England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 2nd day

Five-star Praveen puts his hand up

India's bowling needed a leader and Praveen Kumar stepped up with his atypical aggression and prodigious swing

Sambit Bal at Lord's

July 22, 2011

Comments: 71 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen and Praveen Kumar congratulate each other, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day, July 22, 2011
Kevin Pietersen once suggested that Praveen Kumar could become unplayable by cranking up his pace, but the seamer knows his limitations well © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Praveen Kumar
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: England | India

Praveen Kumar will tell you that aggression isn't only about pace. He is generally a fiery man on the field, finishing every ball with a scowl, but it isn't about the body language either. It's the nature of his craft. You can't be a swing bowler without being aggressive. There is no other way to swing the ball than to pitch it up, and pitching the ball up is as aggressive as banging it short. If anything, it takes more courage - much more so at Praveen's pace.

Kevin Pietersen, his former captain at Royal Challengers Bangalore, once suggested to him that he could become unplayable if he managed to crank up his pace by five to 10 kph. It's not known how much of Pietersen's language Praveen understands but the tale goes that he gave his captain a smile and carried on with his business. He is a man with a keen understanding of his strength, and perhaps his limitations. He is no Dale Steyn.

From the moment it became clear that Zaheer Khan would watch the rest of the innings, and quite possibly the rest of the match from the players' balcony, India knew they needed nothing short of heroism from a couple of their remaining bowlers. As it turned out, two of their more experienced bowlers simply wilted. It was Praveen, playing only his fourth Test and by no means a certainty to make the cut before the Test, who ensured that India did more than chase the ball all day.

In overcast and swinging conditions on the first day he bowled well enough to have ended up with a couple of wickets. But some balls swung across the breadth of the stumps, making batsmen look helpless yet comfortably eluding the edge. Friday's sun brought blessings for batsmen, who began the day by driving confidently in front of the wicket and, when the first ten overs passed by without a wicket, it seemed the only twist possible in the match would come from the bowling change. The ground had been abuzz in the morning about the possibility of Mahendra Singh Dhoni filling up the bowling vacancy.

But Praveen, having swung most balls away from the right-handers, provided the breakthrough by swinging one back in to Trott and from here he always remained a threat. Four of his wickets came in two overs but he beat the bat in almost each of his overs as the seam stayed straight and the wrist manipulated the swing. Twice he got left-handers by swinging the ball in to them from outside the off stump. It's almost the perfect ball to the left-handers early in swinging conditions, but also the toughest to deliver for a right-hand bowler from over the wicket.

He also needed to be mindful of staying away from the centre of the pitch on his follow-through after being on the verge of a warning yesterday. He did so not by making changes to his bowling action, but by bowling slightly wide and delivering quite a few overs from round the wicket. The lines were straighter, though, the length marginally fuller, and while Praveen mostly delivers outswingers, the perennial threat of the one that bends back makes his stock ball even more effective.

But with his colleagues being lacklustre - Harbhajan Singh, who would have been expected to lead the attack, was disappointing again, offering neither control nor the sniff of a wicket - and the fielding being decidedly plodding, England ran up a score that will allow their bowlers to bowl to aggressive fields. India's batsmen have to rise above their collective record at Lord's to ensure that their thin attack isn't subject to further brutality in this Test, but Praveen has ensured that amid the wreckage today, there was at least one good story. And they will stop making fun of his pace, for a few days at least.

But in a quiet moment, while they lick their wounds, India might rewind to a crucial moment yesterday before it really unravelled for them. Zaheer Khan had produced a wonderful sequence of balls to earn an edge from Jonathan Trott, who has been generally unremovable at Lord's. Dhoni began going to his right as the man with the gloves must, but he stalled midway, allowing the ball to sail past. It was within the reach of Rahul Dravid at first slip, but Dravid was both unsighted and put off by Dhoni's initial movement and ball streaked to the boundary. Midway through his next over Zaheer walked off with a twinge in his right thigh.

Cut to today; midway into the second session Praveen Kumar, the new leader of the Indian attack, curved it away from Ian Bell to induce a meaty edge. Dhoni's dive was fully committed this time and he came up with the ball a few inches from the ground. There was a fundamental difference between the two instances. The cordon behind the wicket was so tight almost all day yesterday that the fielders could have touched each other by merely extending their arms. Today they switched to a more traditional formation with a healthy distance between the wicketkeeper and first slip. It was clear to Dhoni that only he could reach the ball.

