England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day July 29, 2011

Nottingham and the joy of swing

Swing and movement worked their magic at a venue known to produce outright results, but India need to scrap in tough conditions to keep the series truly alive
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As they have generally done in the course of becoming the top-ranked Test team in the world, India found the spark in their second coming and the series has now come to life. Lord's was a tighter contest than the margin of defeat suggested, and the second Test, just a day old, already carries the promise of a fulfilling contest between bat and ball.

Happily, Trent Bridge doesn't do draws. There has been only one here in the last ten years, and it took a huge effort from Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly on the final day, in 2002, to secure it. And even though it is something of an English bastion, India and Sri Lanka have won Tests here. And throughout the see-sawing day, it was easy to see results are the most natural outcome at this ground. Batting was a trial every over.

There can be the argument that the conditions were too partial towards bowling to produce a fair contest. Certainly the ball wrecked mayhem in the middle. It swung and wobbled in the air, nipped and jagged off the pitch, and some ascended without warning from a length. Given the number of balls that defeated the bat, the wicket count wasn't perhaps an accurate reflection of the nature of the day, but batsmen would cherish every run scored on the pitch, and those who watched it would know it too.

Stuart Broad came fresh from an unbeaten 73 at Lord's, but his momentum-changing 64 today was worth a hundred. It came not through the flails and swishes of a No.9, but through accomplished batsmanship that contained many bold strokes alongside some reasonable defending. And in the last hour of the day, Dravid, forced to open in the second consecutive innings, and VVS Laxman, who faced the second ball of the innings, had to draw on not only their exceptional skills but years of experience to make it India's day. Just about.

During the Lord's Test, there was a discussion on the air about the dynamics of swing bowling. Nasser Hussain quoted arguments from a NASA scientist to suggest that swing has nothing to with the atmosphere - cloud cover and the resultant heaviness in the air - and had everything to with the condition of the ball and the seam position. His fellow commentators didn't appear convinced but didn't have a scientific counter.

Whatever might be the fundamentals of swing, there is something about Trent Bridge that makes the ball shake a hip. No one can explain it cogently, but they say it has something to do with the new stands. When India were here last, a new stand had just been erected and Zaheer Khan led them to a comprehensive win. Another stand has come up on the opposite side, and India didn't even miss Zaheer, still recovering from a pulled-hamstring, after their captain had won a second toss in a row.

It's just as well that they had the right kind of bowler to lift them. Sreesanth, a bowler born to bowl in Test cricket but whose biggest challenge has been mastering his own mind and winning the confidence of his captain, bowled as if nothing had happened between his previous Test, in Cape Town in January, and today. The seam came proudly out of his hand, the ball was pitched up, and it shaped beautifully away. He was the most expensive bowler of the day, but he also took the most prized wickets. The ball that removed Matt Prior, Engalnd's batting hero from the Lord's Test, was the most sensational of the series of outstanding outwingers he produced all day.

Maybe the scientific argument is right. Maybe it has something to do with the balls. They have been swinging since last year. Pakistan finally beat Australia in a Test - in a 'home' series in England - last year and it was down to the utter ineptitude of their batsmen that they didn't win one more against England. The England bowlers loved those balls so much that they are still using the last year's batch. James Anderson was outstanding all season and never more devastating than at Trent Bridge, where he bowled Pakistan out for 80.

India might have occasion to rue those runs they conceded to the last two wickets. Trent Bridge is well and truly Anderson's turf. With 29 wickets here at just over 15.00, he is the highest wicket-taker at this ground in the last decade, comfortably ahead of Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff. While India can look back on the day as mission accomplished after restricting England to 221, a scrap lies ahead. Nearly a decade ago, Dravid battled the swinging ball for a nearly a day to set up a seminal victory at Headingley. His vigil at the end of the day, vital as it was, is only the beginning of the job. India will need something quite special to keep this series truly alive.

