Haryana v England XI, Ahmedabad, 3rd day

England learn little on frustrating day

George Dobell in Ahmedabad

November 10, 2012

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

England XI 521 and 118 for 0 (Trott 61*, Compton 54*) lead Haryana 334 (Dewan 143, Bresnan 3-67, Meaker 3-72) by 305 runs

Rahul Dewan brings up his century, Haryana v England XI, Ahmedabad, 3rd day, November 10, 2012
Rahul Dewan became only the second Haryana batsman to carry his bat in a first-class match © AFP

Like studying for a maths exam by brushing up on the names of the Tudor monarchs, England will have gained little benefit from the third day of their game against Haryana. On a pitch that bears no comparison to that on which the Test will be played and against opponents with little in common with those in their national team, England were obliged to spend four sessions in the field under a hot sun. They could be forgiven for having moments when they wished this was a three day match rather than four.

The day was not completely wasted. England's bowlers, the second string though they are, will have all benefited from a thorough work-out, while Rahul Dewan enjoyed a performance he will never forget by becoming just the second Haryana batsman to carry his bat in first-class cricket. His unbeaten 143 helped Haryana to a total of 334 - their highest total this year - and ensured that his side avoided a rout. Only two other men passed 17.

Later, with England 188-ahead but eschewing the chance of enforcing the follow-on, Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton opened the batting and, utterly untroubled, posted an unbroken 118-run partnership to take their lead to 305 with a day remaining. But, offered only a diet of unthreatening seam bowling, they will have learned little from the experience. They faced just two overs of spin.

The conditions on offer in this match will bear little relation with those in the Test. While this game is being played on an even-paced pitch offering nothing to bowlers, the pitch in the main stadium - this game is being played on the 'B' ground - has been re-laid as recently as September. The clay content in the surface has been changed - from pond clay to farm clay - and reduced - more sand has been added - with a view to it breaking up more quickly. While no-one can predict with any certainty how a new pitch will play - there has been no game of any note on it as yet - it appears that batting could become far more difficult as the match progresses. Winning the toss and batting first would appear to offer a disproportionate advantage.

It remains to be seen if any of England's bowlers in this game make it into the team for the first Test. While neither Steven Finn or Stuart Broad bowled in practise, they were both able to train as planned. The England camp is increasingly confident that Finn will be fit for the Test, while they remain insistent that Graeme Swann will have returned to India in good time and that Broad, too, will have recovered. Matt Prior, having recovered from his stomach upset, was also able to play a full part on day three.

Stuart Meaker was the pick of the England bowlers on the third day, but he may have to pay his dues for a little while longer. It is not in the nature of this England set-up to fast-track any player into the side. But Meaker, called into the squad only a week ago and short of bowling since the end of the English domestic season, has been the only bowler on either side to generate anything at all out of this benign surface. Amit Mishra was caught behind off one that bounced a little more expected, Jayand Yadav was beaten for pace and Chanderpal Sani's enterprising innings - he helped add 60 for the ninth wicket - was ended when the batsman played across a straight one.

"I certainly haven't done myself any harm by taking a few wickets," Meaker said, while accepting that his chances of forcing his way into the Test team were slim. "Looking at how Steven Finn is going, he's getting closer and closer to being ready. But I look at it more long term: it's a great chance for me to show the new Test captain I can perform in these conditions and that will bode well for a future Test call."

Tim Bresnan, too, could feel satisfied with his performance. He soon dismissed Sandeep Singh, who edged a tentative prod, and will have pushed himself into contention for the Test side.

Graham Onions was not at his best. Both short of bowling and increasingly weary, he struggled with his line and was outbowled by both his seam bowling colleagues. He enjoyed little luck, though, and was most unfortunate to see Compton put down a straightforward chance at gully offered by Amit Vashisht.

England's catching - or, more accurately, their lack of catching - remains a concern. Three times the ball flew between Prior and Alastair Cook, at first slip, with Cook far from convincing in the cordon. Trott, who was the unfortunate bowler on one occasion, also put down Sanjay Budhwar at first slip, off Kevin Pietersen, the ball before he was caught at second slip. As Pietersen put it afterwards "I should be on a hat-trick."