The cordon has also been standing deep. The day before the Test Kiran More, who has experience here, was heard advising Dhoni that Lord's is a ground for standing forward to negate the wobble that the ball generates after passing the bat. But Dhoni, and it's the wicketkeeper who sets the distance, has been standing deep despite collecting plenty of balls below his knee, and indeed some at ankle height. Ishant Sharma, who didn't have the best of days, did induce an edge from Pietersen long before he got to his hundred. It was off a drive, and there is never anything coy about a Pietersen drive, and the ball travelled straight to second slip, but fell comfortably short.

Small things like these can sometimes turn a Test.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

@zxaar; india all out for 286 - how was that for you? And who I wonder has 0% chance of winning now? Go on - give us a clue.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

@zxaar--- 2 Full days? Really? Which match are you following? And about Irfan Pathan...What has he done to deserve a place in this side? Amit Mishra in place of Harbhajan would be the only change that I would have in this team... But, then how would 'Harbhajan make it large?'

Posted by rohanblue on (July 23, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

why the hell irfan pathan nt in d team???????? ishant is useless, so as bhajji, seriously india need to groom some young fast bowlers......

Posted by Singh_81 on (July 23, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

I am reading comments by everyone, but plz consider that india is number 1 on the basis of their batting,predominently, bowling is essential but hard for other teams to get through our middle order,so do take bowling that seriously or KP's double hundered.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

PK was expected to swing & swing he did, & gain a decent 5wk haul, but what abt Harbhajan? Since on the WI tour, agst a side that is known to be weak agst spin HS was unimpressive. And his performance at Lords was no difference. Lets C how Swann goes.

Posted by indianzen on (July 23, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

a typical KP, hyping himself? oh come one, Zaheer is out, Praveen has no pace, Ishant's doesnt swing, Bajji is completely out of form, even Water boys can hit a double hundred. Send back Bajji, Sreesanth and put back Ashwin and Varun aaron/Umesh yadav and then ask the english men to talk...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

Seriously Harbhajan needs to be sent back to India. His bowling has been so pathetic that perhaps even Raina can bowl better. Rahul Sharma and Ashwin or for that matter even Ojha and Mishra would have been miles better because at least these 4 spinners would have tried really hard to make thnigs happen even if they had no experience.Ashwin is innovative and new to English batters and he could have been surprise. Heck for that matter even Rahul Sharma would have probably posed more difficulties for English despite the fact that Rahul has no test match experience. Ojha and Mishra atleast seem to try hard. Harbhajan just seems to go bowling predictable deliveries with no spin and neither does one get feeling his bowling will purchase wickets.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 9:34 GMT)

Please BCCI ...send HARBAJAN back to INDIA. he doesnt deserve a chance in the team. Amit & Ashwin will do better than him.

Posted by timelord24 on (July 23, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

the thing with indian fielders is they never come up when the pitch is low and slow. even if you come up a few yards and the ball flies towards your chest,you can still take the catch.but when you stay back and the ball drops in front,there is so much frustration for the bowler.

Posted by Ganchu on (July 23, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

Its time to think for Mr.Bhajji, all these years because of Kumble and mostly due to favourable Indian pictches he got the wickets.It is time now to groom some one like Oja or Mishra or Rahul sharma and intrestingly instead of taking wickets he doing the batting.

Posted by DINESHCC on (July 23, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

WHETHER REALLY A SPINNER IS NEEDED IN ENGLAND PITCHES? BETTER INDIA CAN MAKE USE OF PART TIME SPINNERS FOR THE NEXT 3 TESTS AND IN BHAJJI'S PLACE A SPECIALIST BATSMAN OR A BOWLER CAN BE INCLUDED.

Posted by zxaar on (July 23, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

@5wombats you are talking as if Trott and Petersen has has added 1000 runs or so in these two days. England has made 470run in two complete days. They have now 0 % chance of winning this match.

