India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 1st day

Panesar shines but Pujara defies England

The Report by David Hopps

November 23, 2012

Comments: 233 | Text size: A | A

India 266 for 6 (Pujara 114*, Ashwin 60*, Panesar 4-91) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Monty Panesar struck big blows for England, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 1st day, November 23, 2012
Monty Panesar returned in style, taking four wickets © BCCI
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As Monty Panesar made a triumphant Test match return something nagged away at England's sense of well-being. That something was Cheteshwar Pujara and by the close of an absorbing first day in Mumbai even Panesar had to play second best to India's new batting sensation.

Pujara has now batted for more than 15 hours without England discovering how to dismiss him, following his unbeaten double century in Ahmedabad with another hundred - and the promise of more to come - at Wankhede Stadium as he countered a turning pitch with another innings of poise and certainty.

The first new ball unveiled a story of Pujara's watchfulness as Panesar made a jubilant return with four wickets and half India's side were dismissed for 119. But the second new ball suggested that the batsman had emerged the stronger when to chants of Pu-ja-ra, Pu-ja-ra, he moved off 99 by pulling James Anderson's second delivery resoundingly through square leg. It is only the second Test of a four-Test series but there is a sense in Indian cricket of a changing order.

Pujara's tranquil progress has echoed throughout the early stages of this series. There was some bounce to excite England's pace bowlers and predictably he was tested with the short ball, but he emerged comfortably enough to suggest he will be an India batsman who can also prosper overseas. An unbroken stand of 97 with R Ashwin, whose unbeaten 60 took only 84 balls, completed India's escape.

Anderson was inches away from having Pujara caught at point by Nick Compton, plunging forward, on 17, and he also survived a hard chance to Anderson at gully when 60, this time off Panesar. His most prolonged discomfort came on 94 when England appealed, legitimately enough, for a catch off Alastair Cook's toe at short leg but the umpires called for TV evidence which showed that the ball had also struck the ground.

MS Dhoni unashamedly wants Indian Test pitches to turn from the outset and the captain got just what he wanted - an old Wankhede pitch, used only three weeks ago, ragging and bouncing. It was to Indian cricket what a blatantly green seamer at Trent Bridge might be in England, a deliberate attempt to take the opposition out of their comfort zone.

"If it does not turn, I can come and criticise again," Dhoni had chirped prior to the game as he warned that he did not expect the sort of slog faced by India's spinners in Ahmedabad. There will be no angry exchanges with the groundsman, no disappointed email to the BCCI.

But if Dhoni would have found this dry, threadbare surface, with the ball going through the top on the first afternoon, much to his liking, England's spinners were uplifted by the surface, with Panesar, who, after being controversially omitted from England's Test side in Ahmedabad, ending the day with 4 for 91 in 34 overs. It was quite a collection, with Virender Sehwag, in his 100th Test, and Sachin Tendulkar bowled in successive overs.

Smart stats

  • Cheteshwar Pujara becomes the 11th Indian batsman to score two centuries in a series against England. The last batsman to do so was Rahul Dravid in the series in England last year.
  • Sachin Tendulkar has been out bowled in four of his last five innings. Overall, he has been out bowled 52 times. Only Dravid (55) and Allan Border (53) have been bowled more often.
  • Monty Panesar's 4 for 91 is his best bowling performance in India surpassing his previous best of 3 for 65 in Chennai in 2008. In 2012, Panesar has picked up 20 wickets at 24.70
  • The 97-run stand between Pujara and R Ashwin is the joint second-highest seventh-wicket partnership in Tests in Mumbai. The highest is 235 between Syed Kirmani and Ravi Shastri in 1984.
  • Ashwin's half-century is his second fifty-plus score in Tests. His only century (against West Indies) also came in Mumbai last year. He has been dismissed below 20 in only three out of 14 innings.

It is rare to see Panesar and Graeme Swann in tandem and the contrast was an engrossing one: Panesar, bowling his left-arm spin with a deliberative air, as if any lapse in accuracy would startle him; Swann, forever jack the lad behind the dark glasses, his own concentration never quite overcoming the suspicion that he had just emerged from a crafty cigarette behind the bike sheds.

Swann played his part, bowling Yuvraj Singh for a second-ball duck by coming wide of the crease and straightening one, but it was Panesar's return that captured the attention. He began nervously, conceding two boundaries in his first over and initially overpitched, but soon found a pace and control that allowed him to settle.

If the removal of Sehwag was commonplace, a full delivery which bowled him off his pads as he flicked lazily to leg, his dismissal of Tendulkar was a gem, turn and bounce to strike his off stump, ensuring that there would be no rush into Churchgate Station on the Mumbai trains as the day progressed. Pujara's legside steers have yet to bring the worshippers flocking.

Sehwag had been in contented mood before the start, fielding congratulations on reaching his milestone, but his innings - 30 from 43 balls - never convinced. Twice in one over, Anderson almost defeated two uncertain half-bat pushes, Sehwag first inside-edging past leg stump and then beating second slip off the outside edge. Panesar removed him at the start of his fifth over, moving his short leg to gully and perhaps benefiting as Sehwag sensed the ball fired in at his pads represented easy pickings on the legside.

Panesar's third wicket was that of Virat Kohli. By mid-afternoon, the pitch was already turning, and with reasonable pace. A puff of dust as the ball broke through the surface was a forewarning for Kohli that his drive to short extra cover was about to end in disaster. Anderson's inswing had removed Gautam Gambhir second ball of the day. Anderson had a half-decent day; Stuart Broad did nothing to allay doubts about his worth on Indian pitches.

After their nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad, England had at least indicated that another lost toss would not automatically heap more misery upon them. They have never lost more than eight Tests in a calendar year, but in 2012 they have already lost seven and their shortcomings in Asia have been largely responsible.

For a side which began the year ranked as the No. 1 Test side in the world, it is a rapid reversal. With three Tests remaining in the series, their reputation is on the line. At least by selecting Panesar the balance of their side possessed some logic rather than the Englishman Abroad stereotype they had relied on in Motera, but the last hour did not go well for them. They need to find a way to break Pujara's tread.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (November 26, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

Yuvraj Singh is not a test match player! India missed the trick here by not using another specialist batsman.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 24, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Completely agree with @Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar. Statchin is an eyesore. If he doesn't announce his retirement in this test match, our selectors should grow a backbone and drop him from the next 2 tests.

Posted by bumpu on (November 24, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

While not belittling the efforts of Pujara, I find it strange that little mention is made of the effort put in by Ashwin. Pujara, as a batsman is expected to do his job whereas Ashwin, in the side primarily as a bowler, played sensibly while the top line bats failed. Let us give all concerned their due. As for Pujara, I sincerely hope we have found in him a worthy replacement to Rahul Dravid. Only time and tours of SA, Aus & Eng will tell!!

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

Dar has had a shocker so far like the last Test. Good score on this Bunsen though. Someone other than Cook in the top six needs to come to the game if England is going to have a chance.

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 24, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

Monty looks such a scary bowler in these conditions. His speed which is his greatest strength in such pitches, is his greatest weakness in non-responsive pitches. In those pitches, he would be carted around or safely played off at the very least. If he learns how to properly flight the ball and use it along with his quick deliveries, he could truly be a very threatening bowler in a lot of conditions. Man, we Indians are just struggling to play Monty here. #RESPECT

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

@dhanno.. dude.. read the comment clearly before replying.. dont just take words u want and make ur own meaningful sentences.. And thanks for teaching me what a troll comment is..

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 24, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar - Great, so you are saying Sachin is not performing because he is not able to match his awesome average of 54.7 every year. As you pointed out, for most of the years, his average is in either high 40's, 2 60's and a 70's. Yes, he has poor average in 2006 and 2012. Now did I ever tell that Sachin is not a burden now? Of course he is but your analysis that Sachin's performance is not good because he hasn't been able to match his 54 odd average is again LAUGHABLE. Call me anything but neutrals fans will see things differently from the way you do. By the way, a lot of quality players these days average in the high 40's. Very few are in 50's mark. Remember the brutal spell which he faced against Steyn in South Africa just before the world cup? Facts are facts. Sachin was awesome but now he is not so he has to go. Just because he is playing rubbish today doesn't mean he was rubbish in the last 5 years.

Posted by Jits_SRTian on (November 24, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

@popcorn.. aww well doctored. why?? because the English aren't winning. Now there is a word for this kinda attitude, whining or maybe hypocrisy. The English spinners have been delivering so far. The batsmen have to do it. It's simple but maybe some logical and unbiased thinking might clear the muddle in your head and curb that instinct to criticize anything without thinking.

Posted by popcorn on (November 24, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

It is disgusting that India is resorting to negative tactics of DOCTORING pitches like they did in 2004,when the so -called great cricketer - curator,Polly Umrigar, made a dustbowl of a pitch against Australia. The match got over in 2 and a half days. Michael Clarke,a part time spinner, got 6 wickets for 9 runs.ICC did not censure BCCI, because they are puppets of BCCI. Worse still is the mind of this captain Dhoni, who can never win abroad,so his only alternative is to prove he is a king at home.He should learn from Tiger Pataudi,who played 4 spinners Bedi,Prasanna, Chandrasekhar,Venkataraghavan abroad - and WON. In NO OTHER COUNTRY is such blatant doctoring of pitches done,as in India.A GOOD pitch offers a GOOD contest between bat and ball, assists pacemen on Days 1 and 2, and slowly deteriorates to spin on Days 4 and 5. Check out australia, South Africa and England pitches. There they play the ganme FAIRLY.

Posted by trueanalyst on (November 24, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

@Pknn,The type of wickets you said are required in domestic cricket and not in Tests.Each team should play according to its strengths.See the fate of Srilanka it is winning neither home nor away.Also remove the two series against England & Australia,They were played when India had over the hill megastars . The sudden departure of Sehwag & Zaheer before the England tour had unsettled India.See the fate of SouthAfrica in the Adelaide test with Kallis suddenly injured. Before that India performed very well either drawing or winning the series against England,SouthAfrica,Australia etc.Did you see Unmukth Chand in World cup & Mandeep Singh's performance in India A tour of NewZealand. These guys will play everywhere and win.India has a proud record at home & It should maintain that.

Posted by ImpartialExpert on (November 24, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

I am disappointed with Anderson's actions when he aggressive nudged Pujara. It was clear that he was pretending this to be an accident but just before he took strides towards Pujara he looked in that general direction to see where Pujara and then looked away. I have totally lost respect for him. Not only did he do something uncalled for but also he pretended like it was accident. He let down England with his actions.

Posted by WishIndiaImprove on (November 24, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

Stop comparing Pujara now. Let him play atleast 20 tests and we are all sure that he is great asset for India. Biggest worry now is under performers for long time. Viru is now good for 2 more years with a single 100. Now Sachin and Gowtham will score a century before end of this series and cement their positions for next two years. That is the big worry now. When are we going to take action against these under performers.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 24, 2012, 1:16 GMT)

@sensible-indian-fan (November 23 2012, 21:08 PM GMT) he scored 7 out 209 in reply to WI 304 and 76 with Laxman still at the crease and Dhoni not out, scored 38 when Dravid VVS and Dhoni scored centuries in the same innings win, 93 in the drawn 3rd test - he made no impact in this series. Against NZ he score 19 in the 1st test when India won by an innings and 115 runs and 17 (out of 353) and 27 out of 262 with Kohli on 51 and Dhoni on 48 - the chances are these 2 batsmen would scored the runs if Tendulkar had not played. In England, Tendulkar didn't score a single century compared to Dravid's 3 - no impact if he had not played. In Australia, his scores were 73 32 41 80 15 8 25 13 in four straight defeats - no impact if he had not played. This is just the last 16 months. Go back over the last 3-4 years and you'll see that he has contributed very little to the overall result. Not so laughable really.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 1:00 GMT)

I am a big admirer of Sachin (like millions of cricket lovers). But if he does not use this golden opportunity, to gracefully retire, I will doubt his intelligence -- despite all that he had achieved in his life!

