to stop and what was Dhoni thinking- that should have been a straight forward chance and a game changer.

  • hbkvarun2003 on July 22, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @awg3599 : Buddy your sense of humor is awesome .... Jimmy Anderson the best bowler in English Conditions...Joke of the century ..... if he's so good...then why even after a century and a half of cricket's history...why haven't England haven't won a single World Cup..the problem with English fans is that The Ashes is world Cup for them....Since they've retained the ashes..they think that they've conquered the World....every time whenever there's a world event...English rise up and say ..they'll win it...and every time they fail....history will repeat itself again in this series....and sense would prevail...and India will win this seris 2-0.

  • hbkvarun2003 on July 22, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    @ tjsimonsen : buddy....long are the days gone when we use to rely on a individual to deliver the goods....look at the Indian record over the past 3 years .... there are hardly ay individual performances that stand out...it has always been a team effort that has boosted the victory for team India... Zaheer's injury I once again say is goig to hurt...however, we have bowlers who can pick 20 english wickets .... take a man to man comparison in terms of bowling....english bowlers don't even come into frame barring Swann..... and he can't pick 20 Indian Wickets... everytime... and I gyess you have forgotten the Mighty Indian batting line-up .... It's a joke even to think that England can bowl out this line-up .... Cheers !!!

  • zxaar on July 22, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @5wombats with the rate England are making runs, they will need 25 days to accumulate anything that would surpass what India would score in 2 days. As far as this test is concerned England are playing for draw. They have no desire to win, all their batsmen want is their personal records. And this is what they will get in the end.

  • on July 22, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    without Zaheer the indian bowling lacks sting and venom..the indian loss cud be huge were he suffer longer.Not the fittest athlete/fast bowler ever to ave worn a cricket shirt but he more than makes it up with cunning and experience..may ave been a bit rusty/undercooked going into this game at Lords after having missed the Carib leg..

  • awg3599 on July 22, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    As usual, the comments from the Indian "cricket fans" are almost as entertaining as the cricket itself - though I do often wonder whether I have been watching a different match! Let's be clear, on a day like yesterday you put a team in to bat if you win the toss and you expect the opposition to at least be 3 down by lunch if you have made use of the conditions. With the one exception, India's bowling was woeful backed up by some equally inept fielding. The one good thing - which might temper the comments of the Indian fans here - is that the forecast over the 5 days is pretty consistent so yesterday's conditions might be replicated on any other given day and then we will get a masterclass from Jimmy Anderson in swing bowling in English conditions (name a better bowler in the world in such conditions?) So we shall wait and see if 127-2 is a good or poor effort. I suspect in similar circumstances India would have been 160-8.....India's attack seem to be a one trick pony.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 22, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Trott should have been back. Dravid dropped a very very difficult one. We had to move on from there. But what with the next sitter that Dhoni got? That was unpardonable! I'm very disappointed with Dhoni's judgement there....

  • tjsimonsen on July 22, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    @hbkvarun2003: You are absolutely right that a side need to win. So how can you belive that India will win 2-0? After all that means that India will have to bowl out England twice several times, and given their perfaormance yesterday that seems a little unlikely - with the exception of Zaheer who may not last the series.

  • ansram on July 22, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    India was unlucky not to take a couple more wickets ( and they did lacked pace as well and Trott played really well) and a score like 120-4 would have been par on day one. 127-2 is deffo advantage England and sets up the platform to score at least 400 unless India can deliver on Friday and grab a couple of wickets ( and remove Trott) in quick time.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 22, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    "The speed of his recovery could hardly be more critical to the balance of the match." May I add, Mr. Miller, that the speed of his recovery could hardly be more critical to the balance of the series itself?

  • indianzen on July 22, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Now it has again come to hide poor fielders - we had to hide Sunil Gavaskar in 90s, and Ganguly in 2000s and Dravid now ? I am highly disappointed...