Posted by Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on (July 23, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

So Harbhajan,the so called leading spinner bowls 210 balls and goes wicketless at 4.34 an over and Raina bowls 16 balls and gets a wicket although he gave a few runs. Seriously, why is Harbhajan even in the team? Raina has a better bowling strike rate than him.

Posted by Ravs1504 on (July 23, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

Praveen was the only bowler who showed some heart while englad were running away with the game.. time again Ishant contunued his rubbish line way outside off not troubling the batsmant at all... barring few deliveries which he bowled fuller and in line with the stumps..MSD bowled better line then what Ishant did. Its quite bizzaare how quicky Ishant transforms himself from a threateninng bowler to a pedestrian one... Bhajji should've shown bit more courage then what he did on the ground.. being experienced and supposedly leader of the attack..fair enough a catch was dropped but that shoud'nt stop him from lifting other bowlers around him..very very dissapointing show by Bhajji..

Posted by RS_Cric_11 on (July 23, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

Dhoni should come a yard forward given indian bowler does not get the bounch as other tall bowler in the world and by doing so he 'll dictate slip cordon to come a yard forward as well. Mukund seems to be a good prospects for india. If he sticks to the basics by playing the balls with soft hand and playing lil late. I predict a draw to this match. If India can bat the whole day today, India 'll score some 320+.. I 'll assure you England 'll suffer in the second inngs.. Mind you Gambhir and Laxman are second innigs players....

Posted by KricketWicket on (July 23, 2011, 8:00 GMT)

Indias bowling attack for the rest of the series should exclude Bhajji and Zak. Zak unfortunate but cannot risk carrying a bowler with a dodgy hamstring simply because he is so good. What if he breaks down again?

Option 1: Play 5 bowlers (both Sree and Munaf or Mishra). Drop Bhajji and Zak.

Option 2: Send Zak home to recover, replace him with Ashwin or Chawla or Murali Karthik. Bring one of these people on as the spinner and play Sree with Pravin and Ishant.

The bowling coach has a lot of work to do with Ishant who really needs to change his lenght and his line needs to be much closer to off.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2011, 7:57 GMT)

@Tahir1234; Day one was not "virtually washed out"! 49.2 overs were bowled - over half a full days play. It seems to me that you have conveniently overlooked that fact that Day One was a perfect day for bowling, and that india hardly took advantage of it.

Posted by RS_Cric_11 on (July 23, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

Well done PK and without support from the other end as well. Thats a great sign of a true champion. He is making up for the loss during WC 2011. I 'ld like to add some more comments --- ppl are commenting on bhajji, ishant and asking to replace with aswin and shreesanth. I have not seen an erratic bowler as shreesanth and I can assure you aswin is not a test bowler - not for atleast 2-3 years before he pick up the variation apart from the carrom ball. Give ishant one more innings and he 'll show the matel in him. Guys, he is not a swing bowler at all... he hit the deck hard... but considering the fact that he was not given the new ball.. he is already mantally down after getting the MoS in WI. Dhoni - has also done couple of odd fielding --may be the influence of Duncan (Coach), by not having a Short leg catching position to both Ishant and Bhajji. English player are mainly onside player so it is essential to have a short leg and for ishant it is essential.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 7:11 GMT)

Atleast keep Ashwin around to have some pressure on Harbhajan. I don't know how much of batsman Bhajan on a given day is. Is he good enough a batsman to bowl 40 overs with less wickets to boast than Raina. Raina comes over and usually takes a wicket. Why Bhajji Why ? Where are the Doosras and those off the deck zippers :(

Posted by skumarpp on (July 23, 2011, 6:39 GMT)

Swing is the key in England,and it is Praveen's main asset.It was wonderful to watch him last 2 days!If Zaheer was there in support there,England would not have reached 300 mark.And Harbhajan is finished ,atleast in Test.Really sad to see Indian team without a quality Spinner.And Ishant was always like this .Sreesanth also can swing the ball and would have been far better than Ishanth,but it was hard to select after he missed the West indies trip,and if he was selected the man missing would have been Praveen not Ishant! Hope they will get things right in the next match.Main concern is all 5 seam bowlers in the team are injury prone.At Lords maximum India now can expect is a hardfought Draw!