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

I fully agree with Tarun Desai. It is high time to replace with Ajinkya Rahane, whose techniques and temperament look suitable for test cricket.

Posted by sachinanddravid on (November 24, 2012, 0:55 GMT)

please friends dont start to compare pujara with the WALL.I am not saying that pujara is not good but let the young man play atleast 50 test then we can compare with dravid.and dravid is a best player not only in INDIA and outside the sub-continent too.and someone saying that dravid is over defensive, just read the dravid innings if he is not over defensive then india will be ranked at no.8 in tests just above ban. Let Pujarar proove us that he can play well against SA,AUS,ENG in their own backyard.

on ProdigyA : Dravid is legend of cricket see the patnership between him and SRT,Laxman,Viru then talk,his role in the team is anchor,He has done that for more than 150%,so dont say he is over defensive.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 0:55 GMT)

I don't understand, why people are debating between Broad Vs Bresnan. Both can be made to sit out. Even though England's best bet Finn is injured, what is wrong in trying out Onions and/or Meaker. Unless we give chances to the boys, how would we know, they are good enough (or not) for the playing conditions in India?

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 24, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

@ProdigyA (November 23 2012, 21:04 PM GMT) Tendulkar did the same thing in England when Dravid opened the innings. Tendulkar with the technique and experience should have come in one down but instead VVS was sent out. Don't get wrong VVS was a great batsman but he was pure strokeplayer and even more wristy than Tendulkar. His role was not to deal with the moving ball, that's not his strength. It was for the others who went in before him see the shine off the ball and the opening bowlers initial spell so when he came in, he could play those strokes that only he could. Tendulkar's experience can't be taken away so that leaves the technique and as we've seen yet again today, it isn't what it once was. As much as it was a good ball from Panesar, he was at all at sea playing that shot. It would be nice if he could end with a century but he should settle for the next best - calling time on an illustrious career in Mumbai in front of his home fans.

Posted by hnlns on (November 24, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

@ Haleos - Do remember that Indian team in the past has won in Headingley with big and handsome margin and won the series against England too. What I and any other Indian cricket fan would love to see is a team that is not over-dependent on pitch factor and home tests to ensure victory, rather they should perform on any kind of surface given to them anywhere in the world. Nobody wants to see a team thrashed overseas. This is not talking rubbish. If the star batsmen and bowlers are not going to test themselves on home pitches that have a bit of life early on, be it in Ranji or whatever other tournaments before they play in tests, how/when they will become a force to reckon with ?

Posted by SouthPaw on (November 24, 2012, 0:30 GMT)

Dravid has moved on after a great stint and significant contribution to cricket, however the Indian fan forever wants to compare this incomparable maestro to wannabes like Pujara and has beens like SRT! The same Indian fan should also realize that you are only a fan, not a selector. Before calling for the axing of Gambhir, etc., ask yourself whether you went to see the domestic matches like Ranji, Duleep, etc. What you see on TV does not give you the skills or right to play selector.

Posted by maddy20 on (November 24, 2012, 0:11 GMT)

@ just_chill_chill I cannot believe there are people who gripe about Dravid. Killing the momentum? Seriously? Is that what you make of perseverance + perseverance + concentration? In case you have not noticed, Pujara scored his runs at a strikerate of around 40 which was almost Dravid like(career strike rate 40). This is how the game should be played on difficult wickets. And if people like you who prefer fastfood(T20) style knocks and Sehwag blitzkriegs, then Test cricket is not your cup of tea!

Posted by IndianSRTfan on (November 24, 2012, 0:07 GMT)

@ProdigyA: Pujara is a brilliant player. But your assessment of Dravid is shortsighted. He was the best number 3 India ever had. When everyone failed in England in 2011, he scored 5 centuries when conditions were overcast and England prepared green pitches. You're right in one thing though, not fair to compare the two players. It took 15 yrs for Dravid to become what he is today. A legend. Lets give Pujara some amount of time before we start piling pressure on him with all these comparisons

Posted by maddy20 on (November 24, 2012, 0:04 GMT)

Well that was a gritty knock. The kind of knock we would expect a batsman replacing Dravid to play. It was a quick wicket. even Anderson was hitting 140's pretty consistently but one look at Broad's pitch map sums up the situation. How on earth would you expect to pick wickets if you are not bowling on the stumps, especially when there is pretty decent seam movement on offer? Needless to say England have a herculean task ahead of them. With Bajji still to come, 350-400 is on the cards. On a wicket where the par 1st innings score is 280, they are well and truly in the soup. Can they avoid the innings defeat again? Lets see!

Posted by MadhavY on (November 23, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

Watching Gambhir coming out to bat every time it's just so frustrating. If he's not performing for 3 years then he should be playing in domestic competition to get into form. He just can't keep playing international matches hoping someday he'll score. Especially with talented openers like Rahane waiting for such a long time to get a chance. Big runs in domestic competitions means something, Pujara shown us that people with big first class runs can do well and I'm sure Rahane can do a lot better than what Gambhir is doing now. If they don't trust Rahane enough then play with 5 bowlers move everyone one position up and let Ashwin bat at 6 or 7. he averages over 40 and that's not a fluke. He's already played 14 test innings some of them overseas. But Gambhir is not an example for young cricketers to be looking at, he just never wants to improve and takes his place for granted, exactly not the kind of people Indian cricket need right now.

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 23, 2012, 22:41 GMT)

Don't understand people comparing Pujara with Dravid. Though it is still early, I think he is a much better player than Dravid. Dravid was never capable of putting the good balls away and hardly always put the bad balls away. His batting was only one-dimensional,'defense defense and only defense unlike Pujara who is a mixture of both defense and offense and always on the look out for runs, much like Sehwag or Sachin. Hope he does well and wish him luck.

Posted by CricketFundas on (November 23, 2012, 22:30 GMT)

Good to see England finally showing some fight. However, the key challenge for England is to see how their batsmen can play spin. I'm betting on some new Indian plans for Cook this time though, and if Cook goes early, the rest of the English team (other than Prior) shows little stomach for a fight.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (November 23, 2012, 22:16 GMT)

Interesting to see some Indian fans calling for Tendulkar to retire now with a semblance of dignity , after his recent drop in form ; I wonder if he heard Jonathan Agnew's comment that , looking around the commentary box he was sharing with all the old lags , " you're a long time retired " ?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 23, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

@sensible-indian-fan, Statchin's averages excluding Bangladesh since 2003 to date (that's a decade window) - 2003 - 17.00, 2004 - 70.11, 2005 - 44.40, 2006 - 24.27, 2007 - 43.50, 2008 - 48.31, 2009 - 67.62, 2010 - 72.11, 2011 - 47.25, 2012 - 24.18. Only 3 times in the last 10 years did he average equal to or more than his career average of 54.7. Now, I may or may not be a funny guy but you aren't as sensible. Are you? He is being a burden on the team for a while now. Even more damning is the fact that he averages a paltry 33.15 since 3 Jan 2011 with just 6 half centuries in 26 innings. Need we say more about this spent force? Simple. He is answerable to the endorsement companies and neither can he announce retirement without their permission nor the BCCI can ignore the financial dealings involved with Statchin and those companies. All are hand-in-glove. There's nothing much the unfortunate Indian fans can do apart from waiting for the mercy of Statchin to call it a day. Shame!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

Is it the capitain or the board the instructs the groundsman on the type of pitch. Is MS Dhoni the controller of Indian cricket. The reason they have test series is simple PROFIT thats right money. So what makes more money a 5 day test and the TV dollar that comes with that or 3 days of spinning hand grenades of if you are in the other part of the world seaming mine fields. A test pitch should go for 5 days people want results but tv wants 5 days of Advertising revenue. So who really owns the game?

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 23, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

Just seen the highlights and Monty's bowling will be a double-edged sword for England. Bowled beautifully and deserved more wickets than his four. Had a very good shout against Ashwin turned down and Swann got turn at pace. But Cook and England should also be worried about the Indian spinners Ohja and Ashwin and also Zaheer. The only issue for the Indians is that in the 1st test by enforcing the follow-on, the rearguard action from Cook and Prior meant that the 2 spinners had to bowl a lot of overs. With this being back-to-back tests, we'll have to see if they've fully recovered.

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 23, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar - Even I want Sachin to retire but your argument that Sachin has not been performing for nearly half a decade is laughably inaccurate and totally undermines your cricketing logic. Here are Sachin's scores from the India-WI series last year - 7, 76 (run chase win), 38, 94, 3. Haha...you are a funny guy...

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 23, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar - Even I want Sachin to retire but your argument that Sachin has not been performing for nearly half a decade is laughably inaccurate and totally undermines your cricketing logic. Here are Sachin's scores from the India-WI series last year - 7, 76 (run chase win), 38, 94, 3. Haha...you are a funny guy...

Posted by poms_have_short_memories on (November 23, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

These Indian pitches (and batsman) are showing how insipid the English attack is when the ball isn't swinging around like a banana, it looks as though they will get whitewashed by a team Australia defeated 4-0 last year.

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 23, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

I think time is seriously running out for Sachin. Though he did not perform particularly well in Eng and Aus he looked good as long as he was on the crease. But here, he looks hardly convincing. Also, in the first test he should have come ahead of Kohli, but did not, which shows he is under a lot of pressure.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

@jb633 on (November 23 2012, 12:21 PM GMT) re "I think India already have too many here" - agreed.260-6 would not be so bad had India been 200+ for 1 or 2 but as they were 119-5 it's not a good day. Re Broad , I have always been a big fan of Broad's but why do they keep picking him? Before this game I don't think anyone said Broad should remain in the side on current form so it's not like a kneejerk reaction thing.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

@sensible-indian-fan on (November 23 2012, 11:08 AM GMT) I think we also have one or 2 players in exactly the same situation. It's kind of a false faith when you have players who score big once in a while but are getting mediocre figures in between. Like I think you seem to be intimating , if you give a player enough opportunities he's bound to perform at some stage

@satish619chandar on (November 23 2012, 11:25 AM GMT) Yeah , you have to weigh up the likelihood of the bowling all rounder scoring runs. It's hard to know what Meaker or Finn (who was injured anyway) would have done but surely they could not have been any less effective than Broad and Broad's batting which at one time looked promising seems to have regressed too

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@Meety on (November 23 2012, 09:44 AM GMT) I half agree with you there. Broad should have gone before Bresnan but I'm not 100% sure Bres should have stayed either. Broad seems to be the bowling equivalent of Bell. Making him vice captain - as many have said - was not a great move as it now means he is pretty much undroppable. Prior - again as many have said - should have been vice captain for many reasons - diplomacy,leadership skills,always close to the action,experience - but not least because he is one of only a few players we have who no one ever questions the selection of

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

I think Gambhir should be dropped immediately, as it looks like he does not want to play straight bat or he does not know how to play straight. Every ball he plays he wants to play shot. He does not know where his off stump is. Somebody like Rahane is thinking how do i not get a chance and Gambhir keeps getting chances by not even playing proper cricket. The 40 something runs he made in 1st test were so ugly. Its time to drop players that are not performing or taking their place as granted. Same with Sachin, every time he has been bowled recently he is trying to play the ball on leg side instead of driving straight.

Posted by leggetinoz on (November 23, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

I know it is very early and a very big if still as England still have to bat against India's spinners however just thought i would raise the question. If England manage to win on this track, what type of pitch would Dhoni be asking for next? A green top, perhaps a lump of dirt with holes in the ground.

Posted by pknn on (November 23, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

these pitches kill the art of fast bowling. spinners won't win matches for india outside.

