England v India, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 3rd day August 12, 2011

The devil's number, and a king pair

Plays of the day from the third day of the third Test between England and India at Edgbaston

Scoreline of the day
The third day at Edgbaston was a statistical smorgasbord, the sort of occasion that appeals to the train-spotter that lurks within every cricket fan. And as with many train-spotters, the desire to rip off the anorak, tie the hair back in a pony-tail and don an ill-fitting black T-shirt to rock out to some dark and foreboding heavy metal is rarely far from the surface. And so it was, when Alastair Cook obligingly carved Ishant Sharma through third man in the 181st over, he brought up the rocktacular scoreline of 666 ... for 6! The moment didn't last long, as Tim Bresnan exorcised the devil's number with a smack back down the ground. But like that elusive sighting of your favourite diesel engine on the Kings Cross-Leeds mainline, it was fun while it lasted.

Biff of the day
Bresnan's all-round credentials are soaring with every innings of this series. By the time of England's declaration, he had muscled along to 53 not out from 75 balls, a performance which carried his batting average after nine Tests to a world-class 45.42, to go along with a handy haul of 36 wickets at 24.13. But the highlight of his innings was unquestionably the mow over cow corner that brought up his fifty. It was a full and flat battering to further dent Ishant's figures, and it also carried England past 700. Not since 1938 had they racked up such riches in a single innings. Impressive doesn't do the effort justice.

Inevitability of the day
Twenty-one years ago at Lord's, the debutant John Morris sat in the dressing-room for hours and hours on end, waiting for Graham Gooch to finish his magnum opus and give him a chance to have his first hit in Test cricket. As things turned out, he had just enough time to strike his first boundary before England declared on 653 for 4. Ravi Bopara wasn't quite in the same boat, but in his first Test innings for two years, he was on a similar hiding-to-nothing when Eoin Morgan finally left the scene at 605 for 5. In his previous appearance at Edgbaston, in an ODI last year, he bashed 45 not out from 16 balls against Bangladesh, but this time he managed just 7 from 15, before Amit Mishra pinned him lbw.

Fail of the day
Edgbaston has spent £32million on revamping its venerable old ground, and the upshot is magnificent, with one of the most imposing stands in the world game, including a press box that dwarves that of any other venue in the country. But during the afternoon session, the new building suffered a teething problem that had unfortunate knock-on effects. A problem with the high-voltage feed caused a power cut in the stand, which in turn led to the floodlights being switched off "as a precaution". None of that would have mattered had the umpires not decided that play could not continue without them. And so, midway through the session, play ground to a thoroughly unnecessary halt. Mind you, with Cook at the crease, it didn't exactly make a dent in the day's glacial progress.

Fail of the day Part II
God only knows what Virender Sehwag was thinking. He was on a king pair. India were swamped under a monumental lead. There were 13 overs remaining in the day. What does the world's most destructive batsman do? Facing his very first ball (the second of the innings), he went swishing wildly at an away-swinging delivery from James Anderson, only to give the simplest of catches to Andrew Strauss at first slip. Anderson went into wild celebrations. So did the English fans. And after travelling 4000 miles to save the day for India, he ended up becoming the living embodiment of that oldest of parallels, the hare and the tortoise.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mike on August 14, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    England at the moment have a dream team! Their bowlers are attacking in a pack & with relentless accuate bowling. If Tremlett gets injured then Bresnan steps in to do even a better allround job. Trott lost his place through injury & Cook scores 294! Indian bowers bowling on the same pitch cannot get 2 balls on line & length & get smashed around the ground by England's No 7, 8, 9 & 10! Ian Bell, Pieterson, Strauss & Mat Prior have all made sizeable contributions. They have done well against OZ, SA, Pak & SLA

    All the Indian players who have amassed wealth through IPL & sponsorships have no profesionalism unlike the English team none of whom wanted IPL money except may be the likes of Flintoff & Pieterson. The ageing unfit Indian millionaire cricketers with swollen midriff & waistline who cannot even bend down and field are in stark contrast to the superfit & professional English cricketers. Team India - you have no hope of saving the 4th test either! I am an Indian by birth!!

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Can Indian fans accept the fact that this isnt poor form of the Indians but because England has done their homework on how to score against India and finding each batsmen weaknesses. England players work very very hard to thrash them. Every bowler gets monitored in each of their delivery in the nets is an example. This is all done through proper planning of Flower and Strauss. Even after the ashes, the 1st thing Strauss said was concentrating on being worlds number 1, that means beating SL and India. They have done that through hard work, got nothing to do with India's form. Also @herath UK, stop your rubbish about SL lost to England only 1-0 because your team lost and stop comparing. Only the weather saves SL, not the team. End of.

  • Bryn on August 13, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    damn england are lucky. a child could score big runs against this indian side.

  • niaz on August 13, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Food for thoughts today: Cook has a massive appetite (for runs). He is going to get fat (scores) soon. Shewag is fasting and Tendulker is on a strict diet. Prior looks hungry, Dhoni has an eating disorder. Dravid is eating exceptionally well as usual.

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    nobody remember that what happened to england when they toured india in 2008. they lost both one day and test series , so if india lost this series then what the problem, england is good team now a days specially in their home soil. they played like a ordinary team when they toured sub continent

  • sanjay on August 13, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Mukund has no shots man and shewag has come unprepared! A total wash out is imminent!

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    This is not the end.ups and downs are always applicable for any game. But let of tell you something. Every team is good in their home conditions.this is called good advantage. This is not the end.ups and downs are always applicable for any game. But let of tell you something. Every team is good in their home conditions.this is called home advantage.

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    cricket is more played in brain than on field.from day one our team was defensive and loser attitude.our players have been playing T20 and ODI only.they had no preparation for test matches.the great sehwag,gambhir,sachin,zaheer continue to play in IPL even when injured and become unavailable for world cup and tests.participation of seniors in IPL should be restircted to 4 league games,semis and finals only.this should apply to all who have played 25 tests or 75 ODI(or are on national contract).IPL should be left for uncapped talent. fast bowlers should be nutured with utmost care..team should have 4 physios who keep an eye throghout the year on contracted players. team should have acclaimed batting,fast bowling,spin and two fielding coaches beside main coach for planning. india should develop more juicy pitches like mohaali.......its the place where we have worst records for batting.Rremove the tags of greatness from sachin,sehwag dhoni and those who are in form should be given chance

  • Jawaid on August 13, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    India might be deserved no.1 test team but this playing eleven not. They look like tired, how they can beat England single match of the series. Zaheer absence is not a matter because he cant bowled out whole England team two times. Pakistan was batter last series in England when they missed Amir, Asif and Salman.

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    thumbs up ENGLAND!!! Everyone have to agree that india is very very poor side. when it comes out of home soil.. damn bowling.. English keep pilling up the devastating runs.. Indian bowlers only taking wickets after batsmen making loose shots.. but anderson and broad delivering some unplayable balls to remove the polls of indian batsmen after they try to block the balls wuth forward defence.. straight through the gate i have to say

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