Posted by JustIPL on (July 23, 2011, 6:29 GMT)

PK is a good ODI bowler and difficult to hit around and got benifitted by English approach to compile big total and put India in before the end of the day. While day one was virtually washed out, the second day around 350 runs were scored which proves that despite 5 wickets haul PK had no authority to exercise other than getting wickets during the hit out. He should have been more effective with the new ball. Bell's wicket fell when the second new ball was 12 overs old. It is nice to see Pietersen having sympathy with him as he made him out of attack and PK could not stop him from double ton.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

Harbhajan singh is a useless bowler..He has under performed in almost every series..and is only in the team on the basis of his performance against australia in 2001.The team can't carry the burden of such a useless fellow.He's not in the team to bat but his main duty is of a genuine spinner which he has failed to perform.I think its the time we should replace him now as soon as possible.With him its like playing with 3 bowlers only.Even Suresh raina has picked up wickets where as harbhajan has falied to peform consistently.The place in the team should be basis on performance not on the basis of names.If the seniors can get axed..y not harbhajan??

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

Some people just can't stop themselves can they @Mohaseen Khan; "eng will be next no.1 just dreaming because they have few chockers from sa so im sure they cant be no.1" - are you talking about the "chokers" Trott - 70 and Pietersen 202 not out? My my - if that's choking lucky for india becasue god knows what they would have scored if they hadn't "choked". Do you know what "choker" means @Mohaseen Khan ?

Posted by Gizza on (July 23, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

Harbhajan must go. He's been pathetic for so long. Glad to see most of the comments agreeing with on. There are normally few protectors of Bhajji who say he has 400 wickets. Well Praveen Kumar only has 23 Test wickets but in the last 2-3 years he has bowled 50 times better than Harbhajan (I know the comparison isn't perfect because PK is a swing bowler and Harbhajan is a spinner but the point is still made). Get Mishra in. He's a leg-spinner and English batsmen hate leg-spin generally. Strauss is left-handed so he did in the practice game but bring him against right-handed Pommies and Mishra will get wickets. Even when Warne was at 50% he could get 5 wickets in an English innings easiily. Such is their weakness. Also Zaheer needs to get lose weight. So embarrassing that India's most experienced pace bowler is fat. This would never happen in Aus, SA, Eng, Pak or WI or anywhere apart from India.

Posted by aarpee2 on (July 23, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

Hats off to PK for manfully carrying the Indian attack manfully on his shoulders-the other end both Bhaji and ishant looked pedestrian.Bhajji ,especially with Zaheer out could have at least tried to stem the flow of runs to keep the England total manageable-instead he was initially milked for runs and later thrashed at will-high time it is made clear he can't take his place for granted with Ojha and Ashwin breathing down his neck and sitting out.After being in the side for a decade and 400 test wickets under his belt this is most disappointing performance for a frontline strike bowler-he looked ordinary even bowling to tailenders with no clue how to manage the situation in the interest of the team. I think his strike rate has come down and is less effective after Kumble quit the game.Part time off-spinner Raina appears more effective in his short spells with breakthroughs

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

It's such a shame for us, BCCI can't able to recruit quality bowlers from such a cricket frenzy massive nation. They should be more aggressive in their approach, they always show more aggression in pocketing the money rather than strengthening the team. See what BCCI has achieved so far other than pocketing billions of dollars by creating IPL even though it was not their idea (it was a copy from ICL concept). If Indians won't support or view cricket matches what will be situation of BCCI, they will be begging in front of sports ministry like another neglected sport boards. It is simply because of the likes of legendary players such as Kapil, Gavaskar, Guddappa, Srikkanth, etc etc now we are in a controling position. Now its the time to bring some change in the way our boards operates, likes of Pawar and etc etc old rat bags should go away and give the way to the younger generation so as to catch the evolutionary trends.

Posted by anshu.sunny on (July 23, 2011, 5:33 GMT)

harbhajan is till the best spinner India has..i can understand guys getting carried away by Ashwin getting few wickets in 20-20 that too particularly in Chennai which prepared rank turners fr all its home games.

why dont peopel check out the supposedly greatest spinner Muralitharan..what he has done in Lords that too on first day or second?