BCCI wake up and start producing greener and harder pitches, so that our batsmen can play the moving ball outside the sub continent.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

Maybe Ashwin likes it quiet..but we need to give him a SHOUT OUT for a quick 60...not out...2 or 3 wits ..I think his contribution comparable or is greater than Pujara. Remember if we win by 7 runs or less lets not forget Tendulkar's contribution too;

Posted by Divinetouch on (November 23, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Anderson bumps (body contacts) Pujara afterPujara completed his hundred and silence all around. Just imagine if an English player is bumped by an Indian player what will happen.

Sidarhta Monga were you asleep when it happened?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

Pujara cant be compared to Dravid yet.. we have to see how consistent he can play overseas.. I think Dravid has extraordinary overseas test average except in SA. Sehwag and Yuvraj were lazy .... Tendular's wicket delivery was a peach... Ashwin should play long and complete his century.....

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 23, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

@DrABChandorkar: if what you say had one iota of truth in it, I would be very quick to acknowledge the lack of sportsmanship of both Trott & Cook. I cannot (& will never) condone attempts to cheat/ fool the umpires by any player of whatever nationality. My fellow poster, ashes 61, has kindly & patiently explained to you the detailed facts in both cases. It woud be nice to read your acknowledgement of his post & mine, with a small apology - to show that you understand that you were mistaken. Now, had you picked up on the slightly aggressive knock of Jimmy Anderson on the excellent Pujara between overs, then I would concede that you had a point. I was disappointed to see that from Jimmy & would hope that someone has had a quiet word with him about it. I have long maintained that players represent their countries abroad & that is why their behaviour has to be the very best (Rahul Dravid is a role model in this respect). Cook & Trott are honest sportsmen & excellent ambassadors too.

Posted by just_chill_chill on (November 23, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy Stop comparing Pujara with Dravid. Dravid will come in and kill the momentum completely whether the score is 10/5 or 1000/5. Pujara has at least the sensibility to rotate the strike, and has much better temperament than Dravid. Dravid will make everything look really complicated and difficult, and then scratch around for a few runs, and everybody will be convinced that it was a master piece !

Posted by noboundaries on (November 23, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

Well the time has come to say goodbye to Mr.Tendulkar. There is no room for nostalgia, he has played in his own ground & that is the end. Indian cricket's standing is at stake so no emotions & drop him from the playing side. Even the best cricketer has to finish some time, so it is time.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

Friends, one information for all of you: Ashwin has played 13 inns upto now but he dismissed at single digit only once, that too in Sydney. In India his minimum score is 14 and avg. is more than 52 and strike rate is nearly 70. Moral of the story: All you English fans be ready for further hammering.India is all set to get 400 as Herbhajan is also a good bat.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

@jb633 on (November 23 2012, 12:21 PM GMT) re "I think India already have too many here" - agreed.260-6 would not be so bad had India been 200+ for 1 or 2 but as they were 119-5 it's not a good day. Re Broad , I have always been a big fan of Broad's but why do they keep picking him? Before this game I don't think anyone said Broad should remain in the side on current form so it's not like a kneejerk reaction thing.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

@satish619chandar on (November 23 2012, 11:25 AM GMT) Yeah , you have to weigh up the likelihood of the bowling all rounder scoring runs. It's hard to know what Meaker or Finn (who was injured anyway) would have done but surely they could not have been any less effective than Broad and Broad's batting which at one time looked promising seems to have regressed too

Posted by JustIPL on (November 23, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

Ashwin finds place in Indian team now as Broad, Bresnan find. They can bowl and bat as well. On a truly turning pitch he was seen struggling with his tricks coming unapplicable in the first test. Todays innings will keep him in as an allrounder and concerns of those who were after playing Pathan as an all rounders will definitely be allayed. On this pitch, however, he should be very successful because carrom ball will carry with some bounce to dhoni and slips.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

@sensible-indian-fan on (November 23 2012, 11:08 AM GMT) I think we also have one or 2 players in exactly the same situation. It's kind of a false faith when you have players who score big once in a while but are getting mediocre figures in between. Like I think you seem to be intimating , if you give a player enough opportunities he's bound to perform at some stage

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

@Meety on (November 23 2012, 09:44 AM GMT) I half agree with you there. Broad should have gone before Bresnan but I'm not 100% sure Bres should have stayed either. Broad seems to be the bowling equivalent of Bell. Making him vice captain - as many have said - was not a great move as it now means he is pretty much undroppable. Prior - again as many have said - should have been vice captain for many reasons - diplomacy,leadership skills,always close to the action,experience - but not least because he is one of only a few players we have who no one ever questions the selection of

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

Another frustrating day for England after having India 5 down so early. Again another masterclass from the new wall and well played Ashwin too. I've always thought we should have 5 bowlers but I'm not sure an extra pace bowler would have made much difference.Broad looks/seems very ineffective these days but seems undroppable. On hindsight I wonder whether we should have had 3 frontline spinners in our squad and maybe (like India) gone in with 3 frontline spinners although that's too much like thinking outside the box for our rigid selectors

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

Pujara going after Clarke's freshly set record? And I thought Kohli was the next great thing. I hope he has the skills to bat well in Eng, Aus and SA too. Having not seen any play so far I have to ask, is it the kind of pitch where England can make runs too?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 23, 2012, 18:48 GMT)

@Dr A B Chandorkar, Cook wasn't guilty as he took evasive action and wasn't looking at the ball. But Trott knew picked up the ball from grass and was hoping that Kohli would be dismissed for a bump catch. Never expected Trott to behave so bad. Incidents such as the Trott's incident bring the game to disrepute.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (November 23, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

Front-Foot_lunge- I believe you are a not very convining imposter for the real article, because if you think this is the worst 12 months of any English cricket side you must have amnesia. All in all honours even given India won toss, however if the pitch deteriorates as anticipated an English first innings lead is imperative however unlikely.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

It is better time to Mr. Sachin retire from all sort of cricket, with dignity & self respect. He is out of form and not enough time left in him to deliver or regain his form.

Please don't block youngster entering into Indian Team.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 23, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

Contd The saddest part of all is that India have been thrashed in last 2 series away and won its last 2 series and the first test of this current one without at home and it's made no difference to the results that Sachin has played. Time to think of the future and that includes Sehwag Gambhir Yuvraj who have never been motivated to perform by being left out or being dropped whilst other players have been given the same opportunity that they have.

Posted by chokkashokka on (November 23, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Having lost 7 tests in a year - and their reputation is still on the line? I'd say the English team's reputation is way over the line Mr. Dobbs. And please take a break from making excuses for this english team - the only unshamedly about this article is your love of making excuses for the english team. Lets see what you have to say on day 4 when this test is done and dusted and England have equalled their record - reputation and all.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 23, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

@akpy if Tendulkar got one that would have got most batsmen, what's the point in selecting a 39 year old with 23 years' experience instead of the next generation of batsmen. If he can only bat well against the ball that doesn't anything then why is another player not given a chance? The last 2 away series has shown that India are desperately poor away from home and a home series is a good opportunity for players gain experience and build confidence at test level. SRT and Azharuddhin batted simply brilliantly in the greatest partnership I've ever seen back in 1997 in SA on a fast bouncy track but he stopped being that player many years ago. Can Sachin offer something close in a year's time or will he simply be older and slower? Better to use a home series for younger players before thinking about the away series and and if we do lose in SA and on recent away results there's nothing to suggest otherwise it's better to lose with new players.

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

@jmcilhinney.... "A good pitch should help fats bowlers early and spinners later with some joy for batsmen in between"... that is a perfect pitch per your view, while i agree that it sounds good, if all test wickets were what you described then test cricket will not survie... the whole point and thrill of test cricket is to have different pitches with diff challenges!!!

Posted by Cluedin on (November 23, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Even if the selectors do not make up their mind on Sachin, the team management should atleast ensure that Virat bats at #4, and matures in that role, since Pujara is coming in at #3. They should take a call to move Sachin down to #5. Being more experienced, one assumes he will be able to deliver at any batting position.

Posted by indian_jim on (November 23, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

I myself am not a so called sachin fan... but those who are demanding for his head i WARN YOU!!

YES he has got a bit slow with his reflexes and all that...

but no 1 survives in test cricket for 23 years & fade away jus within 6 months...

YES the master has to CALL IT A DAY sometime but he wil do it ON HIS TERMS... I guarentee that there are a couple of centuries ATLEAST that is still left in him... & i am pretty sure hez saving it 4 his beloved AUSSIES to face his music...

WATCH OUT MICHEAL CLARKE(PUP)

Posted by jango_moh on (November 23, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

@Long-Leg... its just a matter of understanding i feel... for an eng fan, an english pitch which seams and swings a bit is a normal batting track, and for an indian fan, a pitch that spins a bit and has normal bounce is a regular Subcontinent pitch.... so both sides keep thinking that we just gave flat tracks!!! in reality, the pitches in eng were mostly good, except for a few days where it swung quite a bit... and the first test in india was a regular slow low turner(aka easy for batting)... but the mumbai pitch does look like a turner with bounce, its still not bad for batting yet.. but might start spitting later on(now this is called a turner), AGAIN, i dont think even this will be the RANK turner that ppl talk about... those r bad pitches, this is a good pitch...

Posted by AwesomeSanket on (November 23, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

i feel so sad about SRT getting dismissed cheaply over n over again which eventually gives a feeling that this may well be his last or near to last if not last outing with team india ! he has been a phenomena for last 23 years,but its just getting far too ugly n i although being the biggest fan of him wants him to just hit a big hundred n retire on a high,he is too good a player to look silly even in indian conditions :( it will be a big loss for world cricket but then,nothing lasts forever :( RIP Tendulkar Days :(

Posted by indian_jim on (November 23, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

Amazing day of test match cricket!!! the twists and turns in mumbai and the comeback of the proteas at adelaide!!

Along with the good comes not so good cricket in bangladesh where the windies continued batting & batting redefining boring cricket!

No doubt the english boys would have been jubilant after half day's play.

but the 2nd half was totally ours!!!

PUJARA take a bow!!! placards with Wall under re-construction seen!!! hope he truly is the next wall and comes close to what the real WALL RAHUL DRAVID was and forever will be!!!

much talk about dhoni wanting turning pitches from day 1... i mean whats wrong with that...

spin is our strength we got 2 play to our strengths!!!

thats why its called a HOME series for us & as an AWAY (tour) series to the english to test them against what they are not used to!!!

Much anticipation for the 2nd day's play!! hoping to see the rare 3-spinner mantra working for MSD!!!!!

Posted by maddy_2012 on (November 23, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

I disagree and condemn with the author for he said, "MS Dhoni unashamedly wants Indian Test pitches to turn from the outset and the captain got just what he wanted ". Why should Dhoni be ashamed of turning pitches, when AUS/ENG/SA are not ashamed of making seaming/swinging pitches and playing to their strength. Aren't they afraid of making turning pitches when the sub continent teams tour?

Posted by Nampally on (November 23, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

Yes, the Curator has answered Dhoni's demands but Dhoni & his batsmen failed badly on their tailor made pitch.Panesar dismissed Sehwag,Tendulkar, Kohli - the cream of Indian batting- with ease!. India needs to thank Young & talented Pujara + Ashwin, who is better than #8, for saving Dhoni's bacon. It was shocking to see Tendulkar bowled by panesar on his home ground. I am a strong supporter of SRT, but he must vacate #4 after failing twice in 2 Tests. Let Tiwary take his rightful spot in the batting line up. With Pujara, Kohli & Tiwary, Indian middle order is filled with 3 young talented batsmen. It is also time for Gambhir to reflect upon his batting & give way to S.Dhawan.Finally why include Harbhajan as second off spinner in XI when he is out of form & "past it"? MSD & the Selectors have lot to ponder. For now Pujara & Ashwin have dug India out of a sinkhole. Hopefully these 2 will carry on & put India in commanding position.Can Dhoni handle his Spin Quartet to lead India to win?