But irrespective of whichever way the Test goes, it is likely that the connoisseurs of the game will go rewarded. Swing is in the air, and along with legspin, it ranks as one of most attractive bowling sights. Besides, to watch batsmen earn their keep is a refreshing change.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | July 30, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    @5wombats . eh? You've quoted me! But I don't mind being right! It WAS a procession! England to win here. It will be closer than Lords though.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 30, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Damn sachin failed again? he fails when india need him. He scored all those centuries on the coattails of dravid's incredible work of making opposition tired and hopeless and sachin come and reap all rewards. Sachin is useless in tough situation. Not sure why people even call him Great. it is demeaning to "Great" word. :)

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | July 30, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    @arun_cheers and one-down, well said mates. But, I thought what you said should be obvious to people who are not blinkered with century counts. Leave it mates. Paper 'god's' fans are as consumed as the paper 'god' himself. So, no point in making them understand that paper 'god' doesn't want to risk his wicket in testing conditions unlike the rarest genius Dravid who thrives on challenges and comes out with flying colors. Jai Ho Dravid.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 30, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    @ALL - note my comment from this morning....; "but they'll have to come out to play at some stage. It will be a procession". See - I was right.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    I second Arun. No matter how many times he denies it, Tendulkar plays for records. Sehwag has a 50 plus average in spite of his unselfish batting (He is practically never unbeaten.) He is the true phenomenon in Indian Cricket, post the millennium.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 30, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    @one-down Tendulkar was averaging 79 in last 25 tests he played. So yaa he made up for all the chances he got. In England Tendulkar was averaging 62 before this series so NO dravid is not the only one to score in England. Sorry mate.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 30, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    @arun_cheers Tendulkar opens in ODI and feel free to check out how much team man he is there. ODI is also another important form of cricket. Dravid can open in ODI too if he wants and if he really is that much team man.

  • POSTED BY arun_cheers on | July 30, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    @zxaar - Sachin is not actually a team man as his supporters think. There are no fielding restrictions in Test matches, so its tougher to open in seaming and swinging conditions against good bowling unit like england or SA. ;) ... Sachin only worries about creating personal landmarks, so does not want to risk his wicket in tough conditions by opening the innings ! First Sehwag comes and kills the opposition bowling with his superior batting skills, then Dravid comes and tames the opposition bowling and drains them of all their energy by defending 150 more balls. After all this Mr. Tendulkar comes out to face a weekened bowling who are finally left with any energy or enthusiasm to attack as heavily as they did to the first 3 batsman. This helps Tendulkar to score all those centuries and reaching the landmarks ! he he

  • POSTED BY arun_cheers on | July 30, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    @zxqqr - Sachin is not actually a team man as his supporters think. There are no fielding restrictions in Test matches, so its tougher to open in seaming and swinging conditions against good bowling unit like england or SA. ;) ... Sachin only worries about creating personal landmarks, so does not want to risk his wicket in tough conditions by opening the innings ! ;)

  • POSTED BY one-down on | July 30, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    @zxaar... tendulkar HAD two chances at Lord's and WHAT did he do??? not even close to a fifty :( enough said... case closed!!! hahaha

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | July 30, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    @5wombats . eh? You've quoted me! But I don't mind being right! It WAS a procession! England to win here. It will be closer than Lords though.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 30, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Damn sachin failed again? he fails when india need him. He scored all those centuries on the coattails of dravid's incredible work of making opposition tired and hopeless and sachin come and reap all rewards. Sachin is useless in tough situation. Not sure why people even call him Great. it is demeaning to "Great" word. :)

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | July 30, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    @arun_cheers and one-down, well said mates. But, I thought what you said should be obvious to people who are not blinkered with century counts. Leave it mates. Paper 'god's' fans are as consumed as the paper 'god' himself. So, no point in making them understand that paper 'god' doesn't want to risk his wicket in testing conditions unlike the rarest genius Dravid who thrives on challenges and comes out with flying colors. Jai Ho Dravid.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 30, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    @ALL - note my comment from this morning....; "but they'll have to come out to play at some stage. It will be a procession". See - I was right.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    I second Arun. No matter how many times he denies it, Tendulkar plays for records. Sehwag has a 50 plus average in spite of his unselfish batting (He is practically never unbeaten.) He is the true phenomenon in Indian Cricket, post the millennium.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 30, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    @one-down Tendulkar was averaging 79 in last 25 tests he played. So yaa he made up for all the chances he got. In England Tendulkar was averaging 62 before this series so NO dravid is not the only one to score in England. Sorry mate.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 30, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    @arun_cheers Tendulkar opens in ODI and feel free to check out how much team man he is there. ODI is also another important form of cricket. Dravid can open in ODI too if he wants and if he really is that much team man.

