India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 4th day December 8, 2012

Swann gets the ball rolling

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day at Eden Gardens

Breakthrough of the day
India had enjoyed an excellent first session. Having taken England's final four wickets for just 14 runs at the start of play, their opening batsmen then made deep inroads into the deficit before the lunch break. At 86 without loss in 21 overs, some were even starting to dream of a testing fourth innings target for England.

But that all changed the ball after lunch. Graeme Swann, drawing Virender Sehwag forward, deceived him with flight and spin, and turned one through the gate to hit the top of off stump. It was a fine delivery but a flimsy stroke and precipitated a sharp decline, with India subsequently losing their much-vaunted top-order in a spell of 6 for 36 runs.

Controversy of the day
There was some confusion when Gautam Gambhir, on 36, was given not out after England appealed for a catch at slip off the bowling of Swann. The third umpire was called upon to see whether Jonathan Trott, at slip, had caught the ball cleanly. In the process, though, Vineet Kulkarni, the third umpire officiating in his first Test, also reported back to the on-field umpires that Gambhir had not edged the ball and that it had deflected off his thigh. It was the correct decision and the correct process.

While the playing conditions for a match where DRS is not in use state that the third umpire can only be called upon to confirm whether a ball has been caught cleanly, they also state that, once he has been called into action, he should indicate if it is clear to him that the batsman did not hit the ball.

Run-out of the day
For the second time in the match, Gambhir played a significant role in the run-out of one of his colleagues. Having failed to respond to Sehwag's reasonable call for a third run in the first innings, here the unfortunate victim was Cheteshwar Pujara. Gambhir dabbed the ball into the leg side and called Pujara for an optimistic single only to see Ian Bell swoop and beat Pujara's dive with a direct hit. It was, by any standards, a poor call and did little to disprove the theory that Gambhir is a much keener runner when his own runs are at stake.

Drop of the day
Sehwag had scored just 7 when he prodded at one on off stump from James Anderson and edged the ball to the slip cordon. Swann, moving to his left at second slip, made a half-hearted attempt to catch it and may also have obscured the sight of Alastair Cook, at first slip. Either way, the ball ran between them for four runs. Ian Bell also put down a sharp chance at short square leg when Virat Kohli chipped aerially.

Miss of the day
R Ashwin had scored only 22 and the score was 161 for 8 when he skipped down the wicket to a delivery from Monty Panesar, missed it and should have been stumped. But, perhaps due to the ball flicking Ashwin's pads on the way through, Matt Prior fumbled the chance and allowed the batsman to recover his ground. Had the stumping been completed, it is almost certain that India would have succumbed to an innings defeat within four days.

Moment of the day
The wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, edging a fairly innocuous delivery outside off stump, was telling. It was not the first time that Tendulkar has failed to pick the flight of a Swann delivery in this series and another sure sign that, aged 39, the eyes and the reflexes are not what they once were. It was also the wicket that took Swann clear as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket in 2012.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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