Still, it was a special day for Dewan. Once deemed a bright enough prospect to win the Indian under 22 player of the year award (for the 2007-08 season), he has a first-class score of 254 not out to his name but, in the T20 age, has struggled to progress. While not blessed with the widest range of strokes, he was disciplined and, generally waiting on the back foot, proved particularly effective at steering anything short through point. Typically he brought up his century - the sixth of his first-class career - with a cut to the boundary off Samit Patel. He was dropped on day two when he had 14 and, on 87, might have been caught by Cook off Trott. Instead Cook failed to react and the ball sped to the boundary. Jitender Singh, who made 107 out of a total of 270 against Karnataka in 1998-99, is the only previous Haryana player to carry his bat in a first-class game.

"This attack is a notch higher than first-class attacks," he said afterwards. "All the bowlers bowled well. They bowled in the right areas and didn't give many loose balls. They were all on the money I would say. But there was nothing for them in the wicket, so it wasn't very tough to handle them."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

Dear ESPN - Please could you publish the below comment. If an Indian fan is allowed to bring up the past then surely an England fan should have the right to put his take on that situation. It's not like there's nothing untrue in what I write here. If you won't publish my below comms then please in future could you not publish the originals comms @DNAX1 - As Bell was obviously walking off for tea , it was a very cheap ploy by certain Indian players. Bell may have been naive but that effort from the Indian fielders reeked of desperation. Most players thought it was tea otherwise why wasn't Dhoni anywhere near behind the stumps.?Bell/Flower should have accepted the decision and not worried about the hostility the Indian players would have got for the rest of the tour. I personally think they (Flower/Strauss) did it for all the right reasons. I'd certainly not want to pick up a wicket that way

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

All talk of pitches prepared that are going to break up is rubbish. They will probabl be the normal boring flat pieces of tosh that they prepare in India. Of course they will wear towards the end of the five days though. In saying that, the sub continent has a history of producing the most boring games of Test cricket ever because of their boring surfaces.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (November 11, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

@Greatest Game. your argument goes round and round in a circle mate. What is the difference between this Haryana side and Somerset (who i have seen play many times and are an excellent team by the way)? Are they not also "minnows that look good in a meaningless game"?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 11, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

@JG, it's all smoke and mirrors on both sides right now. Neither is showing its full hand. India are building up the pressure, in part to hide their own very substantial problems. They desperately need to come out fast because they have made it a matter of honour that they win 4-0; anything else is a failure for them. However, they know that they have a shadow hanging over various of the side and that anything other than a big win will end some careers. Unlike Pakistan, who could back up their spin attack with quality pace, India have only one weapon and if that doesn't work, there is no Plan B. It would be a double-edged sword though because pitches made to break up on the last two days could catch them too (in 2006 they collapsed on the last day of the series to a rather ordinary county spinner) and England's bowlers can use a deteriorating pitch too. If the only plan is to win the toss, score big and then let the pitch break up, it has to work.

Posted by Harmony111 on (November 11, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

@ Jezinho: It was sporting indeed of Andy Flower the Eng coach to prevent Monty Panesar the fringe English spinner from bowling to Sachin even in the nets but if BCCI does something in the interest of its team then it becomes unsporting. Where were you when Andy Flower disallowed Panesar?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

@sonicattack on (November 10 2012, 21:32 PM GMT) My main point is that all you can do is show a bit of form in the warm up games but even if not it's not the end of the world. SA were lame vs Somerset but when the business end started they kicked on PanGlupek on (November 10 2012, 22:28 PM GMT) Indeed

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

@Greatest_Game on (November 10 2012, 23:59 PM GMT) I was about to go along with you on your humour but then read the 2nd part of your post and realised you were actually for real. I was merely pointing out that Somerset are one of the better county sides which you would know if you followed our game. Not sure why I need to explain this. JMCs response is probably more suited

Posted by JG2704 on (November 11, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

@Meety on (November 10 2012, 21:11 PM GMT) We'll see what happens. It seems they have a plan and only time will tell if it backfires or not. In UAE we did well in the warm ups (although it was mainly the bowlers) and failed miserably in the tests. Obviously I'd prefer our batsmen to be doing ok than failing but I'm not reading too much into it. I also think the Indian players are trying to play mind games. I think one of them said we were struggling despite scoring 400 in a day's play.

