Mumbai A v England XI, Mumbai, 1st day November 3, 2012

Bairstow digs in for England

ESPNcricinfo staff

England XI 338 for 5 (Bairstow 118, Morgan 76, Patel 59*) v Mumbai A

Jonny Bairstow made optimum use of his first outing on England's tour of India as his century coupled with a 156-run stand for the fifth wicket resurrected the England innings and helped the visitors end the opening day at 338 for 6 against a mediocre Mumbai A bowling attack at the Dr DY Patil Sports Stadium on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Though Bairstow, Morgan and Samit Patel managed to get valuable game practice, a revamped England XI - with five changes from the team that took on India A earlier this week - was deprived of facing quality spin yet again as the second-string Mumbai team management seemed to have taken a cue from the national selectors' policy of not including a specialist spinner in the team. While the national selectors hadn't included one for the game at the Brabourne Stadium, the only specialist spinner in the Mumbai A squad, Sagar Gorivale, served drinks all through the day instead of bowling on a wicket that had a tinge of grass.

So it didn't come as surprise that bulk of the bowling load was shared by pace bowlers. On a day that saw the Mumbai A failing short by three overs, only 23 were bowled by part-time offspin of newly married Shikhar Dhawan, Suryakumar Yadav and Nikhil Patil (Jr).

The wicket did assist seam bowlers early on and the Mumbai A bowling attack, led by Kshemal Waingankar who had 11 first-class caps before coming into the game, troubled both the England openers vying for the slot vacated by Andrew Strauss. While Joe Root, replacing captain Alastair Cook, survived the first session, Nick Compton failed to make a mark for the second successive time.

Compton, who failed to open his account against India A, saw his off stump being uprooted by Waingankar, who had dismissed five England batsmen in a one-day warm-up game four years ago, off the first ball of the fifth over.

While Root preferred to guard his wicket, Jonathan Trott timed the ball sweetly ever since he took guard. Having driven Shardul Thakur and Javed Khan, both right-arm medium pacers, through covers, Trott seemed to be set to better his 59 against India A at the Brabourne.

However, Trott's attempt to drive one from Khan that was slightly short of a length after spending a little over an hour at the wicket failed and he could only managed to nick it straight into wicketkeeper Sufiyan Shaikh's hands. And that set the loudest cheer from the scant crowd at the stadium that was hosting its maiden first-class game. Not because the handful of spectators, dominated by students as the stadium is situated in the premises of a university, were happy to see the back of Trott but in anticipation of Kevin Pietersen's arrival at the crease.

Not many were aware that Pietersen was rested along with Cook, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and the injured Steven Finn for the game. In walked Ian Bell but even before getting his eye in, edged one from Waingankar during the bowler's second spell into Sufiyan's waiting gloves.

As if it wasn't enough to have been reduced to 64 for 3 in the opening session, Root, who appeared to be compact against pacers, glided par-timer Yadav straight into Nikhil Patil's hands at forward short leg at the stroke of lunch.

With 66 for 4, England were in danger of being bundled out cheaply. As a result, it didn't come as a surprise that Morgan and Bairstow curbed their instincts in the second session and focused more on saving their wickets rather than trying to score freely. But once they grew in confidence and the pace troika started feeling the heat, the scoring rate was on the rise in the second half of the day's play.

"It was pretty good to spend so much time at the crease and score the runs," Bairstow said. "There is a massive amount of competition in the England middle order and at the end of the only eleven people can go out there. Hopefully scoring these runs in the warm-up games will push me for a place in that side.

"I think I am targeting the first Test as well. Without doubt anyone would like to be among the eleven guys representing England. I will keep working hard and hopefully score some runs in the next warm-up game as well and if not selected I will still work hard in the nets."

The drives and the cuts and the flicks started coming at will after tea but Morgan was trapped by a Thakur yorker against the run of the play to end the 156-run association for the fifth wicket. But Samit Patel carried on from where he had left against India A and with Bairstow coming into his elements, boundaries were on the rise.

Bairstow, who will be keeping wickets in Prior's absence, completed his eighth first-class century with a square cut off Waingankar that fetched him his 12th boundary. Although England would have liked both the aggressive batsmen to take guard on the second morning, with 15 minutes remaining for the close of play, Bairstow edged Khan to Dhawan in the slip cordon.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on November 4, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    @SamuelH on (November 03 2012, 23:19 PM GMT) OK - a bad minirun then. Yes he's done great all season. As I put in other posts I think Bell should miss the whole series - as he's going home for one test anyway and his current form and SC stats are not good anyway. This would automatically create a batting spot and maybe then Flower could say (have said) to Nick or Root that you'll get the whole series. Maybe he is putting too much pressure on himself but I had the idea that he was one player who thrives on pressure. Maybe he's not cut out for SC at all. If Eng are consistent he'll be given the opportunity others have been afforded. I've not seen any of the cricket. It could be that he's just got out to 2 unplayable deliveries...

  • John on November 4, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (November 03 2012, 23:03 PM GMT) Listen ,if you don't really care about Compton and if you haven't followed the English domestic game you shouldn't really comment on whether a player deserves a place in the side or not. Fair enough say that he is looking all at sea,doesn't look up to the job, is being found out etc but his stats this year were head and shoulders above everyone else on the tour. I agree with you re the Indian opposition and I have never once said anything bad about these sides. I don't know what the depth of talent India has is like which is why I will not comment on their domestic players

  • amit on November 4, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    @ Cpt.Meanster.....i always like ur comments...being an canadian and having so much interest and knowledge abt indian cricket....its just admirable...

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Even before the Test Matches have started, the England Cricket Team and the English Press have already started whinging about India. Sunil Gavaskar says the negativity of the English will continue as the tour progresses.

    Because of their behaviour, English Cricketers and the English Press have always been unpopular in India.

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    @ counterstrike Plese remind me which test series the WC is?

  • Axe on November 4, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    @ S-A-M-1994. hehehe funny indeed. And this Minnow Indian team have beaten your team in all the WC matches. lol Must be Fluke. Right ? :P gand mra.

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    I'd leave out Compton and Root. Instead I would move up Trott and have Morgan in the lineup. Patel has obviously cemented a place for himself in the side.

  • GAURAV on November 4, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    England thought that they will frustrate Mumbai A on Day 2 with tail enders like broad , only to find things too hot to handle with early morning seam and swing. Wasted no time to run back to dressing room.

  • sathish on November 4, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    How much runs did compton, Trott, and Bell scored against Mumbai A, please do mention that, lol rofl

  • adithya on November 4, 2012, 3:06 GMT


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