England v India, 3rd npower Test, Edgbaston, 1st day August 10, 2011

Bresnan's bouncing bomb bursts Dravid's dam

41

Pay-off of the day
MS Dhoni has not enjoyed the finest series to date, but with his side facing a complete meltdown at 111 for 7, he reverted at last to the one-day mentality that has fuelled his best performances. With Praveen Kumar providing typically spirited company, he opened his shoulders and turned on the style, cracking Stuart Broad for two fours in three balls before pummelling James Anderson over long-on in a re-enactment of his World Cup-sealing six in Mumbai. One by one, England's fielders retreated to the boundary's edge in an attempt to cool his ardour, and by the time he'd passed fifty, there was just a solitary slip keeping Matt Prior company. All the more remarkable, then, that on 77, Dhoni climbed into a drive, but picked out that very man with a thick edge off Broad.

Catch of the day
Fielding under the helmet is a perilous occupation, as Alastair Cook demonstrated while claiming the catch that ended India's innings. In fact, he didn't so much catch the ball as wear it, as Ishant Sharma went up onto his toes to drill a back-foot drive through the covers. The shot was struck well, but Cook's reflexes at silly point were alive to the moment, as he half-dived, half-toppled, and rolled with the momentum to emerge with the ball embedded somewhere near his armpit.

Ball of the day
Rahul Dravid has not seemed so integral to India's fortunes since his heyday in the early 2000s, and today - as if to prove the point - he was back in the middle just seven deliveries into the Indian innings, and presented once again with challenging overcast conditions. For 67 deliveries it was business as usual, as Dravid presented the straightest bat in the game, first to subdue England's early momentum, and then to hold his team together after the flimsy dismissals of Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar. But then, on the stroke of lunch, he received an absolute beauty from Tim Bresnan - a wicked zinger that straightened off a good length and splattered his off stump. Barnes Wallis himself couldn't have devised a better bouncing bomb, and India's dam had been comprehensively busted.

Breakthrough of the day
He was expected to create an impact. He was expected to destroy the best bowling attack in the world. He was expected to lift India out of the dire straits they had forced themselves into in the last few weeks. In the end Virender Sehwag betrayed those expectations as, playing his first international match since the World Cup final, he barely managed to lift his bat at his first ball, a seaming lifter from Stuart Broad, that kissed the Indian opener's glove en route to the hands of Matt Prior. Sehwag would have known immediately he had edged the ball, but he stood his ground. Andrew Strauss asked for a review, which exposed Sehwag's guilty secret. This was the fifth time in his career Sehwag had been out first ball, but the first occasion since 2006.

Error of the day
Ban VVS Laxman from playing the pull. To get out three times in three Tests so far in the series playing the pull against pretty similar deliveries should even frustrate this most phlegmatic of cricketers. At Lord's, twice he played into the hands of deep square-leg. Today, he went to pull early at a Tim Bresnan delivery that slowed down off the pitch and the top edge flew straight to long leg.

Start of the day
Compared to the riches that his top-order colleagues have been producing in recent months, Andrew Strauss has been in a distinctly fallow run of form. He endured a grim start to the international season, with 27 runs in four innings against Sri Lanka, and though he improved on that in the first two Tests against India, his twin top scores of 32 spoke of a peculiar failure to build on his starts. Today, he set about righting a few wrongs with his first half-century since Sydney in January, and his first on home soil since last year's Edgbaston Test against Pakistan. He'll want to do better than that, however. His Ashes hundred at Brisbane last November remains his only three-figure score in Tests since 2009.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo; Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 11, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    83 rings a bell? Windies busted Indi's dam back then as England did now;) This series proves that India is mediocre in away tests. Sachin plays for himself, bowling is sub test standards. It's good that India avoid Pak in 90s as much as possible, because Pak team was twice as good as this Eng team now,

  • Indian_Fan09 on August 11, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    We Indian Cricket fans are the most biased, irrational and nosiest in the world!! We go on to say next to impossible things which will only make the others laugh at US!!In the first test people were telling here that Ishant Sharma/Prawin Kumar/Shresanth are better bowler in English conditions than Broad/Tremlett/Bresnan!ABSOLUTE NUTS!And few weeks back,I was reading here an article about Ricky Ponting.One guy commented out of blue that Ponting should retire and is staying in the game so that he can overtake Sachin in Test 100s!Ponting scored a 50 but Sachin scored 1,I dont see any Aussie here ranting that Sachin should retire!!Actually not Ponting but its Sachin who is that record hungry individualistic player!He postponed his retirement for years thinking Ponting will overtake him and now is doing the same thinking Kallis will overtake him!The day Sachin retires n Kallis overtakes him will be my best day as an Indian Cricket Fan!!And those who think Eng will score 180 n lose DREAM ON

  • josh333_cricket on August 11, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Oh India................ :(

  • mensan on August 11, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    There was so much hype for this series but the balloon has been pricked too soon. Total one-sided contest so far. Even Pakistan can beat this india team.