  • POSTED BY arun_cheers on | July 30, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    @zxaar - Sachin is not actually a team man as his supporters think. There are no fielding restrictions in Test matches, so its tougher to open in seaming and swinging conditions against good bowling unit like england or SA. ;) ... Sachin only worries about creating personal landmarks, so does not want to risk his wicket in tough conditions by opening the innings ! First Sehwag comes and kills the opposition bowling with his superior batting skills, then Dravid comes and tames the opposition bowling and drains them of all their energy by defending 150 more balls. After all this Mr. Tendulkar comes out to face a weekened bowling who are finally left with any energy or enthusiasm to attack as heavily as they did to the first 3 batsman. This helps Tendulkar to score all those centuries and reaching the landmarks ! he he

  • POSTED BY arun_cheers on | July 30, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    @zxqqr - Sachin is not actually a team man as his supporters think. There are no fielding restrictions in Test matches, so its tougher to open in seaming and swinging conditions against good bowling unit like england or SA. ;) ... Sachin only worries about creating personal landmarks, so does not want to risk his wicket in tough conditions by opening the innings ! ;)

  • POSTED BY one-down on | July 30, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    @zxaar... tendulkar HAD two chances at Lord's and WHAT did he do??? not even close to a fifty :( enough said... case closed!!! hahaha

  • POSTED BY one-down on | July 30, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    @zxaar... tendulkar HAD two chances at Lord's and WHAT did he do??? not even close to a fifty :( enough said... case closed!!! hahaha

  • POSTED BY AnoopKerala on | July 30, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Praveen is slow comparing to other medium pacers, but he's is skilled and has great accuracy. he also had a great brain, that makes him unplayable in swinging conditions. He always probe the batsman. The ball pitches on one point....then it may swing out , it may swing in , it may be a slower ball ( off cutters or leg cutters) , it may have steep bounce (he showed it yesterday). So the brain is helping him out of his limitations...Keep Going PK

  • POSTED BY arun_cheers on | July 30, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    Sachin is not actually a team man as his supporters think. There are no fielding restrictions in Test matches, so its tougher to open in seaming and swinging conditions against good bowling unit like england or SA. ;) ... Sachin only worries about creating personal landmarks, so does not want to risk his wicket in tough conditions by opening the innings !

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    As far as the match goes, India is definitely in a much stronger position, but that in no way indicates the outcome of the match. I cannot understand the ego of the majority of the Indian fans, as they have already declared the result in their favor. Their cockiness puts them equivalent to the Aussies in their prime (which resulted in alienation of a lot of Cricket fans). Guess what, no one liked the Aussie attitude back then, but at least they could back their attitude with their performances, what does India have to brag about (their injured players).

  • POSTED BY div09 on | July 30, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    and we have the best and coolest captain. Never forget that india to get to no.1 ( any team to get to no.1. ). they need a great captain.

  • POSTED BY div09 on | July 30, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    i think india is the best line up because of the experience they have got and the talent in players like mukund and sreesanth.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 30, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas today match is perfect example of how dravid is always given first chance to score runs and 100s. Even after that he has only scored 33 100s in tests and he is nowhere near tendulkar on over all runs. IF Tendulkar was given first chance to score runs like dravid he might have scored 75 100s by now.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Analyst on | July 30, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    I don't appreciate way reports are made of .....If Indian Batsmen would have failed in such conditions...all Commentators including Indians & media reports would have gone to the extent of questioning Indian Batsmen including proven ones Like Dravid, Sachin & Laxman.....whereas when English Batsmen fail in these conditions....Its said that the conditions were too demanding........It is of no Concern.....that English batsmen have been born & brought up on these conditions & still have no clue to play in these conditions.........Would appreciate if Cricinfo can print my comments (as many of them Haven't been) ...and give unbiased reports....