Posted by Jezinho on (November 11, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Very unsporting of BCCI to ensure that the England batsmen get minimal preparation against spin in this last warm up game. 50 overs had been played before Yadav came on in the first innings, which is a joke. When teams tour England, counties put up their strongest sides recognising that decent tour matches are something of a rarity for the beleaguered counties. Heck, we even let touring players get some games in by playing FOR counties. It just shows how much the BBCI recognises that on home turf, the Indian bowling attack is a one trick pony.

Posted by Badgerofdoom on (November 11, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

@klapka Well I'll hold my hand up and admit I didn't know that, but what kind of bowler prefers not to bowl, maybe hes in the wrong job and should become an accountant or something.

@DNAX1 There is an important difference between preparing the pitches to suit yourself and messing around with the warm ups. I agree that nothing should be given in the tests but the point of the warm up matches is to prepare the team for the tests and I really don't like the prospect of the fielded team not playing at its best or changing tactics just to prevent the touring team getting a decent practice, since practice is the whole point of the match. Also its been pointed out before but India did not face a single green top in their tour of England, all the grounds played pretty much how they normally do and looked pretty good for batting (when England were batting anyway).

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 11, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

@Greatest_Game on (November 10 2012, 23:59 PM GMT), you're obviously not too bright so let me explain why you just made the exact same point that JG did. As you rightly point out, Somerset bettered SA and yet SA went on to win the ensuing Test series fairly comfortably, so the fact that England aren't thrashing their opposition in these warmups doesn't mean that they are not going to do well in the upcoming Tests. I' glad we agree but it would be nice if you understood why.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 10, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

JG2704 on (November 10 2012, 20:37 PM GMT) You write of how "Somerset...got the better of both India and SA on their recent tour." This suggests that the England team ought to be packed off home, & mighty Somerset replace them en masse! Any team that bettered both the current no.1, and England's looming adversary, a former no.1, would seem better equipped for the task at hand than the lot that surrendered so meekly at home, in Fortress England, to Somerset's bunny, the Choking Saffers?

However, in your subsequent post you asked "How many times do we need reminding that these are just warm up matches and they bear no resemblance to what we'll be facing in the test series?" This casts a different light on the matter. Were Somerset's stirring International Performances not in warm up matches which "bear no resemblance to... (a) ... test series?" Really "not a great example" of test cricket giant killers are they - just simple County Minnows that looked good in a meaningless game.

Posted by PanGlupek on (November 10, 2012, 22:28 GMT)

@JG2704, Somerset also beat Aus in 2005, although they had Graeme Smith & Sanath up top for them at that stage.

Aus used to go guns blazing to teams who toured there, expose them to the best attack possible in the 1st game, demoralise them before they even got over the jetlag & made every game a fortress. Used to work well for them too. SA quite similar. Most other countries (if not all) pick weakened sides for touring warm-ups though. No need to worry, unless you're getting out-gunned by these weakened teams.

Posted by sonicattack on (November 10, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

JG2704 - entirely agree with you! Warm up games are just that and England performed as well as can be expected, I think. Some of us with memories will remember some pretty disastrous warm ups, in Aus in the 1990's if I recall correctly, so Eng have done nothing to be ashamed of here.

Posted by Meety on (November 10, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

@ JG2704 on (November 10 2012, 20:37 PM GMT) - I dunno whether it can end up being a type of false bravado, but I think this strategy of giving England weak preparation is having the effect of playing ENgland's batsmen into form. Outside injuries to the bowlers (something they have little control over occurring), the battting was (IMO & others) always going to be the big problem. All the batsmen that need runs have got them. England have also been presented with a "good" headache with Patel's form. Compton (tick), Cook (big tick), Trott (tick), KP (tick), Bell (tick), Patel (IMO big tick), spare batsmen Bairstow (tick), Prior (a runny tick). I think the bowlers have shown the spirit required, Haryana was saved from embarrassment as the teams far & away best batsmen dug in. I do think England would of wanted to roll Haryana for a lower score given their previous match where they (Haryana) were routed. All in all - I really think England have SOME momentum!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

Lol @5th ranked team, s supporters. England all the way.......