  • on August 11, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Suresh Raina is not test standard.

  • AzyS on August 11, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    i am a great fan of cricket and specially the indian team but am extremely disappointed to see the way they are losing without even putting up a fight... dis is not the sign of a champion team... for the first time ever i have switched off the tv and followed the match with just the score updates here... hoping that it doesnt get any worse but still one never knows with this team!!!

  • on August 11, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    ha ha haaaaaaaaaa,,, sri lankan were far better than this poor indian side, they played well in early summer. dilshan ,paranawitana, even prassanna among runs, infact prasanna jayawardane is the man of the series.

  • on August 11, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Will it be the first example ever if India gets a nice white wash as reigning no 1 team?

  • PGW81 on August 11, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    The best thing that the BCCI can do is to schedule 'only one' test with Bangladesh in Mumbai, create a flat pitch, ban the UDRS and get Sachin to score his 100th century. That way he will get his record and can quit cricket. I have always held the view that he is only 'statistically great' and not one of the real greats. Laxman,Dravid, Kumble are some of the real greats from India who have truly performed when the team needed someone to whom they could look up to for inspiration. Sachin may go down in history as a great batsmen - but when did he actually contribute when required? ANy 4 th innings exploits that can be compared to Lara's epic 153

  • sidzy on August 11, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    Spirit of the game ha - my dear Mr.Kumble where itwent when shewag and praveen stood their ground. Is that the reason india r not using drs b/c it shows their reality.

  • on August 11, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    83 rings a bell? Windies busted Indi's dam back then as England did now;) This series proves that India is mediocre in away tests. Sachin plays for himself, bowling is sub test standards. It's good that India avoid Pak in 90s as much as possible, because Pak team was twice as good as this Eng team now,

  • Indian_Fan09 on August 11, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    We Indian Cricket fans are the most biased, irrational and nosiest in the world!! We go on to say next to impossible things which will only make the others laugh at US!!In the first test people were telling here that Ishant Sharma/Prawin Kumar/Shresanth are better bowler in English conditions than Broad/Tremlett/Bresnan!ABSOLUTE NUTS!And few weeks back,I was reading here an article about Ricky Ponting.One guy commented out of blue that Ponting should retire and is staying in the game so that he can overtake Sachin in Test 100s!Ponting scored a 50 but Sachin scored 1,I dont see any Aussie here ranting that Sachin should retire!!Actually not Ponting but its Sachin who is that record hungry individualistic player!He postponed his retirement for years thinking Ponting will overtake him and now is doing the same thinking Kallis will overtake him!The day Sachin retires n Kallis overtakes him will be my best day as an Indian Cricket Fan!!And those who think Eng will score 180 n lose DREAM ON

  • josh333_cricket on August 11, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Oh India................ :(

  • mensan on August 11, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    There was so much hype for this series but the balloon has been pricked too soon. Total one-sided contest so far. Even Pakistan can beat this india team.

  • on August 11, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Suresh Raina is not test standard.

  • AzyS on August 11, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    i am a great fan of cricket and specially the indian team but am extremely disappointed to see the way they are losing without even putting up a fight... dis is not the sign of a champion team... for the first time ever i have switched off the tv and followed the match with just the score updates here... hoping that it doesnt get any worse but still one never knows with this team!!!

  • on August 11, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    ha ha haaaaaaaaaa,,, sri lankan were far better than this poor indian side, they played well in early summer. dilshan ,paranawitana, even prassanna among runs, infact prasanna jayawardane is the man of the series.

  • on August 11, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Will it be the first example ever if India gets a nice white wash as reigning no 1 team?