Posted by ahweak on (November 23, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

A pitch like this makes cricket more compelling to watch than the roads on which first innings 600+ scrores are par.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 23, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

Statchin is an eye-sore. His execution was so poor that a good ball looked like a great ball. He won't leave cricket in a dignified manner. I mean, he can't. He has to talk to various companies before he will be allowed by them to make his retirement announcement. So, there's no way he could make the retirement announcement in the middle of the ongoing test match. Please tap him on his shoulders and tell him that we are moving on. He's being humiliated for well over half a decade now and once in a bluemoon he performs for all his fanatics to go bonkers. He now failed against England in England, against Windies in India, against Australia, New Zealand and now against England again. There's no dignity left anyway, even if he retires now. That's 5 series on the trot. Please drop this spent force and save him from this misery. Shame!

Posted by screamingeagle on (November 23, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

@jb633, great observation. I guess the multiple variety of swing bowlers in England is what you had in mind?

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 23, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

Hadnt seen anything of Pujara before this series but it looks like he's gonna have a long career. The new Dravid, sorta.

Stuart Broad, I hope you get some runs cos you might not get too many wickets when your pace is down & your in india. Prove me wrong SB!

Posted by msanirudh on (November 23, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Mr.Alfo..gues your memory is too myopic. about yuvraj well he scored a half century recently and is a PROVEN match winner both in TESTS,ODI's andnot to mention T20's. You and I are not qualified enough to say if someone is Test Class or not. People will get chances.. other thank Tiwari do not think anyone warrants a chance at no 6. If you still think Rahane(unproven), Rohit(over trusted) and Raina (OVER TESTED), Badri/Tiwari(not completely tested) are better than Yuvraj you gotta be kidding me and sorry to say but try being rationale. And if you are telling me Yuvraj cannot play swing mate he is amuch better pller,hooker than Raina's badri's etc.but yes rahane/tiwari should be given a chance and well Sachin he knows he is on the decline and he himself said " i do not have much cricket left in me"..masterknows is powers are waning but with a completely UNSETTLED middle order may be one more last hurray against aussies and SAF;s in SAF.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Right now match is evenly poised, India has to make sure to score 350+ & try to take a lead of as much as they can. Tomorrow's morning session will probably decide the fate of the game

Posted by ashes61 on (November 23, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Dr AB Chandorkar: What an astonishing comment about Trott & Cook!!! Trott did NOT - repeat NOT - claim that catch at Ahmedebad. He ended up sitting on his backside with the ball in his hand, looking totally bemused. He was unexcited & did not appeal. It was clear he only nodded in response to the question of whether it was worth asking for a replay. Quite reasonably, he though yes. No suggestion of ungentlmeanly conduct was suggested at the time, even though it tben became obvious (but only from 1 angle of the slo-mo replay) that the ball bounced. Even worse is the suggestion that Cook acted dishonestly. Did you not see the replays? At slow AND normal speed? Initially, all that was apparent is that the ball had risen from Cook's foot to be caught. No-one knew any more than that. Indeed, Cook was ducking away & faced the exact opposite direction, only FEELING it hitting his toe hard. He saw nothing, certainly no "puff of dust"! We only know the answer after1 particular angle of slo mo

Posted by sameer111111 on (November 23, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

For people asking for the inclusion of Unmukt chand, I would like to ask what has he done apart from the u19 world cup century? despite what ian chappel has to say, it was quite obvious during the champions league that he was visibly uncomfortable against good pace bowling. he is very young and would hopefully get better with time. for now, players like rahane who have proved their worth in ranji or A tours should be given a chance.

Posted by St.John on (November 23, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

The two P's shine for their respective countries so even stevens I guess. England often dont keep faith in their players through hard times and Panesar has suffered (ostensibly because of his greasy hands) At times I think he is a better spinner than Swann especially when bowling in tandem with his wily twin.There is already talk of droping Bell - a stirling batsmen. Unfortunate if that happens...

Posted by Rohanpatel.pst on (November 23, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

2nd day highligh . Pujara scoring 150 and more. Ashwin scoring 100. It would be a low scoring match but it will be for england not for india. Important for india they play till tea at 2nd day. Then keep ashwin and ohja with ball and see the difference batween india nd englnd. Pujara still not the wall but he will be wall after south africa tour in 2013. Mark my words. See the stancef pujara it will tell you the rest.

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 23, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Well done guys, we've got to keep India below 300 to stay in the match. This boy Pujara sure is talented. We could learn a thing or two on batting from him. I don't think our batsmen have experienced anything like this pitch, so we need to put our heads down and grind it out. Absorbing first day, Monty was brilliant. But it's how we bat tomorrow that will decide the match.

Posted by binojpeter on (November 23, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

England especially Panesar bowled superbly in this match. I was really surprised that Panesar was not included in first test. Samit Patel can be a useful spinner like Yuvraj Singh but cannot expected to be as effective as a frontline spinner like Panesar. I know that Monty has the baggage of poor fielding and batting but I believe that his bowling is good enough to ensure his place in the team especially on surfaces that favors spin. Congrats to Pujara for his application.

Posted by jb633 on (November 23, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

@Front-Foot_Lunge- ahhaah get your facts right Bell is not even playing in this game. The troll has out trolled himself here. Spending the majority of time pretending to be an English cricket fan on a forum represents what sort of a life? You can answer this.

Posted by klapka on (November 23, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

Pujara has undoubtedly looked good in this series, but I think Cook's hundred in the first test was probably the best innings i've seen so far in this series. As a newcomer into the team facing spinners in home conditions, I think Pujara's innings was well short of Cook's hundred that came when his team had their backs to the wall. Its innings like that why i watch test cricket for, and although as an Indian I hope Indians win the series, I hope Cook play out a couple of more masterclass innings and take our spin trio head on.

Posted by getsetgopk on (November 23, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

I have a suggestion. There should be no toss, the visiting team should be able to choose if they want to bat first or bowl first. This is simply unfair that one set of batsmen will bat on a better surface than the other set. This particular pitch, would be far more crumblier than it is now by the time the English bat on it, and that is unfair. Either prepare pitches that are fair throughout the game or there shouldn't be any toss. The same rule should apply to green tops. If the home team prepares such pitches then let them face the music on it first. This should even out the parity in home and away performances for most teams.

Posted by sweetspot on (November 23, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

Yuvraj bashers, take it easy. You cannot judge his worth in this team after a 74 in a single innings in a game, and getting out second ball before settling down. He certainly did not let down anybody in the field, so his body is obviously in good shape. Gambhir has to get it in his head that he shouldn't play across so early in his innings. He has to learn from Ashwin how to keep it simple and still have a mad strike rate. He is a frontline batsman lurking in the gallows of tailenders! Just when bowlers go to sleep a bit, yet again, Ashwin blossoms! The best part of this game hasn't yet started. India have 3 spinners who are competing against one another. KP has something to prove, and so does young Bairstow. Cook will play well, that's a given. Don't forget this is Bhajji's home ground in the IPL. He will be hungry here. Dhoni doesn't even have to try any part timers if he so chooses, except in case Bhajji is totally out of rhythm.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

Indian selectors need to look into making some changes. Tendulkar - its time to retire gracefully. Need to look beyond Sehwag-Gambhir pair for the opening stand now. There's also Captain Dhoni, who is great for one days and T20's, but not a fit for test cricket any more. His keeping is not the best, and batting style exposes the team in this format. His captaincy is now too defensive for test matches - we will see how things pan out in this game.

Posted by Haleos on (November 23, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

@ hnlns - which team is made up of top 6 batsman who are comfortable on all sort of surfaces? That would make a champion team. I guess none of the teams qualify. Even when Australia were going great guns they struggled to win in India barring one series which in my opinion was a gift for Steve Waugh. So please talking rubbish against India. I guess IPL money has lit fire under lot of people.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

The wall reconstructed #Cheteswar Pujara

Posted by Haleos on (November 23, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

@ mdreddy - well said. Ashwin has opened before in first class. Maybe we can get rid of Gauti and let Ashwin open the batting. He is alreayd doing better than him. We can get Varun in the team then. We dont need trudlers like Vinaykumar, dhinda and co. We need to invest in genuine pace.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 23, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

No doubt: Now pressure is on England 300+ for India and then struggle for England because there is spin and bounce both on offer. Only a miracle can save Enland now. They missed the trick by dropping Bresnan as his steep bounce should have nailed some wickets for sure. For Broad, I will say he kep one tight continously troubling batsmen due to wich they wanted to cut lose against Monty and got out. I think patel could have sit out to give it to Bresnan. Patel though bowled tightly and plays spin well so can be interesting.

Posted by Haleos on (November 23, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

@ Long-Leg - English spinners better than the Indian ones? Pray tell us how.

Posted by alfaomega on (November 23, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

what exactly are tendulkar and gambhir doing in the team? when will performance score over hype in indian cricket? its been ages since sachin scored anything decent. reminds me eerily of kapil dev in his final days. n when will we stop being sentimental about yuvraj? he never was test class...never will be...cant play spin in India...cant play swing n pace abroad. even his fielding has dropped a few notches. n how much bowling did he do in the last test? just leave him for the odis and t20s. let's get in guys like rahane, unmukt chand and at least give them a chance to find their feet in test cricket. its time for a few hard decisions for the better or Indian cricket, time to shed this myopic attitude and time to look towards the future than feed off the past.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

Superb batting by Pujara with good support by Aswin for other indian wicket analysis , Veeru misses a full ball trying to turn the straight ball to onside and bowled , SRT if we watch closely he tried to play on the leg side w/o reading the line of the bowl ..hence it was not an unplayable/gem delivery as described by espn commentary the same thing was happening againt new zealand playing across straight deliveries , Yuvi again simply played the wrong line . Only dhoni 's ball was good spin and bounce hence if English batsman apply themselves they can score well .

Posted by hnlns on (November 23, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

I think Pujara and Ashwin have saved the day for India. All those who were making loud noises demanding rank turners have flopped miserably, including Kohli, Gambhir, and Dhoni. Tendulkar continues his downhill trend and his glaring deficiency and struggle against left arm spin is all too obvious yet agian but somehow will continue to hold his place because no selector dares to even contemplate dropping him. Indians might win against this English team because their batsmen are as uncomfortable with turn and bounce as Indians are when they see even a hint of green tinge on the playing surface. Overall, neither team is a champion unit because both have vulnarabilities that are so obvious.

Posted by India_boy on (November 23, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

I have to give it to English fans, of all of us,they are the most gracious and humble, they praise when it is required and are not afraid of fairly criticizing their own players. It's very heartening to see them taking the turning pitch as a challenge rather than whine about it like the Aus or Sl fans. good spirit guys! keep it up, we have some things to learn from you guys!

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 23, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Also Well done to Pujara, he looks like a great find for No.3, big score temprement, exactly what you want at No.3.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 23, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

@Bruisers on (November 23 2012, 13:37 PM GMT) so not Clarke then?! If I had to name an in-form batsman it would be clark, not Kholi who hasn't got a score yet in the current series, compared to Clarke's double of doubles in his last 2 games. I'm a pommie so it does pain me to say this by the way!

Very interested in how this game pans out now, waking up at 4 I think!

Posted by indirockz on (November 23, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

I will come back to my previous comment the other day. "Is Cheteshwar Pujara the Hashim Amla of India whom England don't know how to dismiss?"

Posted by landsite on (November 23, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

England "goose is cooked",good an proper.You can beat all the lesser teams like Windies,India,Bangladesh and to a lesser extent Pakistan,Pakistan gives you a better fight though.The thing is you start their fixtures in the worst weather conditions possible for cricket,it all suits your bowlers.Take your beating now coz that is exactly what you are gonna get,I am West Indian BTW.

Posted by bluebillion on (November 23, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

Love this pitch. Brilliant for spinners, bounce and swing too for the pacers. Plus, any batsman worth his salt will relish this challenge. This is much better than the flat slow pitch that Bangladesh and WI are playing on and even more so than the motorway in Adelaide.

