India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 3rd day November 17, 2012

Raging Bell and a Hawk Eye surprise

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

Wicket of the day
During the warm-up match against Haryana, the offspinner Jayant Yadav provoked some derision when he remarked that England had been unconvincing against his bowling. In particular, Yadav said, England's propensity to skip down the wicket as soon as the spinners were introduced betrayed an anxiety and lack of confidence. The problem was, England had scored 521 in their first innings and Yadav had conceded nearly five an over. But, in light of Ian Bell's dismissal here - running down the wicket to his first delivery - Yadav's words rang true. In an innings full of low points, Bell's stroke plumbed a new depth. While he no doubt intended it as a demonstration of his confidence, it instead spoke of his lack of confidence at playing Pragyan Ojha from the crease. It was, by any standards, awful.

Ball of the day
England will, no doubt, receive a great deal of criticism for their first-innings batting performance, much of it justified. But there were moments when batting was desperately difficult. Ojha, bowling from wide of the crease, gained significant turn and the delivery that dismissed Tim Bresnan also bounced sharply and took the shoulder of the bat on its way to slip. It was a fine ball and one of the high points of Ojha's fourth five-wicket haul in Tests.

Let-off of the day
Odd though it sounds, England actually enjoyed a fair bit of fortune on the third day. Kevin Pietersen could have been stumped on 6 and both he and Alastair Cook might consider themselves fortunate to have survived leg-before shouts. In the second innings, too, Cook survived a huge lbw appeal on 41. But the biggest let-off of all game when Matt Prior was on just 3. R Ashwin attempted a rare legbreak - his first of the day - only to serve up a full toss. Prior, eyes lighting up, mishit the rare lose ball and should have been taken by Zaheer Khan at deep square leg. It would have reduced England to 91 for 7. Instead, however, Zaheer palmed the ball for four and Prior was able to lead a recovery of sorts in contributing 48 - the top score of the innings - and keeping England's very faint hopes of salvation alive.

Irony of the day
The umpires did not have the best of days. England, Cook in particular, survived some very good leg-before shouts in each innings and it is possible that the England captain's reprieve in his second innings, attempting to sweep Ojha on 41, might yet define this game. Certainly, had the DRS been in operation in this series, Cook would most certainly have been given out but such is the BCCI's opposition to the technology in its current form - they argue it is unproven and not totally reliable - he survived. But there are various websites offering the ball-tracking technology including, rather surprisingly, the BCCI's own website.

Shot of the day
While Cook led the way in the second innings, the shot of the day came from Nick Compton. Compton, on debut, had appeared solid but he also looked a little limited in scoring opportunities: after 26 balls, he had scored just four runs. Then, however, he struck his first boundary in Test cricket: waiting for the right ball and noticing the gap in the field, he executed a fine reverse sweep for four off Ashwin. Not only did it release the pressure on Compton, who was admirably unruffled for the rest of the day, but it forced India to rethink their field. It also underlined the fact that such shots, used appropriately, can be highly effective.

Damning statistic of the day
Haryana, who scored 334 against England in the warm-up game, were bowled out for just 66 in the Ranji Trophy. The week before the game against England, they were bowled out for 55. Yes, the wickets were different and yes, direct comparisons can be misleading. But, whichever way you look at it, it is not a statistic that reflects terribly well on England's bowling attack.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • C on November 18, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Lets not crib about the umpiring decisisons. We chose not to introduce DRS , so why whine about the decisions. We have a choice of rectifying obvious howlers through the DRS and yet we decided against it. Wrongly in my opinion. We need to use the technology available to eliminate the possibility of errors by the umpire. I must say we Indians have not used the DRS reviews intelligently when available and now chose not to use the DRS at all. The faults in the DRS will over time wiith refinements in the system and improved technology get ironed out. Yes the 2 reviews need to be used intelligently and that is in the batsmans or the fielding captains hands. Some batsmen may use the review selfishly and waste it. In the last world cup Dhoni made some fuss about human adulteration of technolgy and blissfully missed the point totally. The ball tracking is reliable only upto a certain distance and since the point of impact was beyond that distance, it was the umpire call. Lets not whine anymore

  • Vernon on November 17, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @Yahoo. You have missed a key point of the DRS. You have been fooled by the "confidence" of the appeals - it doesn't mean they really thought it was out and so it doesn't mean they would have reviewed if DRS was in use. When DRS is used it is revealing to see when confident appeals are turned down how rarely they are reviewed. Of course with no DRS, the demonstrated confidence of the appeal is more important as they try to persuade the umpire.

  • Dummy4 on November 17, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    On DRS - all Englishmen claim DRS would have settled contentious decisions - the biggest point they all miss (and I'm astonished at the lack of attention to detail here) is that DRS totally depends on the decision to ask for a review. How many times have we seen captains consider, yet dismiss, a review of a clear-cut LBW because he wasn't convinced, or even more not be left with a review at all because he chose to use up the limited number on marginal decisions? Therein lies the inherent flaws of DRS that nobody seems to address

  • Karthik on November 17, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Thats the Bell style of wishing us "Happy Diwali"

  • D on November 17, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    Am an Indian and do not support the BCCI on (i) DRS, (ii) placing restrictions on media coverage of the game. What are people there thinking? On DRS the BCCI has just got itself into an ego fight and now cannot backtrack, which is hurting the game. The caption on the photo above is hilarious and sad.

  • Jackie on November 17, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    You really think Bell played that shot because he was scared of spin? Well if you believe that you can believe anything. Bell has been playing that shot with success for some time - that is the problem. Unfortunately Bell didn't take enough account of the low bounce on Indian pitches. He should have been warned by his problem with the same shot in the warm up match. However Bell often tries to repeat a failed shot in the belief that next time he will do better and that is how he adds to his range of shots. But it was too ambitious for the first ball of the innings even if his intent was to push back the fielders. I just hope he doesn't go into his shell next time he is at the crease. What's needed is better judgement not over reaction or over correction. He's not helped by any of the media name-calling. About time they grew up.

  • Aditya on November 17, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    the picture which reads - Ian Bell NOT SLOGGING his first ball to mid-off (ESPNcricinfo will not be carrying live/action pictures from the India v England series due to restrictions placed on agency photographers covering the matches) - is the joke of the day!!

  • Murali on November 17, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    @Vikram Sharma, I am surprised many are talking about how Samit Patel was given wrongly out, but no body mentions the reprieve he got a few overs earlier before when he was absolutely plumb in Ashwin's bowling. He didn't add a lot to his score after he got the chance from umpire Aleem Daar, but the partnership with Prior added a handsome total. Given Prior lost his wicket very soon after the 9th wicket fell, Patel's reprieve was indeed a little expensive for India. I think bad decisions are part of the game and both the teams accept it and irrespective of the number of is and buts we reckon, the score will not alter even an inch from what it was made.

  • Sreekanth on November 17, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    @ Vikram Sharma - Samit Patel had got a big repreive just two balls before that, where he was plumb LBW. So that is really not a big deal.

    Regarding DRS, in its current form and looking at the number of appeals, the Reviews would have been used up by the 5th over anyway, so none of these decisions would anyway have been fixed by DRS. Forget the technology, the review system is just stupid.

  • Vinod on November 17, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Last one is really good. It gives you an idea about England's bowling attack in subcontinent conditions

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