India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day

England bowlers wrest advantage

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

December 5, 2012

Comments: 224 | Text size: A | A

India 273 for 7 (Tendulkar 76, Gambhir 60) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Gautam Gambhir goes over the top before lunch, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day, December 5, 2012
Gautam Gambhir struck his second successive half-century © BCCI
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: England | India

The feverish speculation over the nature of the Eden Gardens track finally came to an end as 83-year-old curator Prabhir Mukherjee unveiled a seemingly benign surface, the sort India's batsmen have feasted on at home in recent years. MS Dhoni may not have got the square turner he wanted, but for the third Test in a row he won an important toss, and chose to bat, aware that India had amassed 600-plus scores in the first innings in each of their three previous Kolkata Tests.

Though Sachin Tendulkar shrugged off one of the worst slumps of his career with a resolute 76, it was the visitors' day as a high-quality England attack nipped out seven wickets on a track that gave them little encouragement. Monty Panesar again showed how improved a bowler he is, barely bowling a bad ball all day, James Anderson produced a reverse-swing masterclass, and they were backed up by the large-hearted efforts of a fit-again Steven Finn, who took the place of the ineffectual Stuart Broad.

The England bowling was relentless, and were helped by the wastefulness of the India batsmen. At least three wickets were gifted away on a pitch that didn't provide any alarming turn or bounce. Virender Sehwag was run-out after a schoolboy error, Gautam Gambhir played a loose cut after getting set and Yuvraj Singh gifted a catch to cover.

In contrast, Sachin Tendulkar looked determined to break his run of low scores. Walking in 15 minutes before lunch, he was extremely watchful to begin with, happy to play out the unyielding Panesar, who had dismissed him both times in the Mumbai Test. Panesar was in the middle of a marathon 21-over spell in which he varied his flight and pace, and bowled the odd ball with the scrambled seam, all without bowling any hit-me deliveries.

The runs dried up, and at the other end Finn and Anderson were getting the ball to swerve just a bit to worry Tendulkar outside off. Even when the ball was little more than 40 overs old, Anderson was getting the ball to reverse, highlighted by a dramatically indipping yorker to Tendulkar. The sustained pressure from both ends got the wicket of Virat Kohli, who nicked to second slip on 6 to extend his poor run in this series. There could have been further reward if Yuvraj had been given lbw when he was caught in front by an inducker from Anderson on nought. India would have been 136 for 5 if that appeal went England's way.

Smart stats

  • Sachin Tendulkar scored his first half-century since the second innings of the Sydney Test in January 2012. In 10 innings in between, he had scored 153 runs at an average of 15.30.
  • During the course of his innings, Tendulkar went past Sunil Gavaskar to become the highest run-getter for India in Tests against England. He also shares top spot with Gavaskar on the list of India batsmen with the most fifty-plus scores (20) against England.
  • James Anderson dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for the eighth time in Tests. He moves level on top with Muttiah Muralitharan on the list of bowlers who have dismissed Tendulkar most often.
  • This 76 is Tendulkar's sixth half-century at Eden Gardens, bringing him level on top with VVS Laxman on the list of batsmen with the most fifty-plus scores at the venue.
  • Tendulkar scored 15 runs off 18 balls from Anderson (three fours). However, all three boundaries were scored behind square on the off side.
  • Tendulkar scored only 20 runs off 83 balls from Monty Panesar. The scoring rate (1.44) is the second-lowest for Tendulkar in an innings against a particular bowler in matches since 2002 (min 60 balls faced in innings).
  • Tendulkar, who top-scored with 76, scored 40 runs (53%) on the off side. In contrast, Gambhir, who made 60, scored 43 runs on the off side (72%).
  • The 79-run stand between Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh is the second-highest fifth-wicket stand for India against England in Kolkata. The highest is 214 between Mohammad Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri in 1984.

Instead, an increasingly fluent Tendulkar and a positive Yuvraj brought some stability to the innings. Though there were a few trademark Tendulkar strokes before tea, including an effortless backfoot punch down the ground for four, he was at his best in the final session. The first ball after the break was glanced to fine leg for four to bring up his first Test half-century since the New Year's Test in Sydney, a milestone which would have had his legions of fans dancing for joy, just like Harbhajan Singh was in the dressing room. Over the next hour there were paddle-sweeps, a punch over point and a cover drive reminiscent of his pomp. Thoughts of a first Test century in nearly two years were brushed aside by the nagging Anderson, though, who induced an edge to keeper with Tendulkar on 76.

Before Tendulkar, it was Gambhir who held the innings together with his second successive half-century. It wasn't his most fluent performance - he was beaten several times early on and edged a few - but he was far more assured once Panesar came on as early as the eighth over. The footwork was more certain, and the tendency to be fidgety that he has repeatedly shown against the quicks reduced. Panesar was greeted with a slap past cover in the first over, and was launched over mid-on in his next.

Early on, Sehwag was looking comfortable, untroubled by the defensive fields England set for him and India rattled along at more than 4.5 an over. Then came a moment of madness. Sehwag played what looked like the shot of the session, a fluid whip towards midwicket; Samit Patel, often the butt of jokes about his weight, sprinted across from deep-square leg to make a tumbling stop and Finn was on hand to rifle the ball back accurately. There was plenty of time for three, but both batsmen had dawdled the first two, and though Gambhir screamed 'no,no' while looking at the fielder, Sehwag started to hare back for the third, and it was too late to turn back.

That immediately brought down the scoring rate, with only seven coming off the next six overs. With the ball not doing much, Gambhir and Pujara calmly set about building the innings. However, with lunch approaching, Pujara misjudged the length of a Panesar arm ball and stayed back, only to miss the ball which hit the middle of the stumps. Panesar was whistling and dancing in celebration, knowing well the importance of the wicket of India's form batsman of this series.

With the old ball reverse-swinging prodigiously, the new ball was delayed till the 87th over, and it produced dividends almost immediately. MS Dhoni and R Ashwin had been together for about an hour, looking to safely take India through to stumps but Anderson cleaned up Ashwin for 21.

India would have been mighty pleased when they ended the first day on the square turner in Mumbai on 266 for 6. On a far less testing surface in Kolkata, the first-day total of 273 for 7 will be far less satisfying.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 7, 2012, 2:31 GMT)

Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". If India wants to stop losing - they need to dump every player except Pujara and Ojha, and start from scratch. There's no point changing a batsman here and a bowler there. Just drop everyone, and start with 9 new faces plus Ojha and Pujara. What's the worst thing that can happen? We might lose? But, we are losing anyway!!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 6, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

@Meanster, full marks for backing your team through thick and thin but, yesterday, you posted that this is a tricky pitch and that India will put the England bowling effort in context. Well, that it has. I hope that England can bat through tomorrow, get the lead past 200 and declare sometime on the 4th morning, at which point, no doubt, the pitch will become tricky again. India have stuck to it today. The tail-enders hung around. The bowlers have been game. But India has not dominated a day's play since the 2nd day of the 1st Test. There is nothing worse than seeing your team fail miserably and that we saw in spades in the UAE against a Pakistan side that we knew would be tough to beat. Live. Learn. And come back stronger but, for that, a side has to acknowledge its weaknesses ad not blame the pitch, the groundsman, the umpires, unauthorised tours and Academy owners who refuse to boycott the opposition!!!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 6, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

@SamuelH, if the pitch isn't a belter I hope that there will be some credit for England's 187-1 with an hour to go. Of course, another 6 wickets could fall in those 15 overs, but England have looked solid and the series is beginning to look as one-sided as we expected, just in the opposite sense. It's interesting that despite Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni making 50s and lasing the batting India are still in trouble in the match and need to react... fast. I just wonder how much more Indian morale can take. They expected to win 4-0 easily and were told time and time again that they would get revenge for being humilliated in England and for having to chase huge scores on impossible, doctored pitches. Right now they are aren't going to win 4-0 and it will take a massive turn-around to win the series at all. Will their morale crack completely? If so, can England make it 3-1? It sounds ridiculous but, right now, it looks more plausible than even 2-1 to India.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Indians are in the process of rebuilding the team since there is a big gap left after the departure of dravid, laxman, ganguly and kumble. As of now there is no replacement for these giants. But people like Pujara, Rahane, and badri can add to the team. Who have good tecnique and patience. In test cricket patience is the key i think even kohli is not showing the patience that he shows in the one day matches. Allow youngsters to settle in they cannot replace the giants with in a series. I would prefer a player who has a good tecnique and composure in place of Yuvi. All the best TEAM INDIA. I think shane warne told these things will happen to Indian cricket in 2008 when india toured australia that rebuilding needs to be done with proper selection. So people please wait dont decide the players future by yourself keep it with them and enjoy the game

Posted by Sheela on (December 6, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

English bowlers bowled far more acurately than the Indians and they bowled much less number of bad balls and the English fielders also supported their bowlers. In the Test matches so far there was definitely lack of accuracy. Indian batsmen did not utilise the starts successfully.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 6, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

@ Nampally (December 05 2012, 19:46 PM GMT) days 2 and 3 have been the best days to bat at Eden Gardens over the last few years. I don't see the tail hanging around for too long tomorrow. Then when it's India's turn to bowl and if true to form the pitch won't offer much for the spinners until days 4 and 5 when India will most likely be batting again.

Cook and Pieterson will again be the key wickets but Compton has also looking good and Prior's always contributes but tends to get overlooked. India's bowlers must eat some humble pie and learm from the English bowlers yesterday to be disciplined if nothing is happening for them. Zaheer could be key for India with the old ball by which he may bowling to set batsmen. Lots of ifs and buts at this stage England definately ahead.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 1:25 GMT)

Kohli & Yuvi need guidance from Fletcher. They relapse into ODI / T-20 Mode, what looks like, unintentionally ( out of 'habit'). By the way, what is Fletcher there for? Moreover, India has young players in the test match mold like Rahane & Tiwari. They should be given chances and encouraged.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

An interesting challenge for the England selectors in spin now ... Swann has been one of the best bowlers in the world in the last few years and yet Monty looks like the man in India - with great control and variation - are they brave enough to have 2 spinner wickets in the summer?

