Haryana v England, Ahmedabad, 2nd day

Haryana pose questions for tourists

George Dobell in Ahmedabad

November 9, 2012

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Haryana 172 for 4 (Dewan 77*, Singh 55) trail England XI 521 (Pietersen 110, Cook 97, Compton 74, Bell 62, Patel 67) by 349 runs

Monty Panesar bowled economically and took a wicket, Haryana v England XI, tour match, Ahmedabad, 2nd day, November 9, 2012
England's bowlers were made to work hard for their wickets on an unresponsive pitch © Getty Images
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If England had any illusions about the enormity of their task in India, they would have largely been dispelled on the second day against Haryana.

Having lost their last five wickets for 14 runs in the morning session, England's bowlers then spent the rest of the day toiling under a hot sun, claiming just four wickets in 61 overs. Matt Prior was forced off the pitch suffering from a stomach upset and, perhaps more worryingly, the Haryana offspinner, Jayant Yadav, delivered a less than glowing review of England's performance against spin bowling.

While England's total of 521 underlines the ease with which the batsmen flourished for the main, it is worth noting that against 40.1 overs of spin they lost eight wickets for 177. Yadav, an unremarkable bowler playing only his fifth first-class game, finished with 4 for 110, the best figures of his career to date.

It may be wrong to read too much into that. In the latter stages of the innings, with the total over 500 and the lack of intensity in the match situation producing lethargic cricket, England played some carefree strokes. But, given England's recent history against spin bowling, and bearing in mind that this surface is offering precious little help to bowlers of any type, those statistics will be just a little unsettling.

England's top-order looked comfortable against Yadav. Several batsmen, notably Ian Bell, Nick Compton, Prior and Kevin Pietersen, quickly took advantage of the lack of spin to come down the pitch to drive him over the top. But, far from being impressed by such confidence, Yadav interpreted it as a sign of insecurity.

"They looked very uncomfortable against spin," Yadav said. "That's why they resorted to playing that way. If you are comfortable you play from the crease. You would use your feet once or twice. But from the outset they had a mindset to attack the spinners, because they were unsure how to play them. The wicket was not offering much to the spinners. It was very slow and didn't turn much at all. There were uncomfortable."

Whether that is fair or not, it is certainl that England's tail - without Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad - folded quickly. After Bell fell early, attempting to run one to third man but edging to slip, Samit Patel and Prior added 69 in 12 overs. Both looked in fine form, with Patel registering his third score over 50 in succession on the tour. He could hardly have done more to nail down the No. 6 position for the first Test.

But when Prior, perhaps already feeling unwell, skipped down the pitch and missed one, it precipitated a sharp decline. Tim Bresnan and Patel, unwilling to grind out runs with the total already over 500, both slogged down the throat of long-on, before Stuart Meaker's drive was sharply taken by Amit Mishra in his follow through and Graham Onions was bowled playing back to one that skidded on. So, it was five quick wickets, but a far cry from the hopeless displays that characterised the trip to the UAE earlier in the year.

England's bowlers were also made to work hard. While Nitin Saini, unsettled by a good bouncer, soon steered Bresnan to point, Rahul Dewan and Sunny Singh added 97 for the second wicket. At one stage Singh, a man with a first-class triple century to his name, took Bresnan for three successive boundaries and also skipped down the pitch to drive Patel for successive fours, while Dewan, cutting particularly well, hit Onions for two boundaries in a row and looked a well organised, patient batsman. He enjoyed only one moment of fortune when Prior, clearly unwell by this stage, dropped a tough chance down the leg side off Meaker's second delivery.

Poor Prior was obliged to make two emergency dashes for the bathroom, but England's initial request to use a substitute wicketkeeper from outside their playing XI was declined by the umpires and match referee. While the convention in English domestic cricket permits a substitution on the grounds that the ECB believes that county cricket could be lessened as a spectacle by the use of a make-shift wicket-keeper, the Laws of the game (Law 2:3 specifically) actually forbid it. Ultimately, however, the BCCI, in an admirably magnanimous gesture, were contacted and made a special dispensation towards England. Jonny Bairstow took the gloves and Prior retired to a dark room.

England did eventually break through - Jonathan Trott clinging on to the first of two sharp catches in the slips - but Bresnan later rated the wicket the best for batting he had ever experienced.

"That wicket out there is possibly the best I've ever bowled on," he said. "It's unbelievable. It's easy-paced, has nice bounce and just comes on to the bat lovely. You get the feeling you're in an 'indoor school' scenario. It's not doing much off the straight, not seaming, not really bouncing much - and it's not spinning at all. So it's difficult."

