England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 4th day

India wary of over-rate problem

Andrew McGlashan at Lord's

July 24, 2011

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni has a bowl, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day, July 24, 2011
MS Dhoni's appearances with the ball have not helped India's over-rates at Lord's © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Ishant Sharma
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: England | India

India have made a conscious effort to speed up their over-rate to help the captain, MS Dhoni, avoid being banned for the next Test at Trent Bridge. Dhoni is currently sitting on two fines having previously been penalised against South Africa and West Indies leaving him one away from a suspension.

Although no official figures are yet available, as any over-rate penalties are only confirmed at the end of a Test, it is believed that India are significantly below the required 15 overs per hour that Test teams should be reaching. England aren't blameless - few sides reach the minimum requirement these days - but unlike Dhoni, Andrew Strauss doesn't currently have a record.

India's over-rate hasn't been helped by Dhoni himself deciding to bowl at various stages during the game, which meant changing equipment with Rahul Dravid, and Ishant Sharma admitted it was something the bowlers were being reminded of. "We did talk a lot about the over-rates," he said. "Dhoni just said take your time and carry on with your bowling but wherever we could cut a minute try and do that."

When Dhoni was recently fined following the Barbados Test against West Indies, India were found to be three overs behind their requirement at the end of the match so if the sums add up in the same way here Dhoni could be in trouble.

First and foremost, though, Dhoni will be concentrating on India trying to save this Test and escape Lord's still all-square in the series. Midway through the afternoon session it appeared his team could be without a key batsman as Gautam Gambhir left the field following a fierce blow at short leg from a Matt Prior sweep. However, x-rays revealed no break and he was back in the dressing room before play ended. "He is getting icing on his elbow and he will be fit to bat tomorrow," confirmed the team manager.

With Gambhir suffering an external blow he can bat at the fall of the next wicket if India opt to use him that way, but Sachin Tendulkar will have to wait until the time he was off the field has elapsed, or five wickets have fallen, after he missed the first two sessions to try and recover from a viral infection.

Tendulkar returned to Lord's and fielded after tea but if India don't lose five batsmen he'll need to wait until around 2pm on the final afternoon before he can come to the crease. It is likely to be his last chance to register a Test hundred at Lord's, but he'll be more concerned about helping his team secure a draw.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by anver777 on (July 25, 2011, 9:29 GMT)

Over rates in recent matches had been a major issue to Dhoni for sometime now.... as a leader he need to correct it fast, otherwise he'll be in trouble & his absent can also hurt the Ind team specially as a captain .....

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (July 25, 2011, 9:20 GMT)

It's important not to lose the first test which India often does on away tours. With the fab 3, even if one of them is a bit under the weather, we can reasonably hope to do that. If you remember Sachin's wicket in the first innings, he was in top form when he got out to a nice enough delivery from Broad. I think what will determine the outcome today will be how well England bowlers bowl more than how well the Indian batsmen bat. Broad didn't seem to be as effective yday as he was on day 3. But it may have been due to batting in the sun for a long time before he had to bowl. If India survive the first hour without any wickets, I would be willing to bet 100 pounds that the result will be a draw. And to me that is a win.

Posted by Shailendra_Malik on (July 25, 2011, 9:08 GMT)

I can only see Dravid standing between a loss and draw. and seriously do we really believe resuming at 2 PM Sachin can still score a hundred here ???? A 38 year old guy with viral, only Indians can raise such expectations.

As for now, Lax and RD are the best combo to bail us out from this rut and I believe Lax's 4th Innings heroics off late will get a boost by todays performance. It would be a memorable draw though if India pulls it off.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

India seems to be fighting it's wretched luck more than it seems to be fighting England right now, although no one should take anything away from the English. They have been excellent. Wish they played the same way when Australia was dominant. India could have done with another team irritating the Aussies!!!! :D But with the next test starting on Friday, India would do well to look at a balling combination of Sreesanth-Ishant-Praveen-Mishra-Harbhajan. And Dhoni needs to bowl to Raina more and more if he is destined to be Saurav's long awaited replacement at 6. Or else, they should look at a guy like Irfan Parthan. That would weaken the batting but we have the best batting line up in the world. The top six should be good enough. And Irfan is technically pretty good. We have seen that before.