  • POSTED BY prashanthbm88 on | July 30, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    @ Rahul cricindia; my dear frnd i have been watching ckt ryt from sachin's debut n i can easily say sachin is not equal to DRAVID in tests. how many matches has he won or saved single handedly in test ???? certainly DRAVID scores heavily over here n moreover sachin being a senior memeber can tell his opinion n no player in india wil argue wit his decision. if he is not record minded then he cud easily have voluntarily told tat he wud open coz he is a regular opener in odi's. wel always DRAVID is the scapegoat n tats how he was permanently dropped from ODI's also.

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | July 30, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Ha ha ha! @the_blue_android; you don't watch a lot of cricket do you? Ha ha ha! @zxaar ; "Luck has gifted England the first match" ha ha ha! Luck had nothing to do with it. Lucky lucky India here at Trent Bridge who won the toss! It gave them the chance to hide their batsmen away for the first day of the match - but they'll have to come out to play at some stage. It will be a procession.

  • POSTED BY vinodvs on | July 30, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Sree is the most capable bowler and the one who is most criticised. Am a big fan of him..All the very best Sree .Guruvayurappan's blessings are there for you.

  • POSTED BY cricowl on | July 30, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Why am I finding the reporting so blatantly biased! Even from Indian and non UK writers!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricindia on | July 30, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    i heard and read too that many english commentators were saying that they play praveen type bowlers day in day out ...well yesterday they were having absolutely no answers to his inswingers and outswingers ...he has taken 9 wickets in three innings so far..goes to show how worse the english batsman are against the good old swing bowling with gentle pace... and how they have underestimated a very good accurate bowler....yesterday their batsman were struggling big time in their home conditions...

  • POSTED BY rahulcricindia on | July 30, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas batting order is the decision of the captain ans the coach not the player think before making baseless and jealous comments....on a decorated cricketer...

  • POSTED BY rahulcricindia on | July 30, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @US_Indian well someone said SACHIN has never put the burden of the team to his shoulders....boy in the whole decade of early 1990s to early 2000 he single handedly took the burden of the team on himself...it was one man army that time that is why some of his 100s were in loosing cause due to negligible team effort.....i wonder what are you doing those days but certainly were not watching cricket otherwise you would'nt have written that funny comment...virat is in INDIAN team now so he certainly knows better than you....

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | July 30, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Today's match is the best example of the paper 'god' Sachin shirking off his responsibilities and hiding in the middle-order when the ball is swinging and seaming. Tasteless as usual. Shouldn't he stand up and be counted to face the conditions bravely just like how Dravid is doing? Isn't he more water tight than VVS? Kudos to VVS and Dravid. Sachin is a timid and selfish fellow obsessed with Stats - Statsman Ramesh Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY QingdaoXI on | July 30, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    india will win this match and series too.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    The narration by Sambit Bal is EXCELLENT! Why the ball swings? Is it due to the grip of the ball by the bowler or due to atmospheric conditios? Cricketers, Scientists and commentators to do research and enlighten the Cricket fans! The first day's play at NOTTINGHAM demonstrated the contest between excellent swing bowling by Indian medium pace bowlers and the strong batting line up of England.The top and middle order batting of England collapsed and at tea time the score was 124 runs for 8 wickets. If Stuart Broad could hit 64 runs in 66 balls by his outstanding batting(He belted the Indian swing bowlers to all parts of the Trent Bridge Cricketground), why the reputed, highly talented top and middle order batsmen got out for low score? England need to find out the reasons. The day's play was absorbing CRICKET between swinging ball and not so swinging bat!!England were all out for 221 runs(in 68.4 overs). "Glorious Cricket is ahead!"

  • POSTED BY Cricketsphere on | July 30, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Dhoni missed a vital trick when he took Harbhajan off after Broad had mishit him among three feilders. Had Harbhajan continued bolwing at that time, another mishit by either Swann and Broad would have meant about 60 runs less. A bad decision by dhoni. Also, broad showed how meagre were indian pacers in their skills once he got going aftre them. It was wicket doing the trick yesterday - and it will be really interesting to see what they will do whne england bats again on third day. (or second day evening). Many will disagree, but the match is still in english hands.