Posted by JG2704 on (November 10, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

Wow. How many times do we need reminding that these are just warm up matches and they bear no resemblance to what we'll be facing in the test series. There have been hardly any England comments on these threads getting carried away with anything. Please however excuse me and my fellow fans for seeing a few positives to take into the test series , even if it is the same old story. It's quite amazing that those who are on one hand intimating that these are just warm up matches are also saying that England should be thrashing these teams out of sight.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 10, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

@Sumit_SSB on (November 10 2012, 19:31 PM GMT) Somerset may never have won the CC but the last few seasons have come mighty close and also got the better of both India and SA on their recent tours. Not a great example

Posted by Sumit_SSB on (November 10, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

Right .rule no. 13 states for a three or a four day game to avoid follow, the mark is 150. It's a practice match and no point comparing England test team with Haryana test team without their lead bowler out due to injury.

@ PanGlupek: It would be fair to compare Somerset (who have never won the county championship) with the Haryana (who have won the Ranji Trophy once in 91-92 season)

Posted by Nampally on (November 10, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

Haryana is one of the weakest State teams in India. It is amazing amongst these guys there is also a centurian. They performed quite respectably by scoring over 320 runs. Indian test team struggled to get just 300 runs in the last 8 test matches. So England bowling will not be the same as on England pitches. Secondly, only spinners(2) on the Haryana team got 4 wkts. each on a so called unresponsive wkt. Guess how will England fare against spinners on a more spin friendly wkt. Assuming England bat last, they will be forced to play on a spinning wkt. Also will Swann, Bell, Broad & Finn be in the XI?. On the other hand, Indian Selectors inexplicably excluded a wrist leg spinner like Rahul Sharma or A.Mishra in the squad. Mishra exposed the England weakness by taking 4 Wkts. on a dead wkt. Why was it necessary to include Harbhajan(at the expense of a wrist leg spinner) in the squad when Ashwin play in XI? Indian selectors - Better late than Never! Please Include a leggie in the Squad.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 10, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

@Clarke501, it rather suggests that he, like some other poster who made the same claim, are not too well up on the finer points of the game, such as the more basic laws...

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 10, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

@Meanster, don't you just wish that you could have provoked a crisis of confidence early in the tour by knocking over England for under 200 once or twice? Granted that the pitches and the attacks have born no relation to what will be coming up in the 1st Test, but how does it help India's cause to take someone like Nick Compton who was really nervous and play him into form? Having three nice, flat pitches, has also made the bowlers work hard for their wickets under some nice, warm sun. It's getting them properly match fit and acclimatised. The best day's preparation that England have had all tour was the day when England had to bowl 4 hours without taking a wicket: it taught them the line and length needed and made them work hard under the sun. I agree that India have been canny with the preparations - Duncan Fletcher is nobody's fool - but have they been too clever and are they pressurising themsekves too much? The draw is a narrow favourite for the 1st Test; a draw and 4-0 is gone!

Posted by shillingsworth on (November 10, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

@Mozenrath Tabaqi - Haryana didn't avoid the follow on - for a 4 day match, the mark is 150. Putting your statement in capitals doesn't make it correct.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 10, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

@Mozenrath Tabaqi: the laws of cricket (2010 edition). 13.1(b). Haryana conceded a 1st innings lead of 188. The follow on, as stated in the laws, for a 3 or 4 day game, is 150 behind. It is only 200 behind for a 5 day match. The report correctly stated that Ebgland did not enforce the follow on. It's basic arithmetic combined with the laws that allows me to make the statement.

Posted by vaibhav.ilu on (November 10, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

mishra bowling less in d match is not at all gud sign of cricketing spirit... providing rank turners is our birth right but this is wrong tactic...

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (November 10, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Nothing to be worried about we're is still favourites to win this 4-0 good luck Indian team.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Haryana had score 55 in last match.They had lost in last match in inside three days.If visitors not able to produced reult in even in four days, then we can easily say that "visitors would be finished as a poor result".

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 10, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

Yep, completely agree with Dobell here. This is NOTHING like the actual test awaiting England on the 15th. Team India will be a different cup of tea. How many of you folks commenting here know ANYTHING about Haryana ? They are like the Queen's Park Rangers of Ranji Trophy cricket. They are not even a good team and they are EASILY handling England. What does it go to say ? England's plans have been DECIMATED here by the BCCI. If I am Alistair Cook, I would be really worried. However, many of the English batsmen are getting some runs and irrespective against whichever bowling attack those runs come, it's always good to know you have some runs under your belt. Still, like one of my English friends here once said - a practice game is simply a PRACTICE game. I would hold on to all my horses for now.

