India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 2nd day November 16, 2012

The emergence of a significant global talent

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second day in Ahmedabad

Milestone of the day
There was, as befits an innings of such class, no extravagant celebrations; just a smile and a nod in the direction of his teammates. He played more attractive shots - some of the pulls were murderous, some of the drives gorgeous - but the moment Cheteshwar Pujara reached his maiden double-century in Test cricket with a perfectly placed glide to third man through an eight-man off-side field, surely heralded the emergence of a significant global talent. It is hard to imagine there will not be many more centuries to come. And to think: we wondered how India would replace Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

Stroke of the day
Yuvraj Singh struggled a little against Graeme Swann on the first evening but, early on the second day, it became clear that he and Cheteshwar Pujara wanted to hit the off-spinner out of the attack in the knowledge that it would throw England's plans into chaos if they did so. So, in the course of an over that cost 15 runs, Yuvraj skipped down the wicket and drove Swann powerfully for a six back over his head. It was not just the shot - pleasing though it was - but the fact that it summed up Yuvraj's return to full health and potency. Even the most ardent England supporter can only rejoice at that.

Blow of the day
Maybe England could shrug off the early loss of Nick Compton; he was a debutant, after all. And perhaps they could shrug off the loss of James Anderson, too; he was just a nightwatchman. But the loss of Jonathan Trott, pushing with hard hands at an offbreak from R Ashwin, moments before stumps thumped home India's utter dominance by the close of the second day. Trott, who survived a huge appeal for leg before moments earlier, is one of England's more reliable batsmen and a sound player of spin.

Drop of the day
The dye was cast long before Alastair Cook dropped Ravi Ashwin: India were already on 501 for 6 and Ashwin was on 20. It cost England little, but spoke of a pattern that is becoming all too familiar. Nor was it an easy chance. Cook, at extra-cover, seemed a little slow to react to an uppish drive off the bowling of Samit Patel and could only get his finger tips to the ball. But it was the fifth chance that England had failed to accept during the innings and exactly the sort of half-chance that they once took so readily. It was also just the sort of half-chance they knew they would have to take if they were to be successful in India.

Consolation of the day
This was a gruelling, joyless day for England. But if there was a bright spot, it came with the wicket of MS Dhoni, who dragged the ball on as he attempted a sweep, to give Graeme Swann the 14th five-wicket haul of his career. Only five Englishmen, Ian Botham, Bob Willis, Derek Underwood and Alec Bedser, have taken more and only two - Botham and Willis - have taken more outside the UK. It is a statistic that underlines Swann's worth to England in all conditions and against all opponents. England would have looked a ragged bunch without him in Ahmedabad.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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