India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 4th day

Cook's record book

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

George Dobell

November 18, 2012

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen walks back after another failure, Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 4th day, February 6, 2012
No. 25: Kevin Pietersen v left-arm spin ended in a familiar way (ESPNcricinfo is not carrying live pictures due to curbs on media) © Getty Images
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Landmark of the day
Alastair Cook's assault on the record books continues. A couple of runs turned into the leg side off Umesh Yadav, a typically efficient, undemonstrative stroke, brought him his 21st Test century meaning that only Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott of England batsmen have more. All of them scored 22. It also meant that Cook, aged just 27 with, perhaps, another decade of Test cricket ahead of him, became the first man to score centuries in his first three Tests as captain. Although this is Cook's first Test since his permanent appointment as captain, he also scored two when standing in for Andrew Strauss in Bangladesh in early 2010. No England player has scored more centuries in Asia than Cook's five, either, while he also surpassed Kevin Pietersen's 144 in Mohali in 2008 to record the highest score by an England captain in India. No England player has ever batted longer in a follow-on.

Shot of the day
Matt Prior's flowing cover drive to level the scores and ensure India had to bat again. Prior, playing the ball on its merits but always looking to be positive, provided his captain with the support he needed and this stroke, off a flighted delivery from Pragyan Ohja, was a highlight. Whatever happens in the remainder of this game - and India remain overwhelming favourites to clinch the win - England have fought back admirably and should be able to draw confidence from that for the rest of the series.

Let-off of the day
If England do go on to save this game, the BCCI may be under pressure to review their stance on the DRS. Had it been in place it is highly likely that Cook would have been given out leg before for 41 on the third day and Matt Prior for 65 on the fourth. The Prior let-off came he was beaten by Ojha and struck on the front pad. Aleem Dar, an excellent umpiring enduring a far from excellent game, but replays - and Hawk-Eye - suggested that India were most unfortunate.

Ball of the day
The pitch has not, perhaps, broken up as was anticipated before the game. While Ojha, in particular, continued to find turn, it was generally slow. The delivery that defeated Jonathan Trott, however, was desperately difficult to play. Perhaps he could have come down the pitch, perhaps he could have played back, or perhaps he could have left the ball entirely but the delivery - the first since Ojha changed ends - was angled in from wide of the crease and turned and bounced sharply to take the edge of the bat. It was a fine delivery.

Wicket of the day
It is not, perhaps, a huge surprise that England should struggle against spin in this series. More of a surprise was the impression that India's seamers would out-bowl their England counterparts. Certainly the delivery from Umesh Yadav that swung back in sharply to trap Ian Bell, playing slightly across the line, was more incisive than anything England managed. Yadav, bowling at a sharp pace and generating late reverse swing, produced a passable impression of Waqar Younis in that spell and, the ball after dismissing Bell, accounted for Samit Patel in similar fashion.

Error of the day
Bearing in mind all the fuss about his inclusion on this tour - the apology and the reintegration et al. - Kevin Pietersen has been something of an anti-climax so far. For the second time in the Test, he was clean bowled by Ojha, paying the price for premeditating his stroke against an apparently innocuous delivery. This time he attempted a sweep, but was both too off side of the ball and caught out by the slightly fuller length. It was, like Bell the day before, the shot of an anxious man who appeared to lack belief in himself; not a characteristic generally association with Pietersen. While some jumped on the fact that it was the 25th time he had been dismissed by a left-arm spinner in his Test career, it is worth remembering that he has been dismissed 145 times in that career. 25, in that context, does not sound so bad.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

England have fought well and should be commended .Hope that they are able to draw it. tendulkar should consider retiring and allow a younger player to make his name.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 19, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

@ R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 18 2012, 14:17 PM GMT), couldn't agree more. Given the emphasis on variation in limited-overs cricket, I'm surprised that the bowlers are more willing to try a few different things in Test cricket too. As you say, you don't have to go over the top but the odd slower ball, etc, is surely worth a try. because it's less common it might have a greater surprise factor in Test cricket too. I can see someone like Sehwag falling to a slower ball, given his attacking instinct and lack of footwork.

Posted by IAS2009 on (November 19, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

no one from indian camp should ever complain about umpiring decision in any of the test series indian team play, Umpires will never ever better than DRS, they have i split second to make a call, at lest there should be some kind of review system, there were two poor decision against England too. at least DRS is good enough to review the inside edges for LBW, every test playing nation supports DRS other than India, if they are waiting for fool proof system it will never come, it is sad to see mistakes when technology is there to support it. i hope umpire blunder change the out come of the game and BCCI changes it stance.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (November 18, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

The combined career batting average of the last four Eng players (Bresnan, Broad, Swann, and Anderson) is around 97 runs. So if they bat to their average and Cook n Prior falls without adding to the score, India would be chasing 108 to win...just a thought.