Posted by klapka on (November 10, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

@Badgerofdoom: Dude, I don't necessarily agree with the situation where Haryana's main bowler bowls only a few overs in the match. But I hardly think this a BCCI conspiracy. As proof you can check Haryana's last game against Vidarbha played last week (ref. http://www.espncricinfo.com/indian-domestic-2012/engine/match/574027.html). You can see that Mishra only bowled 2 overs out of 94 in the match. I think Mishra generally likes to bowl less, and the amount of overs he bowled in this match is actually much higher than what he bowled last week against Vidarbha. This is not to say I'm a BCCI fanboy though, I still think we should've played some spinners in the India A match.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer HARYANA AVOIDED THE FOLLOW ON. how did you think they didn't ? Haryana's best bat is also Mishra who is not even an allrounder.

Posted by Sanjayascc52 on (November 10, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

SAM 1994.

POMS were good 12 months ago but not now they wil be beaten by India. Just as SA will beat the Aussies.

Posted by PanGlupek on (November 10, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

@Sobhan_Sachinfan & Arnav Singh - FYI, "Eschew" means to shun or decline, which means they could have asked Haryana to follow-on, but chose not to (it's 150, not 200, in 4-day games).

It's hard to know if Englands preparations are going well with the decision not to expose them to good attacks & much real spin in the attacks, but time in the middle is always nice for a batsman & they seem to be getting plenty of that.

By comparison, India got out-gunned by Somerset in thier only warm-up game before they last played England in tests (Somerset were probably stronger than any of the sides England have played so far though), so they should probably believe the signs are good to at least avoid a whitewash, if not more...

Posted by Sanjayascc52 on (November 10, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

England fans need to get a grip.

Badgerofdoom lol bad faith ehhh it's not bad faith when Andy Flower & ECB kept ringing the groundsman telling them leave some grass on the wicket to help Englands pace bowlers last year. It's pay back time. The homeside can do what it like, England can do the the same when India tour next. This how cricket should be nothing given and nothing asked for.

I suppose England fans will cry foul if Ian Bell walks out of his crease agian and is then stumped or run out. I suppose he'll have to beg for his wicket back.

England stop moaning and just play.

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 10, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

arnav im not sure what an innings victory would do for england. if a near perfect pitch which has been given by the host, then why be discourteous and not use the 4th day. im sure it suits england getting more practice, because thats what the games have been put there for in the 1st place. we gave india a game against one of our lesser county sides when you toured a year ago, please remind me did india win !

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 10, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

@64blip, getting the batsmen into form and confidence has been vital @Sobham & others, England could have, but chose not to enforce the follow-on to give the batsmen additional middle time. Nick Compton now has three consectuve 50s and is consolidated and players like Pietersen, Trott, Bell and Patel can feel form and confidence coming. The Tests will be a different level of intensity, but then that will be true for England as well, who will no longer be cruising at half pace.

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (November 10, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

Poor team india isn't good enuf to beat POMS.........4-0 ON CARDS

Posted by 64blip on (November 10, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Agree about Bresnan, he can make the old ball work for him. I don't see why this is a frustrating day for England. It looks very likely they will need one or two of their second string bowlers this series, and they have all had plenty of time out there now. England arrived hoping one of the replacement openers was going to show some form in India. There was a real weakness right at the top which has not been exploited and now Compton has got another half-century. Runs are runs, flat track or not, and runs = confidence. From England's point of view, injuries aside, they couldn't have expected better in the build up. Doesn't mean they're going to win, but they must all be looking forward to the first test with excitement, as opposed to trepidation.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

This post refers to the main article and inaccuracies in it with reference to the Test match pitch. The author said that the clay content had been reduced in the materials used when the pitches were relaid. The reason given was that the Indians wanted the pitch to break up quickly. Reducing the clay content will not cause a faster break up of the surface. It will however reduce the pace and bounce of the pitch. The structure of the surface can be adjusted for faster break up during preparation regardless of the clay content.

Posted by Badgerofdoom on (November 10, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Again Mishra has not bowled so far this innings. I don't have a problem with the practice teams being a little weak, they may want to rest their players for more important ranji games, but for there to be such a clear policy of trying to disrupt England's preparation by bowling so little spin is acting in bad faith. If national bodies can't be trusted to arrange proper warm ups arranging the practice teams should be taken out of their hands and the touring team should play associate teams like Afghanistan who would also benefit from the practice at the longer form themselves.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 10, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

@CricketingStarGazer: If you're hoping that Samit will trouble the Indians with his slow left arm NOTHINGS then you're really clutching at straws. Little is known about the picth for the 1st Test, traditionally it's flat as a pancake. We shall find out soon enough.