Posted by Prakashshah on (July 25, 2011, 8:30 GMT)

Hard Luck england we will not loose this match for sure.Cause the RLGSRD factor.

Rahul, Laxman , Gautam, Sachin, Raina & Dhoni factor.hahahaha

Also i have a funny feeling that Rahul and Laxman are on the verge to repeat the 2001 kolkata act.Be careful of that england.heheheh.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

If England fail to utilize this opportunity to beat a injured Indian side......... I think they are gonna find it tough going wen all the players are hundred %.........

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

The Big Guns of India Batting Line up will save this test !! Tendulkar might miss on a hundred but he will settle for a draw with a 80 against his name !!

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 6:11 GMT)

How hard is it really? Get the ball, bowl the ball. Especially when a majority percentage are dot balls anyway.

Posted by Meety on (July 25, 2011, 6:05 GMT)

Assuming India do have an over problem - I'm curious as to whether the ICC will inflict a ban on Dhoni!!!!!!

Posted by bcci-odi on (July 25, 2011, 5:40 GMT)

sachin must bat it is the last chancxe for him to score the 100 century in lords

Posted by Darshan239 on (July 25, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

It is not clear why Dhoni did not opt to bowl Sachin in the first innings. But the graver mistake that he did in the second innings was making PK open the bowling with Bhaji post lunch. Ishant was bowling really well before lunch time and he should have rather continued as England was looking really vulnerable. By not doing so, the momentum was lost and England was back into the game.

Posted by indianzen on (July 25, 2011, 5:34 GMT)

sachin can bowl, gambhir can bowl, mukund can bowl... over rates could have been bettered... If india wins this test or draw this comfortably, then I am sure to say, India deserves No1 in rankings...

Posted by cricketik on (July 25, 2011, 5:20 GMT)

Will Heaven's fall down if Sachin does not get a Century at Lords. Gone are the days of Lords and MCG for that matter Wankhade or Chinnaswamy. Sachin will as well prove that One can score 100 international hundreds even without one at Lords. Rahul would be more satisfied to have a century at Chinnaswamy before he retires than teh one at Lords. He rightly said that there are so many other grounds where he did not score centuries.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 5:20 GMT)

All depends on Laxman and Dravid ...... tough day ahead

Posted by vatsmanoj on (July 25, 2011, 5:01 GMT)

if india loss this match this will only because of feilding and keeping of dhoni they let piterson go in first inng and let broad go in 2nd but hope india will batt well and do the justice to their fans

Posted by Jaijo on (July 25, 2011, 4:36 GMT)

anyway it is good if dhoni doesnt get to play next match. He is not contributing either by bat or bowl or wicketkeeping.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 4:04 GMT)

its all over for india new guys.lets think about the next test match..coz u will lost Dhoni for sure.then Gambhir,Zaheer,Sehwag...cnt say anithing yet about Sachin.coz he got fever....lets pry for them...

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 3:06 GMT)

good thing that nothing seroius has happened to gautam .....we need that fellow ..... come on team india ...bat like champions on the final day ...

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 2:37 GMT)

Really? India concerned about over rate? Then how come Dhoni wasted so much time by bringing on himself. He could have turned to Mukund's keg spin to increase the over rate. I am sure, he could not have done any worse than Dhioni.

Posted by NikhilNair on (July 25, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

its going to be a tough 5th day... Good luck to india :)

Posted by Meety on (July 24, 2011, 23:37 GMT)

Again England will feel some pressure to ensure a win here - as India should get stronger as the series wears on. Sharma looked like he has picked up a gear - but big question marks over Zaheer for the next test. If it is nil all after the next test, I'd be backing India to win the series. That being said I think England SHOULD be 2 nil up with 2 to play, Series finishing 2-1 England.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 24, 2011, 22:22 GMT)


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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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