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Plays of the Day from the third day of the first Test between England and India at Lord's
July 23, 2011
Shoeing of the day
An inexperienced opening batsman in Test cricket has to expect his fair share of short stuff so it was no surprise to see England test out Abhinav Mukund. He showed impressive resilience although wasn't always convincing and had particular problems with one bouncer from Chris Tremlett. He took his eye off and was smashed on the grille. Abhinav fell over and in the process lost one of his shoes, but then realised Gautam Gambhir was coming through for a single so calmly picked up his boot and ran with it to the other end before lacing it back up again.
Ovation of the day
Lord's knows how to show great players respect - although Ricky Ponting may disagree - and as Abhinav made his way off having dragged on against Stuart Broad the ground rose as one. The crowd would have been appreciative of Abhinav's 49, but the reason they got to their feet was the man coming in at No. 4. Sachin Tendulkar emerged from the Long Room and down the steps to a wonderful reception and as the fans sat down they did so on the edge of their seats.
Let-down of the day
Either side of lunch the full house was treated to Test cricket in its purest form. England bowled superbly and Tendulkar played superbly. He was beaten plenty of times but responded with elegant cover drives which belied his two months with barely any cricket. Those sessions in the indoor school at Lord's had certainly worked. He moved into the 30s, where he has been before on this ground but never beyond, and then Broad returned from the Nursery End. The ball continued to swing, Tendulkar continued to play the drive. Something was going to give and it was Tendulkar. He went for another drive, the edge flew low to second slip where it was swallowed by Graeme Swann. Joy for England, but disappointment for so many others.
Slips of the day
England, though, were far from flawless in the field. Moments after Tendulkar's departure the slip cordon was in business again. Firstly VVS Laxman, before scoring, edged a regulation catch to Andrew Strauss who dropped one of the easier chances of his career. It continued a dodgy time for Strauss in the slips after he spilled two in his Championship outing for Middlesex last month. While he was still stewing from his mistake Rahul Dravid, on 42, edged to Swann at second slip. This one wasn't so easy - Swann had to move low to his right - but it was one he'd expect to hold. Somehow, amid all of this, Broad managed to hold himself together despite knowing three wickets could have been five.
Bouncer of the day
Normally a short ball from Broad wouldn't warrant much comment - except in the context of him needing to pitch the ball up - but, for the first time this season, he chose the right lengths at the right time (and hit the right areas). With Praveen Kumar swinging from the hip Broad was called back into the attack and from the field set it was clear he was going short. Having allowed Praveen to get off strike Broad had one further delivery to him at the end of the over and he made it count. Praveen went to hook a rapid bouncer and top-edged towards a back-tracking Andrew Strauss. In the stands, Chris Broad gave a little fist-pump.
Honour of the day
It seemed absurd that no one in this current India team had his name on the Lord's honours board. Now they have two. First it was Praveen and today one of the famous members of the top order got his name up in black ink. Everyone came hoping it would be Tendulkar, but instead it was Dravid with an outstanding, battling hundred to try and hold his team together. When he brought up three figures with a nudge through midwicket he celebrated with rare emotion. It showed how much it meant.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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