Good stuff to see Dhoni pick 3 spinners. I dont see an issue here. Some people moaning about lack of variety but what happens when SA played 4 seamers + Kallis in the first test in OZ?

Posted by legsidewide on (November 23, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Why always the talk of a "rapid reversal"? Why not the more accurate remark that they were simply overrated to start with? Why the gloss over the ranking inflation based on home success and a single away tour win over a declining, better ranked Australian side? And why on earth is Swann still the preferred spinner, when he's been out-bowled by Monty every time they've both played in 2012?

Posted by xylo on (November 23, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

I don't understand what is wrong with "unashamedly" asking for a pitch with turn and bounce. That is exactly what has made this test exciting. And a pitch with a bit of spice like this is what separates the men from the boys, just like the seaming and bouncing pitches of England and Australia. Badrinath would have been an ideal replacement for the guy who is still "enjoying" his cricket, but I am afraid that he has gone past his use-by date now, and will be forever consigned to be the Pujara of domestic cricket.

Posted by bigwonder on (November 23, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

Dhoni's wish has been granted and now he needs to grant Indian fans wishes. He needs to score and win remaining tests. Lets see how he does, oh wait he again could not convert his start again. Watch what you wish for. Look around, there are 3 tests currently being played and all of them have flat pitches (not turning pitches on day one). Captains from 3 teams have led by example not by mouth. Dhoni seriously needs to improve his batting and reconsider the two dead weights (Gambhir and Tendulkar) - neither are adding any value with bat or fielding.

Posted by Scube on (November 23, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

@Long-Leg: Don't be surprised even if Broad makes the world test team for third time in a row!

Posted by BalaSenty on (November 23, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Pujara had done a marvellous jbd, we need players like him. i think Pujara and Ashwin saved Indian team. I think it is high time for Sachin, he should retire, before taking most number of bowled into his record. Gambir should play Ranji and find his way back to the team. He should be dropped.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 23, 2012, 15:04 GMT)

Replace Gambhir with Dhawan, Rahane, or Mukund. Replace 10dulkar with Tiwary or Kaif, and replace Yuvraj with Irfan Pathan or Bhuvnesh Kumar of UP. Kumar is a medium pacer who can bat. He is an allrounder like Pathan.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Credit to Mushtaq Ahmed at Sussex. He has made Monty into a right handful. He used to be fast, flat and slightly predictable. Now he has some cheeky deliveries up his sleeve and the confidence to give it more air, he's a bowler to be reckoned with. Should have played in the first tes toot, but very happy to see him twirling now

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 23, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

Monty again making nonsense of his non-inclusion on the subcontinent. I know we won in Colombo with only one spinner but.....anyway he's at it again,and should get a fifth in the morning. He actually adds a lot to England's enthusiasm as well-not a great fielder but a great character.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

pujara played really well today and england bowlers seemed that they dont know how to get out, but on the other side they bowled well to take 6 wickets for 169 but somehow lost their way.broad led completely down probably england will get india allout 350-370 tommorow

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

Ashwin is one of those lucky guys. And there seem to be quite a few of them around. A Bangladeshi pacer(Abul Hussain) scored a century against the WI when the top order, middle order had all perished cheaply. Hard to explain these things.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 23, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

Harinath Gandhi on (November 23 2012, 13:40 PM GMT), the whole world doesn't hate spin. The whole world hates wickets that favour spin over everything else for most or all of a match. A good pitch should help fats bowlers early and spinners later with some joy for batsmen in between. This pitch seems quite good so far, primarily because of the bounce. If it crumbles on day 2 and starts playing like a day 5 pitch then that will be another story. A good Test wicket shouldn't genuinely favour spin until day 3 at the earliest.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

I like the way Dhoni selected the playing XI for this 2nd test match bring 3 spinners into play. Everyone is talking about SRT failure in the series but today how he got out is a dream delivery for every spinner definitely Monty will be happy man.Today's standout batsmen is definitely pujara, guys he took more than 40 balls to score his last 10 runs to reach his hundred its a excellent stuff for a batsmen at his age, very calm not trying anything stupid but he is the only one tested English bowlers with his temperament in this series. Everyone criticize Ashwin for not bowling well, of course he will become a good spinner with more experience. In my point of view Indian team management should consider Ashwin as an allrounder at least in test matches and give him the no 6 slot in the team. It will provide the Indian team with 5 bowlers helping the teams bowling and he is a consistent run scorer at the no 6. He showed his batting skills in Australia and in home pitches also.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Javed Miandad and Inzy both scored centuries in their 100th test. No such luck for Sehwag. He is not in the same class as the other two.

Posted by ajetti on (November 23, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

350 will be a good score to put up. Not too sure about three spinners though. Pujara has shown true grit today. Well done! Great expectations from him when we tour too.As expected, Sachin bashers out in force. We will see who has the last laugh before this test is over! Kohli has played awfully for the third innings in a row. What is wrong with him? Someone on this forum promoting Jadeja! Best joke of the day!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 23, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

@heathrf1974 on (November 23 2012, 14:03 PM GMT), I'm not sure what Tremlett's status is at the moment but, given his age and a run of injuries, I doubt that England would risk putting him back in the team. It's a real shame because he looked like he might have a few good years in him for a while. If Broad doesn't improve for the rest of this game then it's hard to see how they could justify keeping him in if Finn is fit. It's funny that his head was on the block before the last series against India and he got his mojo back by pitching the ball up, yet he seems to have forgotten that lesson. I haven't seen any of this game but it sounds like maybe his speed is back up a little, so hopefully that's a good sign. I'm sure he'll be back if he does get dropped but England just can't afford any passengers in a four-man attack on an already-difficult tour.

Posted by da_man_ on (November 23, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

The problem isn't that the ball turns from day 1. The problem is that usually for turners you need a crumbling wicket with cracks. As a result, by the time days 4 or 5 come around, you're keeping out balls at ankle height. THAT is what's not acceptable. Let's see how this pitch pans out. With hard seaming tracks, you know there will be deterioration, but not enough to ruin the game. No one minds rank turners with bounce, so long as they can stay like that over 5 days.

Posted by SoulTaker on (November 23, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

What is this Gambir guy doing in the team....."empty vessels makes more noise"...its high time Dhoni should be start looking at a different opening pair...y not mukund or Rahane as openers....the decision of spin track almost backfired us....thanks to Pujara and Ashwin....

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

A real game-changing late stand, and fair play to Ashwin who batted aggressively without ever looking reckless (take note, Stuey Broad). At Dhoni's dismissal the game looked fairly close, but given our batsmen made sub-200 in far easier conditions during the first innings in Ahmedabad, I can see India getting a first innings lead now, which would be very very hard to recover from. Good display from Panesar, it was ridiculous not to play him in 1st Test as even when not taking wickets, he can offer the control that Bresnan and Broad lack in these conditions. Patel's selection as a batsman after his warm-up runs was merited, but we should have picked Monty too. As for Pujara, well what a class act. I hope it shows Indians the real benfit of the IPL; he often can't get a game there, and yet now must be considered one of the brightest batting talents in the Test world! I hope I'm proved wrong when England bat tomorrow, but I can see the spin triplets causing havoc! Need another Cookathon!!

Posted by Dhanno on (November 23, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

@ Promod MJ.. Is this a troll comment? why would you club clarke, huss, warner, smith, samuels, bravo, hasan, hader all as cheap hundreds ? I hope it is to attract comments/ scron from others, but this shows indians in bad light. Most of those hundreds were deserved and important for team's cause. Aussies scored fast enough to get to 500+ score, clarke or warner didnt play out 2 and half days to get hundred. Same goes to bangladesh and WI hundreds, they are playing proper cricket, last test match was decided on fifth day and you never know what will this pitch throw up on last 2 days. Its useless hundred when you score it week in week out againt same opposition in some meaningless ODI (read indians playing against lanka half the year) But all the above ones were pretty legitimate.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Well, anything over 270 is the first inning lead for india. I am sure England wont cross 270. So they needed to reduce india to 250 but they failed. However if they still reduce india to 300-320, still they have some chance otherwise game over for them. by the way poor cricket from indian top order particularly Tendulkar, looks like most of the time he will struggle on a lively pitch whether its turning or seeming.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

Pujara superb and Ashwin proves that he is competing with other spinners within the team (with his batting ability). I think Dhoni might give an opportunity to Murali Vijay in the place of Gambhir. And there is one more position is also needs to be filled, that is SRT's position. Honestly I don't know what Sachin is going to prove the world.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 23, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

Agree with @ Jose Puliampatta. This will be a perfect time and place for 10dulkar to announce his retirement. He can still retire with whatever dignity he has left. He should have listened to Imran Khan, and retired on a high after World Cup 2011.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (November 23, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

England should get Tremlett or Finn in for the next two tests. Broad is bowling way too short for a sub-continental pitch.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Gnasher, in his commentery, indicated that 250 will be an interesting score to keep both teams in the fray. I would say 350 is more accurate. 350 will make it a gripping test. India have to cross 400, to feel safe & secure. And then try to get 20 wickets (plus any allowance for the umpires' fancy)

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

We need a BIG score from Bhajji, tomorrow, to justify his inclusion in the playing XI. Otherwise, we didn't need him, with two full time spinners like Ojha & Ashwin and two part timers like Yuvi & Veeru. (By the way,anyone knows, what is happening to Ishant? Would he have contributed LESS than Bhajji as a bowler. I hope, the team selectors prove right, in the bowling combination they chose!)

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Great to see a pitch with turn and bounce. Hope it lasts for the entirety of the match.. If it stays so, it will be a real test for the batsmen.. from both teams.. and thats pretty much all we want to see.. bowlers making batsmen work hard to get the runs and making the spectators feel that, there's always a wicket on offer.. Wonderful its going to be for the next few days...

I would any day pick this pitcj over the one that aussies and SA are playing at the moment.. Centuries should be eaned.. I hope people will value this hundred by pujara more than the ones scored by clarke, huss, warner, smith, samuels, bravo, hasan, chanderpaul.. boy, there's been quite a few in the last few days.. Centuries have indeed become quite cheap...

Posted by CandidIndian on (November 23, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

Great that Dhoni demanded a turner , its been proved that Indian batting line up will struggle on pitches with life,whether its a spinning or swinging.So called great players are in the team just due to their reputation,on pitches with little help for bowlers they are sitting ducks.India didnt lose in England or Aus due to green tops or swinging conditions,they lost as they could not face World class bowling.Sad that young batsman like Pujara and Kohli are playing better than veterans,that too on pitches where Indians are expected to do well.After winning IPL recently many people demanded that Gambhir should be made test captain with immediate effect ,what a joke that would have been if selectors entertained that thought.We might go on to win this series,but if our test team is dependent on two 23 year old batsman ,that too at home,what will happen to us when we go abroad?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

It is sad that the top order could not play est cricket. it is now left to the Experienced to retire and give chance to youngsters. I know that the mind and passion for the game will not retire, but on the field it does. Think of the team and the country above personal interests. This the time to tune in the new players like Chand, Jadeja, Rahane and any other deserving players. India has talent. unless the seniors say I want to retire or skip a match they will be an automatic selection in the team. The selectors select only 7 players on performance and the rest by players wish. That's the interest in the game and dedication for the game by the seniors as results show out the poor performance.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

Cant understand why there is so much hue about Dhoni's ptich comment. Would England or Aus cant be quiet if they were provided with a flat pitch like Motera ? And the entire media would be up in arms.. Just because Dhoni asked for a turner instead of seam, shows how the entire world hates spin..

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (November 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

Ashwin can't swing the bat freely but somehow he scores runs fast in tests. He can't spin but takes wickets. Weird.

