India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day December 5, 2012

Broad dropped, Tendulkar caught

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening day in Kolkata

Omission of the day
England's decision to prefer Steven Finn over Stuart Broad for this Test might mark a watershed moment in the careers of both men. Not only was it the first time that Finn, at 23 the coming force in England's fast bowling, was preferred to Broad, but it was the first time that Broad had been dropped since 2008 when, under the captaincy of Kevin Pietersen, he was omitted for the Test in Chennai. For England's Twenty20 captain and the vice-captain of this tour it marks an abrupt moment of clarity in a career that had, at one stage, seemed destined for greater things.

Mix-up of the day
Batting had looked relatively comfortable in the morning session. India's openers appeared to have seen off the new ball and were on the brink of a fifty partnership when Virender Sehwag clipped one off his toes. Having run a comfortable two, he embarked on a third run only to find that his partner, Gautam Gambhir, had remained rooted at the other end and was watching the ball. Sehwag, despite being around two thirds of the way down the pitch, was forced to turn in hope of regaining his ground but was well beaten by a strong throw. If India would rue the self-inflicted injury, England could also congratulate themselves on some committed fielding. Samit Patel, not renowned as one of the better athletes in the side, produced a long run and diving save to stop the ball going to the boundary, while Finn, backing him up, produced the hard, accurate throw to Matt Prior to complete the run-out.

Milestone of the day
The shot may have been unobtrusive, merely a flick into the leg side for a single off Monty Panesar, but when Sachin Tendulkar scored his second run he became the first man to reach 34,000 runs in international cricket. Coming into this match with 15,562 runs in Test cricket, 18,426 in ODIs and a token 10 in T20Is, Tendulkar has now scored nearly 7,000 more runs than Ricky Ponting, who is second in the combined table of all international runs. Ponting scored 27,483. Tendulkar also later became just the second man, after Brian Lara, to pass 2,500 Test runs in Tests against two teams, in both cases Australia and England. Whatever his recent trials and tribulations, those statistics underlined Tendulkar's immense achievements over more than 20 years. It is hard to believe anyone will ever overhaul such a record.

Decision of the day
India had lost three wickets for 48 runs by the time that Yuvraj Singh came to the crease. At 136 for 4, England sensed blood and India were in danger of failing to make use of winning another important toss. Before he had scored, Yuvraj was trapped on the front pad by one that swung back into him from James Anderson. Umpire Rod Tucker turned down England's appeal, perhaps believing that the batsman was hit outside the line, though replays suggested that Yuvraj could count himself fortunate to survive. He survived another huge leg before shout when he was on one, this time off Graeme Swann, just a few minutes later. Had either decision gone against India, they would have been five down with fewer than 140 on the board. As it was the fifth-wicket pair of Yuvraj and Tendulkar added 79 runs to lead India to safer ground.

Key moment of the day
For much of Tendulkar's innings, batting had been a real struggle. As he passed 50, however, he began to rediscover his fluency and produced one vintage drive through extra cover off Panesar that suggested he could build his side a strong position in the game. With India threatening to move into the ascendancy at 230 for 5, however, a new spell from Anderson brought the breakthrough. Tendulkar, half forward to one that held its own, could only edge the ball and was very well held by a diving Prior behind the stumps. The game was in the balance once more.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sharon on December 6, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    @ Chris_P - I agree. Swann and Panesar have exposed the Indian weakness against spin. The shock of this is obviously too much for some India follower to take. Anderson and Finn have exposed India weakness against pace. In fact - England have exposed India weakness on all front. Marvelous to behold.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    About time Broad was dropped. he has had priviliges afforded him that few other cricketers have had.

  • vivek on December 6, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Another meaningless statistic - 34000 across different forms of the game. People seem to forget that the only statistic that matters is how much the team wins. How does it matter if one batsman scored x number of runs during his career? Would it make any difference to the team if there were two batsmen who scored x/2 runs each with each playing for half the time Tendulkar played? This focus on personal statistics is the worst and most useless legacy of Tendulkar. His best statistics are his crucial ODI innings like those against Pakistan, in world cups, etc, and those in Tests like in Cape Town, Chennai, Perth, etc. Lets not bother with stupid stats like averages and totals.

  • Sanga on December 6, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    if kohli is out of form, the only way he can get his form back is playing Sri Lanka.. Come on BCCI lets organize a 3 test and 5 ODI series against Sri Lanka so all the Indian batsmen can get into form and Sachin can score a few more centuries and the bowlers can get into form too...

    oh i am Sri lankan

  • Prince on December 6, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Kohli is out of soughts.... looks like a shadow of what he was last year. he should be sent back to domestic cricket to regain form. .... there are other youngsters knocking the door...

    i am not a fan of R. jadeja... but looks like he is in the form of his like and should be given an oppurtunity...

    Sachin will paly until he plans to retire... regardless of his form...

  • Peter on December 6, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    @JG2704. I wouldn't waste my time responding to bigwonder. I seriously doubt he has even seen a live cricket game let alone understood it. I just don't understand why good efforts can't be acknowledged by opposition supporters?

  • Matthew on December 6, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    Got to love some of the comments from the Indian fans on this article so far. The sour grapes in their writing is quite apparent. "England bowled poorly" and Swann and Panesar not being "great bowlers" are quite funny comments to read. Firstly, the pitch was benign and wickets came due to good pressure from the Englnd bowling attack and a lack of application from most of the Indian line-up bar Tendulkar (and Gambhir for a spell). Secondly, Panesar and Swann have bowled well as a unit so far and have been far better in that respect than Ojha and Ashwin. I've always rated Ojha and he's been the best Indian bowler but Ashwin needs to buck up or he'll get dropped.

  • Sharon on December 5, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    @JG2704 hello friend. He is serial offender... this thrashing India got at Mumbai has affected the grape harvest. India follower are past master at ignoring fact. Even inventing some fact sometime. India so desperate they now are referring to Pakistan beating England earlier this year. That is how desperate they are. Swann and Panesar take 19 wicket in a game away from their England home - yet somehow these are not great bowler - ? If India bowler had done this India follower would be doing cartwheel. We were told repeatedly for year now that it only count if it in India - now that it IS in India - it STILL doesn't count. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

  • Ashok on December 5, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    I am amazed at the heading. Neither should come as a surprise. Broad has not bowled well for several matches & is also not 100% fit. Hence dropped! Finn's inclusion is also a risk because of his recovery might not be 100%. As for Sachin, his getting caught is no surprise either. Sachin finally scores may be a better heading. Of all the plays of the day one that did make a huge difference to the score was Sehwag's run out. I think it was the turning point of the innings. Sehwag was playing very well & was just getting into his attacking mode when Gambhir's bad call ended it all. He had already put Anderson & Finn on their back foot. He was about to start the assault on Panesar with that fine wristy shot to the mid wicket boundary. 3 runs were alway there. Sehwag on the strength of his approach was playing an identical innings to that in Ahmadabad Test century. He rarely starts this cautiously. But when he does he goes for a big score. In my opinion that was the play of the Day 1.

  • Samuel on December 5, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    landl47 - maybe he has a different idea as to what pace and bounce are than we do. Think he could do with a trip to Perth...

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