  • 5wombats on July 22, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    @mak102480; buddy - I was there and I know what I saw. Credit to Zaheer Khan who bowled well - but read my post again especially the bit that says "if they can't take wickets in conditions like that then they can't take wickets full stop. Round One to England" I completely agree with @Jackk12. This talk about Englands poor scoring rate is hysterical and I would have loved to have seen india do any better - they would have been out instead.... Anyway the great news is that the sun is shining brightly this morning, so I'm going back to Lords! England to still be batting by the end of today with score around 420. Trott 100, KP 100

  • Black_Rider on July 22, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    @stationmaster ::Agree with you mate..One factor to our lose in the ODI's was Bresnan.He bats,bowls and fields...He must play...

  • srivatsan on July 22, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    @@Chris - If Zaheer plays the entire series England will face humiliation. The fact they won Ashes convincingly does not mean they are formidable side. It was poor opposition and some stupid selections that resulted in 3-1. Zaheer has proved exact worth of opening pair Cook and Strauss - hugely overrated pair.

  • SpartaArmy on July 22, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    @Hammond: Dude first let ur team win a game and then talk, dont talk like an insane supporter. Why dont u analyze ur opening batsmen temperament and technique, one down lucky stars.

  • VijaySh on July 22, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    With all this nonsense about how England batted so well, 127 runs in 50 overs with multiple lives at home isn't exactly earth-shattering. If the indian bowling and fielding was so bad, then the English batting had to be very mediocre with that scoreline. Make up your mind England fans! And please stop fantasising how the english bowlers would have done in those conditions. Their time will come ando we shall see.

  • Cricket_Analyst on July 22, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    @Alexk400: Apt Comment.Ideally India in these conditions should have picked 4 wickets in the amount of overs bowled. Yesterday was simply England's Day, Coz they just did what they were supposed to do. Praveen Kumar & Ishant Sharma are good bowlers, however they bowled a bit short, which gave English Batsmen ample time to make adjustment. Somehow this has been the bane of Indian Bowlers for a long time. They have difficulty in judging the length to be bowled on a particular pitch. With regards to Rate at which runs were scored, England were scoring the runs at the best rate possible under the given conditions. Day 1 to England. However expect India to Bounce Back on Day 2. This match reminds me of Aus-Eng Ashes Test Match in 2005.http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/213856.html. The conditions and pitch looks very similar.

  • hbkvarun2003 on July 22, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    Dear Mr. Ward, I think you are out of your senses, if you even care to think that England can beat India...Can you tell me when was the last time that England won a series against..be it Tests or ODI's...You are talking about a team that is dominating world cricket both on and off the field... Definitely Zaheer's injury is a big blow to India's chances for a complete whitewash....however India would still be satisfied with a 2-0 result as England don't have the bowling to bowl out India twice...and if you know your cricket you would understand that it requires to bowl out your opposition twice to win a test match...

  • tjsimonsen on July 22, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Well, much will depend on the first hour or so this morning. The weather forecast for London is pretty good, so the ball probably won't do to much in the air after noon. If India can get a couple of wickets they will be in the driving seat. Otherwse I fear that there will be a lot of leather chasing and England could easily end the day on 450+. Without swing I fear that kumar will be cannon fodder. Yes the run ratewas low, but an RR of 2.5 and only two wickets down is way better than an RR of 3.5 and six down - which could easily have happened. Two wickets is really a meager harvest for India in those conditions.

  • bhaloniaz on July 22, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Trot and Bell are the keys. If india can get Trot in the morning, they r in business. Assuming Broad is not at his best, England depends a lot on Anderson and Tremlett.

  • Yorker_ToeCrusher on July 22, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    @Hammond : We will wait till end of the series to see who get hammered in tis seriest.England batsemen really struggled on day one and as always their fans and media talk much more than their bat does.

  • Siddharth_Pandit on July 22, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 - get you facts right mate, lara never troubled India when you compare his scores against other nations.