All three of England's seamers worked up a decent pace - Meaker in particular - but the line was just a little too wayward to build any pressure. Monty Panesar, in stock bowler mode, gave away little and, on a warm afternoon against determined but limited batsmen, the game drifted in somnambulant fashion. Indeed, it will tell you much about the day that the most entertaining moment came when play was briefly suspended while two monkeys ran across the pitch and enjoyed a romantic liaison at third man. You don't see too much of that sort of thing at Lord's.

There was better news off the pitch for England, though. Steven Finn has improved more than expected and was able to bowl off his full run-up in the nets and, while Stuart Broad continued to rest and Graeme Swann remains in the UK, both are expected to be available for the first Test.

"Finn is off his full run now," Bresnan said. "That's a very good sign. With six days to go, there's no reason why he shouldn't be fully fit. If he can bowl at 90mph plus consistently, and get that bounce and lift, he's going to add to any team. He would probably get in any side in the world at the minute."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by MichaelBurton on (November 11, 2012, 1:43 GMT)

What the hell this Yadav guy is talking about? Did he get smashed on his head by the England top order attacks and got mad? This shows the poor knowledge of Indian spinners about batting. Did he mean England batsmen danced down the track each and every ball he delivered? England bowlers might have smashed down the ground most of the balls with couple of balls playing in the line. This shows the poor bowling attack of the bowler (Yadav). That is bowling was too easy so the batsmen could dance down the track and smash all over the ground for most of the balls. If the attack was good, England batsmen would play in the line for most of the balls and dance down the track for poor balls (only 1-2 per over). Look at his strike rate 4.78 runs per over and compare with the England spinners. I feel sorry about the poor guy Yadav. He seems to be thinking too much about him.

Posted by vinaykmr on (November 10, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

samit patel looks good for eng, not as a bowler but definitely as a batter. nice performances by him recently.

Posted by sohaibahmad on (November 10, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

why is Harshal Patel not playing foir Haryana?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 10, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

The fact that an Indian bowler interprets positive batting as a sign of insecurity troubles me little. There's no doubt that England were far too negative against spin in UAE and also the first innings in SL. They tried to play more positively in the second innings of the first Test in SL but it was too little too late. They looked far more comfortable in the second Test playing what you would consider just normal cricket and the result speaks for itself. The fact that they are using their feet here suggests that they are going to look to play positively and that's great news. Against better bowlers on more helpful pitches in the Tests, I'm sure that they won't be skipping down the pitch every second ball but they must at least stay positive. It's not a great sign that the England bowlers haven't taken a few more wickets though, against what I assume is a fairly average batting lineup. Not England's frontline attack but even so, I had hoped for more.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 23:46 GMT)

To be honest, I'd have been surprised if England hadn't scored 400+ against Haryana. Their bowling attack is decidedly mediocre and any player of international quality should be able to batter them, especially in conditions this good for batting.

Also, England's first XI, didn't really perform that well against India A and Yuvvi's pies. How well Cook and KP bat will be the decider here. The former can sit at the crease and grind you out for ages if he gets in and the latter can bash you around the park, if those two don't get a good start in spinning conditions England will be in serious trouble.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (November 9, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

Prior wanted runs before the first test but perhaps not of this kind...

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

England don't play spin all that well. We know that, but we also know that a lot of the problems they have with spin are related to DRS. Umpires are more likely to give an LBW to a spinner when the batsman is on the front foot because of DRS, but I can't help but think tactically that India have made a mistake not implementing it. Given the Indian selections for the warm up games, I'm surprised that they have not asked for DRS. (I understand they are against it, but they seem really keen win at all costs.)

I for one was there to watch Broad's hattrick ball at Trent Bridge and had no sympathy whatsoever when the incorrect decision was given. That type of decision is why the system should always be used in my book.

Despite our poor performances with the bat in Pakistan, we did get into winning positions in some games. I wouldn't be surprised to see the same here, even if I'm not overly confident.

And as a English Club Cricketer I can assure I seldom play in cattle grazing fields...

Posted by maddy20 on (November 9, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

@A_Vacant_Slip The question posed is English batsmen folding up after adding too few runs to their overnight score and the seamers toiling in the sun against a second string Haryana side for 61 overs with little to show for. If Haryana can get past follow on and make England bat again tomorrow, it would be interesting to watch.