  • POSTED BY fearless69 on | July 30, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    Now english fans know, victory at 1st test was a gift.. now they know there wasn't any excuse but just the fact what injuries can affect, absence of ZAK made the difference, india were unfortunate loosing him on 1st day.. Else England would have struggled to reach even 200 runs in their 1st innings at lord.. England were lucky to win that test.. // After watching 1st day of 2nd test, i get feeling each and every indian player will play their part to win this match, pressure is what takes out the best perfromance from these indian player & you will see that.. It won't be easy though.. // I'm waiting for india at it's full strength, Sehwag & ZaK in for the 3rd & 4th Test..

  • POSTED BY BabishMohan on | July 30, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    Yes the two batsmen in the crease currently and bowlers will define the fate of the team and prospects all along the series. However talented and great a batsmen are there to follow the hope and aspirations are clearly on these two batsmen to fight it out.

  • POSTED BY BabishMohan on | July 30, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    This can be a test of character and temperament for some of the batsmen like Yuvraj,Raina and Dhoni.Let us not always expect Dravid,VVS, and Sachin to pull the team out of trouble.As far as bowling is concerned the current troika of seamers are good enough to win you matches on foreign conditions.

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | July 30, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    On any given day you can bet your last dollar on these two gentlemen that they will either make India win or atleast draw either both of them combined or atleast one of them, Yes you guessed it right I am talking about the Bangalore born tamilian, a real wall Rahul Sharad Dravid and the silky smooth artist who uses his bat like the brush of a famous painter and makes it look so easy as his idol , fellow hyderabadi Azhar used to do but the same can not be said about our so called god of cricket SRT, inspite of all his tons, is there any defnite pattern or guarantee that this guy will bail india out in crunch situations, i dont think so, he plays, when he is lucky he gets going otherwise not, inspite of all his talent and idolation he has he never bore the burden of carrying India on his shoulder, which Virat wrongly said during the world cup victory. Dont mistake me i am also a fan of Sachin but dont like his way of shrugging his responsibilities when it is needed most.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Indeed a tough day ahead and wonder if we did not have an armoury of Rahul, VVS and Sachin, Indians would have meekly played into the hands of English bowlers who are bowling beautifully in home conditions.

  • POSTED BY m_ilind on | July 30, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    VVS and Raina will give us 50's each, India still needs another 300 from the rest to take control of this Test. Can God do it this time?

  • POSTED BY raveekoomar on | July 30, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    If Dhoni had thought carefully before choosing his bowlers for this Test match then if hes wise enough should have gone in with 4 pacers. Well any bowler can adapt to 6-7 overs per spell so since he didnt use bhajji in this innings am sure he must choose wisely from next test on depending on the conditions. Its high time we tread out i mean come out of that use one spinner no matter conditions hype everytime we go to bowl. Am sure one more pacer and the burden would have shortened on the remaining 3. Look at what happened at Lords where 3 were sharing burden no matter one has become a novice given the conditions and his lack of form in recent years no matter he took more than 400 wickets. Its like if you need a raincoat in a rainy season then use it. If theres swing and seam in the pitch and conditions favour 4 medium pacers then go for it. Just come out of the conventional approach and use your wise instincts than say we are indians and we need one spinner no matter the pitch.

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | July 30, 2011, 2:21 GMT

    Naser Hussain also added another gem today, saying that the Duke balls of 2010 produce prodigous swing because their shine never fades. No wonder then that England love to use the old batch. He also mentioned that some counties experimented (Nottingamshire?) with the Dukes of 2011 and found them unsuitable. He mentioned that Notts have loaded their team with fast bowlers because the ground always favored fast bowlers. My question then to Fletcher and Dhoni. If that is the case, and with Fletcher's "English experience", why did they still go in with the non-performer Harbhajan, when another decent fast bowler is warming the benches?

  • POSTED BY aahtuk on | July 30, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Nice article, Sambit, but it could do with a thorough proof read! Can't wait to see the Indian greats battle against the English bowlers tomorrow. This is indeed emblematic of test cricket at its best.