  • PGW81 on August 11, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    The best thing that the BCCI can do is to schedule 'only one' test with Bangladesh in Mumbai, create a flat pitch, ban the UDRS and get Sachin to score his 100th century. That way he will get his record and can quit cricket. I have always held the view that he is only 'statistically great' and not one of the real greats. Laxman,Dravid, Kumble are some of the real greats from India who have truly performed when the team needed someone to whom they could look up to for inspiration. Sachin may go down in history as a great batsmen - but when did he actually contribute when required? ANy 4 th innings exploits that can be compared to Lara's epic 153

  • sidzy on August 11, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    Spirit of the game ha - my dear Mr.Kumble where itwent when shewag and praveen stood their ground. Is that the reason india r not using drs b/c it shows their reality.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 11, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    OK Indians, nothing to worry here. We can still draw this match and may be win also (remote chance). We just need some honesty here. Irrespective of the result of this match/series, the Dhoni/Raina combo should be dropped and we need just one top notch wicket keeper batsman there. Dinesh Karthik deserves an extended run there. And then India can have the luxury to go with 5 specialist bowlers or 4 specialist bowlers and an allrounder. Sachin has to be dropped for Pujara. If that isn't possible, then let's have a tour against Sachin's favourite opponents Bangladesh so that he can have a blast with some much needed minnow bashing. If Sachin scores that 100th 100 in the ongoing series, then BCCI should request him to hang his boots or drop him if he isn't willing to retire. There ain't anymore records to be made and Indian Team needs some future plans as well. In the next 1 year, phase out VVS and then in another 8 months or so phase out Dravid. So, in 18-24 months we should be all set.

  • JustOUT on August 11, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    To all Indian fans, dont keep on sing the same song as IF ZAHEER PLAYS we would hv tore england for less than 50 runs, IF Bhajji plays then we would have reached 500 on first day of a test match and all stories. We all are seeing the fact. Zaheer or any player cannot play till 60 yrs. One or other day he will be retired and i cannot control my laugh when you say Sreesanth or Ishant is your lead attack terrifying bolwer in tests.. Or after dravid, sachin, laxman retires, dont say kohli, raina, yuvra, yusuf pathan are the next test cricket greats.. LOL. Team India is too good only at home in flat tracks, where Sehwag will score 300 on first day and blah blah..

  • DawnSky on August 11, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    If only Sunil Gavaskar hadn't retired too soon, the story will be totally different, I tell you!

  • on August 11, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    @DEMON_BOWLER Plan D says...Test series may be lost...but one days series is going to be ours anyway....:) :)

  • xylo on August 11, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    @Iyer, why are you trying to tag along Sachin Tendulkar to not be written off? Why give him a free ride along with the greats Dravid and VVS? His series aggregate is almost the same as that of Raina, and Raina has played non-stop cricket for a long long time. Mukund might have been a good replacement for Tendulkar... at least he might have helped India see off the second new ball if it got to that. As for Dhoni or Raina, whether or not their technique is right or not, it is the attitude that matters... and you saw what attitude could do when the team was falling into a chasm with Dhoni. When was the last time Mr. God played an innings of substance outside the sub-continent when it really mattered? If not for Zaheer, Dravid, VVS, Sehwag and Gambhir, and Dhoni's captaincy, India would never have had a shot at the World #1 spot, and would have continued to choke the "God"'s way.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 11, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    @khiladisher, of course History will rank Dravid, VVS, Kumble and Sehwag several notches above Sachin when it comes to meaningful contributions for the team. You float from #3 to 6 to 4 to 7 to 1 to 5 to 2, don the keeping gloves and then come to open the innings in testing conditions.....Everybody knows that meticulous preparation goes into Dravid's game at #3 and he suddenly has to reset his entire mindset and discard his meticulous preparation and approach just for the sake of the team. Now match that paper 'god', if you can!!! Test Cricket is TEST CRICKET. Sachin will not want to move from #4 and dare to come at #1 or #2 in TEST CRICKET and the same guy cried hoarse to move out of the opening slot in ODIs. It's a given that the paper 'god' is useless for the team's needs and the team has to play around his needs. What a dead weight he has been when unique and unexpected needs arise for a team! It's a sacrilege to even compare Dravid to such a dead weight.

  • deepa15 on August 10, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    Appreciate good cricket Broard is an improved blower from the time Yuvi hit him 6X6 and Bresnan what a blower always wondered why England selectors never picked him earlier. The delivery to the wall whoo what a beauty. India needs to improve on their blowing attack and see to it that blowers can bat too. Speed is not the only thing needed but vairiations too. Hopefully India will bounce back on day 2 and bat better in 2nd innings. Pray for the little master to get his 100 I am sure he will. Lets enjoy cricket and appreciate good cricket. When one is at the top everyone will want to knock them off and thats when things do not get easy and thats what competition is all about right? This is the Indian team for now and lets stand by them after all they still are No. 1 for now.