  • stationmaster on July 22, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    Bresnan must be gutted, and so am I as a fan of England - giving Broad a go on one of the most bowler friendly grounds he's likely to see this Summer, is just a massive injustice to fans and people hoping to see ENG pick their best side. Broad is a shadow of the man (or boy) that took wickets in the Ashes. Bresnan is accurate and nags batsmen into submission, whilst also applying pressure for the other bowlers. Broad is a 'bang it in and hope' bowler these days, pretending to be super aggressive, and all good batsmen (as India have quite a few !) know full well he can;t back it it. Bresnan builds pressure and thinks batsmen out, Broad just gifts them runs and hopes they get themselves out.

  • rahulcricket007 on July 22, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    so many left handed batsmens have troubled india for a long time ( like SANATH JAYASURYA, SAEED ANWAR , MATTHEW HAYDEN, BRIAN LARA,MARCUS TRESCOTHICK,KUMAR SANGAKARRA,MICHAEL BEVAN .............) good to see that we have zaheer now to take care of left handers. hats off to trott he played brilliantly.he will be the key batsmen in the series for england.

  • on July 22, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    I hope Zaheer recovers quickly, preferably by the second innings or not before. I don't want the Indian fans to have any excuses after their team gets beaten. Would love to have seen Anderson bowling in those conditions.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on July 22, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    @Jackk12, good joke. I like your sense of humor.

  • rahulcricket007 on July 22, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    @jackk12. england would also 4 wickets down if the catches of trott &pietersonwere not dropped at slip.

  • rahulcricket007 on July 22, 2011, 2:40 GMT

    @alexk400. praveen bowl very well .he was unfortunate for not getting wicket.

  • Love-Crick on July 22, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    Not an encouraging sign from India's best slip fielder. In the last test against WI (just two weeks back), Chanderpaul was dropped when he had made less than 30. He went on to hit a big hundred and played for a whole day and saved the match for WI. Today, again, two catches were dropped in the first slip (or there about). Guess what is the common denominator -- Rahul Dravid. I hope today's drops do not cost them a match. Is age catching up with Dravid? That may have even larger impact on his batting. Hope he compensates these lapse by batting huge.

  • Hammond on July 22, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    I wtached every ball yesterday and basically here is the breakdown of what I saw.. 1. Apathetic Indian fielding. 2. Short and wide bowling with the new ball. 3. Poor keeping. 4. Defensive field settings. 5. Two English wickets brought about by bad batting decisions not by good bowling. 6. Medicore off spin. 7. Unfit bowlers (Sharma excluded). 8. No real pace from the "quicks". I really don't think India can compete with a unit like England playing like this- they'd better hope their much vaunted batting line up doesn't fold because England are loving what they are seeing- medium paced dobbies backed up by useless fielding and defensive field placings. I am tipping Bell & Morgan will rip this threadbare attack apart.

  • sachinsjaihindustan on July 22, 2011, 2:21 GMT

    Credit to Jonathon Trott and KP for such good application. As you said 5wombats, their batting was very solid given that the ball was seaming and swinging significantly. On the other side, very poor intensity by India. This is the problem with them in overseas tours. Often in the first test their intensity is not where it should be, and it showed in their fielding. I thought the bowlers bowled decent lines and lengths overall, and created several chances, but weren't backed up by the fielders. I seriously hope they can fix that.

  • Anwaruzz on July 22, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    I am not fooled by the headline of this article, rather the indian bowlers toiled to pick up wickets in this damp swinging weather which shows how sorry the bowling skills are and with this added Zaheer injury India is not capable to take 20 ENG wickets in any test match of this series. Indians pray "sunshine shine go away let the rain come and play".

  • on July 22, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    Alexk400 Dew sir, thats the reason, damp fields, having done it in Argentina, doesn't bode well for a good game, as beamers are oft bowled.

  • Jim_Ribbans on July 22, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    Good day for England - a perhaps perdictable start from India. Point of order about Zaheer's dismissal of Strauss. There has been a lot of talk (on commentary and beyond) about how Zak set Strauss up and what a wonderful piece of bowling it was. Not sure meself - I'm thinking it was more a case of bad shot selection. The ball was way too wide to pull / hook and if Strauss had played the correct shot to that ball (drop the hands and let it go through to Dhoni or ramp it over the top to third man) we wouldn't be talking about how Zak 'out-thought' Strauss. Not sure any bowler sends down a bouncer two feet outside off stump and expects the batsman to pull it. Pretty convinced as well that Strauss would be putting it down to a s**t shot rather than great bowling. Not denigrating Zaheer in any way you understand, thought he bowled brilliantly, just not sure the Strauss wicket was quite as straighforward a piece of 'tactical bowling' as has been stated.

  • SnowSnake on July 22, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    England has a very poor strike rate on first day. A strike rate of less than 3rpo rarely wins matches regardless of how many wickets they lost. At this strike rate even if England bats entire day tomorrow, they will barely make it to 400 runs. Unless English or Indian bowlers show some outstanding performance, this test is headed towards a draw.

  • lokesh.agarwal on July 22, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    I suppose.. today was.. 55-45.. in favor of england... be it becoz of luck (Zaheer getting injured), or India's failure to grab their chances. Still balanced though.... India will be coming hard with all guns blazing tomorrow... watch out england!

  • on July 22, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    Heavens on the occasion of 2000th test says, we are part of this game too over the years..

  • Sankara on July 22, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    @shiv1011: Surely the catch off the Trott was Dhoni's? You have batsmen pulling out of a shot when the ball swings, when you go for a catch particulary in the slips or as a WK, you go for it whole hog or not at all. Not go half way and then pull out hoping that the distracted first slip will catch it. It is about time that we critically looked at Dhoni's keeping. As for the match situation, India should have picke up more than 2 wickets in close to 50 overs. 2 wickets in 300 balls (SR 150) in helpful surroundings is not quite enough. nglasnd should be happy to be where thery are

  • Meety on July 22, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    @phoenixsteve - 450 by stumps tomorrow? Hmmm - are you expecting 130 overs to be bowled tomorrow. India are pretty good at keeping the run rate down. -- -- -- I think whilst England out-pointed India today, there will be pressure on England as this test will be Englands best chance to beat India. India are slow starters to test series. 40 odd overs lost today - anymore & it will be a tough task to get thru 20 Indian wickets. Anyways - I can see India do a retro, & play for 4 draws, they have the batting class & depth to do it. Anyways the day was a bit of a tease.

  • on July 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    india is done atleast with this test pray that they can save the test and maybe a call fast bowler form india asap to cover for next tests before it is too late

  • Angad11 on July 21, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    MR RAHUL DRAVID THANK U SIR. SINCERE REQUEST TO STOP STANDING IN THE SLIPS. YOU ARE COSTING INDIA DEARLY

  • Alexk400 on July 21, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    I think praveen kumar and ishant sharma was out of focus. They really do not know how to bowl. In case of praveen kumar , he just do not have enough speed to make any real damage. He was struggling. if England want to play risk free game they can really play PK and ishant sharma. Both are not seems like getting wicket. Zaheer was threatening until he got injured as i predicted. Now it all depends on how much rain gona affect the game. They should start playing around 9:00, I don't know why they play 10:35. does n't make sense.