Posted by stambake on (July 23, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

good to see that seam bowler praveen kumar got wickes in 2nd day... got half of english batsman, over all good bowling and he was near to hattrick but missed it.. i think he need bowling support from other end when ishant and harbhajan were wicketless and zaheer is struggling yet...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

this indian side will get better after tese ageing players retires..those who commenting that eng will be next no.1 just dreaming because they have few chockers from sa so im sure they cant be no.1 and also given their poor record on spinning tracks they cant beat sl in sl ,pak in pak/dubai ,ind in india is just impossible task..this guy anderson looks noob when he is bowling on asian tracks..only flintoff was the man caused trouble on asian wickets..yes harbhajan needs to throw out and bring in ashwin and also if dravid retires no one going to drop catches like he did on day1..and we have lot of potential as u see praveen taking 5 wickets on lords in his 1st test that itself tells u the story..so eng guys keep dreaming..and keep importing players from outside still u cant beat india

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 5:01 GMT)

Congrats PK!! You really played your heart out in the 1st innings. But I feel sad b'coz there was no other bowler gave him good support after Zaheer went out. And the few mistakes by the fielders cost a lot. What to do? they are human beings. It happens sometimes. Best of luck PK and the whole Indian team..

Posted by Looch on (July 23, 2011, 4:47 GMT)

Praveen Kumar seems have what it takes! Great skills, an ability to swing the ball both ways, a great heart and stepped up when his side needed him, I look forward to following what I think will be a long career.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 23, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

i hope zaheer will be fit for the next matches as india desperately need him. losing him india are playing only with one strike bowler(PK) . in place of ishant , sreesanth was far abetter choice as he bowls with lot of aggression . ishant 's body language was very dull .he was looking rubbish in the field .giving too much width to KP for playing shorts .no aggression from him. he is a disgrace to the indian team.please save the match indian batsmens.

Posted by rahulcricindia on (July 23, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

@5wombats..if u do not know praveen has swung it throughout tha day...ho got his two successive wickets in post lunch time when sun was shining.....anderson can never swing the ball in INDIAN conditions but praveen can..... Comming to this series in this match lords .. is best chance for england to win as after this it will be trent bridge another swinging conditions but remaining two matches in edgbaston and oval are the batting friendly wicket.....very tough to beat indian batting and india then......surely its now or never foe england.....i can see india winning or drawn series..

Posted by varunrallapalli on (July 23, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

Harbhajan Singh's overseas record is a poor one. He is a tiger only at home.Going wicketless, being an experienced campaigner, in the absence of ace bowler Zaheer Khan makes a a mockery of his 400 test career wickets.

Posted by anurag4u10 on (July 23, 2011, 4:23 GMT)

sumbdy b4 wi tour posted dat pk is nt a test bowler nd he can do well only in limited overs. on d contrary i feel dat he is one bowler who has d ability to remain consistent over a longer span of his career. he may not be quick bt he has got movement, attitude and patience dat is required off a bowler 2 perfrm in test cricket.

Posted by Karthik_CricketFan on (July 23, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

Its time Bhajji makes way for young spinners like Ashwin.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 23, 2011, 3:11 GMT)

No words of praise can do justice to describe this feat by PK. Absolutely no pressure from the other end. Batsmen could easily have seen him off. But they just couldn't. Well done PK! I'm in awe! Khilake tho dekho - as you once said and now here we are and rightly so. Honour to watch this hitherto unseen swing and seam bowling display. Excellent picture of two buddies of IPL. It can't get any better - an honour to watch PK with that unbelievable swings, his buddy KP getting a double century and crossing 6000 runs and they both feeling happy for each other's achievements. Can we come out of blinkered nationalisms for a minute and enjoy these sweet nothings? Cricket is the winner here.

Posted by gitapat on (July 23, 2011, 2:44 GMT)

As predicted ,Harbhajan Singh was ineffective.I sincerely hope that Dhoni & co.would realize the folly of having selected him.The face-saving device would be to claim that he had been injured and bring in Ashwin as a replacement.And do it even if he scores a few runs as his role is that of a strike bowler and not a mediocre all-rounder.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (July 23, 2011, 2:33 GMT)

Ishan and Bhajji were no show on the field. THey just went through the motion and wicketless too. Effectively, India was with only one bowler on the field.