  • xjunda on August 10, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    Again poor batting performance by India. England should win easily if weather permits.

    And yes I'm not sure what the fuss is about Sachin, he's good but not great or match winner!

  • RandyOZ on August 10, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - spot on, and what the few of us non-biased cricket followers have been saying for a while now!

  • KabaabRoll on August 10, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    IF only Zaheer, Harbhajan and Yuvraj were fit, the script would have been different. If you don't believe me, ask Sachin.

  • indian1980 on August 10, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    I am Indiaian fan, But i hope India will loose this game, they need a reality check, One thing i like to see Rahul Dravid scoring another century.

  • PaddyRasta on August 10, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Whilst the match is far from over, with England beating India so convincingly is there the case for India dropping down the rankings to 3 in one go? I seriously hope the weather does not save India from a whitewash.

  • Optic on August 10, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    @Sonny Nijral 'Indi will dominte the one day series--they will lose the test series.. this is not prediction -this is a fact.' Oh really, isn't this what the Sri Lanka fans thought as well. Facts are England in bilateral Odi series the last couple of years have won 10 out of 12 series, If you think your going to win the Odi stuff easy your in for a shock, no Zaheer and still the same set of bowlers to choose from and again it's English conditions, just like the Sri Lankans found out.

  • Optic on August 10, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    @Vijay Vepakomma Ha ha ha I bet you do, on that pitch England will be gutted if they don't break 500 or more.

  • Yazdegerd on August 10, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    Indian players earn millions of millions from IPL and now they do not bother whether India win or loss. They just want to be in the team to get more money in nest IPL season. IPL made them rich and those who still lack few millions will eventually make it next season. Their main objective and aim is to make money. Chak Da IPL.

  • khiladisher on August 10, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas-Well said mate -sachin has to go-retirement for him might be at the end of this series-he has never been a team man and also played for his own records{when has india won anything when he makes a century} On the other hand rahul has been the great team player over the last 16 years-opening the batting,donning wicket keeping gloves{while sachin has never evr given up his #4 batting position History will surely rank rahul,laxman ,kumble,sehwag as much bigger match winners and match savers compared to sachin-not to forget 18 of the 99 hundreds have been against bangladesh and zimbabwe.

  • demon_bowler on August 10, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    So we've had plan A: 'We will beat you easily, nyah, nyah, nyah." Plan B was "We are just slow starters, we will bounce back -- and then beat you easily." Plan C was "Sehwag will return, and then we will beat you easily." Well, that lasted all of one ball, didn't it? Time to accord the opposition a little more respect?

  • on August 10, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    I really hope England get bowled out for less than 180..

  • Iyer on August 10, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Please dont think dhoni is back to form or anything. He is still technically weak, and can never prosper in overseas conditions in test matches. Period! Today he played like a tailender, slogging the ball. He was just lucky to add few runs, by no means this innings could justify his place in this test team. He is a good ODI player for now. Similarly dont write-off sachin or laxman or dravid based on this failure. They have sound technique, and are currently just out of form. There is a difference between their failure and dhonis, rainas, and harbhajans. The latter lacks technique. Harbhajan cannot spin the ball, unless the pitch helps the turn. it is his inherent weakness. he can never overcome that. Similarly dhoni and raina are made for ODI's, hit out or get out sorta batsman. Cannot play test matches in testing conditions. Please realize this. Dont play them as if there is none to replace them. Give chance to others and see what we can get out of others.

  • on August 10, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    The two dismissals in the Indian innings through the DRS, vindicates the need for the referal system, also it vindicates why Indians reluctant to use it. Just imagine how much it would have hurt the English team had Sehewag was not diclared out, first ball. Justice was done. Long live UDRS.

  • John-Price on August 10, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    ' At Lord's, twice he [Laxman] played into the hands of deep square-leg.' No he didn't - 2nd innings he hit it to midwicket where Bell jumped up to take the catch.