  • POSTED BY Hurricane08 on | July 30, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    This is going to be a close game. Every dropped chance and every run conceded through sloppy fielding, will prove costly on this ground. Tomorrow Dhoni need to promote himself up in the batting order ahead of the ageing Tendulkar. He needs to find form - the batting line up appears strong, but very unpredictable at this point.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 30, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    @landl47 more than india England must be thanking their lucky stars - Sehwag is out, zaheer got injured mid way of first test, sachin got viral fever during the match, gambhir got injured. Luck has gifted first match to them. As far as India and swinging tracks are concerned, wise men know how indians did on the swinging pitches against likes of Steyn and morkel so they won't be surprised that indians bounce back.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | July 30, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    landl47 - Good to see the excuses like pitch was "flattened" etc and the words "lucky" being used already! You know what would have happened if Tremlett was in the team? England would be playing with 10 players. That's what's gonna happen because he's injured :) I read your other posts about Indian team being lucky. Doesn't sound good after KP made his 200 with 3 chances gifted by the umpires in and Broad being given one life in the last test match. Methinks more English excuses on the way.

  • POSTED BY deegowd on | July 30, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    I wonder why isn't anyone talking about Bhajji's place in the team this match. He was given the ball at the fag end. Agreed that he wasn't really needed the way the pacers were bowling, but that's the nature of this pitch. If Dhoni is not confident of his premier wicket-taker, then he could have chosen another pacer or batsman. Let's see how much of a chance he get's in the second innings.

  • POSTED BY leettank on | July 29, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    Poor performance by England. They are a highly unpredictable side. Their batting order has collapsed twice in 3 innings so far. I really don't see them as number 1 as of yet. If India can put on a lead of 100-150, then England's lost it. A lot depends on Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar. At the moment advantage India.

  • POSTED BY ns4ckt on | July 29, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    Nasser's argument on swing: What about condition of the ball ? on God? Of course it depends on conditions on the ground. Atmosphere, humidity, wind...

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 29, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    Dravid and Laxman needed all their skill to survive tonight, and that was after the heavy roller had flattened the pitch out a bit. Once the effects wore off the ball started jumping and one lifter off the gloves very nearly carried to Prior. India must be thanking their lucky stars that Tremlett wasn't fot for this game- if Praveen can make the ball spit off a length, like the one that got Swann, goodness knows what Tremlett would do. England just need to stay patient and keep plugging away on a length. They'll get enough movement to beat all the batsmen and once wickets start going down, as the England innings showed, the rot sets in. Somehow I don't think Praveen, Sreesanth and Ishant are going to save India the way Broad and Swann saved England!

  • POSTED BY Yorker_ToeCrusher on | July 29, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    England press made too much noise about them being the next number 1.They are good in english conditions,but yet to be proved in subcontinental conditions when there is hardly any swing.Day one was a fitting reply by India after being one down.The Lords test vicorty wasn't easy for england,india push them to the last session without their strike bowler and injuries.This pitch is testing the technique of a batsman and the way Broad batted,he doesn't seems to be a number nine,h looks better than some of their top order batters.Excitings day ahead.thx

  • POSTED BY dineshdinuus on | July 29, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    well can india come good tomrow or will get rattled just like England did today..we need to see that. interesting we are playing without one opener and Mukund made it like playing without two..!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 29, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    There is no chance of draw. Either india win or England win will finish off india for the series in a way. If india win without all big name players , it is huge bonus for india and dhoni especially for rallying up the troops. Key though Dravid VVS laxman and sachin contribution. In swinging condition team rely on them to score 80% of runs. it is great chance for sachin to score century as well. if india do not lose wickets by lunch it is over for england. i have a feeling england got cocky and over confident with press writing about them as real number 1 team etc etc. India could have won the first test at one point on 4th day lunch. England forget that with freaky century by prior and bad captaincy of bowling to prior with 5th 6th bowler. Anyway 1-1 after two test will make series more fighting contest. Otherwise indians heads will be down if they go down 2-0. Bhaji again is a journeyman. I hope dhoni kept him as a batsman atleast.