Posted by zingzangspillip on (July 23, 2011, 2:02 GMT)

Praveen has always impressed me whenever I've seen him. It startled me that some of the Indians on here thought Sreesanth was a certainty for selection, but Praveen is a far more professional cricketer, and deserves his place.

Posted by Rahulbose on (July 23, 2011, 1:38 GMT)

I don't know why people are surprised that Praveen is doing well in Eng. His type of bowling has always been a success there. I had posted as much before this series. India had bad luck with Zaheer and their fielding was bad because Indians just are not used to playing in the cold.

Posted by US_Indian on (July 23, 2011, 1:14 GMT)

@venki_indian: I fully endorse your comments sir. On any given day except a real off day, I could vouch for Munaf with his easy action, unerring length and swing ( boht ways) and an occasional bouncer and good hidden change of pace, smiling face and hidden aggression and uncanny ability with a shrewdness which defies his appearance can choke one end and even run amock into the opposition teams but Lo and Behold, Dhoni has different ideas, and one more bowler if really taken good care off will be Shreeshant with all his short comings, he is one strike bowler in the real sense with lots of aggression if handled properly he could be a match winner. I would rather prefer to go with 4 pacers and raina, mukund, sachin pitching in with a few overs of spin could be a good answer or may be bring in Mishra for Harbhajan, once again Dhoni has a different thought process, try and give chances to someone who is real hungry to grab the opportunity and prove rather than sitting on the past laurels.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 0:54 GMT)

@alexk400: i love sreesanth but you should have seen his physique in the practice game..he has put on weight and looks underbowled..the lack of discipline is visible. otherwise dhoni always picks him for tests and even for the wc final he picked sree.and everyone knows who disappointed in that game

Posted by JGibson on (July 23, 2011, 0:36 GMT)

PK needs all the support and cheers from every fan. Zaheer's fitness is an issue. He looks overweight and is not fit. Indian players are poor fielders and runners between wickets. There will be pressure on the so called "mighty batting line up". It would be good to see English fast bowlers have a go at the over rated Indian batsmen. If Tendulkar scores a century it will be a great sight but it does not take away the importance of his side's sloppy performance on the field. They looked lazy and lacked professional instincts.KP scored a good century and let us hope it is Tendulkar or Drvid or another batsmen as we need a close contest. It will be in the interest of the game. I have a feeling that England will win the series but if it is a close fought series, it will be even better. It does not matter if India win the series but seeing their indifferent bowling and club level fielding one would be hard pressed to expect this to happen, But, stranger things have happened in this world.

Posted by payne6282 on (July 23, 2011, 0:36 GMT)

Really..Harbhajan Singh must step up..or he should make way for other quality spinners.. agreed the pitch was supposed to be a seamer's one...but really..as one of the most experienced bowlers in the side besides Zaheer, he should have bowled well irrespective of the type of pitches provided..2-3 games are fine..but this is becoming too much and he seems to be a liability now..I have never seen him perform on pitches which aides seamers...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 0:28 GMT)

PK is a bowler in the mould Of Terry Alderman or Martin Bicknell however he reminds me more of Corey Collymore post stress fractures

Posted by itsfredtitmus on (July 22, 2011, 23:26 GMT)

Thought Praveen was excellent, a real throwback to another era. People seem to be missing the most obvious comparison though...Mohammed Asif, who in a similar way against in England before his ban. If Praveen can equal his career then Indians can count themselves very lucky.

However, as well as he and Khan bowled, I feel their performances have been overrated somewhat. In similar conditions to yesterday, and even allowing for the better batting conditiona today, England would not have allowed a team to score 480odd. When conditions favour swing bowling England tend not to let the batting side off the hook.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 22, 2011, 23:23 GMT)

I am no sreesanth fan but this pitch was taylor made for sreesanth. Dhoni should hide his hate of sreesanth and should have picked sreesanth over useless ishant sharma.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

this is flat track with little swing its another story that there are 3 masters of swing in this game zaheer,praveen and anderson look what this guy praveen did india with 3 bowlersbhajji strugling ishant bowling first time at lords ya it can be hard first time u need to practicein these ocnditions,slop, ur line has to change he will get better if zaheer comes back series would be close cos england has only 2 good bowlers just like india i wont say swann would be a big factor on these tracks ,against gambhir,sachin,laxman who imo are best players of spin by far and dravid and others are maybe not that gr8 players of spin but still much better then any english batsman in terms of playing spin

Posted by on_the_level on (July 22, 2011, 22:53 GMT)

The first innings reply to a score in excess of 450, on a pitch which is offering some assistance to the bowlers, is always tricky. I hope the Indian batsmen avoid looking at the scoreboard, and simply play each ball on its merit. It's very easy to get into the mentality of Test-saving mode, rather than Test-playing mode. To use the execrable saying, "just play your natural game".