Posted by Trickstar on (November 9, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Some really strange comments, England scored over 400 runs in a day then the tail enders had a slog out at the end, so the second string bowlers can get a few overs under their belts. On a pitch that England scored at 4.4 rpo and KP retired after smashing the bowlers as if they were bowling like 11 year old girls, so to let others have a go. 172-4 is hardly good on a pitch like this especially facing essentially England's second string bowling in their home conditions. @Arrow011 Bresnan obviously means it is the best for batting, when he refers to it as a 'indoor school' scenario gives you a good idea what he means. I personally think England will have welcomed getting time in the middle getting used to conditions, getting as many runs as they can simply because facing better quality spin is hardly the difference at this time, they will have done all their technique related spin work well before they left for India, this will have been ideal for the batsmen.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 9, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

@chokkasokka + @y.deva if you think Lords and Oval are "fast seaming track" "damp grazing field" then you clearly show your lack of knowledge. The hot sunshine and flat track of these two fine venue was not the reason India lost there. No there must be other reason.... reason? India completely outclassed even on flat track in hot sunshine. At Oval Swann clean India up 9/209 - so how can it be a "damp drazing field" what nonsense. You can hope Ashwin will spare blush but hope is all you have.

Posted by Meety on (November 9, 2012, 21:22 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (November 09 2012, 15:01 PM GMT) - well said. I have said a few times, that I think this could backfire on India - playing these sides against England. Gives England time to work out strategies & implement them (whether they are good strategies or not will be the issue). Where I am a little concerned for England, is that Haryana got routed badly in their last game & they have nearly reached that matchs run agregate for the loss of 4 wickets against England. I would of expected Haryana to be all out for 150/60!

Posted by FlashAsh on (November 9, 2012, 21:01 GMT)

Oh Yippee! This is great for ENG and just what they need, Batsmen (except poor Prior!) getting used to spending long time under sun! Our bowlers and fielders having to do same!!

Who cares if opposition are (as quoted by Indian comments!!) 2nd or 3rd class!! ENG can only play what is put in front of them!!

Great to see Monty get a few overs and Bressie is only bowler here (apart from Samit maybe!) whose gonna feature next week (unless Swann can't make it back! & no-one will blame him if he doesn't!!).

Anyway, Fill boots ENG and get used to the Heat!! Let Monty & Samit or KP to get some overs in....

Can't wait until next week and I actually don't really care if ENG win or lose, but how they win or lose will be important both for IND & ENG!! All pressure is on IND!! ENG expected to fold so any other result is a bonus!

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (November 9, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

What? Two monkeys ran across the pitch! That's pretty funny. This is a "Plays of the day" moment.

Posted by chokkashokka on (November 9, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

poor prior ....our prayers are with him for a speedy recovery. Seriously, how can an international athlete be expected to perform in blistering 25 degree temperatures - how can the fitness of international athletes be expected to withstand such constant travelling away from home? As for Bresnan - How can cricket be allowed to be played anywhere other than damp grazing fields in cold and wet overcast conditions? Think he might be in for quite a schooling over the next couple of months. Looks like we've got ourselves a happy group of winners or is it whinners? Can never tell these days. As for the monkeys - well the monkey business at Lords seemed to have been taking place in the dressing room as we may recall. But it was equally entertaining. Loving the build up - hoping for a healthy competetive series for all.

Posted by y.deva on (November 9, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

@A_vacant_slip - As an Indian follower I will be happily sit back and waiting for the first test and enjoy the rest................ You don't get fast seaming pitches my friend it is not England............ Let the former test # 1 team bring out their skill against spin bowling....not asking much same as asking subcontinent batsmen against seam bowling...

Posted by ashes61 on (November 9, 2012, 19:46 GMT)

I may be a pedant but if the umpires & match referee (quite correctly) declined ENG's request to introduce a 12th player in a 1st class match, that should have been the end of it. It was indeed generous of the BCCI to agree to Bairstow taking part but I do hope the suggestion that they were contacted first by ENG is incorrrect. Quite apart from a blatant departure from the laws of the game & the disregard of the decision of the umpires & match referee (thereby undermining their authority) it has surely jeopardised the 1st class status of this match. Any ACS members here who can clarify that point please? I think a dangerous precedent has been set for no good reason. It may be a light-hearted "warm-up game" (an awful expression anyway) but was billed as 1st class, not one of the (all too common) 2-day "warm-up" games which proliferate these days with 12/13 a side. ENG know the rules for 1st class games & that should have been that. Poss injury to stand-in keeper? Tough.1stCass is 1stCl

Posted by Sumit_SSB on (November 9, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

hmm as expected England score big against a young Haryana squad (well never considered to be a threat team in domestic arena..but still played fair) ...missing their lead bowler in this match...but the jinx in the english batting line up- spin shows a sign of good contest for the series. Play well Haryana ....you have got nothing to lose...just an opportunity to showcase your talent..good luck

Posted by ssenthil on (November 9, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