Posted by akpy on (November 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

good test cricket day...ball that got sachin would have got most batsmen and this is what happens when one goes through a lean trot..little man is not finished..let us comment at the end of the series.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

Great pitch , good English spin bowling,some bad shotmaking by most Indian batsman (Sehwag,Yuvraj and to some extent Kohli and Gambhir) and then a great Houdini act by Pujara and Ashwin..Super day of cricket on Wankhede which traditionally normally turns more or atleast the same as match progresses. Given the pitch and India's situation at the time Dhoni got out 250 would have been gleefully accepted by India..Kudos to both Pujara and Panesar as well Ashwin for fine performances.. Wankhede normally has been difficult one for batters in my more recent memory- 1994/95 (India-WI), 2001 &2005 (India vs Australia), 2006(India vs England), 2000 (India vs South Africa)..So overall a decent effort by India to get to 266..

@Rojan, Not 1st time atleast ..Same team in Ahmedabad..And there would be a few other instances. Ask Steven :-)

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 23, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

Faced with the prospect of becoming the worst performing team over the last 12 months in English cricketing history, England finally finds some bowling mettle. There will no doubt be the 'what-ifs' with regards to Panesar's inclusion in the first test, but as a cricketing fan and England fan, I want to deal with hard facts. Not the dream-land some other supporters prefer to inhabit. The fact is, Monty wasn't included in the first test because the politburo that runs the game doesn't think he fits. He's also not that good. And a pitch that offers this much to someone as remedial as Swan and Panesar, will on subsequent days, offer more and more assistance to the likes of ashwin and Ohjah. We cant play spin, so every 1 run Pujara puts on, is like 2 for the clueless batting of Bell, Compton, Peitersen, et al. I expect a sub 150 total from England...it pains me to say, but the facts cant be denied here.

Posted by Bruisers on (November 23, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

@SnowSnake - "Kohli out of form" Are you watching baseball or what? If there was one in-form batsman in the world, it would be Kohli.

Posted by LoveCric1975 on (November 23, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

Every great side needs bowlers who can mop up the tail . The great windies used to do it with no fuss wasim and waqar too off course Warne and McGrath without breaking sweat but sadly for England they are missing stalwarts who can diminish the resistance once the top order get skitled for next to nothing. They are missing both sheer pace and foxy guile.

Posted by Bruisers on (November 23, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

As a big Sachin fan, I really think he should hang up his boots now. BTW, well played Pujara and Ashwin. Ashwin is turning out to be a top-class allrounder, well atleast better than the so-called allrounders like Shakib and Bresnan.

Posted by Edassery on (November 23, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

R Ashwin, as a test batsman, seems to have better temperament and cricketing technique than many test wannabes like Yuvaraj Singh or Raina. His confident stature while batting is just amazing. India might have found a pure test all rounder in Ashwin.

Poojara bails out India again while Kohli who's expected to play that role is in poor form.

And Mr. Tendulkar, you have the last chance to announce retirement in front of your home crowd. You can't defy the age. Please note, it's not the form - it's the age that's showing in your poor foot work and unprotected stumps.

Posted by zoot364 on (November 23, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

@Arun Samuel Alfred: There's nothing wrong with pitches reflecting different national conditions. So Indian pitches should be liable to spin just as English conditions will feature some seam and swing movement and Australian pitches will bounce. This makes for interesting variety. The problem is when the authorities go out of their way to prepare pitches in favour of their bowling attacks. If this developed around the world I fear Test cricket would suffer as a contest with results becoming more predictable. By the way, Sydney has regularly been a spinning track in Australia and Old Trafford in England, and both countries several grounds turn on the 4th and 5th days.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 23, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

I think that you'd probably have to say that the honours were about even overall. A very good start for England and it looked like much over 200 might be a struggle but Pujara looks a class act and Ashwin is going to have to be recognised as a genuine allrounder. He may have to bat above Dhoni in Tests soon. The real issue for England fans is the feeling that England need better than even honours when they bowl because they may come off the worse when they bat. Hopefully they all show some Cook-inspired grit when the time comes. While I haven't seen any of the first day's play, it certainly sounds like this pitch has made for more entertaining cricket than the previous game. It seemed to be to the England bowler's taste early. Will it be to the batsman's taste later? Probably not so much, but how much will be interesting to see. If it starts crumbling on day 2 then day 5, if we get that far, could be a nightmare.

Posted by scottnye on (November 23, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

I agree with most of the points here. Honours even pretty much, the first session tomorrow will be critical. If England can wrap the innings up for less than 330 or so then we will be well placed and will then need to bat well in the first innings. If India get up to 400 or so then i reckon we will struggle to pull this one back.

Pujara looks a class act, great to see Monty in the wickets. Why on earth was Broad selected, he seems completely off colour and not at all threatening, in fact totally the opposite. Bring Meaker or Onions in. Drop Patel, bring Morgan in at 5 or 6.

Looking forward to tomorrow with baited breath

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

i think kohli and tendulkar should be dropped for the next test. Bring Rahane and Mukund in their place. anyone thinks Ashwin should bat higher up the order? he seems like a genuine batsman to me and might go on to make a 100 tomm.

Posted by AlfAlpha on (November 23, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

I'm looking forward to seeing England bat on this one, it should be a thoroughly agonising comedy of errors. All out by the end of day two I reckon, with Broad or maybe the pacier Trott ready to take up the new ball again.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

@zoot364. what's wrong with home sides preparing pitches that suit them? I fully agree with Si Baker. This test match so far has made for compelling viewing. rather than crying about how visiting teams have to face dust bowls in the sub-continent, it'd be worthwhile if ECB prepares tracks that favours the spinners in the county. By the same token, BCCI should also prepare green tops for the Ranji matches.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 23, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

Yet again another selection blunder by England in picking Broad. England have to all intents and purposes have a 3 man attack out there. Meaker should have been picked but English selection is so conservative and blinkered. India will now make 375-400 which is plenty to gain a significant first innings lead. What's the point of having these guys on tour if you're going to pick half fit out of form players ahead of everybody else.

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (November 23, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

Pujara is tremendous. So organized. Treat to the eyes! Gambhir has to go. Sick of watching his technical deficiencies. Rahane should be in as the 2nd opener. Ashwin should go a number up and Dhoni should be pushed down. Dhoni just does not have the quality to be a test cricketer. He is plain lucky to be in the team because he is the captain. Sachin and Ponting will probably retire by the time The Hobbit hits the big screen.

Posted by Dhanno on (November 23, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

@ dexion . From someone who attended this game, I was told crowds were pretty good for first day of match (usually they would flock if they India is going to bat at some point in day/3-4th day of match when it gets interesting or sachin been on crease overnight). Given its work day in India, they were good..far better than motera

@rusty how many times people need to say this .. England didnt prepare green tops..Some bounce and natural conditions (overcast skies) that was all that was available on last tour. They made good use of natural conditions, no one was talking about, give us green tops. India crumbled for lack of preparation. Our bowling was spineless (remember zaheer limping out day one, i.e due to lack of fitness/ IPL based preparation) england didnt ask us to come unprepared. Hesus! I cant believe people still harp about it.

Posted by atuljain1969 on (November 23, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

It is natural for English pitches to be green or hard top as it suits their climate and bowlers, same goes for India. Here the climate is not that so rainy and sunners are long,hence pitches are dry and start breaking up.and its suits Indian bowlers.

Only diff. is that in England, Captain need not tell the curator to prepare green pitch as it is already known, however here since time and again there is a demand to prepare hard pitches so that our batsmen could play better on overseas tour, therfore the poor curator is in quandry to prepare the pitch. Hence captain has to speak his mind on the kind of pitches he require.

Hope it satisfies those who are after the captain for his demands.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Global warming day; warm winds blowing across India, B'Desh, & Australia in favour of "centurians"? Five in a day is quite rare, including a big daddy from Samuels!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

what a wonderful day for test cricket. If India rolls out under 300 tomorrow, then England has a great chance to come right back in the game. My bets are on cook, and prior to deliver. Bairstow seems a great find too. Good luck to both teams

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Stuart Broad should thank his stars that he is not an Indian player. Had he been, all we Indian cricket followers would have attributed his continuance in the team to his dad's influence! And, not the hard-to-fathom attitude of the selectors.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

The break between the 2nd & 3rd innings of this match would be ideal for SRT to announce his retirement. And, then play his last test innings in front of his home crowd. What an atmosphere it will be in Wankhede. And, what a great opening for many youngsters hovering around the periphery, to get a chance to play for the country! Wow!

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 23, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Indian batting is weak. Pujara is saving a lot of careers. Dhoni, Gambhir, Tendulkar and even Yuvraj are pretty much useless in test cricket. Shewag is a wild card and Kohli is out of form. If England plays well in its 1st innings then India will lose this test.

Posted by ravi_88 on (November 23, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

Good comeback by Indian team. Thanks to Pujara & Ashwin's Crucial Partnership. Though 350 is a good total, they must try reaching 450 which i think is the Safest in Wankhede pitch. From the english side Monty Panesar bowled beautifully.seeing a changed Monty especially very Aggressive with his Bowling Approach compared to what he bowled when India toured to England in 2007

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

Hats off to Si Baker on the positive attitude towards spinning wickets! Yes, we do need to enjoy the beauty of spin on friendly wickets and relish a good and purposeful batsman like Pujara. I think its a decent result oriented pitch giving ample scope for both bowlers and batters. And hey, if the dice is loaded more in the former's favor, so be it. We've had enough of double hundreds and triples this season. For once let the bowlers game begin!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 23, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

This was a good day for India. Pujara is a real find & could well have played the match-winning knock. It'll be very surprising if the pitch gets any easier than it was today & Panesar showed that quality spin bowling gets rewards here. Swann too, bowled well, but without quite the same threat. And the partnership between Pujara & Ashwin in the final session of the day tilted the match, possibly decisively. No one can assess the value of their stand & a score of 266-6 until Eng has batted, but England will need at least three the top 6 to fire to remain competitive. Moan of the day: Stuart Broad. Wicketless, short on pace & expensive, he has become the liability of the team, neither was he overworked. If he doesn't make a significant contribution with the ball in the rest of the match, then I cannot see how he can hold his place. I thought he was lucky to be playing here & prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Now I know better! Meaker, please! Prior v/c, as he shd have been.

Posted by ibbani on (November 23, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

wonderful batting, this is how it shud be , batsmen shud struggle instead of batting on flat belters. Sachin and Yuvi, shud have shown more attention on their deliveries. Ashwin is already licking his lips with Bhajji and Ojha, it is simply a parade of English batsmen. Aus,SA, NZ,WI all play to their strengths - FAST pitches. Why shud IND, SL, Pak not do for spin. whoever comments against this does not know cricket I would emphasize very clearly. if making pitches for their strengths, then why are you not complaining about SL who finished the test on 3rd day itself with spinners taking 85% of wickets.

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 23, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

wrt the pitch, no complaints. Its a well worn phrase, but still true that you have to be able to perform in all conditions. I'm sure there were some of the England team relishing the challenge of a turning pitch (Panesar in particular!!) and if they weren't then it might go some way to explaining why they have been so poor against spin! Once again, cracking stuff from Hashim Pujara, and this Ashwin lad looks like he might turn into a pretty useful all-rounder - averaging >40 in tests so far means bowlers are gonna start taking him seriously as a batsman

Posted by ksrajavel87 on (November 23, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

I wanna see Rahane in place of gambhir and Manoj Tiwary in place og Yuvi(sympthy apart). Sachin Let him play remaining two more tests ,still cant score runs no mercy, he should be sacked,, Back to back series that too in india u r out of form, Then its all over.. Sorry sachin

Posted by QingdaoXI on (November 23, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Well played Pujara "Next Wall under Construction" and Ashwin (Who will always make us remind the style of V.V.S, even Naseer Hussain said that on Sky). I hope this pitch doesnt turn like a flat bed which earlier happened in Ahmedabad, Day 3 onwards. India should try to collect as more as possible runs to put pressure on England in their first innings as India is playing with 3 spinners all having different varaition will try to utilised whatever is available from the pitch.