And cricket needs more players like Monty - his wonderful pure boyish enthusiasm for the game is a breath of fresh air - delighted for him in his current form.

Posted by Mervo on (December 6, 2012, 1:23 GMT)

Winning all three tosses has been a major advantage for India. Especially on their grounds.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 1:20 GMT)

RE: Indian bowling. Zak & Ishant, if we go by their recent forms can't match Anderson's performance. Similarly, Ojha & Ashwin can, at best match Swann's level, but not Monty's. That's not good enough to win this test. The onus is on the batsmen. They, by and large failed on first day. If they can produce far beter performance (as Dravid, VVS & co produced at Edens a few years ago against the OZ), there is SOME hope.

Posted by gundapps on (December 6, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

The English bowling attack has clearly exposed the batting frailties of the current Indian line up on a not-so-bowling friendly-track. Given the competence with which the main English batsmen played our bowling, England should get a lead of at least a 100 runs on first innings and a result a la Mumbai awaits this test also.

Posted by Hiba.R on (December 6, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

Well Indian batsmen are good at gifting their wickets even when the bowlers are not troubling them, now Dhoni and the tail had to add up another hundred odd runs to make it a safe total or be ready to face an uphill challenge. The fact is most players are not in the Test Playing Mode. Its for the BCCI to have a different set of players for Test / ODI / T20 the current Indian Players are all IPL /T20 players, winning or loosing has no importance to them, what's important is the fat IPL auction money.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 6, 2012, 0:25 GMT)

As a PROUD, INDIAN fan, I will NEVER write off my team after 1 day. This pitch isn't exactly flat like how Geoffrey Boycott kept going on like a broken record. This is a tricky pitch with uneven bounce and sticky pace. There is something in it for all bowlers if they are willing to put in the yards. When a bowler like Anderson can reverse swing it, we have a solid statesman in Zaheer to further swing it more. Plus, I can foresee a good game for Ashwin and Ojha this time around. This is a traditional Indian pitch. While England have done well to get India seven wickets down, I still think they won't score a lot themselves. I am looking at both teams scoring close to 350. The second innings will determine who is gonna win this one.

Posted by SaracensBob on (December 6, 2012, 0:21 GMT)

Good day's performance from England but it is only Day 1! If India can push on to 350-ish and then Cook and Pietersen fail while the reminder of the Eng batsmen continue with their pretty woeful contribution then India can still be in the box seat. A quick note on Mr Panesar - what an improved bowler he has become since ceasing to be a regular part of the England set-up. I don't think that there is a cricketer in England who works harder on his game than Monty. Pity he still doesn't seem to be able to get the hang of catching the ball! Way to go Monty!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 6, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding: I still feel England will take the lead but only by a small margin. I can't see them scoring more than 350 here, on a slow turner with uneven bounce which traditionally has been their undoing. There is no pace or bounce on this wicket like in Mumbai and English batsmen enjoy that. I also don't expect the Indian spinners to be mediocre for 2 games in a row. If that happens, Duncan Fletcher and a whole lot of other people will resign following this series. So I am sure a lot of thought will go into the Indian bowling. I expect Ashwin and Ojha to bowl much much better here and spin England out. Let's be honest, except Cook and KP, the rest are walking wickets. So it's about negating Cook and KP and then doing a focussed job on the rest. England have a good batting line up but they are far from superior.

Posted by henchart on (December 5, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

Trott is due for a big one and so is Bell.2nd Day's play would decide the fate of this match.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

Either India is going to lose this match or draw this match....................

Posted by SrUmpire on (December 5, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

India is definitely going to lose this match from here.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

as per my observations, after 2011 wc, India are very over cautious while batting. Their run rate is never going above 3 . When a team is under going transition, they know that they won't last too long. So their approach should be to play at a run rate of 4. I'm not asking to hit every bowl and getting collapsed,but atleast they should make an effort to hit bad balls out of the park instead of respecting and defending it.

Posted by SevereCritic on (December 5, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

Instead of going after Sachin, why not go after Yuvi or Kohli. Kohli hasnt made any impact in the series. And he is touted as the next best thing in Indian cricket. Neither has Yuvi after a 70 odd innings in a tame pitch in Ahmedabad when India was way on top. Indian cricket is in serious trouble. India just doesnt have the batting strength to take over from the retirement of the big 3. Kohli and Yuvi are limited overs players. Drop them. Drop Gambhir get Rahane. An open with 30 average in last 3 years with 0 centuries doesnt deserve to be in the team.

Posted by Atlantic252 on (December 5, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

Great day for England. Kept up the pressure all day and never dropped their heads even when Sachin and Yuvraj began to look in control. Great day for Jimmy dismissing the great man for the eighth time. India have scored 600+ on this ground in their last three matches here which shows how good the bowling has been. If England's batters are in by lunch time on day two, it could be a long match for the Indian bowlers as days two and three are usually the best for batting on at his ground. Come on Jimmy, let's have a five-for. Come on KP and Captain Cook.

Posted by Hash_Tag on (December 5, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

What is the matter with India ??? Are they so desperate to lose? Carry on like this and they surely will. I was brought up to believe that it was impossible to beat India in India. I can't get my head around it.

Posted by Meety on (December 5, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Well I thoght Oz was on top after Day 1 at the WACA - & that didn't turn out the way I expected. If England can knock the tail for around 300, they will be looking good. England's innings will be the innings that decides the match. I suspect the pitch will deteriorate over the last 3 days, I think Day 2 will be the last day to score runs with any degree of comfort. I think Ishant Sharma will have a good game. I think ENgland need a minimum 100 run lead to win this match.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

Ali Cook has lost the toss in his 1st 5 tests as Eng captain. Is this a first for any Test captain?.

Posted by BTyagi on (December 5, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

This series is a blessing in disguise for India. As an avid cricket lover i dont want India to loose series but in long run i guess this will help India. Dhoni is taking Indian 'test' cricket to before-Ganguly era where India was content to win at home. Dhoni is so much dependent on conditions and has no vision or pride playing test cricket. Whle he can continue to lead in 1-day and T20s, i guess Gambhir might be a better captaincy material for tests. Atlease ha has that passion and pride in playing test cricket. His form might not be good but some people perform better when given responsibility. I really hope India loose this series and Dhoni is removed as captain. I would still want him to be removed even if India win series.We will see another white-wash in S Africa next year if Dhoni stay.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

It is in the hand so the batters of both teams to make this a real contest. The pitch will be slow and attritional. Experinced batters should show their prevalance and will make runs. I predict India will be all out for 350 or less and England will finshed at 295-6 by the close. Then the wickets will aid the slow bowlers and the spinners. India have a small advatage at the moment but the England batters need to post a huge 1st innings score to close out the match.

Posted by OzWally on (December 5, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Sehwag's run out highlighted just how badly this team runs between wickets. I bet they leave 40 - 50 runs on the field every day due to not running hard between the wickets. Do they think they only get paid for boundaries? Or are they just plain lazy?

Posted by OzWally on (December 5, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

Par score for the team batting first in Kolkata has been 600+. Perhaps home cooking isn't the answer for all that ails Indian cricket. A long way to go but if England win this test - it will be time to hit the panic button.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 5, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

@sachislife2310 Thank you You're exactly the the kind of person I'm referring to. So I guess based on this innings you think he should play until 2310.

Posted by Nampally on (December 5, 2012, 19:46 GMT)

Despite India's relatively modest score, if the Indian bowlers bowl to their potential, India can still be in strong position. The wkt. is not as flat as this report says. Anyone watching the game could see the ball was turning, reverse swinging & moving in the air. Several balls bounced & many kept low. So it is not a easy pitch to score runs if the bowlers bowl tightly to the field & at the right spots. Dhoni & his men should note that Cook rarely used attacking field as in Mumbai Test. He had deep point & deep extra cover from the opening overs - a clue for Dhoni re: field placing.! England's fielding was good - took all catches + crucial run out of Sehwag. This time the old timers did well for India whilst youngsters Pujara & Kohli failed! If the old time Captain Dhoni can help India with another 50 runs, it will give another old timer ZAK a chance to get India back in the game. Ashwin, Ojha, ZAK & Ishant carry the Indian hopes & must hit back at England. Good Luck guys!

Posted by SDHM on (December 5, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

I agree with @Nampally - the wicket isn't quite the belter the report is making out. It is in the main a very good batting wicket, but there is a touch of uneven bounce and it's a bit on the slow side. India certainly didn't help their cause with a few loose strokes however - I wouldn't say it's a 273-7 pitch. But never judge a strip until both sides have bowled on it as the cliche goes!

Posted by SDHM on (December 5, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

@Jaswinder Singh - the last 18 months or so would beg to differ, but Zaheer has been a master of it in the past so he cannot be written off certainly. It depends on the support he gets from the other end - Ojha will keep it tight, but England milked Ashwin fairly comfortably in Mumbai on a trickier pitch than this one and Sharma, like Finn, will struggle to get much out of this pitch you'd think. What England did brilliantly today was bowl in partnerships - India need to do the same when they come to bowl. The pitch I thought was a weird one; uneven bounce and the odd sharp bit of spin, but there were a few beautifully timed shots even from batsmen who'd just come in, suggesting it's not a minefield by any stretch. Could've been better for England too - two plumbs LBWs turned down against Yuvraj & the run-out muck-up, how costly could they be? All set up for an intriguing second day!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 5, 2012, 19:26 GMT)

Good bowling from england today, especially after a bit of a lose start from Finn the spinners helped tie India down a bit. Still 350-400 is an achievable target if Dhoni gets in and the last 3 wickets play cameos. Could be an intersting chase for the English batsmen. If England get a par score with India it will be a close game, although you feel if one of the teams gets a substantial lead they will win.

