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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Indranuj on November 17, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    People seriously need to stop comparing Pujara with Dravid...Dravid is an all time great,a magician with the bat, a man for all seasons who could score big hundreds in the most testing conditions against fearsome bowling attacks whereas cheteshwar pujara has been brought up on the flat pitches of Saurashtra.In other words let me sum up by saying Dravid=All time great wheres Pujara=Flat track bully...Just check out the videos of Pujara facing Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel when he played in South Africa...His one dimensional technique was thoroughly exposed

  • Dummy4 on November 17, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    So, the next generation is on its way! Sehwag / Rahane (or) Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli (C), Raina (or) Rohit, Yuvraj, Dhoni / Karthik, Zaheer / Dinda, Umesh, Ashwin, Ojha! Bye bye Harbhajan! Time to retire!

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    Pujara has replaced Dravid. Kohli will replace Tendulkar. Rohit Sharma will replace VVS Laxman. Ashwin has replaced Harbhajan, and Aaon will replace Zaheer, but no replacement for Kumble yet. The old guard will not be missed.

  • Indranuj on November 16, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Comparing Cheteshwar Pujara to an all time great like Rahul Dravid is ridiculous.Dravid had proven himself in tough batting conditions in south africa australia england..No doubt Cheteshwar Pujara played well for his double ton and he has scored heavily in domestic cricket but see the flat tracks on which he has scored...He has yet to prove himself in bowler friendly pitches of South Africa and Australia which have bounce pace and swing...I wont be suprised if he ends up being a flat track bully

  • Santosh on November 16, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    @Al_Bundy1 Did you start watching cricket after Dravid retired from cricket? We do not want to question you about comments on Tendulkar, because you will eat your words very soon. Just wait.With Pujara these are early days. Let us not compare him with anyone.Let him perform at least for a couple of seasons then we can draw conclusions.He is certainly the one with Rock Solid technique, bundle of talent and his temperament is unquestionable. He did not even play a single loose shot in his innings. He kept it very simple whether playing on the back or front foot. Especially he remained me Navjot Sidhu and Mark Waugh by stepping out very regularly to spinners. In the current younger lot his is surely above all. Now, Raina can concentrate on his ODI and T20 careers. Because at least half dozen better talent is waiting before him for Tests like Manoj, Rohit, Rahane, Vijay, Chand and of course Yuvi - Jai Hind

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    @Dileep Buggaveeti it is too early too call pujara a future of test cricket he still needs to prove himself in challenging overseas conditions and pressure games

  • Flat on November 16, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    @Boston-Legal : Can't stop laughing !!!

  • Haroon on November 16, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    I was really hoping Kohli would join in the run fest, but I guess he can be excused as Pujara stole all the limelight with class and composure. Good to see Yuvi punish Swann

  • Al on November 16, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    No need to wonder - how India would replace Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Pujara and Kohli are better than Dravid and 10dulkar. Now our selectors can drop 10dulkar........don't let him struggle for a measly 10-20 runs in every match.

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Move on.. who cares whether u can carry live photo or not, when i can watch the match leave.. Not leaving chance to bash BCCI

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