I hope England will be provided the pitch like the one currently TN playing against Karnataka in Chennai. That looked typical Indian wicket with turn and bounce in offer from the right after lunch still the TN batsman played well not to lose many wickets and Indian batsman also will do the same while the England would have been folded under 250 on those surfaces. I hope BCCI knows something how to bring smiles to Indian fans.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (November 9, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

what is this clown going on about? England looked uncomfortable smashing me repeatedly over the top as most of their batsmen filled their boots and the team scored over 500. I'd hate to see someone comfortable against him!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 9, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

The English had trouble facing Yuvraj, Amit Mishra and Yadav. Yuvraj is going to be there in the team for tests. And isn't it safe to assume that Ashwin and Ojha are better than Mishra and Yadav? Then, what about our batsmen - Sehwag, Gambhir, Statchin? Three completely out of form batsmen. If English batsmen are going to struggle against our spin bowlers, then it is equally true that three of our batsmen will struggle against any kind of bowlers at this point in time. So, I don't think it is over the top if you back the English team this time. Our batsmen will be letting us down this time. I hope to be proved to wrong. Cook, KP, Trott and Bell - man for man are way ahead of our batsmen barring Kohli and Pujara. The batting resources will decide this series and looks like England have a clear edge over us. I hope I'm wrong. Can't wait for the series to start.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 9, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

Title misleading. Only question posed for tourist is whether they will win by Inning. India follower - why do you get so carried away?

Posted by chapathishot on (November 9, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

@ Selassie-I :Your comments clearly proves that they really dont know how to play spin .Either thay stay back for all deliveries and get bowled ,Legbefore playing sweep.Or they will charge every thing and will be stumped or caught .Mind you these are not the real test Ojha and Ashwin are waiting .As Yadav rightly said the batsmen who are confident in playing spin will not do these kind of premeditated antics

Posted by simon_w on (November 9, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Can't help feeling that England are being set up for the sucker-punch here, these warm-up games are more likely to put the England players to sleep than to warm them up. Not too concerned about the spinners cleaning up the tail, who were hitting out, just worried that there's gonna be an enormous yawning gulf between this standard and the first Test. btw, what nonsense from Yadav... Using your feet to the spinners is a sign of being uncomfortable?

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

@selassie he meant jumping out of the crease every ball shows that you are not reading the ball and are uncomfortable. hope this helps

Posted by binojpeter on (November 9, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Now England cannot complain that they were not given exposure to specialist spinners. Amit Mishra is a leading leg-spinner playing in domestic circuit.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

Looks like mystery bowlers are not needed (ref: Swann's comment on India's weakness). All one needs to do is take a two-three step run up and bowl slow and flight it - the English batsmen will take care of the rest.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 9, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

Not entirley sure what Yadav is talking about here.. you stay still in your crease to play spin? so you don't use your feet or anything? Especially if the ball is skidding on as said for Onion's wicket. That was the problem in the UAE, the batsmen were all hanging back or playing the premeditated sweep. The boys are doing the right thing coming up to the pitch of the ball and hitting over the top, every now and then, to get rid of the close fielders.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 9, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

Again we are reading too much between the lines. The Haryana bowling attack looked totally listless but on second morning english hit out and normally leg break bowlers get wickets when there is a hitout. As spin has beocme a psychological factor, english spinners are coming up fast and the side who will the series will be the one with better batting resources i.e. England.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 9, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Finn's fitness is absolutely crucial to England's chances. Despite all the chattering, I feel that these warm-up matches are little more than nets (with net bowling, for the most part) in the middle. That's not to say that the batsmen aren't giving of their best - of course they are - but there is a distinct feeling of a phony war about proceedings thus far. We'll see whether the form book counts for anything when the real business begins next week. I suspect that it will prove largely irrelevant...

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 9, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

BCCI is doing a great job of giving England one of the flat tracks so that they can make a mockery of themselves when they turn up against main Indian team spinners. They are getting a false feeling now of playing very well in India, this feeling they will have until they play main team.

I do not understand as a bowing all-rounder how is Tim Bresnan saying this is one of the best wickets he has played on, does it not betray his bowling which is mainly his bread & butter? I would always feel only a result oriented pitch is a good pitch, not a flat track where bowlers are clobbered all around is a good pitch.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 9, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

I don't see a problem-if Haryana score another 100, and then maybe follow on, we should win. Even if we bat again for 4 hours we should still win.

Posted by Sobhan_Sachinfan on (November 9, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

So...This in stores for you English Friends!!! 2nd or 3rd range domestic players scoring big against your world class bowlers IN India. India need moderately spinning tracks to score big runs and trouble England (except KP , sometimes Cook). Great treat in waiting.

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