England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day July 28, 2007

A partnership against the odds

It's too early to judge but Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer's average of 88.50 is the best for an Indian pair who've opened at least five times in Tests



Dinesh Karthik was not in control for 51 out of the 136 deliveries he faced © Getty Images

Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik survived James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom's testing opening spells, and posted 147 for the opening wicket on the second day at Trent Bridge. It was a partnership that beat the odds, for India's openers have had a horrendous record in England in the last three decades. The last time India had a first-wicket partnership of more than 100 in England was when Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan added 213 at The Oval in 1979. Since then, the openers had added more than 50 only five times in 29 innings with Kris Srikkanth and Gavaskar's 64 at Leeds in 1986 being the highest.

India have a history of makeshift opening pairs and Jaffer, the specialist, and Karthik, who averaged 56 in six innings as opener before Trent Bridge, are a relatively new combination. They began impressively, adding 153 against South Africa at Cape Town in January and since they've put on 0, 0, 175*, 18, 38 and 147. It's too early to judge but Karthik and Jaffer's average of 88.50 is the best for an Indian pair who've opened at least five times in Tests.

You cannot fault an opening stand that produces 147 but Karthik and Jaffer had large doses of luck on the second day at Trent Bridge. England's fast bowlers swung and seamed the new ball considerably and both openers played and missed regularly. In fact, Karthik and Jaffer had a higher in-control percentage - that is, they middled the ball more regularly - at Lord's, where India lost their first wicket on 18 and 38 in the two innings.

Not-in-control factor for India's openers
Batsman % at Lord's % at Trent Bridge
Wasim Jaffer 19.6 22.76
Dinesh Karthik 25.62 37.5

Chris Tremlett has been England's best fast bowler so far in the second Test. He bowled predominantly on a good length or just short of a length and got the ball to bounce sharply. India scored 109 runs off 29 overs between lunch and tea but the batsmen managed to score only 15 runs off Tremlett's eight overs, while Anderson and Sidebottom's economy-rates during this session were five and 4.60 respectively.

Anderson and Sidebottom were England's most effective bowlers at Lord's but their swing has produced no wickets so far at Trent Bridge. In the first innings at Lord's, Anderson not only took 5 for 42, but also built immense pressure with his economy rate of 1.72. The difference so far at Trent Bridge has been a positive approach from the Indians compared to Lord's, and a little bit of luck.

More stats from the second day

  • Karthik scored only 7 runs off 29 balls that Tremlett bowled to him while he took 19 runs off 20 deliveries against Anderson.

  • Fifty-four of Karthik's 77 runs were scored on the off side with six out of his 11 fours coming in the cover region. Jaffer also scored 42 out of his 62 runs on the off side.

  • Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar have added 5009 Test runs when batting with each other. They are the third pair, after Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, and Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, to pass the 5000-run mark and the first non-opening pair to do so.

  • England's 198 in the first innings is the first time that India have dismissed them for less than 200 at home since the Headingley Test in 1986 when England made 102 and 128.

  • Tendulkar became the third batsman after Brian Lara and Allan Border to score over 11,000 Test runs. Tendulkar reached the landmark in his 223rd innings while Lara did it in 213 and Border in 259.

    George Binoy is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo