ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

England v India, 4th npower Test, The Oval, 5th day

Tendulkar thwarted in century quest

ESPNcricinfo's Plays of the Day from the fifth day of the fourth Test between England and India at The Oval

Andrew Miller and Nagraj Gollapudi at The Oval

August 22, 2011

Comments: 135 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook at short leg fumbles a chance from Sachin Tendulkar, England v India, 4th Test, The Oval, 5th day, August 22, 2011
Alastair Cook fumbled a chance from Sachin Tendulkar at short leg ... but Tim Bresnan removed him lbw with the first ball of his post-lunch spell © Getty Images
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Moment of the day
When Sachin Tendulkar is at the crease and going strong, it can sometimes feel as though destiny is shaping his fortunes. In the final Test innings of the summer, with his 100th international hundred up for grabs, and a wave of good fortune clearing his path, The Oval was on standby for instant history. England's failure to appeal for a stumping on 34 last night looked set to haunt them, as he was dropped by Cook at short leg and Prior behind the stumps, while also surviving two dicey lbws. But on 91, Tim Bresnan rapped his pads from wide of the crease, and after a dramatic pause, umpire Rod Tucker took a gutsy, some might say crazy, decision, and put up his finger. Replays showed that the ball would have grazed leg stump, so it could not have been overturned on review

Innings of the day
As Anil Kumble will testify, The Oval is a good surface for legspinners ... especially when they pick up a bat. Amit Mishra had a shocking time with the ball, returning figures of 0 for 170 which would surely have got worse had England not declared during the third-day rain break. But just as Kumble racked up his maiden Test hundred on this ground in 2007, so Mishra used the facilities to establish his unheralded second string. He provided doughty support to first Rahul Dravid in the first innings, and then Sachin Tendulkar in the second, as India gathered their composure and batted through to lunch without a wicket to raise the prospect of avoiding defeat. His 84 was a proper batsman's knock.

Duck of the day
Suresh Raina, on the other hand, has shrivelled as a batsman in the course of this series. His uncomplicated offspin has provided the sort of breakthroughs that Mishra's failed to make, but the solidity of his second-innings 78 at Lord's now belongs to another era. Today he prodded and poked his way to a 13-ball duck, having hung around for 29 balls without getting off the mark, meaning that his 42-ball pair slots in as the fourth-longest in Test history, behind Mike Whitney, Iain O'Brien and Manjural Islam. The end, when it came, was unlucky, as he was adjudged lbw despite an inside-edge. But all complaints about that should be directed to the BCCI. Besides, it never looked like making a difference.

Drop of the day
Tendulkar was on 70. He was getting more confident by the minute. But Graeme Swann was threatening too, extracting extravagant turn from the fifth day surface and often beating the bat. In that mood he dipped one into Tendulkar, who propped forward to defend. The resultant bat-and-pad flew towards Cook at short leg. It was a regulation catch, but Cook was on the rise and slightly off balanced as the ball rushed into the inside of his right elbow, then into his chest before popping out. A desperate Cook, falling backwards, tried to hold on to the rebound, but failed. Swann was aghast. Andrew Strauss, at slip, turned back, holding his forehead, disappointed.

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

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Comments: 135 
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Posted by Darren on (August 23, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

@Libran. Win or draw a series in SA. Last time there (2008), we drew 1-1. Time before, we won 2-1.

Posted by Martin on (August 23, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

@Nampally; hey! Nice to receive acknowledgement from a respected long-standing member of the cricinfo family :-) Yes indeed, very frustrated. I came out of Lords and I was thrilled - My son's first time to a test match - and a great England win against a strong team. Fantastic. Or was it? As the series worn on it became clear that India were not really up for the battle. I couldn't believe it at first, but by the time the score reached 250/1 in Engs first Innings at Edgbaston it was clear that India were totally beaten. If you recall my posts - I took no pleasure in seeing such a one-sided affair, and I still don't. What happened in this series is gruesome and an embarressment to Test Cricket. This should have been a series to remember - but now it will be for all the wrong reasons. I am not gloating here because I know you are a passionate and level headed cricket fan. Still - at least India had some magnificent batting displays from Dravid - my son loved that!

Posted by Andrew on (August 23, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

If I was an Indian fan I'd be pretty depressed right now.

Posted by Ashok on (August 23, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

@Swombats: Your comments regarding the Indian performance are right on and I can understand your frustration as a cricket lover.Dravid was the only Indian batsman who played to his potential. Unfortunately he was given out by the Umpire in the second innings on pad catch, as per Hawk eye - Not bat pad catch. Also Raina was given out LBW on bat Pad. With Indian batting already struggling these 2 decisions swung the game from a possible draw to a crushing defeat.I agree withcomments regards to a totally irresponsible batting by Dhoni. Mishra, a bowler, showed that the England bowling was no better than average with his 43 & 81 runs in the 2 innings.It is a fact that a country once committed to a tour cannot back off because of injuries. India was unfortunately hit by injuries to key players - Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Yuvraj . Kumar, Harbhajan & Tendulkar.This left the team unprepared to play England in unfamiliar conditions.This might also account for the lack of intensity in the team.

Posted by Charindra on (August 23, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

How sad is it that a test match that should have been remembered for England's remarkable effort, a 4 - 0 whitewash and Dravid's courageous batting was about to be remembered for Sachin's 100th century! Disgraceful! India should learn to worship the team, and not individuals, especially not one who seems to be as self centered as Sachin is. But he is an amazing batsman. But not the guy to have in a pressure situation.

Posted by Abhishek on (August 23, 2011, 11:43 GMT)

Well I can put up another excuse- and a really good one at that- the Indian team went into a steep decline the moment they were coaxed into recalling Ian Bell. The customary Indian fightback in the second test of the series got scrambled and the team started looking like it was counting off the days remaining in the tour. But poor Tendulkar! Nobody told him about the virtues of retiring when on a high. Now the world would only see a declining Tendulkar in a declining team and his 100th 100, as and when it comes, would be devoid of the magic that a career record of 99 hundred at the end of a WC win would have been.

Posted by Dummy4 on (August 23, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

My advice to fellow Indians: Continue to support our team but take nothing away from this England performance of absolute solidity. They were unrelenting in all aspects of the game. No point in saying that such and such a thing happened in 1992 or that we'll trash them when they're in India next or that we lost because Zaheer was injured etc. The world no. 1 team was expected to give a much better performance than this and rightly, we've been displaced from the top spot. Move on! There's young blood flying in for the ODIs. Let's give them our utmost support and not nip their confidence in the bud.

Posted by Andrew on (August 23, 2011, 10:51 GMT)

Raina was caught at slip off the rebound anyway.

@chris_p respect to your comments from an england fan.

Posted by Peter on (August 23, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

@Azharuddin. I think you need to address the present and future rather than bitterly and angrily looking to the past. For a lesson in how to accept a heavy defeat with good grace, humility and honour, you could do with having a look at Rahul Dravid's post match interview with Mike Atherton.

Posted by SUMIT on (August 23, 2011, 9:35 GMT)

Oh well... Congrats to the English team.. Very well played.. However i still think to be called world champions they have a few more fortresses that they need to conquer.. for ex.. Win or draw a series in SA & India..

I cant remember last time england won a test in India may be they could do it now,, we will only find out once that happens...

For team India, dreadful performance but its time to put it behind and move forward... its not the end of the world..

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007

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