Posted by Venki_indian on (July 22, 2011, 22:42 GMT)

Munaf would have been a better option over isthanth, and mishra over bhjjji

Posted by NBRADEE on (July 22, 2011, 22:38 GMT)

How come none have noticed the prodigous bending of his elbow during his delivery? I looked at him while he was in the Caribbean and wondered about it continuously!

Posted by bhaloniaz on (July 22, 2011, 22:36 GMT)

PK is not a fluke. Its glad to see someone comparing PK with Imran. Many quicks got a lot of wickets when they were no longer fast. Erratic bowlers no matter how fast would not survive very long in the test cricket.

Posted by india-the-worldchampions on (July 22, 2011, 22:27 GMT)

@5wombats, PK was swinging enough to get lbw of trott when the sun was shinning. isn't? PK is the best swing bowler as it come naturally to him.

Posted by zxaar on (July 22, 2011, 22:21 GMT)

Two days of batting and England scored mighty 400odd runs. Assuming that they will play again they want to get indians out TWICE in say 1.5 or 2 days on this flat pitch. Way to go for number one ranking.

Posted by bhaloniaz on (July 22, 2011, 22:17 GMT)

Indians are obsessed with speed, but you donot need top speed to become a good bowler. PK only got a chance because Munaf, Zaheer, Sreesanth were not available. Ishant is not at all predictable. He is the hit the deck kind of a bowler and he does not have 90+mph speed. So he might be great for a test or two then inconsistencies fill in the gaps. India should play PK, munaf or Irfan (as an allrounder), Zaheer. Then Ishant/Sreesanth can go back to Ranji and prove them to be the top bowlers in Ranji. Misra is a good bowler (I am disappointed how fans donot even check stats to write off someone). Ashwin may be good too. We cannot expect a spinner to be the main strike bowler. In that case opponent would score 400 runs by the time the spinner claims 5 wickets.

Posted by deep123 on (July 22, 2011, 22:13 GMT)

Ishant is so out of rhythm for some reason. He needs to use his brains properly instead of trying for more pace. In WI series he did so much hard work and had great determination but he is missing that in this test.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 22, 2011, 21:50 GMT)

@rahulcricindia; correction - good though he was Kumar was not swinging it big whilst the sun was shining. He was not swinging it all day (he got tired!). PS you are right though about Harbijan and Sharma. I heard that his full name is Ishant Bowlatthestumpsever. (with thanks to our friend @landl47 :-)) @the_blue_android; I don't think there is going to be much rain, but I agree a draw is indias main hope now.

Posted by ChuckyDoll on (July 22, 2011, 21:44 GMT)

Looks like runs are coming @3.3 'ish per over. Which means that if India bats the full 90 overs tomorrow, they should get 300+. Ideal would be to bat until 4th day lunch. Someone needs to bat all day,...... (hint..hint) chance for Mukund to stamp his authority.

Posted by Nampally on (July 22, 2011, 21:34 GMT)

It was a magnificent bowling by Praveen Kumar that kept India in the game.He put on a one man show after Zaheer left the scene due to injury. In fact he wasd unlucky in not getting more wickets and earlier too. Every batsman played and missed edging Praveen's great swingers which can be compared to a great England bowler, Alec Bedser. KP was extremely lucky that he survived his early 20 runs at the crease. He was all at sea and with a bit of luck India could have got him much earlier. If only India had Zaheer boeling along with Praveen it could have have got the England team out for less than 250 runs. Taking inspiration of this magnificient lion hearted Praveen, I hope each of the Indian batsman stands there and gets runs. The way Mukund & Gambhir started, if they continue in the same vein India will put up a a competitive total. Do not rely on Sachin. Each batsman must contribute and play with grit & determination.It is time to showcase the Indian batting with stirling score.Jai Ho!.