  • on August 10, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    India are a One Day side no doubt--but a Number 1 test side is to be doubted.. then again there is hardly any money in being the Number 1 test side. What did it do to the West Indies? ..pride.. well if you can fill your pockets with hard cash rather than your ego what will you take?. Indi will dominte the one day series--they will lose the test series.. this is not prediction -this is a fact.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 10, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    It's simple. Sachin wanted to score that 100th 100 in England for a wider applause, coverage and recognition. Pathetic. He's consumed by that elusive 100 and his mind is somwhere while playing that shot wide outside off-stump with feet stuck. He should be dropped after this series if he doesn't retire. Bring in Pujara (as soon as he is fit), who can play some honest cricket unlike this paper 'god' who is going to increase the weight of his kitty after everything is done and dusted by the English bowlers. Sachin's been well and truly a permanent fixture of that revolving door of batsmen (that Sharda mentioned in her article after 2nd test) coming in and going back apart from an inconsequential small fifty - too little, too late, once the match has gone out of our hands with no pressure of saving or winning. He's a useless batsman when we need him.

  • on August 10, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    Pathetic to say the least from Team India. Surely doesn't deserve No. 1. Still have doubts whether England is No 1. May be South Africa

  • george204 on August 10, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    Well played Dhoni (though he benefitted from some curiously negative field settings from Strauss) - India were in a serious hole when he came to the wicket.

  • xylo on August 10, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    @Rakim, who is the T that you include as being rightly rated? Can you give us the total number of runs he has scored in this series, and compare against, say, Raina?

  • nlambda on August 10, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    It is just depressing being an Indian right now... is this the same team that won in Perth and Durban? I am having flashbacks to when Azharuddin, Kambli, Raman and Manjrekar played for India and we used to get thrashed abroad. Broad, Tremlett et al are looking like Ambrose, Walsh & Co.

  • johnson49 on August 10, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    I really hope Strauss makes a hundred tomorrow, he really deserves it. I

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 10, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    England the better team and rightly World Number 1: Enough said.

  • dr.thirsty on August 10, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    Does this mean that Sehwag now goes from being a flat-track bully to a flat-track victim?

  • Rakim on August 10, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    Majority of Indian batsmen just can't deal with pace/bounce combination. Apart from Dravid/VVS/T they are all extremely over-rated (anytime they come out of India, they just crumble).

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  • Rakim on August 10, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    Majority of Indian batsmen just can't deal with pace/bounce combination. Apart from Dravid/VVS/T they are all extremely over-rated (anytime they come out of India, they just crumble).

  • dr.thirsty on August 10, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    Does this mean that Sehwag now goes from being a flat-track bully to a flat-track victim?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 10, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    England the better team and rightly World Number 1: Enough said.

  • johnson49 on August 10, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    I really hope Strauss makes a hundred tomorrow, he really deserves it. I

  • nlambda on August 10, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    It is just depressing being an Indian right now... is this the same team that won in Perth and Durban? I am having flashbacks to when Azharuddin, Kambli, Raman and Manjrekar played for India and we used to get thrashed abroad. Broad, Tremlett et al are looking like Ambrose, Walsh & Co.

  • xylo on August 10, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    @Rakim, who is the T that you include as being rightly rated? Can you give us the total number of runs he has scored in this series, and compare against, say, Raina?

  • george204 on August 10, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    Well played Dhoni (though he benefitted from some curiously negative field settings from Strauss) - India were in a serious hole when he came to the wicket.

  • on August 10, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    Pathetic to say the least from Team India. Surely doesn't deserve No. 1. Still have doubts whether England is No 1. May be South Africa

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 10, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    It's simple. Sachin wanted to score that 100th 100 in England for a wider applause, coverage and recognition. Pathetic. He's consumed by that elusive 100 and his mind is somwhere while playing that shot wide outside off-stump with feet stuck. He should be dropped after this series if he doesn't retire. Bring in Pujara (as soon as he is fit), who can play some honest cricket unlike this paper 'god' who is going to increase the weight of his kitty after everything is done and dusted by the English bowlers. Sachin's been well and truly a permanent fixture of that revolving door of batsmen (that Sharda mentioned in her article after 2nd test) coming in and going back apart from an inconsequential small fifty - too little, too late, once the match has gone out of our hands with no pressure of saving or winning. He's a useless batsman when we need him.

  • on August 10, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    India are a One Day side no doubt--but a Number 1 test side is to be doubted.. then again there is hardly any money in being the Number 1 test side. What did it do to the West Indies? ..pride.. well if you can fill your pockets with hard cash rather than your ego what will you take?. Indi will dominte the one day series--they will lose the test series.. this is not prediction -this is a fact.