  • phoenixsteve on July 21, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    India won a vital toss and should be firmly in the driving seat after a very bowler friendly start to this historic test match, Instead it was England's day and their batters showed class, courage and grit. India didn't take their chances and if we have a full days play tomorrow England could well post 450+ It will then depend on how much conditions change and whether the Indian veterans can deliver.... Without Zaheer to face, England should be confident in carrying on where Somerset left off. It would have been fascinating to have watched Jimmy, Broady and Tremlett bowl under todays conditions? How many wickets would England have taken... maybe all of them! We will never know but this was a great day for test cricket and a not so good one for the reputation of English weather! Sloppy fielding by India cost them maybe 3 wickets and as they say "catches win matches"... Roll on day 2 and let's hope that Zaheer's injury is not too bad? COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • Herath-UK on July 21, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    Most concern is on Zaheer;rest of the bowling looked ordinary given the favourable conditions.Dravid's drop catch at slip is similar to Mahela's.Dilshan was injured at Lord's,hopefully no such calamity with Zaheer without whom India will get a good hiding. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Jackk12 on July 21, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    Under the conditions, England did well just to lose 2 wickets. If it was India, it'd be 5 or 6 down.

  • mak102480 on July 21, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    5wombats: You must be joking, right? I don't know what you were seeing but the bowling was high class. India could have had more wickets if not for their catching. All you need to look at is Eng's RR of 2.57 in close to 50 overs.

  • landl47 on July 21, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Zaheer was the only bowler to cause real problems for England today, so his injury is a major concern. Praveen swung the ball, but not late and not at pace. The batsmen had ample time to cover the line of the stumps and let the big outswingers zoom away towards first slip. He couldn't maintain the consistent line and length which is necessary to trouble top batsmen, especially at medium pace. Ishant didn't bowl well at all apart from one over to Pietersen and Harbhajan was just steady. Those three aren't going to dismiss England for a low total, if at all. This was a day tailor-made for bowling and for England to be 127-2 is a big missed opportunity for India.

  • on July 21, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    zak injury worried me alot...!!!

  • 5wombats on July 21, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    I thought England batted very well today - either that or india just didn't bowl well enough. When KP came out to bat I said to the guy next to me; "I'll give Pietersen half an hour" - but he just played very sensibly, very un-KP-like, very straight. I was amazed! The way England batted suggested high standards of application. They knew what was at stake and they weren't going to give it away. It was good tough Test cricket. india will know that they are in a tough battle because, frankly - if they can't take wickets in conditions like that then they can't take wickets full stop. Round One to England.

  • on July 21, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    PK failed today but he not Zaheer will cause more issues in the long run for England. The extravagance of Praveen Kumar's outswing is just an indicator of his lack of control but when he gets that control....life will be difficult for many. Zak being injured may look bad for now but I am sure Sreesanth will be upto the mark alongwith Ishant to get India atleast a 1-0 victory

  • rahulcricindia on July 21, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    well we should have 3 especially trott.....dhoni missed a big one....

  • on July 21, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    There were serious concerns when Zak did not take to the field in the second innings at Somerset. Suspicions that he was not fit have been realised. Zak seemed to be bowling well within himself and his fielding looked laboured. Last time Zak played was at the IPL. The IPL may have cost India the number one spot by ruling Shewag, Pujara and possibly Zak out of an important series

  • US_Indian on July 21, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Looks like Dhoni is going the route of favoritism rathen than logical, ratiionale thinking and the need of the situation. He should not have gone for Praveen as such, instead Munaf should have been picked for his teasing line and length and occasional bust of pace and bounce a la Mc.Grath style to bore opponents to death and induce mistakes either of his own bowling or atleast others to reap benefits, I hope this does not backfire on him and India should not lose the upper hand with their first defeat. I hope the Indian think tank comprising Coach, captain and seniors should have thought over it and discussed the wider picture, inspite of Munaf;s drawback as a inferior fielder and batsmen than Praveen, his experience and uncanny killing with his smile nature would have helped in good stead.

