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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JIGNESH on December 9, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @ Sharjeel Khan Mansoori , Captain cool now became captain Cold who never excite, mad or angry. He has zero skills playing shots.

  • C on December 9, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Some day historians will call this test " The Tale of Two Run Outs " . How the innings changed with those run outs? England truly created their own luck.

  • JIGNESH on December 8, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    There is saying in India that "Chullu bhar paani me doob maro". This is the situation of Indian so called great batsmen such as Tendulkar, Gmabhir, Sehwag, Kohli, Yuvi, and Dhoni. Batting order No. 7, the bowler-R. Ashwin always plays better and survives more deliveries in each innings than most of these greats. R. Ashwin can make runs even playing with tailenders. This is not the first time he has done this, but this is quiet second time he has done this in only 11 test, but this so called Indian greats never ever played this kind when they have played with tailenders in their entire careers. Most of them stays cool and not-out even the wickets falls at the other end. Ravindra Jadeja is in his extreme form blasting 2 triple centuries in current domestic season playing at No.4 in his side. Why selectors giving chances again and again to Kohli, Yuvi, and Raina who are T20 and ODIs greats only.

  • Anantika on December 8, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    Graeme is spelt wrong in the caption (:

  • R on December 8, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    Tendulkar is just waiting for his 200th Test. He will play on till then & retire only afterwards. And, does anyone rule out a 100th for Bhajji ??? Dhoni's chum, ain't he ??? With some vision, Rahane would have been opening with Gauti, Pujara, Kohli, Sehwag & Tiwary (or even Raina, at least for this series) would bring up the middle order & the rest to follow. Though, on current form, neither Zaheer nor Dhoni deserve a place in the team. Perhaps, only to hide his own non-performance, is Dhoni so vehemently opposing change. YOUTH IS THE WAY TO GO. PERSONIFIED BY THE PERFORMANCE OF PUJARA, ASHWIN & OJHA IN THIS SERIES. Those who have failed, haven't done much worse than the super experienced, demi-god seniors.

  • RK on December 8, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    The real quality lies in making use of the reprieve one gets. Ishant too got one; but, was dismissed in the very next ball. Well educated Ashwin at least has a thinking brain under his hat. Give him the cushion of sufficient runs, an attacking field and a captain who trusts him. He'll sure do well as a bowler too. After all, he's the one who has proved there are no demons in the pitch and it's a beautiful batting strip full of runs and had the established batsmen applied themselves, we too could have scored in excess of 500 runs. When Kohlis, Rainas, Rohits, Zaheers, Sachins are spared from wrath failures after failures, series after series, why find a scapegoat in poor Ashwin and write filthy, junk like, "He's in the team as a bowler and not as a batsman" etc., How about Zaheer and Ishant then? Why the hell are they in the team? When Finn and Anderson can take wickets here, why not they? Uncomfortable questions??? Stop finding easy scapegoats and blame everyone impartially.

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Gambhir ran out both Sehwag and Pujara. He needs to practice his running between the wickets while Tendukar, Yuvraj, Ashwin, I. Sharma and Dhoni should be replaced by I. Pathan, Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Naman Ohja and Sanjeev Sharma. Enough idolizing the oldies who are no longer goodies. Tendulkar should be more classy (like Dravid, Laxman, Ponting, Strauss, etc.) and retire now before he makes even more people dislike him for hanging around and not giving younger cricketers a chance they deserve much more than him. Guarantee you that if SRT goes to South Africa, he will not amass 100 runs in all the Test matches combined. He was great once but is very ordinary at the moment. Let's give him a flying send-off which even he will appreciate and make him believe that he is retiring on his own accord instead of being let go from the Indian team he has served so well.

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    two crucial run outs of viru and pujara by gambhir had the impact on the test... both capable of playing of long innings...

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    duncan fletcher has been a bad omen for any team for that matter... he is not fletcher but stretcher for the indian team...

  • associate cricket fan on December 8, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    @StraightHit. i dont think england unraveled pujara yet. pujara was unlucky to get out of a runout today. Pujara looks much better than kohli. im sure pujara will come back strongly in the 4th test match.

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