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 10, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

george i dont what you were expecting, but my friend you need to get a grip. you tell us that the wicket is a belter and its not going to be like the test wicket will be like, yesterday you report that a spinner from the opponents says we cannot play spin even though all the top 6 scored runs. we are playing other than our 2nd string bowlers other than monty i expect will be in the 11 for the 1st test, but thats not certain. we are over 300 runs ahead with 10 wickets in hand, what are you expecting. i think you need go sit in the shade you have been to long in the sun to long.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

@Front-Foot Lunge. Yeah! Meaker is not that meek; according to you,he is "ferociously" stingy as a Shylock, in conceding runs? Yes, there are several layers to Onion, you peel one layer (a first or second change bowler), he will reveal another (an opening bowler). The stepney wheels seem stronger than the original wheels, for Indian conditions!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

If England, feel that warm up match is such a waste of time, then why don't the wrap up the match by bowling Haryana twice. George Dobell in my opinion is a very partial writer, even though the English bowlers struggled to bowl out a side which is below par even the worst International Test Side, they still could not enforce follow on, on them. If England is so capable, they should have won the match by an Innings inside 3 days, but that ain't happening. Regarding the pitch it is well known that the Ahmedabad pitch as flat as the Ahmedabad-Vadodara Express Way. Ahmedabad has rarely produced results, and it will not surprise me if it fails to produce one in the first test.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 13:16 GMT)

England should have gone to Sri Lanka or Bangladesh to prepare for the tests. Every side does this when they have home advantage, but it doesn't make for a good contest afterwards. Go to a neutral nation and take on the "A" teams and up and comers from that nation - rather than playing against sides and on pitches that have been deliberately selected to be as different as possible from the test pitches.

Posted by MiddlePeg on (November 10, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

I'd have thought India would have been sufficiently confident of their ability to beat England that they could offer slightly more sporting preparation for the tourists. Evidently not...

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 10, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

If this track is as flat & easy as George reports & these scores suggest, then there seems little point in trying to force a victory by attempting to bowl Haryana out in, say, 70 overs. The 4th day may as well be used to give as many bats some (more) time in the middle. Building confidence is never a complete waste of time. As for reports of the 'A' pitch, it seems very high risk indeed for it to be offered for the first Test without it having been tested(!) in match conditions - so much so it would seem to smack of irresponsibility. As GD remarks, with the soil constituents selected to break it up sooner rather than later, it may well be a question of: win the toss, win the game, or, if it proves dangerous, then the match may descend into a diabolical farce (Sabina Park 1998). Let's hope that the groundsman/curator knows what he's been doing & that the pitch is a pukka Test match strip & that we get an engaging Test match from it. Anything else would reflect very badly on the BCCI.

Posted by Sobhan_Sachinfan on (November 10, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

Well Played Haryana! Especially Dewan!!! That team's previous four innings scores tell a different story about the quality of the team. Now that England tourists could not enforce Follow-on on a 3rd grade domestic team, it will be tough to their morale. Hopefully real tests will be good Contests instead of rout.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 10, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

I am increasingly convinced that Tim Bresnan will be a key bowler and a real handful for the Indian batsmen. The more the pitches deteriorates, the more he will enjoy it. He is the only England bowler who will be more dangerous with the old ball than with the new ball. The joker in the pack has been Samit Patel, who seems to have been astonishingly effective so far; however, the opposition has been weak and there is always the possibility that teams have been carefully going easy on him. Interesting selection choices coming. However, all England's batsmen will all be going in with some runs and some confidence, which is never a bad things.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 10, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

I meant Onions isn't a flat pitch specialist like Anderson, who retains economical figures on any pitch.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 10, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Meaker isn't a flat pitch specialist like Anderson, who even when the batsmen dig in retains economical figures on any pitch.

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India won by 7 wickets (with 131 balls remaining)
India v England at Kochi - Jan 15, 2013
India won by 127 runs
India v England at Rajkot - Jan 11, 2013
England won by 9 runs
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News | Features Last 3 days