Posted by Trickstar on (December 5, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

Very good day from all the England bowlers, especially Jimmy who bowled a couple of excellent spells of reverse swing and was also pretty good with the new ball at the start of the day,bowled quick as well 86/88mph.Finn got better as the game went on and was getting a fair bit of reverse from the ball which was also good to see, even on this pitch he unsettles batsmen and rushes them, even though he can be a bit loose. Got to be said it could have been even better if the umpires had given that plumb shout on Yuvraj, not sure why he didn't because although he was hit on the move, first impact was clearly in front of middle and off. Then not long after again he got caught in front by Swann, where it was bat just before pad but again smack in front.England must back themselves to keep them around the 300/20 mark then get stuck in and put up a good total. If KP gets in on this pitch it will be carnage, the outfield is lightning fast and spaces everywhere due to the size of the playing area

Posted by RameshRayaprolu on (December 5, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

I think Indians batted keeping in mind the last match...I hated to see such a poor batting show...throwing wickets to ENG just like that...the transition of Indian batting line-up, especially without Rahul and going to be very tough...hope MS got this point...

From here, this match is NEVER going to be WON by India. ENG seems to have control over the match and can win it easily !! India at the most, can "try" for a draw, if their batsmen can come out thinking positive in the next innings...

As a fan of Indian cricket, this is my humble request to MSD - please try to save this match, save the reputation of India's previous victories @ EDEN !!

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 5, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

It would appear that india can't bat that well on flat lifeless pitches either.Go for a bouncy one next lads and lets see how you do on that

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 5, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

For those who keep thinking it is a flat track, this is not a fresh pitch but one that has been recently used for a Ranji tie. Expect the makeup to wear off much sooner than usual. Day 1 may be the best day to bat but it will be hard to tell if India bowls poorly which they very well can on recent form.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

Sehwag was so going to beat the hell out of Panesar's bowling that Gambhir ran him out. Sehwag had a strike rate of 88 before he got out. only if...only if

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (December 5, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

Look at those 8 smart stats every single one dicusses Tendulkar, is anyone else actually playing, he did get 50 though so understandable.

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (December 5, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

Awesome performance by the Poms !! ... They surely look to be the superior team and they should WIN this match too !!! (From an all-knowing Indian Fan)

Posted by tests_the_best on (December 5, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

I am simply not convinced with yuvraj's place in the side and the 20-30 odd that he scores which also he managed today with some luck. With an important series coming up against aus plus future team needing to be groomed, why don't the selectors try out rahane/tiwary? Pretty short-sighted in my opinion. srt on the other hand with his innings today and importantly the determination he showed has proven he should be there for at least some more time in this team.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 5, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

Probably a fairly even day's play. If we're going on how Eng batted in the 1st test then you'd say India have the upper hand and if going by the 2nd match you'd say Eng have. Getting Ashwin so late is a boost , I know Zaheer can hold a bat but I'm not so sure re those below. Haven't had a chance to watch the whole highlights but from what I did see Jimmy bowled a more disciplined line/length than Finn. I'm certainly not one who says Finn is by far our best pace bowler although they were right to replace Broad and Finn does offer pace.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 5, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

@Akshita29 on (December 05 2012, 11:43 AM GMT) Have to say I enjoy reading your balanced comments. I'm not a fan of those comments booing about bad umpiring decisions whether they be from Indian or English fans esp a few Indian fans who one day say there's no need for DRS and the next day moan about bad umpiring etc. There was one poster who literally changed his views from one day to the next after some decs went against his side. To be fair I think England may have had the better of the dodgy calls but that's the way it goes and if India's management were so anti DRS - well you live and die by the sword. All the best

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

There was nothing devilish about the pitch. Played professionally (not like school boys, not like Big Bash & T-20 players doing a quickie) , there was something in it for every one; for patient & skillful batsmen, good swing bowlers; and excellent spinners who can painstakingly develop multi-dimensional skills (unlike what the journalists love to say to the contrary) and accuracy.The only thing lacking was excessive bounce, which any way is a waste of energy for the bowlers, if batsmen decide to duck or weave away! A salute to the 83 year old curator, who by and large never got along with most India captains; but as usual stayed true to his profession.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Why do none of my comments get posted!!! Anyway, here is my slant on it. No Mr.Meanster, Finn did not bolw well. he was brought into the side to add pace but bowld slower than Anderson who did bowl well. More appalling umpiring, two blatant lbws against Yuvraj turned down.

Posted by Beertjie on (December 5, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

I agree with your assessment @Cpt. Meanster. After two lop-sided games this one will go to the wire.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 5, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

Indian selectors should not be worry abbout Virat Kholi. Because, he may definitely find his form in next year ODI matches with Sri Lanka.

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 5, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

India is reaping the fruits of IPL, their batsmen can't even play against English spinners on a flat track anymore. And they have no quality bowlers in the squad. Only hope for them now is that Eng batsmen will do what they did in Ahmedabad first innings.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 5, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

India could have been on a strong position, unless that unfortunate runout of Shewag. He was very comfortable at the moment.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 5, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

I am surprised that some people are calling it a dead wicket. The new ball is seaming, the old one is reversing, the spinners are getting turn and bounce, the odd ball is stopping on them/ keeping low. Anything around 350 mark would be a good total. It all depends on how our bowlers perform. Zaheer can do some serious damage on this wicket, Ishant is a wildcard though. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 5, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Panesar bowled really well. The way he bowled Pujara out was brilliant. Panesar was really tough than Swan.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Well played sachin. NIce to see you among runs. Though it was not comfortable at the crease, you really played well.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

India may get around 300. The earlier Indian teams scored 600+ on four immediately preceding appearances in Eden Gardens, on similar itches, against bowling not inferior to the current English bowlers. It shows that this Indian team is only about HALF AS GOOD as the earlier ones. Of course, the earlier ones had Dravid, Ganguly, VVS, and Kumble in addition to SRT in his hay-days! Not a minor difference.

This test may go the Mumbai way!

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 5, 2012, 16:41 GMT)

the way Eng plays and going by the current form, Ashes will remain safe in England - and this from an Aussie fan. Well played Eng, if at all you can convert this good start into a match-winning one !! Respect !!!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

No mention about DRS? surely Yuvraj got away twice in those two overs of Swann and Jimmy.

Posted by Silverbails on (December 5, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

I'm afraid it's another bad day at the Office for India. They seem to have completely FORGOTTEN HOW to play TEST cricket. It's NOT ODI or T20 cricket where one continuously NEEDS to be playing thier shots, and moving the score forwards!! It's all about playing with patience and guile, and India seem to have forgotten that, especially on turning tracks like the one here at Eden Gardens. If Eng. can bundle India out for under 350, then it'll be 2 - 1 to Eng, as the Indian bowlers seem to be completely ineffectual these days....Even IF India manage to score over 400, that'll be a real poor showing, especially after the last 3 first innings in Kolkata, where they amassed over 600 in the first innings...!! Really sad to see the RAPID decline of Indian Test cricket...hope things CAN be turned around in the next 4 days...And, WHAT on earth was Sehwag's run out all about??

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 5, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

@Meanster Not a bad summing up. Possibly selling England a little short, but it is noticeable that the talk is of a highly competitive series now, when we have had months hearing that India would win 4-0 even with their Second XI playing. Tomorrow may just be the critical day that decides the series. Either could put themself in a strong position. However, the momentum is definitely shifting and India know that they are in a battle in the same way that England know that they can compete. I see many echoes of the 1984/85 series in the events so far (at least those on the field) and I suspect that, as in 1984/85, Indian morale and team unity are very fragile right now.

Posted by matchfixerpkn. on (December 5, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

Indians should just play IPL and give up test cricket for another 50 years. If Rod Tucker got it right, India wont even score 200 today. All BCCI is good at is pampering the so called great batsmen when actually they are by no means any great.

Posted by balajit on (December 5, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Excellent bowling by Anderson & Panesar. India needs to score at least 350 & bowl well to England's batsmen to make a match out of it. India need to remember apart from Cook ,KP & Prior other English batsmen have shown weakness against spin. Indian bowlers need to be patient & stick to line & length for long period of time which looks unlikely with this attack which has tendency of leaking runs under pressure. Dhoni's field placements have to be precise with endeavor to take wickets.Hoping to see a good good bowling effort from India on what looks like a pitch which definitely is not as flat as it is been described by experts

Posted by Herath-UK on (December 5, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Excellent for Tendulkar's survival;strangely the script goes exactly like Jayasuriya's.However if not for him it could have been a total collapse,he deserves credit for that. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 5, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Yet again Anderson proves his mastery of flat-deck bowling, and Swann and Jimmy had monstrously plumb LBW decisions turned down in the day. If this match were being played by the way the rest of the world plays cricket, i.e. with DRS, India would've been long all out by now.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

most of the wickets are gifted....... lets hope that the Indian bowlers turn the tables on them..........

Posted by bobmartin on (December 5, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Posted by Ahmad Uetian on (December 05 2012, 13:20 PM GMT) Tendulkar still is no1 Indian batsman acc to current ICC Ranking .

Unfortunately that doesn't say much about the Indian batting line-up.. Tendulkar is the only 1 in the ICC top 20 whereas England have 4, 1 of whom is equal 18th with Tendulkar and there are 3 above him, including our wicketkeeper..

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

i think eng will win this match ...they bowled well in flat track

Posted by swat1999 on (December 5, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Indian batsman area most likely speacialist for T20 and ODI standards. Since Luxman and Dravid retired they have huge problem. Kohli and Yubi is not a Test cricketer. Indian selectors have to think about that. Wel done England.

Posted by Selassie-I on (December 5, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Great day's play, nice to see our bowlers performing to the level we know they can again, especially Jimbo, he really looked good on the UAE surfaces but has looked a bit at sea here, until today. He's proving again that he's one of the best about these days.

Hopefully we can get the tail early tomorrow, as the pitch was used recently, it may well show more uneaven bounce and fall apart so we need to take advantage and get a BIG first inns lead here. Batting 4th may well be no fun at all and we should avoid it completley if possible.

@ Cpt.Meanster on (December 05 2012, 14:34 PM GMT) so, "Panesar is benefitting from the out of form Indain batsman" like Pujara? he's had a terrible series hasn't he?! Agreed the Indians chucked a few wickets away but please do give our bowlers some credit, RR was kept low all day and pressure was applied to cause these errors.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

What happened to Kohli yaar?A great batsman fails continuously bcs of acting in ads, which is a lesson! Good Luck for him from 2nd innings onwards!!He shld not get dejected, as he has the capability to bounce back. Good Luck once again. Let our bowlers attack the stumps only and not outside off or leg, which will irritate the Englishmen and gift their wickets. We should win this test to keep series alive!!

Posted by madras_boy on (December 5, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

While Yuvi and Kohli are very good ODI players they are not Test Players at all. Itz pathetic to see their innings. Selectors should use yuvi and kohli intelligently in ODI and bring in someone new and temperamental like Pujara in their places. Sehwag is also in the list to be replaced by M Vijay. I feel India gonna loose this game as well.

Posted by VickGower on (December 5, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

It is hard enough to lose two legendary batsmen and have a third colossus near the end, but what has really hurt India is that the settled duo of Sehwag and Gambhir who should have been in the prime of their careers have imploded precisely when they were called upon to help through the transition. It is their failure to give India good starts that has doomed this batting lineup in transition. Can't bowl, can't bat, away, at home. For this these guys are making millions. No more damning statement than: "There was plenty of time for three, but both batsmen had dawdled the first two..."

Posted by MIKALE on (December 5, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Indians are emotional. Inclusion of Yuvraj (after overcoming cancer), though he has not come to form fully is an example.

Inclusion of Harbajan - He has not bowled any good in the recent times. Instead of finding his form in domestic levels, selectors have selected to the squad, that too in Test.

Inclusion of Kohli - Though he has done well in t20s and odis in the recent past , he become automatic choice for tests too. I would say media is overrating him. He's clearly out of form

Ashwin - Dhoni has crafted him in t20s and ODIs just for dot balls thereby increasing req. rate high,not for taking wickets. He is an off spinner and his identity is half spin, but he is bowling all kinds of spins and doosra , theesra in one over which is not a genuine bowler would do.

Posted by hnlns on (December 5, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

With this sort of below-par performance by India, England have taken a stranglehold of this test on day 1. Now need to see whether they will press home this early advantage by getting India all out early for under 350 and then score possibly in the 500 to 700 range. England have all the things going for them since day 1 in Mumbai. Indians have to hope that some miracle happens over the next 3-4 days to get back into this match.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

kohli should be promoted num 3..he is comfrtble in that position..and he is a key player too..pujara can open with gambhir bacause pujara is good in technque.and shewag can down to num 5,,as told some days ago that he wl love to bat in middle order..need some change :)

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

@bhrangi: Both are our problems if you mention that, look no one is going to ask Sachin to retire if he is not performing say when he is 33, in that case you can say ok he can go back to domestic cricket and get some runs and come back but when you are close to 40, you either perform or perish, as simple as that!! No comebacks!!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

Anything less than 400 will make it very difficult for India unless our average bowling attach can do some wonders..

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 5, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

I think India gifted most of the wickets away to England. England did nothing extraordinary. Only Finn bowled well. Anderson was pretty average until that wicket of Kohli. Panesar is riding his good luck having Indian batsmen in some bad form. Still, I don't think England are in a winning position yet. They would have been had they dismissed India already. This ain't a completely flat pitch like some English supporters feel. This is a slow turner with uneven bounce. The reason England won in Mumbai was because of the consistent pace and bounce on that pitch, both those qualities are missing here. Historically, England have struggled in such conditions. They may surpass India's first innings score but only just. I expect India to score 320 and then dismiss England for 340-350. That should set up the game nicely.

Posted by nilb on (December 5, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

Bad day for Indian cricket. Sachin scored a fifty once in a blue moon and he's going to stay in the team.

Posted by jango_moh on (December 5, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

a good day's test match... eng bowled well with the old ball, sachin was resolute... great to watch, what else does anybody want from a first day!!!!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

India need to post around 400 - if they do it's game on. If they get much below 350 it's a batting failure and it will be up to the bowlers to get India back into the game. The bowlers could do it though. Just as likely is England piling on 500+ and taking a decent first innings lead. Cant wait to see what happens.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

It is bad batting performance by india but it will intersted to see how England bat in first innings as Zaheer khan is better reverse swing bowler then Anderson .

Posted by English.Pinky on (December 5, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

CricketMaan - quality prediction lets just hope you are correct..

Posted by Nampally on (December 5, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

India missed a glorious chance of building a total of at least 400 - thru' irresponsible batting. As the report says there were at least 3 casual Outs. Of these, Sehwag's run out was the turning point of the match. Sehwag would have torn this bowling!It was an easy third run if only Gambhir was running hard on the first 2. Kohli's failure appears to suggest he is lacking confidence. Good tactics is to try him #3 & let Pujara bat #5. Yuvraj appears to lose his concentration, threw away his wkt. playing a T-20 slog!. SRT saved the day for India with a timely 76 before another give away. Now India is left with the tail +Dhoni. They will be lucky to reach 300, if Dhoni plays well. England did a great job even after losing toss on an easy wkt. Their bowlers never gave up - especially Panesar & Anderson.Pitch was not flat as report says. There is always a chance for accurate bowlers to be amongst Wkts. India needs to keep this in Mind. Bowl to your Field with accurate length+Direction.

Posted by amlankj on (December 5, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

@ Sandy_bangalore: You've summed it up quite well. A one-sport nation with all the finances and then this is what we see. But to tell you frankly, this England team is better than the Indian team and it would have been worse in long run if with this ordinary bowling attack, India would have won the series playing 3 spinners in all the matches and on typical underprepared pitches like those in Wadekar-Azharuddin era.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 5, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

Excellent bowling by the England bowlers. This is a flat track. India should have piled up 600 runs and put pressure on England, but India's batsmen blew it. India would be lucky to cross 300 tomorrow. Expect England to post 500 runs and put pressure on India in the second Innings. Zaheer and Ojha might get a couple of wickets, but don't expect anything from Ishant Sharma. He could go wicketless like Finn. Speed is not the most important thing - a fast bowler needs guile and cunning to outfox batsmen and get their wickets. Ishant has speed, but he is lacking in guile.

Posted by bhrangi on (December 5, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

@Navbavi : Thank you for trying to open my eyes mate. Is cricket a government job? Just because sachin is reaching 40 , you people are asking him to retire.Yeah I love sachin, i wont like him to play if he fails in coming second innings and 4 th match obviously, it should be based on performance but not on age. Just enjoy the moment, problem is with the youngsters and their love towards IPL not ageing stars.

Posted by Arrow011 on (December 5, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Sachin as usual a masterclass even at the age of 39. Keep scoring more Sachin, we are all with you.

Posted by fan_2_fans on (December 5, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Mukherjee will be quite happy seeing Andersen bowl on this pitch.....hahaha Small advice to kohli,play your natural game as you play in ODI's,you are taking to many deliveries to get a single run,and that clearlly indiactes you are not playing your natural game,i.e. taking singals and rotating the strike.

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 5, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Day 2 - India 288/10. Cook 121 n.o, Trott - 51, KP - 77 n.o Eng 271/2..(Ohja 2-64) Day 3- Engl 501/9 dcld..India 44/3 (Viru, GG, IS back in pav) CP - 11 n.o, SRT 2 no.o Day 4 - India 197 all out. Eng take 2-1 lead. MOM - KP for his blistering 151 and 2 stunning catches and a run out in 2nd innings

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 5, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

Very definitely an intense day's play. Every time India looked to be getting ahead a wicket fell. Tomorrow will be extremely interesting with a new ball still available in the morning and the tail in the sights of the attack. Definitely a chance for someone to be a hero on one or other side.

Posted by colossalcricketer on (December 5, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

@akpy Agree with you bro..We are very much a team in transition...India boasted of a Fantastic five just 3-4 years ago...They had the services of all time third highest wicket taker( Anil Kumble)... Harbhajan was in his prime...!!We will take some time to evolve and get back into the main frame..!!Sachin is needed right now until the team gains a bit of confidence...Ponting stuck with the team till the Aussies evolved and gain some confidence!To all those fickle minded supporters, Don't listen to haters..Most of them have pseudo names and are from Sri Lanka and Pakistan!The fair witted and thoughtful fans don't taunt other teams...It hurts to see that our own countrymen start bashing the team if they are on the losing side..Stop this glory hunting!We should support our side when they really need it!Like now is the time!

Posted by sachislife2310 on (December 5, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

To Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 05 2012, 13:19 PM GMT)

Dude it;s the way you think!!

I know all you guys find some or the other reasons to criticize!! Pity you man.. You know nothing about cricket. Sitting in front of PC in office under AC and commenting on someone is easy. Go and play and you will know.

If somebody else had scored the same runs you will say, no matter what he played when team required. Keep your eyes open dude. Be honest to your heart. God bless you..

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

here we go.. according to the fans another successful day for them because of dhoni in the crease and zaheer manged to survive two deliveries and few of them hope tomorrow Ishant will break Bradman's records. keep dreaming guys. ha ha ha

Posted by rtruth90 on (December 5, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

India will loose this match because tendulkar performed good.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

what excuse do dhoni have now.

he might get away with this if tomorrow he bats well.

good bowling by england , great to see sachin among some runs.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 5, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

I always knew that our team were flat track kings, but on the evidence of todays play, they can't even be relied to put up a good score even consistently even on a dead pitch. Todays pitch had no pace, no bounce..and there was a hint of turn, though nothing like Bombay. It absolutely amazes me that a one-sport nation with all the finances, cannot even put a tough cricket team on the pitch!

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 5, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

Excellent Pitc , almost 300 runs and 7 wickets. This is better than Highways we saw in Australia vs SA and Eng Vs SA recently. Well done to curator

Posted by KingofRedLions on (December 5, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

I like how every single stat is about Tendulkar. Why isn't there an option for a Tendulkar edition of Cricinfo?

Posted by BlastFromThePast on (December 5, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

Liked the performance of Sachin today, even though I am not hos biggest fan, was willing to grind it out, showed us all as to why he still is amongst the best ever. As for tomorrow Dhoni should take the initiative and try to get india as close as possible to 350-375,Ishant can hang on and Zaheer should also show some application at the crease. with England having to bat last on this deck, it might just prove crucial, as we saw the latest encounter between australia and south africa, the lower order adding that bit extra to give the impetus.

Posted by akpy on (December 5, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

Reading 99% of posts (exceptions like jmcilhinney) it is asking for too much for some appreciation for a fine day of test cricket, the battle between ball & bat. how an ageing warrior is still not giving up as he could so easily do. England on top as of day1 and rightly so, as they are the better team in the last 18 months because they have a very good bowling attack, which is the most important attribute for test cricket. Indian fans should be mature enough to look beyond the taunts of other country's supporters and realise that we are very much a team in transition and hopefully, this tough series will take the young batters/bowlers to a different level. Without Dravid/VVS/Saurav (almost 25k runs) and Kumble/bhajji (1000+ wkts), we cannot compare this team with the past indian teams. Give the youngsters a chance to learn and i am sure they will deliver in the future - so, what if we even lose this series (and i am not saying we will), it is not the end of the world guys.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Tendulkar still is no1 Indian batsman acc to current ICC Ranking ...........He is here to stay

Posted by valvolux on (December 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Would like to see england belt india here. I think they are the second best side in the world after SA. Australia are pretty close though, but god they need some batsmen. But England have gone into the last 2 ashes in poor form then won, so maybe if they go in with good form things will change :)

Still India are only 2 wickets away from getting England out cheaply, but this deck is flat as a tack and England look pretty focussed. Just not a lot of class left in this indian team. A loss here and their current tag of borderline minnow will be undeserved, they will be well into the definite minnow bracket.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

England's performance should shame Srinivasan following his comments that all teams play well at home and not so well away from home. Well not India who don't play well anywhere. Tendulkar's scores 76 and all his die-hard fans are out saying 'I told you so, it was only a matter of time'. No, this is one of the worst half-centuries he's played and with a ridiculous number of play and misses. He's not back in form but I guess this means he be going to SA now seeing this knock will guarantee his place for the next 4 years so may England again to avenge last year. We need England to knock off the tail quickly tomorrow, put a big score on the board and bowl India out on the 4th day and put us out of our misery. Panesar outstanding yet again.

Posted by brusselslion on (December 5, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

I've always said it: England can't win the toss in Indian conditions!

Posted by mthi4life on (December 5, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

Never judge the state of the pitch until both teams have had a bat.This English team is the only team that can challenge the Proteas,If they take this Test match the will win the Series.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

sick of hearing about pitch conditions. The conditions of the surface should add value to performances not be the reason for poor ones. These are international cricketers and should appear to be - if the opinion is justified - on any surface (barring the extraordinary). So when Tendulkar makes a ton in Aus or Eng, that might be worth a 150 compared to his compatriots and his most common experiences. It's what makes him a champion. Same as someone like Cook making big hundreds in conditions foreign to him. The truly international cricketer has success everywhere.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Who is the best keeper in india at present? i think MSD do smart in IPL take inform keeper as a backup in csk for showing im best. Time to change the keeper?

Name Age Test / First Class Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave

Uday Kaul 25 First-class 54 85 14 3770 165* 53.09

Wriddhiman Saha Tests 2 4 0 74 36 18.50 First-class 50 77 12 2945 178* 45.30

Parthiv Patel 27 Tests 20 30 7 683 69 29.69 First-class 128 187 19 7126 206 42.41

Dinesh Karthik 27 Tests 23 37 1 1000 129 27.77 First-class 105 159 11 5992 213 40.48

Mahendra Singh Dhoni 31 Tests 71 112 13 3732 148 37.69 First-class 112 178 16 5894 148 36.38

MSD Last 2 Years Mat Runs HS Avg !00's home 8 410 144 45.55 1 away 13 598 90 27.18 0

Posted by landl47 on (December 5, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

So Mr. Mukherjee is revealed as not so much a curator as a stand-up comedian. After promising a pitch with pace and bounce he delivered one with no pace and a tendency to keep low. The odd ball did get up a bit, presumably from hitting one of the cracks developed during the game which ended a few days ago. This is exactly the sort of pitch England struggles on, the kind of pitch we saw in the UAE. Those who are saying that England had the best of it should wait until they have seen England bat. The one type of pitch I was afraid of is slow and low, and this is it. I hope England proves me wrong tomorrow, but I think if India can get anything over 300 they will be well ahead in this game.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

England bowlers have done a decent job of restricting Indian batsman's. Anderson especially bowled really well. But I still back the Indian team. India will fight harder after what happened in the previous match. Time for Ashwin and co to step up to the occasion. All the best India.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

Happy to watch Sachin's BAT. Now where are the critics blaiming Sachin for India failure.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 5, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

Everyone remembers how Jimmy Anderson turned his career around from being a green op specialist to becoming a master on flat decks. Well he's at it yet again. A magnificent display of variations, skills and pace from surely the best fast bowler in the world right now. India's decision not to play by the same rules everyone else has to live by came good for them again as Yuraj survived plumb LBW decisions. England should have them eight down at least, but it's 11 vs 12 here again. They do, however, continue to dominate this good Indian team.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 5, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

is anybody missing laxman already . i am certainly missing him .

Posted by Alex_LX on (December 5, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Kohli reminds me so much of Ponting, dont know why

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 5, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

England have to maintain the intensity tomorrow. It is no good letting the last 3 wickets add 100 more and then the batsmen need to book in for the best part of 2 days. Anything less will let India back in.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (December 5, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

This is not a flat wicket as people will see soon enough. From what was on view the ball was turning slowly and the bounce was uneven. It will be interesting to see England bat on this one.

Posted by timtom on (December 5, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

@stormy16 :: great finding abt team India over last 8 tests.. Just roll back a couple of years and the same team was no 1 for close 2 years beating every team at their den. And this did not happen last decade or even 5 years back as you wud like to believe. Yes, they are losing now.. as most of them seem to have lost the appetite for test matches...Suddenly temperment is found wanting in most of them...This is just a phase....They will come back stronger...

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 5, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

please drop yuvraj from team even after cleralr out twice he made only 31 runs . atleast learn from cook who took adavantage in mumbai & scored 138 .

Posted by mdreddy on (December 5, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Finally Tendulkar got some runs, its an important to the team point of view,sachin needs to continue the same, Ind need to find the better test players,Yuvaraj Dhoni are not having the temperament of playing in test side. probably Eng is better test side,Ind need to find their best as early as possible, Its a time to rebuild the team in all aspects of the game.People are over reacted about tendulkar, he as done everything for the indian cricket, Tendulkar today played one of the Fighting knock,but not his best,Eng applied their plans,everything to get out him, they deserve it.bad day for india.

Posted by haseeb72 on (December 5, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

Good come back by Master Blaster Sachin !

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke on (December 05 2012, 08:38 AM GMT), while I'm in favour of DRS and am not happy with the BCCI blocking it, to say that India have had all the luck is just false. Certainly the toss has gone their way but I'd say that England got the better of the luck when it game to dodgy umpiring in the first two games. Cook got a couple of lucky breaks and while Patel got two bad ones he also got a let off earlier in one innings. How about India losing every toss and having so many injuries on their last tour of England? Were you wondering how different the series could have been then?

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 5, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

b/w what has happened to kohli ? he was the highest scorer for india in austrlia & in the home series against nz . whenever he comes to bat there is a sense that he may get out any time. i think at the start of his innings he is in very defensive mood . he took so much time to get off the mark . in ahemdabad he took 29 balls to score his first run , in mumbai also he scored 16 runs from 58 balls , today 6 run from 24 balls . some body in the dressing room needs to talk to him . by not rotating the strike & playing too mny dots only increases pressure on the batsmen .

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 5, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Eng's bowlers have certainly done a fine job. However they will need to finish the job off fairly quickly in the morning. You feel Ind need a good day tomorrow otherwise the momentum in the series which you would say is firmly with Eng at the moment could become irreversable. If they are to rest the initive back they will need to find at least another 100 runs from somewhere (400 should really be a minimum on a track like this after winning the toss & batting first). Then they will need to get Cook early which will put some pressure on Eng middle order particularly with Bell & Trott woefully short of runs in these conditions. However if Eng are able to wrap up the tail and be within sight of Ind first inns by stumps with plenty of wickets in hand then Ind's fans should be fearful.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

@The_bowlers_Holding on (December 05 2012, 03:21 AM GMT), only in England. It seems that both captains enjoy a "home coin advantage" as I think Dhoni went just about the whole tour of England without winning a toss.

Posted by timtom on (December 5, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

England on verge of making history..Going to win this for sure... Kohli suddenly appears novice... Dismissal of Yuvi will shoot up blood pressure... Zaheer and Ishant shud really click for India to have any outside chance...

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@bhrangi: Your love for Sachin has clearly blinded you, we all love Sachin but its time, he isn't himself anymore and he is approaching 40, he made debut at 16 whereas talented 25 yr olds are waiting for their chances now and he averaged 22 in 2012, what more do you want? Here comes one innings of 76 and you start talking again??

Posted by Tama_Pokai66 on (December 5, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

OMG, Sachin finally scored some runs. Who cares if it is on flat wicket eh? He made a career of batting on such wickets. Cook will need to be careful on the first hour, afterwards batting will become easy. Indian bowlers like their batsman's are meek anyways.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 5, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

this match will also go like mumbai test . india will be rolled out for 320 tommorow , england will score 450 , india will score 200 in second innngs ,england will chase 60 runs for no loss . england win by 10wkts (again) even after losing toss( again). dhoni will blame pitch for the defeat & the poor curator will lose his job .

Posted by CricketBirbal on (December 5, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

@BDForever: Yes, you have answered yourself. Still 4 days to go. Please comment thereafter. May not require 4 days too. Waiting for your answer on 8th Dec!!!

Posted by challagalla on (December 5, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Whats happening to our batsmen. Another poor show today. Three batsmen gifting away their wickets. Not done. I only hope our bowlers lift themselves up tomorrow and restrict England to under 300. Allow them a big lead and the match is over. Winning the toss was a big bonus wasted away.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

The series ain't over it,lot of cricket to be played yet.Don't write team India off.India is in transition mode and in form players throwing their wickets away does't help either.Openers should be dropped....period.The team is carrying so many players.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Our batsmen have floundered again, this pitch is really good, get a feeling that the english batsmen will make merry here, we should have made 400 minimum, going to be tough unless Zaheer can make an impact, and i was surprised with Anderson's performance today, he has never done well in the subcontinent but had a terrific day today!!

Posted by SamRoy on (December 5, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke Seriously, about umpiring decisions, don't exaggerate. Atleast 15 decisions have gone against India in the first two tests and the biggest beneficiary, Alaistair Cook. Yes Yuvraj was lucky with a couple going his way and if there was DRS India might have won in Mumbai.

Posted by Tama_Pokai66 on (December 5, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

no wonder test cricket is dying in india. they keep persisting and making these lifeless pitches, which produces tame draws and allows club cricketer's to score runs, which they wouldn't be able to do in tough conditions. england did well to bowl well in such flat pitches. hope they beat the indians like they did in england. do it again boys. cook and kp will be the key.

Posted by ampshare on (December 5, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

India are still in this game but only because they won the toss and batted first. Enlgand has neutralised that advantage.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

It's just one day so far but I do think that some of the less considerate India fans who were saying that Anderson could only bowl in helpful conditions at home probably owe us a bit of an apology. This is how he bowled in UAE too. He's definitely a class bowler and has shown it today.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

It's a bit ominous for England to see Tendulkar finding a bit of form. He looked scratchy early but credit to him for toughing it out and looking more like his old self later on. Kohli's lack of form is big concern and if Pujara has gone off the boil too then all the responsibility may fall back on the shoulders of the seniors. Too soon to write off Pujara after just a couple of poor innings but Kohli just doesn't look up to it at the moment. Finn hasn't had a big impact but I still think it was the right thing to bring him in. With Anderson looking the business, India will be hoping for a lift from Zaheer and Ishant too. That's a bit of an unknown at the moment though.

Posted by uvikash on (December 5, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

Friends, Please don't have any high hopes here. Tomorrow morning India will not be able to past 300 .. If some one (Zaheer, Ojha) bats well we can just reach 300-310 but not more than that. And as far as Dhoni goes, He will either be not out scoring 10-15 more runs or will be out in first few overs itself. India needs to seriously think about their batting. None of the batsmen are performing consistently. Except Pujara no big hundred from any batsman either. We know our bowling strength ;)...... We can only win or draw a test match if our batsman can score big... Else this series will result in India's worst defeat in test bilateral test series

Posted by gnat9 on (December 5, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

Apparently there is reverse swing on offer with the old ball. Zaheer Khan will be licking his lips in anticipation.

Posted by CricketBirbal on (December 5, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

India I Innings- 324 England I Innings-237 India II Innings- 339 England II Innings- 226

India win by 200 Runs

Posted by prabachris on (December 5, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

1, Indian openers are vulnarable now 2,sewag is not playing big innings nowadays. 3,tendulkar,kohli,Dhoni out of form now 4,dont know why yuvraj is in the team. 5,current Indian spinner are very ordinary. 6, no world class fast bowlers in Indian side. 7,dravid and laxman gone form test cricket. 8, dhoni lacking his captaincy form. so lot of things happening at the moment in indian cricket. so indian cricket fans have to wait and see in the future.Currently for the next 6 months My strong advice for indian fans is better watch only the highlights and switch you mind to watch some other games like tennis etc ..why to break our head by watching and following indian cricket.i knew cricket means a lot to our day today life...

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

I think as of yet Bairstow hasn't shown any real ability against spin. So far this series Patel has had 2 shocking decisions and a Jaffa so can't say whether he is playing spin well or not (historically he has played it well, although not at test level).

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 5, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Many a side would regard losing the toss at this venue of all those used for Tests on this tour as a sign that fate had conspired against them (again!) & that they were destined to lose to the home side, the acknowledged experts on these tracks. Fortunately, this Eng side doesn't believe in following the script that so many Indian posters seem to be addicted to airing in these threads (did I read yesterday how someone wearing a patch over one eye said Panesar was gonna be manhandled at Kolkata?). Instead of going meekly down the predestination route, Cook & his men are very happy tearing up the local sages' book, proving the experts wrong & writing their own script. Only an aged Tendulkar, playing like a dutiful artisan not the artist of old, saved India from ignominy today. He showed application & character; the rest played as if they'd read the wrong script, believing the hype (again!). There is much to be said for ignoring the so-called experts.They just look silly most of the time.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (December 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Tendulakar has always been overrated by the Indians as he is from Mumbai while Dravid certainly better than Tendulkar is not as valued by the Indians. Statistically not much to choose in between, but closer examination will show that Dravid performed better and more consistently under pressure situations.

Don't expect much batting from the remaining 3 wickets as Dhoni has been underperforming consistently. It is a matter to what extent England can exploit weak Indian pace and spin bowling to go 2-1 up in the series. India is pitiful.

Posted by BDforever on (December 5, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

OMG minnows already 7 down. I don't know how they can survive without losing rest of their 13 wickets in next 4 days

Posted by prabachris on (December 5, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

in england, india lost and in Australia, india lost , and even in india home ground and home pitches will india lose this series ? well if it happen , indian criciket fans including myself have to accept that because of inform old aged players and some (may be) ego problems within the team and also because of very very ordinary bowling ( we dont have even a single world class fast bowler in our side). better to Watch only the highlights and forget it .

Posted by 5udh33r on (December 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

England should stop playing cricket.India still managed 271 .3 more to go!!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

I'm not getting carried away with any thoughts of England domination just yet but I'd certainly give them the edge on the day. That last wicket of Ashwin was very important because they are now into the tail with only the relatively out-of-form Dhoni for company. England had a bit of luck with some of the wickets but they worked hard and bowled relatively well. Possibly the most encouraging sign though is the fact that, barring Finn's blemish in fumbling when Ashwin should have been run out, they were very good in the field. Samit Patel deserves special mention for apparently having worked hard on his fielding and doing a fine job. If England can restrict India to not much over 300 or even below, which is not out of the question with a brand new ball against the tail, then they won't be feeling too much pressure when they come out to bat. This pitch sounds more like Ahmedabad than Mumbai but hopefully England bat better than their first innings of the series.

Posted by BDforever on (December 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

OMG minnows already 7 wickets down. Now they can't even bat on their own flat pitches

Posted by malepas on (December 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

I'm afraid not looking good for India at the moment,,they playing like they have caught like a rabbit in head light,,very nervous and no convection at all,,England seems to have more agressive streak and they gonna come hard on India and on current form,,I'm afraid India will lose,,they are carrying too many out of form players in this team,,Tendulker innings was very ugly as he was begging for runs,,I think he should take a leaf from Pontings book and take the hounarable decision to retire,,we don't like to see him playing like that. The only chance India has now is to take the Cook and KP out quickly and they can stage a come back,,otherwise,,it will be all over for them..did somebody said 4-0 to India??Cricket is very strange thing,,it come back and bite you very hard,,we have seen this many a time..Kohli for instance started to think himself a new Tendulkar,,now he is been put to his place..

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

like I had mentioned in my other posts that if tendulkar plays with open face he'll score he did so & succeded

Posted by Kemcho on (December 5, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

The way England have bounced back after the defeat in Amdavad is remarkable. It is without dout a high quality team and the current Indian team will struggle against any quality team. Sad thing is that there are no up and coming youngsters to fill in either in batting or bowling. All the youngsters of India are lost in the glamour and glitz of a third rate TV programme called IPL. I doubr very much whether India will ever be a force to reckon with, whether at home or away, in test cricket. We the fans are really sad at this reality.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

I have a feeling that ishant Sharma will play a huge role this test match. He is at his best when underestimated. Ask ponting:)

Posted by Akshita29 on (December 5, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

@CRICKETMAAN its not all about umpiring . Toss has gone India's way every match and India have had best of conditions in every match thats lucky and probably one thing Dhoni is doing well to win the toss and thats a huge advantage in India . And BCCI Should bring DRS . NO DRS doesnot make a good viewing . In the 1st test 12 dcsns were wrong . Many in the 2nd test . We saw Faf got a chance to save a test match due to DRS after he was given out wrongly twice . Some decisions would go in India's favour and some would go in opposition's fovour if there is no DRS. But having DRS we could have poor decisions to a minimal with the help of technology . But whatever happened Yuvraj got a life and he should have made full use of it and score big like Cook did . I don't think he should be playing test cricket at all. Rahane should get a look in . Good bowling by England though. Zaheer and Ishant have to take wickets to keep India in the match. If England gets a big lead we are doomed .

Posted by Akshaythekaxk on (December 5, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

@micheal still he has three times the runs than your world class batsmen

Posted by ADI_GUNGALIYA_FANTASY on (December 5, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

One of good innings from sachin. I liked the 4 he hit to panesar.

I think india has to go and make 350 + runs.

Crack r there on pitch,I think england might get allout under 250 runs.

India r on strong position as i think.

Lets see what happen.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 5, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

I think England have done well today . Hopefully England mop up rest in morning it looks pitch difficult to score runs on. Hopefully if England batsmen can dig in and score I'd say advantage us. But tests is swing and roundabouts

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

good day of test cricket...yeah..long live test cricket.

Posted by on (December 5, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

What is the point of England selecting Patel? They didn't bowl him, and if they wanted a batsman then Bairstow was the obvious choice.

I'm sure that if Bresnan had been in the side instead of Patel, Cook would have thrown him the ball as soon as it started reversing.

Where's the logic of picking Patel?

Posted by stormy16 on (December 5, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Not sure what is going on there but India are already chasing a must win game - which they might still do - but got themselves in to a corner on day 1. I dont understand why the Indian batters are struggling at home, sure it quality bowling (this is after all the previous number 1 team) but India cannot bat outside Asia! This is not a debate but a fact and for those of you have forgotten check the last 8 test away. The thinking was that India would make up at home - AKA flat track bullies - but they are struggling at home too. India have only one way out of this - scramble to 350+ tomorrow then hope their bowlers can run through Eng. For Eng the plan should be to bat big once. If it gets in to a shoot out of 350 like scores, Eng have to bat last which wont be fun.

Posted by Mike_Tyson on (December 5, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Eng on top, another early wicket tomorrow and we should get Ind all out for under 300.

I agree with what Dhoni was saying before the match, a turning wicket would have definitely provided better cricket.

On another note, some fans really make me laugh, even if Sachin had scored 200, people would have said it's a flat wicket and doesn't really count, if he had scored quicker, they still woiuld have said it's a flat wicket. If he had got a duck, people would say he's well past it. He got 70 odd runs for gods sake when others around him including the young guns flopped (Kohli has been flopping for a while in tests) Some will just never be satisfied, he's close to the end, I'm sure he knows that, just give the record a break as it's getting tiresome and boring reading the same old comments. Ind need to start also focussing on the other non performing batsman, of which there are a few.

Posted by baranasai on (December 5, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Ithink It is englands day.Indian batsmen have squandered a good chance of scoring 450-500 runs atleast -it is a score which is expected of the first team to bat. Now all the earlier batsmen have doine very little-including Shewag Kohli Yuvraj and others. It is left to Captain Dhoni to do some respectabilty in the first innings score which will decide which team is going to win/already the England bowlers have established their supremacy-it is left to Last few indian batsmen to give some support to MSD/again I dont think ndian bowlers will do any better than what they did before whether they had omitted Bhajji or not.Zac s uselss as well as Ishant/Ashwin and Ojha will not contain them as they did not in their last 2 innings.I predict 480 for England after Indians all out for 300 and the rets will be polishing off the Indian second innings for 200 plus runs-I predict a solid 7-8 wicket for England again may be more -iam not ppessimistic-I predicted the lst match correctly as well

Posted by Nerk on (December 5, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

There was little in the wicket. Most of the movement came through the air. There was little bounce, not much turn and most balls went straight on. Anderson and Finn got swing and bounce through their hard work, not from any help from the pitch. India's batsmen should have done better. Having said that, they have 273 more runs than England, and the true state of the wicket may be shown when it is their turn to bat. The lack of movement off the seam and the consistent bounce does suggest a belter though.

Posted by Vasunigam on (December 5, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

After so much Hue n cry over pitch in last few days finally we have seen a traditional eden pitch assisting fast bowlers on first day or two.Falling of wickets to pacers was inevitable once there is little movement of the pitch & some reverse swing in the second half of play. Nevertheless any score more than 375 will be good first inning score followed by good & disciplined bowling. Again 4th innings will be played by England & definitely pitch will offer some turn & bounce on 4th & 5th day (provided India bat for long hours in 2nd innings) so key for India will be * Score about 375 runs in first innings. * Get england out cheaply or atleast don't concede lead more than 30-35 runs. * Bat sincerely & set target of more than 300. * Bowl there heart out to get 2-1 lead in the series. Isn't it simple to sayyy.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Dhoni should just go and accumulate the runs with his fire power hitting skills, this would favor india's chances in two aspects: 1.) India can reach 350 plus. 2.) It will boost the morale of entire 11 bunch after accumulating 80-90 runs with tail enders and at the same time this will frustrate Cook and his boys which can benefit Dhoni and his boys while Eng starts their first Inning. Hope Dhoni goes this way and we see a complete game changer tomorrow.

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 5, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

Certainly looks like a good day for England but hard to judge until both sides have batted once. They've done especially well given Swann hasn't been feeling right (apparently). @ CricketMaan - I wish you good luck with your task of picking through all the mistakes in favour of both sides this series and bringing us a final and fair decision in your wisdom on whether it has balanced out or not. Of course it would be good to have technology supporting the umpires but the BCCI always gets what it wants and at least it's the same scenario for both sides in this series.

Posted by Tigg on (December 5, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@bhrangi: He's all but 40 and had to scratch around on a flat pitch for 70 odd. Hardly convincing. The fact that others failed doesn't hide the fact that he's far from the player he used to be and should be replaced with youth. Let him be remembered for what he was.

@baskar_guha Don't confuse relentless accuracy and skill for 'something in the pitch. It's flat, there's been next to no pace, deviation off the seam or bounce. Jimmy in particular has bowled with his usual skill and has, finally, been rewarded for consistency. But I agree, a first innings lead will be key (although i'd expect to to really break up on day 4). If England can polish India off for around 300-320 and then bat for a day and a half they will be in the box seat.

Posted by dineshrdk on (December 5, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

What an innings by Sachin Tendulkar today? If he got a good partnership in the afternoon then the match would clearly in India's hand.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

All depends on tommorow's first session. If England will be able to wrap up the Indian tail early, they have day 2 and day 3 to play. Perhaps the best 2 days of a test match to bat

Posted by sumit176 on (December 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

another lost cause for india,,,,,,this team needs massive overhaul in test cricket

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

lol, tendulker finally gets some runs. not surprising it's on a flat wicket though. lol. sachin is the most overrated player in world cricket. praised by the indian media but in reality, he is not a match winner nor a player who can perform on pressure situations. overrated and ordinary.

Posted by Nandu_Athadu on (December 5, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

If Sachin doesnt score he is out of form and should retire and if scores then it is flat wicket..blah blah...come on...I am fed up of these kind of comments...Today he scored and everyone is stating that it is flat wicket hence he why are the other batsmen in the team couldnt score when it is a flat wicket...give some respect where it is due...he played good today...and you cant expect him to score century in every appearance....peace..

Posted by Hammond on (December 5, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

Well bowled England, now rack up a huge score on the second day and roll them in their second innings.

Posted by SamRoy on (December 5, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

I think Indian spinners will easily allow England to score more than 400 on this wicket(maybe even 500). So unless India get upto 350 tomorrow (which looks unlikely) it's pretty much game over for India. The only thing that might encourage India is that there is a little bit of reverse happening for fast bowlers. Advantage definitely with England and high time India say good bye to Tendulkar and Yuvraj. Tendulkar was very lucky to score 76 with so plays and misses. And Yuvraj neither has temperament nor technique for test cricket. For a person who averages less than 35 after 40 tests (mostly in Asia) is a bad test batsman for me.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

well,sachin didn't score a century india still has a chance of winning the test....without a good opening partnership indians never score big...thats a problem...its up to our bowlers now....

Posted by bhrangi on (December 5, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

OMG !!! .,.,If sachin scores or not ? talks about sachin wont stop. Can u please use your brain? Just throw your hatred and think about others performance, our batsmen(youngsters!!!!) are failing in our home pitches Come on don't blame sachin for this also.,LOL. Actual reason is our players lost their temperament for tests.most of our batsmen were not fit for test, as some fans wanted sachin will retire one day that day you guys will realize, sachin is not sole reason for loses and we will target some other i think most probably Dhoni is next . I don't know how these so called fans/ kids sitting in front of their PC / TV and accurately judge the pitch amazing., when pitch curator said different about the pitch.

Posted by SamRoy on (December 5, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

I think Indian spinners will easily allow England to score more than 400 on this wicket(maybe even 500). So unless India get upto 350 tomorrow (which looks unlikely) it's pretty much game over for India. The only thing that might encourage India is that there is a little bit of reverse happening for fast bowlers. Advantage definitely with England and high time India say good bye to Tendulkar and Yuvraj. Tendulkar was v

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 5, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

SRT-bashers : flat pitch? why couldn't other batsmen score runs? and why don't you zip it until ENG bats?

Posted by Boston_Legal on (December 5, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

Great day for England. Monty looked full of intent in the morning. Also got a very very lucky runout without which we would be looking at the score of 300 odd for not too many by close. As far as India is concerned, their best three men today were three of the 4-5 players the fans insist should be dropped or retire, so that tells a lot about their batting.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 5, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

Great bowling by Anderson. Seems to be quite a good sub-continental wicket, a bit there for the quicks, spinners and batsmen.

Posted by PiyushD on (December 5, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

I fear India loosing this Test series.Indian Test team is badly out of form, more so batsmen, struggling to cross 300 consistently, many might not agree but there are very few test players and a lot of ODI and T-20s in this team. 1st Test , if not for Pujara India would have been 2 down by now.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

if india give them a target of about 300 to eng in 4th inning,,,eng will loose and if eng able to score 300+ or 400 runs in 1st inning than game over for india...

Posted by colc on (December 5, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

England's day. Good attritional, grinding Test cricket, I doubt it Tendulkar has ever scored a more ugly half century, but credit to him for sticking in there. Finn was a lightle disappointing, but apart from that, all of the bowlers seemed to have things under control, especially Anderson. Monty seems to have a new celebration on taking a wicket!

Posted by colossalcricketer on (December 5, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

We should rest Zaheer and play Umesh Yadav if he's fit for the next match and we should rest yuvi and play Rahane for the next match !!

Posted by colossalcricketer on (December 5, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

We just need a few good fast bowlers otherwise 300 is not that bad a score to defend...Sachin was just in some poor form and he's regained it...There's a saying Form is temporary but class is permanent...Gotta praise the English bowling attack though...Especially Monty and Anderson...!Wish India had a few bowlers like England and South Africa have! We gotta understand the fact that sometimes its the batsmen and sometimes its the bowlers who win matches but the latter is a rare phenomenon for India.Well played Tondulkar!

Posted by sivatejasharma on (December 5, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

msd whould go with aggressive mode atleast from if not now not any more batting with tail enders let us see

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

If this is a totally dead and flat pitch as you say on earth??? Jimbo could take wickets........guess u have to check before writing

Posted by cricwick on (December 5, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

Now that Sachin batted well, these self-appointed critics can eat their words.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Well bowled England, India should not be content with the way they batted. Batsmen all got themselves in, then got complacent/lazy, and fell to some soft dismissals

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 5, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

This is not a flat track. Offers something for the quicks and will start breaking up day 3 to aid the spinners. England has bowled well to restrict India to less than 300. India has to bowl to their potential when England bat in their first innings to stay in this test. A lead of 50 or more for either side would be match winning.

Posted by Gautham0075 on (December 5, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

273/7 at stumps on day 1. Its been a great day. A lot depends on Dhoni.

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 5, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

to whoever wrote this - ' How would this series be different if India weren't getting all the luck and beneffiting from so many bad umpiring decisions?'..this series would be well and truly over, if Cook was rightly adjudged lbw on 41 in Mumbai!!

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 5, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

Some perspective please!!! Flat as pancake pitch and Tendulkar scored a scratchy 70 odd. I think even if Gavaskar had padded up on this pitch today, he would have got 30-40 odd easily.

Posted by richardror on (December 5, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

If England had one any of these tosses it could be 2-0. Especially if panesar was playing in the first test. England on top day 1 despite losing the toss once more.

Posted by UsmanAnsari on (December 5, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

all Sachin needed was a dead flat track to score some runs... indeed hez a legend

Posted by venbas on (December 5, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Except for Pujara whose last 2 innings including this one is a bit of concern, the others are just downright club or school cricket level inconsistent. Now how can the selectors throw out 10 of the 11 blokes on the field. Trust Srinivasan to come up another deft tackle to counter this so called performance issue :)

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 5, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

So sachin sored he only delaying inevitable yes he was one of greatest batsmen in cricket but he is pasted it. And for all you who think I'm bashing him I'm not I respect him for what he achieved but it time to leave for good of your side as it hard enough having replace two of your middle order mainstays looks you found quality replacement for dravid which no easy feat but you still need sachin replacement and laxman which was quality batting unit with sehwag ghambhir opening

Posted by bhrangi on (December 5, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

@Sachin bashers : Yeah its scratchy innings and its flat dead pitch yes whatever since sachin scored these all will come into picture now. Can we stop his retirement talks and discuss about others performance ( Dhoni as of now good, Yuvaraj , Kohli )? @ other team fans : Thanks for your concern about sachin and indian team can u please excuse us? It is IND vs ENG series and Sachin is indian batsmen.

Posted by rashmi4cricket on (December 5, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

Well played Sachin. But hard luck not to get 3 figures.

Posted by here2rock on (December 5, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

76 from Sachin on a dead track is not enough to keep him in the side, when he scores nowdays that means that a pitch is a belter. India is in deep trouble here.

Posted by DylanBrah on (December 5, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

Hold your horses chaps; this 76 means nothing if he goes for a duck next innings.

Posted by bhrangi on (December 5, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Sachin scored., can we look at other non performers now ?

Posted by bluestar555 on (December 5, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

What will Tendulkar bashers say today! Guys good news is He has started scoring and there no better run machine then Tendulkar in the whole world.

Posted by Captain_Crick on (December 5, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

England on top with a disciplined bowling performance. If they could score a healthy first innings lead, they're well on course to win this test match.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 5, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

Have to say - even though I said beforehand I was not that bothered - I somehow find the recall of Bell irking me. And funnily enough as I started typing this Nick Knight has a few words on the subject on how difficult a dilemma the selectors had re choosing who out of Jonny or Patel should make way for Bell reappearing? Personally I'd have had Jonny in above Patel but my main point is why does anyone have to make way for a player whoes average in SC/SC conditions is so poor? Having said that the one good thing is that Bell is coming back into a side who just won their last test but while I'm all for dropping Broad (even though Finn has contributed little so far and I don't think he's as great as many seem to make out) it seems than Bell is now officially thee most golden of England's players

Posted by Semoli on (December 5, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

Paper tigers,absolute waste of time.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Yuvraj out twice before scoring. India winning every toss. How would this series be different if India weren't getting all the luck and beneffiting from so many bad umpiring decisions?

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Well played Sachin. Finn very very disappointing, bowling no faster than Anderson.

Posted by Resultpredictor on (December 5, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

I thnk Tendulkar is back in form, expecting a hundred from Master Blaster.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

So much for Finns "extra pace". Bowled no faster than Anderson. Pitch a joke. What dud the groundsman say? " it will have pace and bounce"? Really? Hate to see what he considers a low slow pitch then.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 5, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

Well bowled England. On a totally flat, dead pitch. SRT looks very scratchy.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 5, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

Panesar is on a roll once again..When Pakistan batsmen were against Panesar,i thought that Pak batting is pathetic.But Indian Batsmen so called (Great players of Spinners) are not that much different from us lol.See how Indian batsmen are dancing on his bowling :P Go Panesar Take the remaining wickets & win the series. PS->It seems that today Tendulkar woke up after a long time :P

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 5, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

Everyone remembers how Anderson turned his career around from being a master on green tops o becoming a master on flat decks. Well he's certainly at it again, supreme skills from surely the best fast bowler in the world at the moment. Yuraj survives two plumb LBW's, Why is i the BCCI are against DRS again? Fear of playing on a level playing field that's why. How utterly shameful for them not to support the playing of the game where good bowling is rewarded, instead a batsman can stand in front of the stumps, block the ball with his pats without fear of being given out. Shameful.

Posted by richardror on (December 5, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

Yuvraj was out LBW when he was on 0 and 1. First one was plum in front. Second one marginal but out. It's horrible we should be forced to watch this embarrassing DRS lacking test.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

For Sachin, I would like to say, Please retire now. Because after playing 193 test matches and scoring 15500+ runs, YOU're still playing an ordinary batsman. Being a great batsman and known by little master, your team losing match with margin. After haing 20+ year international career, if you can't play exceptionally, then please give try some new youngster "AS YOU GOT CHANCE". I am really sick after watching his slow and scaring batting. "There is a reason why SA's gave guard of honor to PUNTER."

Posted by Malvino on (December 5, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

So, a draw in Kolkata, with centuries a-plenty to boost averages... then on to Nagpur for the series decider where the road-flat wicket will start to crack on day three and set up a thrilling final session on day 5 as the cracks turn into ravines. Everyone hails this as the best test series ever in the history of mankind, and Tendulkar retires after making a matchwinning 50 off 30 balls. Hurrah!

Posted by pitch_curator on (December 5, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

Based on first session, the pitch does not look like it is going to last the distance. Already there is uneven bounce. This will be the undoing of the batsmen from days 2 and 3.

Posted by chomaskandar on (December 5, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

India will definitely win the match.In this match i will except sachin,dhoni will score 100..

Posted by AswinSP on (December 5, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

Sehwag run out was mostly his own fault. There was the third run, agreed. Replays showed both of them ran the first two runs as the same pace. But there was no reason for Sehwag to hurry for the third so early in the innings.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (December 5, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

what a boring test match. pathetic pitches.

Posted by Yorks1 on (December 5, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

Patel ahead of Prior in batting order and still in the team ahead of Bairstow. As John McEnroe would have elequently screamed "You cannot be serious". They must be really relying on his bowling and realise that he is an all rounder of world prominence!! I guess Vaughan has also written enough about Bell and Bell talked about himself enough that Cook and Co listened. Pathetic.

Posted by Akshita29 on (December 5, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

I dont know what kind of pitch Dhoni needed but this is exactLy what INDIA needed. Now if Sehwag scores big there would be difficult times for Eng as cook can't win the toss at the moment. If Sehwag scores big he will give Dhoni enough time to force a win.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

Great!! finally Indians' get well deserved home advantage.

Posted by tmoulik on (December 5, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

Asok Dinda can retire from International Cricket, same for Manoj Tiwary. They will never get a chance to play in the Indian XI. Better to concentrate on domestic cricket & IPL shrugging off the mental pressures due to expectations.

Posted by chokkashokka on (December 5, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Alright - time to see some action at the mecca of world cricket - Eden gardens. All raise as Viru takes court.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

It seems players outside sub-continent are getting used to with slow-low spinning tracks day by day. But when sub-continent players go abroad, they still struggle in seaming / bouncy conditions (except for some legendary cricketers).

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (December 5, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

Does Dhonni ever lose a toss? I think we need to see if he is using a double headed coin ;)

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