Posted by cricmatters on (November 23, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Gambhir and Sachin are the obvious weak links in Indian batting. Time to bring in some fresh blood. Ashwin can play as a pure batsman with already touching 40+ average. Australia will be a bigger challenge for India. Hopefully Sachin will be retired by then and Gambhir dropped from the team. Looking forward to January.

Posted by ksrajavel87 on (November 23, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

@Broke NYCDE ,, This is what exactly i wanted to mention,, Sure Yuvi is a weak link,, Look the way Ashwin played., He looks Proper top order batsman, i Think ashwin should come before ugly stroke making dhoni..

Posted by whoster on (November 23, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

Full credit to Pajara - he really does look like a quality batsman. He defended well, was patient, and put away the bad ball. Really pleased for Monty having some success - India would probably have still won the first Test, but he'd have certainly made life more difficult had he played alongside Swann. Still, that's our selectors trying not to lose rather than trying to win. Anything over 300 will be tough for England to chase, and unless the top order make a solid start, we'll be struggling to save this Test also. With so much help for the spinners, I really don't fancy England's chances of getting a competitive score in reply. Would love to be proved wrong though. Stuart Broad can count himself very lucky to have been picked again after so many mediocre performances in recent times - and he's shown no signs that he merits selection for this Test on today's evidence.

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 23, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

@Ranjit Gulvady, so where are these crying English fans you speak of? Most of us are realistic enough to know that we were always going to struggle against a decent spin attack in their own conditions. Sounds like you might still be a little sore about your team not fulfilling your unrealistic expectations last year. Get over it!!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

@zoot364. This is a pitch, where there is something for everyone. Not a highway where even Boycott's mom can get a hundred. Not a minefield where even Ken Barrington, Rahul Dravid & Pujara (from three different era) together can NOT get a total of hundred. This is the kind of pitch which will make test matches attractive. It is an insult to the curator Naik, to call it a "doctored pitch to pander to Dhoni's whimsical demands". I think, curators also need to be applauded once in a while! Most of the time they get only the brickbats, from every juvenile tom, dick & harry and their fathers & perhaps grand fathers (an age group, I belong to).

Posted by jb633 on (November 23, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy- couldn't agree with you more. Yet again the selectors have gone for the conservative selection and yet again it will cost us. In places where the ball may swing or seam then fair enough but realistically what do they actually think he will do here. He has no pace, no rhythm, not swinging the ball either conventionally or reverse (due to lack of pace) and he is not even accurate. When will these selectors stop being so conservative and roll the dice. Winning games in this part of the world requires either top class spin or lads that can get reverse. We have the spinners I feel but in no way shape or form is Broad fitting the bill of the successul seamer. It is immensely frustrating watching us make the same mistakes time and again. Like Mark Butcher said you need to change before the horse has bolted, not after. If the management was pro active rather than reactive then we may have had a better chance. We are shooting ourselves in the foot before the games have begun

Posted by imvishalp on (November 23, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

4 test teams come from subcontinent...and add westindian conditions to it (who nowadays do not have fast tracks on offer)...that makes 50% of total test teams having tracks that suit spinners more ...so why should one complain about rank turners...just because cricket was born in england it doesn't mean the pitches should also be english-like...the game has evovled a lot and so should be the mindset of all....put 2 subcontinent teams on such turning surfaces and you will see test matches going into 4th & 5th day... btw the article says monty panesar started bowling from 9th over which was not the case ..he came in 2 overs before that...Mr. Hopps I know its difficult for you to belive that a english team had their spinner bowling so early :)

Posted by mdreddy on (November 23, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Eng yet to beat the new wall, It is look like tough for the eng. missed out the chance to all out the Indian team even aswin batting well he is giving the statement himself with the bat iam not tail-ender. eng needs to give the answers for three spinners, its going to be tough ask for them,monty got the wickets probably better indications for the Indian spinners.

Posted by abhijit.d18 on (November 23, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

While people are busy with discussing failure of Sachin Tendulkar, Gabhir's performance is purposely ignore. One must check batting average from last one, one & half year in test of both GG and SRT and will find who should go out first.

Posted by jb633 on (November 23, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

I think India already have too many here. First of all congratulations to Pujara for an excellent ton. He is looking like the thorn that will constantly be in our side this series. I thought Panesar was excellent and these pitches really suit the flatter spinners as you don't need to toss the ball up to get any purchase. I feel this pitch is going to be a minefield by day 4 and it seems like one of the rare occasions where you "win the toss win the game". The ball was taking up puffs of dust on the afternoon of day one and it will deteriorate quickly. India have done the right thing in the short term by picking 3 spinners but I can't see how they will ever improve their seamers by employing these tactics. I mean seeing the ball spin is ok but there must be at least a little in it for the seamers to exploit. Do cricket fans world over really want to see tests in which only one type of bowler is in the game. Where is the variation?

Posted by SHKS on (November 23, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

All are forgotting Ashwins contribution.He is going to touch height of Vettori

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

was this the first time that the top 9 batsmen in the team had a test century to their name?

Posted by moBlue on (November 23, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

why all the whinging about the turning track from non-IND fans?!? when IND play on centurion and durban in SA or on melbourne and perth in oz, or on trentbridge in ENG [and others that escape me just now], what do you think IND gets routinely? fast pitches with bounce and swing, that is what! yet we IND fans don't complain about the pitch even when IND lose by an inning in T1 in centurion! we complain about IND batters - like raina - not knowing how to play on fast wickets! by the same token, why are you fans of ENG and other countries outside the subcontinent not holding your batters to a higher standard than they are at? this is test cricket after all, not a game of twiddlesticks! ain't IND's fault that a proper test cricket wicket with turn and bounce greets all comers, including IND players (like yuvraj) who struggle against spin and guile! don't whinge that your substandard batters can't win on turning tracks! what kind of fans of the game are you folks?!?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

England fans have to credit pujara. He is yet to be dismissed this series. This pitch had TRUE bounce,swing and offered assistance to both and spinners and fast bowlers. Test cricket at its best. I would say a day where honours are shared even.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 23, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

England are always going to be a bowler short in this series when Broad is playing. Can't understand why Tredwell wasn't brought into the squad. Great stuff by Pujara and Magic Monty!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

I still think Morgan should have come in instead of Bairstow. Morgan is a good player of spin and his previous experiences in India will help him. Bairstow was pathetic against spin in the T20 World Cup.

Posted by guyfawkes43 on (November 23, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

I agree with people criticizing sachin,gambhir and yuvraj,but i don't understand why is everyone sparing dhoni,his avg is less than that of ashwin,and we lost 8-0 outside SC under his captaincy do u guys don't find enough reason,as ganguly said he is not test material and according to me he should be the first person to be sacked ahead of others,and look at his contribution in the 8 tests and the recent two tests pathetic.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

How can one say that pujara will prosper overseas based on innings played here in India. Good Player but will be great only when he scores abroad

Posted by Dr_A_B_Chandorkar on (November 23, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

Jonathan Trott's appeal for a catch off Kohli in the slips in the last test match, knowing fully well that the ball had slipped out of his hands while tumbling over and he had picked it up, as well as Cook's appeal for a catch off Pujara today when he surely must have seen the puff of dust rise when the ball hit the ground under his nose just in front of the left toe, surely proves that the English Cricketers themselves are no "Gentlemen" playing the game in the spirit of the game. Gamesmanship being taken to the level of unbecoming & ungentlemanly conduct: Maybe ICC should now think of introducing fines and red/yellow cards!!!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Really good pitch as dhoni pointed out helps both sides if u have good spinners.seeing Monty bowl today was a treat to watch,infact even in UAE he had outbowled swann.He is being sidelined due his bad batting,filding and catching. In Pujara we seeing a new WALL under construction and Ashwin is truly silencing many of his critics and proving why he is better than Bhajji.....

Posted by RohithMedisetty on (November 23, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

we never saw people moaning when england and australia prepared seamer friendly pitches. how is it death of cricket when India does the same . Grow up people .

Posted by SamRoy on (November 23, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

Yuvraj again showed he doesn't have the technique to survive quality spin on a spinning track. He is also very vulnerable on a seaming track. He is 31. And is not going to improve any more. India need 2 urgent replacements: Manoj Tiwary for Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma for Tendulkar. Rohit has not played a single test match and nobody can judge him to be a failure unless he plays a handful (around 10 tests) tests and fails continously. On a side note, Kohli needs to be a bit careful on driving on the up on turning wickets. Today, he got out driving a ball on the up which didn't come on to bat as quickly as he expected it to (it had gripped the surface).

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

Genuinely please to see Monty getting a game and wickets. Must have been the experience playing for Randwick Petersham last year (joke OK). He is a quality bowler and suffers from being around at the same time as Swann.

Posted by remnant on (November 23, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

I think India should get either Rohit Sharma or Manoj tiwary in place of Tendulkar and yuvraj or even Kaif. Sachin is way past his prime and Yuvraj is not fully ready for the rigours of five day cricket. He could be rested.

Posted by vish57 on (November 23, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Ashwin deserves to bat above Dhoni, considering the current form of Dhoni. Pity Tendulkar & his repeated failure in the last 5 innings including NZ tour, without undermining the contributions he has made to Indian cricket, undoubtedly the greatest cricketer of India, following the path of GR Vishwanath and waning slowly. Tendulkar, please note that people's memory are short lived and will not look back of your achievement. Further Indian media should not force you to retire, just like the hype they created for 100th hundred.

Posted by Long-Leg on (November 23, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

@rustyryan: Err... When did England prepare green pitches? This is one of the myths circulating amongst Indian fans. When India toured England in 2011 they were defeated by excellent bowling on good batting surfaces. The accusation that England somehow tricked India into defeat by doctoring the pitches simply will not do. Our administrators want tests to last five days so they can maximise revenue, so there is never any incentive to prepare green tracks for test cricket in England. Having said all that, I have no problem about India producing turning tracks either. We have the bowlers to exploit them and it is up to our batsmen to improve their performance so as to make it a better contest.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@Kaleem Mahesar..mate, Think you have not forgotten how England made their pitches when India toured.... @zoot364....everyside does.. Mates, why does everone make such a hue & cry when India does something that the other countries have been doing traditionally? Was there ever a spinning track in Australia, England, South Africa or Newzealand???? Why should we have to wlcome the "tourists" with greentracks in Srilanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh & India????

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 23, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

Somewhere down the line, feeling second seamer could have been a better addition to the team than the third spinner. With the ball reversing, they could do good damage as the spinners. the attack will lack much needed variation. I wont criticise this pitch. yes it aids spin for sure but still, it aided pace bowlers too. Anderson bowled very well. If Broad is not capable of putting pressure like Anderson, he shouldn't have played and that is not mistake of curator but the English think tank. And as usual, the main discussion - Should Sachin continue to play? Does he still think that he is enjoying the game as before? I don't think so. A Tiwary ro even Rohit might get a start to career like a Pujara or Virat.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 23, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

did anyone note this? wickets fell in 3-2-1 order for the three sessions. Considering this pattern,tomorrow's morning session will be wicketless. one wicket after lunch and two wickets after tea.INDIA will be 9 down with 550+ at the end of day 2. Then spinners will spin the web for the englishmen

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 23, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

Swann not that effective against right handers - last game a exception but except for Kohli, other wickets were almost self destruction trying to dominate the only spinner and take him out of attack. He is a decent bowler for sure but not effective these days against teams loaded with right handers. We could see how Panesar was bowling against right handers. However, Swann's batting and fielding keeps his place in the main 11 if they decide to play only one spinner. England need to make a choice of the bowling combo. Bowlers or bowling all rounders should be their question. personally believe bowlers can add more value than the bowling allrounders in these conditions. A Finn/Meaker could bowl better than Bresnan/Broad and their batting will be almost same under these conditions. England did rectify some selection mistakes but still, could have opted for better second seamer. Broad was not even beating bat much.