Posted by Jimmers on (November 18, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

Got to give serious credit to Prior here - would think KP, Trott and Bell are feeling pretty embarrassed looking at him pile the runs on under pressure. If England do somehow conjur up a draw his contribution mustn't be overlooked. Doubt they will though, I think it'll be over by lunch

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (November 18, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

India is cooked by Alastair on Day 4. What a innings especially spin friendly day4 of a test match against 2 first class spinners and some part timers.

Posted by Fareen on (November 18, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

What an innings from Captain Cook! Hopefully he'll stay for long on the 5th day and help England to an unlikely draw.

Posted by   on (November 18, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

Another intriguing dayof ebb and flow and one that reinforces the beauty and surely the undoubted permanence of Test cricket as THE ONLY format of the game that is watchable and attractive to the thinking man and cricket purist. I'd certainly sooner watch Alistair Cook score 94 in 6 hours (not that I did the whole time) and I'm sure many thousands of others would, than any pointless ODI or T20 'match' that are attractive only to the witless. Great if he bats 6 hours for even 54 tomorrow....pure heaven....

Posted by GHemrajani on (November 18, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

KP is very different from Cook. Slow pitches suit Cook. Pietersen likes bounce. KP will be back with a bang.

Posted by   on (November 18, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

Alistar Cook is going a hell of a long way towards stamping himself as Englands greatest ever bat. At only 27 his got a long time left in the game. Fantastic to watch.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 18, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

@wahajali: My friend you forget to mention that Patel was given out 2st inns by a ball missing two leg stumps, and in the 2nd inns after clearly hitting it. Which does not compare to questionable LBW's. The other thing that should be mentioned in the article is that the toss of a coin, after which India batted first on a Day 1 Road but a Day 2+ crumbling minefield, enabling the game to be in this position.

Posted by redmedicine on (November 18, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

25 out of 145 is greater than 1 out of 6... what is the proportion of left-arm spinners to other types of bowlers in Test cricket? or, more accurately, how many total wickets have been taken by left-arm spinners vs. other types of bowlers since Pietersen began playing? I can't imagine left-arm spinners account for a sixth of all the wickets taken in Test matches.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (November 18, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

Again..Indian bowling lacks the performance the way Indians bowled in the past on Indian wickets..This test should have been over in three days..Dhoni did not put any pressure and plans against Cook after 300 plus runs ahead..Again reason for Indian lost in England and Australia..is the weak bowling and Dhoni's captiancy.. always let other team to score 400 plus..

Posted by daybreak02 on (November 18, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Brilliant from Cook, showing an adaptablility and composure that still seems to be worryingly lacking in most of the other England batsman - Prior excluded. Although Compton got stuck for ways to score a little in both innings, it's only his first test and he was able to cope better with SC conditions than the likes of Bell, KP and Trott. Not having the scares of the UAE probably helps. Cook's doing his best to show England the way on slow, turning tracks although it clearly has become easier to bat on. All in all, things look brighter for the rest of the series now even if England do still have a lot of work to do if this team is to succeed in the SC - both technical and mental.

Posted by challagalla on (November 18, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Cook played a captains knock, very ably supported by Prior. I thought the match would be over today itself with India registering a facile innings victory. Even if England lose tomorrow , they surprisingly have shown some spirit and fight. I never saw this from the Indians in England and Australia. This is ominous for India for the rest of the series. They will still win but it not be easy and I doubt it will be 4-0. Dhoni has a very defensive mindset and i think India may not press for victory tomorrow if set a target of 150-200. All this if England can weather the first hour of play without losing a wicket.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (November 18, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

England is putting up a good fight, better than the spine India showed in their England series last year. Hope India wraps up the England innings soon and the match produces result.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 18, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

When the pitch isn't offering any assistance to seamers, variation is the key. The England seamers' lack of variation all year has been disappointing. I'm not saying they should go over-the-top like Dernbach... just the odd slower ball, nice sharp yorker, 3-card tricks etc. etc. Without the lovely swing, seam and bounce seen in U.K. I just find England's seamers at a loss, so the impression that India's seamers are out-bowling their England counterparts is unsurprising.

Posted by wahajali on (November 18, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Should also mention the incorrect decision of Samit Patel when arguing for the DRS.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (November 18, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

As an Indian supporter,i am quite a bit disappointed with today's play. But as a cricket lover, i liked the way Cook batted. All the 5 wickets fell in front of him, but he remained cool and batted out the full day. Fantastic player. Bringing up his 21 st hundred at the age of 27. If he goes at this pace,one day he will be seen in the 50 hundreds club with Sachin. Hope India can remove Cook as soon as possible tomorrow.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 18, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

That was/is an extreme test for alastair cook, yet we're still only 10/5 so it could all be in vain. But if, IF, they do the greatest escape, Alastair Cook should become the first non-military person to earn a VC. jk

Posted by Mitch1066 on (November 18, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

Well played England least we given ourselves hope of draw it turning out to be five dayer after all :) plus prior and cook showing how rest need play against spin

Posted by   on (November 18, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

Dhoni should give more bowling to yuvraj singh to get wickets

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