  • Praxis on July 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    I'm kinda disappointed with Indian bowlers, except Zaheer of course. He just showed us all today just how he might be the most valuable player in the test team. That bouncer to Strauss was simply a beauty, perfect implementation. But Indian fans shouldn't expect a string of woeful performances from him for the rest of the series. Ishant didn't bowl well at all, Parveen Kumar's apparent lack of pace may have deprived him of an wonderful spell with couple of wickets. Still, 4 more days to go, anything can happen. Pity it was only 50 overs of play, else we would've seen another fine century from Trott. But I simply don't know how KP survived over 100 balls, he looked messy!

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  • Praxis on July 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    I'm kinda disappointed with Indian bowlers, except Zaheer of course. He just showed us all today just how he might be the most valuable player in the test team. That bouncer to Strauss was simply a beauty, perfect implementation. But Indian fans shouldn't expect a string of woeful performances from him for the rest of the series. Ishant didn't bowl well at all, Parveen Kumar's apparent lack of pace may have deprived him of an wonderful spell with couple of wickets. Still, 4 more days to go, anything can happen. Pity it was only 50 overs of play, else we would've seen another fine century from Trott. But I simply don't know how KP survived over 100 balls, he looked messy!

  • US_Indian on July 21, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Looks like Dhoni is going the route of favoritism rathen than logical, ratiionale thinking and the need of the situation. He should not have gone for Praveen as such, instead Munaf should have been picked for his teasing line and length and occasional bust of pace and bounce a la Mc.Grath style to bore opponents to death and induce mistakes either of his own bowling or atleast others to reap benefits, I hope this does not backfire on him and India should not lose the upper hand with their first defeat. I hope the Indian think tank comprising Coach, captain and seniors should have thought over it and discussed the wider picture, inspite of Munaf;s drawback as a inferior fielder and batsmen than Praveen, his experience and uncanny killing with his smile nature would have helped in good stead.

  • on July 21, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    There were serious concerns when Zak did not take to the field in the second innings at Somerset. Suspicions that he was not fit have been realised. Zak seemed to be bowling well within himself and his fielding looked laboured. Last time Zak played was at the IPL. The IPL may have cost India the number one spot by ruling Shewag, Pujara and possibly Zak out of an important series

  • rahulcricindia on July 21, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    well we should have 3 especially trott.....dhoni missed a big one....

  • on July 21, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    PK failed today but he not Zaheer will cause more issues in the long run for England. The extravagance of Praveen Kumar's outswing is just an indicator of his lack of control but when he gets that control....life will be difficult for many. Zak being injured may look bad for now but I am sure Sreesanth will be upto the mark alongwith Ishant to get India atleast a 1-0 victory

  • 5wombats on July 21, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    I thought England batted very well today - either that or india just didn't bowl well enough. When KP came out to bat I said to the guy next to me; "I'll give Pietersen half an hour" - but he just played very sensibly, very un-KP-like, very straight. I was amazed! The way England batted suggested high standards of application. They knew what was at stake and they weren't going to give it away. It was good tough Test cricket. india will know that they are in a tough battle because, frankly - if they can't take wickets in conditions like that then they can't take wickets full stop. Round One to England.

  • on July 21, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    zak injury worried me alot...!!!

  • landl47 on July 21, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Zaheer was the only bowler to cause real problems for England today, so his injury is a major concern. Praveen swung the ball, but not late and not at pace. The batsmen had ample time to cover the line of the stumps and let the big outswingers zoom away towards first slip. He couldn't maintain the consistent line and length which is necessary to trouble top batsmen, especially at medium pace. Ishant didn't bowl well at all apart from one over to Pietersen and Harbhajan was just steady. Those three aren't going to dismiss England for a low total, if at all. This was a day tailor-made for bowling and for England to be 127-2 is a big missed opportunity for India.

  • mak102480 on July 21, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    5wombats: You must be joking, right? I don't know what you were seeing but the bowling was high class. India could have had more wickets if not for their catching. All you need to look at is Eng's RR of 2.57 in close to 50 overs.

  • Jackk12 on July 21, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    Under the conditions, England did well just to lose 2 wickets. If it was India, it'd be 5 or 6 down.