Plays of the Day July 27, 2007

Karthik shakes up The King's men

Dileep Premachandran comes up with the plays of the first day of the Trent Bridge Test between England and India



Talking jazz: Dinesh Karthik didnt indulge in much verbal banter, but let his bat do the talking © Getty Images

Statement of intent: They didn't come much louder on Saturday than the first ball after lunch. Ryan Sidebottom pitched one short and wide and Dinesh Karthik rocked back and whiplashed a cut to the point boundary. There were words and a snarl from Sidebottom later, but Karthik's pointed reference to the scoreboard was the perfect reply.

Elvis, where are you?: Thirty years after The King died, he's still Always on my Mind for some people. A group of men in wigs and masks and dressed in white costumes, sequined and unbuttoned to the waist, trooped in just after lunch, but India's resolute batting left them All Shook Up.

O Jerusalem: Play had barely started before a group of English fans in the stand next to the media centre launched into a rousing rendition of William Blake's Jerusalem. But though they asked for a "chariot of fire", it was Karthik and Wasim Jaffer who did not "cease from mental fight", adding 147 for the first wicket.

Where's my trampoline?: It wasn't the best of days for Chris Tremlett. He didn't go for many runs, but he was seldom threatening either. He still managed to produce one of the deliveries of the day though, a nasty bouncer that brushed Jaffer's glove on its way to Matt Prior. Soon after, Sachin Tendulkar was 'grilled' - to use Allan Donald's expression at the post-match press conference - by a James Anderson delivery that both lifted and darted back off the seam.

Diabolical dive: On the football pitch, such a dive would have merited an immediate red card, but England will be grateful this evening that Ian Bell threw himself full length to his left to catch Rahul Dravid and redress the balance somewhat just before stumps.

One more landmark: When Tendulkar eased into a magnificent cover-drive off Monty Panesar midway through the final session, and Anderson fumbled on the rope, it took him past 11,000 Test runs, and a few steps closer to Brian Lara, whose tally of 11,953 leads the way. There were handshakes from some of the English players before he left the field at close of play, testament to the respect they have for a man who was fronting up to Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram when many of them were still too young to hold a bat.

In admiration: They had a few lively tussles in their time, and Allan Donald was in no doubt as to where Tendulkar stands in the modern batting pantheon. "In my era, I think he's the best player I've had the pleasure of playing against," he said. "He's something special, very freakish."

Dileep Premachandran is associate editor of Cricinfo