  • POSTED BY SaravananIsTheBest on | July 29, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Good & Expected show by India, hope they continue their momentum !!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    Nice article. Yes, at Trent Bridge last time, everyone of the batsmen scrapped to produce a big lead. Sachin, Ganguly were exceptional. We need something similar this time. The way Dravid and Laxman played earlier today gave me a lot of hope, that it can happen. Here's hoping we post a big total!

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  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    Nice article. Yes, at Trent Bridge last time, everyone of the batsmen scrapped to produce a big lead. Sachin, Ganguly were exceptional. We need something similar this time. The way Dravid and Laxman played earlier today gave me a lot of hope, that it can happen. Here's hoping we post a big total!

  • POSTED BY SaravananIsTheBest on | July 29, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Good & Expected show by India, hope they continue their momentum !!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 29, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    There is no chance of draw. Either india win or England win will finish off india for the series in a way. If india win without all big name players , it is huge bonus for india and dhoni especially for rallying up the troops. Key though Dravid VVS laxman and sachin contribution. In swinging condition team rely on them to score 80% of runs. it is great chance for sachin to score century as well. if india do not lose wickets by lunch it is over for england. i have a feeling england got cocky and over confident with press writing about them as real number 1 team etc etc. India could have won the first test at one point on 4th day lunch. England forget that with freaky century by prior and bad captaincy of bowling to prior with 5th 6th bowler. Anyway 1-1 after two test will make series more fighting contest. Otherwise indians heads will be down if they go down 2-0. Bhaji again is a journeyman. I hope dhoni kept him as a batsman atleast.

  • POSTED BY dineshdinuus on | July 29, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    well can india come good tomrow or will get rattled just like England did today..we need to see that. interesting we are playing without one opener and Mukund made it like playing without two..!

  • POSTED BY Yorker_ToeCrusher on | July 29, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    England press made too much noise about them being the next number 1.They are good in english conditions,but yet to be proved in subcontinental conditions when there is hardly any swing.Day one was a fitting reply by India after being one down.The Lords test vicorty wasn't easy for england,india push them to the last session without their strike bowler and injuries.This pitch is testing the technique of a batsman and the way Broad batted,he doesn't seems to be a number nine,h looks better than some of their top order batters.Excitings day ahead.thx

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 29, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    Dravid and Laxman needed all their skill to survive tonight, and that was after the heavy roller had flattened the pitch out a bit. Once the effects wore off the ball started jumping and one lifter off the gloves very nearly carried to Prior. India must be thanking their lucky stars that Tremlett wasn't fot for this game- if Praveen can make the ball spit off a length, like the one that got Swann, goodness knows what Tremlett would do. England just need to stay patient and keep plugging away on a length. They'll get enough movement to beat all the batsmen and once wickets start going down, as the England innings showed, the rot sets in. Somehow I don't think Praveen, Sreesanth and Ishant are going to save India the way Broad and Swann saved England!

  • POSTED BY ns4ckt on | July 29, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    Nasser's argument on swing: What about condition of the ball ? on God? Of course it depends on conditions on the ground. Atmosphere, humidity, wind...

  • POSTED BY leettank on | July 29, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    Poor performance by England. They are a highly unpredictable side. Their batting order has collapsed twice in 3 innings so far. I really don't see them as number 1 as of yet. If India can put on a lead of 100-150, then England's lost it. A lot depends on Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar. At the moment advantage India.

  • POSTED BY deegowd on | July 30, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    I wonder why isn't anyone talking about Bhajji's place in the team this match. He was given the ball at the fag end. Agreed that he wasn't really needed the way the pacers were bowling, but that's the nature of this pitch. If Dhoni is not confident of his premier wicket-taker, then he could have chosen another pacer or batsman. Let's see how much of a chance he get's in the second innings.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | July 30, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    landl47 - Good to see the excuses like pitch was "flattened" etc and the words "lucky" being used already! You know what would have happened if Tremlett was in the team? England would be playing with 10 players. That's what's gonna happen because he's injured :) I read your other posts about Indian team being lucky. Doesn't sound good after KP made his 200 with 3 chances gifted by the umpires in and Broad being given one life in the last test match. Methinks more English excuses on the way.