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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second day in Mumbai
George Dobell in Mumbai
November 24, 2012
Tactic of the day
India's tactic of opening the bowling with two spinners is remarkably unusual. It is thought to be the first time England have faced an all spin opening attack since the 1967 Trent Bridge Test against Pakistan. On that occasion, requiring only three for victory in the fourth innings, England were confronted by Mushtaq Mohammad and Saeed Ahmed. England also opened with two spinners after South Africa were obliged to follow-on at Lord's in 2008. With bad light threatening, England utilised Monty Panesar and Kevin Pietersen instead of their seamers. Both of those occasions were in the opposition's second innings, though, and it is thought that this game marks the first occurrence of two spinners opening the bowling with spin bowling (there were occasions when spinners bowled a couple of overs of seam) in their opposition's first innings since 1910.
Milestone of the day
The wicket of Harbhajan Singh leg before gave Graeme Swann his 200th Test wicket. By doing so in his 48th Test, he became the fourth quickest England bowler to reach the landmark after Ian Botham (41 Tests), Alec Bedser (44 Tests) and Fred Trueman (47 Tests). Later Swann claimed two more wickets to draw level with John Snow on 202 victims; only 12 England bowlers have claimed more.
Reprieve of the day
A recurring theme of England's recent cricket has been the number of chances they have missed in the field. While the one offered by Harbhajan, edging a delivery from Monty Panesar when he had scored 1, was far from easy, it was the sort of half chance that the best sides take and England, of late, rarely have taken. On this occasion the ball flew between the wicketkeeper Matt Prior and Jonathan Trott, at first slip, with neither man laying a hand on the delivery. While Trott's view would have been impaired by Prior, England may also want to reflect on the positioning of their slip fielders. For the second day in succession, they paid the penalty for leaving too large a space between them. Whether it is a reflection of their desire to cover as much space as possible or simply a teething problem as new individuals feel their way into the role remains to be seen.
Shock of the day
It cost them 382 runs, took them 790 balls and 1,016 minutes (that is four minutes short of 17 hours) but England finally dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara. Such has been his assurance in this series that there have been times when Pujara has looked impenetrably solid but, left with only the tail to accompany him, he selflessly opted to attack. Skipping down the wicket to a Swann delivery that was pushed slightly wide and barely spun, Pujara was slightly deceived in the flight and ran past the ball. It was the first time he had been stumped in his 70 match first-class career.
Blow of the day
England may have struggled to get rid of Pujara when he batted, but Alastair Cook may have inflicted a more telling blow on him when he was fielding. It was Pujara's misfortune to be at short-leg when Cook middled a sweep off the bowling of R Ashwin only to see the ball thump into Pujara's rib cage. He was helped form the field in obvious discomfort and did not reappear for the remainder of the day. His replacement, Ajinkya Rahane, later also sustained a crushing blow in the same position as he felt the full force of a Kevin Pietersen sweep.
Error of the day
Aleem Dar has a well-earned reputation for excellence as an umpire but, proving that even the best are fallible, he is enduring a disappointing series. Here he adjudged Zaheer Khan caught at short leg when replays suggested he had missed the ball by a relatively large distance. While it was probably not a decision that will turn a game, it was a reminder of the benefits of the DRS and an example of the type of 'howler' that it is designed to eliminate.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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