Posted by Long-Leg on (November 23, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

@zoot364: I would argue that this pitch favours England's bowlers as I think our spinners are better than India's. However, India will do better on it and win the test because, aside from Cook and Prior, our batting is completely inept. Putting that aside, can anyone explain why Broad has been selected for this test yet again when he is so clearly out of form? What does he have to do to be dropped? When does a policy of consistency in selection cross the line and become unfair favouritism?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

I'm going to put my cards on the table here. I'm LOVING these pitches. Three or four men around the bat from Day One; bounce, spit, fizz & turn; every ball a potential hand grenade; five master craftsmen - Monty, Swann, Ashwin, Ojha (the best of the lot for me) & Bhaji - plying their trade with precision, artfulness & guile. Nor are the dice loaded entirely against the seamers, as Yadav & Zaheer proved at Ahmedabad & Anderson has already proved at Bombay. This is thrill-a-minute cricket at its enthralling best. Rather than whinge about 'doctored' pitches, let's roll them up & take them back to England.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

In 6 innings against WI A team on seaming pitches, Pujara hit 2 classy innings, a 33 and had 3 failures. Rohit Sharma made a 94 and 5 failures. The others: Rahane & Tiwary & Mukund & Dhawan had 6 failures in a row. Yuvraj & Raina alway fail against tough bowling or tough overseas pitches. Murali Vijay has failed repeatedly as has Ishant Sharma. How can Ishant be preferred to Pankaj Singh and Varun Aaron? The only people worse than Aussie or English selectors are the Indian selectors. SRT needs to be nudged now, with Sehwag batting at 6 behind Kohli & Rohit S, and Mukund opening.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

There is nothing to be ashamed of seeking for a spinning track right from day 1...MSD was spot on... n right..Australians and south africans are not ashamed of bouncy tracks... y shud we..

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 23, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

What a performance from Tendulkar. Yes, he got a great delivery but STILL... Now you will not see any Tendulkar fans commenting here but the moment he scores good (or scores a century), you will hear them saying "I told you so...where are all the anti Sachin fans". My dear Indian fans, if a batmen fails for 20 innings and then scores, there is nothing to be proud about. Yes, Sachin is the greatest batsmen of this generation (in my opinion) but that doesn't make him above criticism.

Posted by InnocentGuy on (November 23, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Please stop saying negative things about Indian pitches or Dhoni wanting spinning tracks. If you want to play in seamer friendly conditions, play county cricket in England. Don't bother playing Test cricket.

Posted by Akshita29 on (November 23, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Have to give credit to Pujara bt what's Broad doing in the English team . No pace at all from Broad . Even Aswin is hitting boundaries of him and Anderson . England have let this game go by picking Broad . They needed somebody with real pace . It's look like 2 - 0 on the card.

Posted by Haleos on (November 23, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

@ S.Seshachalam - completely agree. When a players starts getting bowled and LBW almost every match he should know his time is up. That was what was happening to Dravid too. @ brokeNCYDE - Yuvi scored a brilliant half century in the last match. What are you moaning about?

Posted by mixters on (November 23, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Yes the man said to be better than Bradman fails again on a pitch made to Dhonis spesifications. Thyats what you expect from the 26th rated batsman of all time. Yes that is the official rateings by the icc player rankings. Interesting that everyone rates the all time number 26 so high isnt it? Could he be the most over rated player of all time? Ricky Ponting is number three one the same all time list HMMM interesting what?

Posted by Haleos on (November 23, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

What was the logic of selecting highly overrated Board in the team?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

@Front-foot-lunge: Cook's a fantastic batsman no doubt, but the wicket in the last match was very slow. By no means was it a "square turner". So while I admire Cook's batting, his skills will come to the fore in this test, where batting is far more difficult.

Posted by Akshita29 on (November 23, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

Have to give credit to Pujara bt what's Broad doing in the English team .

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

@zoot364: On the contrary, such a variety in playing conditions will help save test cricket, which would die if continued to be played on flatbeds... I am loving these pitches...

Posted by Samar_Singh on (November 23, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

Atleast this pitch is better than those flat highway pitch.could expect something happening now and then. But was this what MSD wanted ??? hummmm..

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 23, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Can anyone explain what has Harbajan done to earn a recall regardless of how he may perfom in this test? Yadav injured and we have to fall back on Harbajan. If he's the 3rd best spinner in India then our spinning, and bowling, stock is in bigger trouble than I could ever have imagined in a worst case scenario. Mishra would have been a better choice. Ashwin is going have to bowl like he did in the 1st innings of the last test otherwise Ohja has a lot of work to do in England's first innings. Zaheer will be encouraged with the movement Anderson got some movement in his opening spell. BTW well bowled Panesar so far

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 23, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

Ha ha ha. No surprise to see Gambhir Sehwag and Yuvraj performing as expected on a track on anything other than a dead track. Sehwag having scored a century in the last match on the lowest slowest wicket he'll ever play on will put his feet up for the next 20 matches and the selectors will indulge him. Could be all the recent articles about him on Cricinfo has gotten to his head. Tendulkar failed again so that's 8 straight away defeats, 2 home series wins against WI and NZ, and 1 test and 1 innings of this series where he's done nothing to contribute to the result. With 2 tests left in the series, it's too late to bring someone else in even if Tendulkar were to be dropped. The real concern surprisingly has been Kohli to get going - I hope this is not an indication that his recent purple patch is about to change colour. The biggest pleasant surprise has Pujara so far.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Come on England selectors, please drop Broad! Ten overs of medium pace half volleys. If you are that worried about a long tail( nit that he gets any runs anyway now) pick another batsman. Cook seems frightened not to bowl Broad, TEN overs, what for for? India's selection shows what they think of the pitch.

Posted by enigma77543 on (November 23, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

@zoot364, to the contrary, if home-teams didn't exploit the home-advantage then that will be the death of Test cricket, teams have ALWAYS used the home-advantage, & nothing wrong with that. Going to sub-continent & finding turners, going to Aus, SA & finding bouncy pitches, going to Eng, NZ & finding seaming pitches, that's what Test cricket needs because in the recent times, pitches allover the world have become flatter & there isn't a fair contest between bat & ball, batters dominating too much, we need to bring bowlers back & that's what Test cricket needs to establish itself as the pinnacle of the sport! Irrespective of the pitch, both teams have to play on the same 22-yards & the better team wins, that's one thing that doesn't change either way!

Posted by dexionbt on (November 23, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Would appreciate if the commentators can give us the crowd attendance on the first day of the Wankade test vs capacity of the stadium.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

I was losing my interest watching Indian test cricket (on tailor-made pitches for Indian team), Thanks to Dhoni's Sporting spirit .... I'm Back with my eyes on Cricket. Now, I'm assured that this test will definitely going to be the Bowlers game.

Posted by rustyryan on (November 23, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

When england were not ashamed off preparing green tracks, there is nothing wrong with Dhoni's demand...

Posted by Meety on (November 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

Pujarra is a class act. I look forward to seeing him bat outside the SC - I think he has the game to adjust. England bowlers would be sick of the sight of him me thinks. == == == Analysis of England selections - Bairstow in (tick), Bell out (tick - good luck with the spud), Monty in (tick), Bresnan out (CROSS - it should of been Broad). Broad's appealing at times is pathetic (about the same level as India's), his bowling is pressure relieving.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

I'm going to put my cards on the table here. I'm LOVING these pitches. Three or four men around the bat from Day One; bounce, spit, fizz & turn; every ball a potential hand grenade; five master craftsmen - Monty, Swann, Ashwin, Ojha (the best of the lot for me) & Bhaji - plying their trade with precision, artfulness & guile. Nor are the dice loaded entirely against the seamers, as Yadav & Zaheer proved at Ahmedabad & Anderson has already proved at Bombay. This is thrill-a-minute cricket at its enthralling best. Rather than whinge about 'doctored' pitches, let's roll them up & take them back to England.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

whatever may be the score but it is good to see Pujara play a beautful knock. He is bringing the calmness are sureness to team. Kudos to him.

Posted by zoot364 on (November 23, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

It will be the death of Test cricket if all sides prepare pitches to so blatently favour their own bowling attacks.

Posted by brokeNCYDE on (November 23, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Tendulkar & Yuvraj are the weak link in the current indian setup

Posted by S.Seshachalam on (November 23, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

SRT failing yet again!! No one doubts about his immense contribution to Indian cricket for the last 23 years. But his time is up. Better he calls it a day immediately after this test match to save himself and the selectors from further humiliation.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

@John Holmes on (November 23 2012, 07:55 AM GMT) Swann was not the problem in the 1st game. He took 5 for but had no threat at the other end. If Monty played by himself in the 1st test the result would likely have been similar. Had Swann and Monty both played we would almost certainly have bowled India out cheaper - not saying it would have been a different result but we'd have given ourself a better chance

Posted by balajeev on (November 23, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

Cunning Indian strategy to help Harbhajan get to his 100th test.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

BCCI should know every player not play every format of cricket. Test cricket is different then ipl and odi its need great temperament and technic.Ranji trophy top scorers and average are not fluke they have great technic, Pujara prove this. All Ranji top player are true test matrial so rahane, rohit, badrinath, r bist, manoj should get chance ahead of poor form Srt and odi & t20 player Youvraj

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 23, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

go on Monty, I have said for a long time he is the best SPINNER in england, yes he cant field or bat for toffee but he is a fantastic bowler and should have been in the team before this...Glad to see Bhaji back in the team and now India have a class spinner in the team rather than the average ashwin and ohja who are nowhere near world class...

Posted by Badgerofdoom on (November 23, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Swann and Panasar bowling well in tandem, England have a pretty good spin attack, just a shame that our batting against spin is so terrible.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Why wasn't Panesar selected for the first test....???......Why do the selectors persist with swann, even Pieterson took more wickets than him last year

Posted by Mervo on (November 23, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

Vinay, you suggest Ponting was bowled by a part timer". Harsh criticism of Kallis with over 250 Test wickets!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

it was the only way for India they also want to white wash England like Pakistan by making turning pitches , Although this is not fair pitches should be made for both teams not single team because both team participate in match not one.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

Ponting stuggled against Roach, against SAf. Now Ponting clean bowled by a part-timer on a flat wicket. Tendulkar clean bowled, again & again on home wickets. Neither reaches double figures this time. It's over for both of them. SRT, let Rohit Sharma play the last two tests, unlike Raina, Vijay, & Yuvraj, he has a fistclass batting avg>60.

Posted by bravetigersmustwin on (November 23, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

im afraid india playing with 3 spinners .... if yuraj can bowl then why choose 3 spinners

Posted by Solid_Snake on (November 23, 2012, 6:53 GMT)

I have been saying it again & again that Eng should have gone with Panesar right from the 1st test match.Look what he is doing..So effective.I hope Eng win this match

Posted by maddy20 on (November 23, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Cant wait to see the English batsmen dancing on this wicket. Its gonna be a constant procession march to pavilion for them!

Posted by UsmanAnsari on (November 23, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

its high time Tendulkar should retire with grace rather than being humiliated in every form of cricket..

Posted by AK_25 on (November 23, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

if india post 400+ thy ll hav the advantage...

Posted by cricketstarbest on (November 23, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

By winning the toss and bringing back Bhajji, Dhoni had already put England in pressure before the start of the match. Lets see how England will handle this pressure.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 23, 2012, 4:59 GMT)

Why oh why is Stuart Broad playing? Down on pace, low on runs. What happened to playing players who are in form?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

oh god. 3 spinners and india won the toss. i can almost hear the english fans crying about their misfortune. get over it. i was hoping england would win the toss.

Posted by challagalla on (November 23, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

England is up against the wall. They lost the crucial toss and have to face three spinners. I think they will get hammerred here and the match may be over in 4 days.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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