Posted by DaGameChanger on (July 22, 2011, 21:28 GMT)

I never seen any bowler swing so much without touching 130kmph almost like Imran Khan in later half of his career. He is a great talent and if they play him regularly with Zaheer Khan, he can be genuine wicket-taker option for India and not to mention he is no mutt with the bat either.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 22, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

THE WORLDS #1 TEST SIDE EVER TO HAVE SUCH POOR BOWLING,ONCE ZAHEER WAS OUT WITH THE INJURY ,IT LOOKED DOWNSIDE ALL THE WAY THROUGH-DO NOT EXPECT BHAJJI TO TAKE MORE THAN 3-4 WKTS THIS SERIES-ISHANT LOOKS CLUELESS PRAVEEN HAS PROVEN THAT HE IS THE MOST SKILLFUL AND THE BEST SWING BOWLER IN THE WORLD -TAKING 17 WICKETS IN 4 TESTS AT AN AVERAGE OF 21-THAT TOO BOWLING AT BETWEEN 75-77 MPH-THATS TALENT,AS PETERSEN HAD TOLD ANOTHER 5-10 MPH,PRAVEEN WOULD BE UNPLAYABLE- CONGRATS TO PRAVEEN FOR NAME ON LORDS BOARD-YOU DESERVE IT

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 22, 2011, 21:12 GMT)

I hope some great Indian back-against-the-wall batting and lots of help from the weather gods can salvage a draw for India in this test. For the next text unfortunately, we only have Amit Mishra who is not of international quality. Where is R Ashwin? He could have done so much more with his bounce and the zip. Ishant must be given another go, and if he doesn't perform, he must make way for Sreesanth or Munaf. Ishant's and Bajjis peformance today was pathetic.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 21:03 GMT)

Excellent Sambit the last part about wicket-keeping, not least because it is my (amateur) trade. Most articles always tend to focus on eulogising, comparing, exalting or whining about one thing or another. Any cricketing insight always comes like a breath of fresh air. That it is from a non-playing expert, makes it even better!

Posted by pr3m on (July 22, 2011, 21:01 GMT)

Wonder why Dhoni won't listen to the seniors and step up. Hope he learns in the second innings, what he failed to learn even in the second day.

Posted by rahulcricindia on (July 22, 2011, 20:52 GMT)

praveen is the genuine swing bowler ....he can swing..new,semi new and the old ball in any given condition...sunny or overcast.......even anderson can not swing the ball whole day like praveen did...ishant and bhajji were pathetic

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 20:41 GMT)

Digging deep Sambit, India should have bowled England out today. Harbajhan has been..... I think you are going to need a whole load of small things to turn the England juggernaut.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 22, 2011, 20:20 GMT)

This lad bowled very well. Credit where it's due. He was doing it yesterday too. The other bowlers were hopeless and gave him no support - but Kumar had it hooping around. Good bowling & name on the Honours Board. Well done. The problem is, as the song says; "anything you can do Anderson can do better"....

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 20:19 GMT)

As an Englishman I'd like to congratulate Praveen Kumar on his performance today. Unfortunately, in this day and age of huge scores and batsmen taking all the plaudits, it's unlikely that his efforts will be remembered for anything more than an extra name on the Lord's honours board.

The loss of Zaheer was huge for India, and if Kumar hadn't stepped up, Indian could have been dead and buried in this first test. As it stands, they are still in the game, and favourable overhead conditions for the batsman tomorrow could see the tide turned in their favour. Kumar's performance today would have made Zaheer himself proud - infact I would venture to suggest that Zaheer would not have been capable of what Kumar produced today - to carry the Indian attack for the entire day with absolutely no help from the other end was a remarkable effort. I do not think Zaheer would have kept up his intensity for as long as Kumar did today.

KP deserves the plaudits, but so does PK. Both shoud be proud.

Posted by HiteshbhaiPatel on (July 22, 2011, 20:12 GMT)

Any one needs to ask why Sreesanth wasn't pick?........oh let me guess nope...lol

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 22, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

This series is very interesting. Excellent performance by England so far. Tomorrow is gonna be fun!

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Sambit Bal Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.
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