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

Ishant's bad hair day

Plays of the Day from the third day of the third Test between India and England at Eden Gardens

George Dobell in Kolkata

December 7, 2012

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Ishant Sharma dropped a simple return chance off Alastair Cook, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 3rd day, December 7, 2012
Ishant Sharma will have nightmares about dropping Alastair Cook off his own bowling © BCCI
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Variation of the day
India started well on the third morning. With the pitch still offering them little, they instead concentrated on control and building pressure. It was 11 overs before England, through Alastair Cook, hit a boundary and Jonathan Trott did not manage one until the 15th over of the day. But as soon as R Ashwin produced his carrom ball, the one that spins away from the bat, it released the pressure. Trott, reading it early, leant into a cover drive and helped it with the spin to the boundary. Four more boundaries followed in the next three overs and any hope India had of preventing a large first innings deficit were gone.

Drop of the day
When Ishant Sharma is an old man, he will still wake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat about his dropped catch on the third day here. Sharma, producing a delivery that pitched just back of a length and appeared to stop a little, finally induced a false shot from Cook as the England captain prodded a simple chance back at the bowler. It was as easy a chance as Sharma can have be offered at this level but, somehow, he managed to put it down. Might Sharma's long hair have obscured his view? Cook, who was also dropped the previous day on 17, was on 156 at the time and England were 273-1.

Dismissal of the day
With Cook looking solid - he has batted for 26 hours and three minutes so far this series - and India's catching far from convincing, that India would have to run him out looked increasingly likely. They did just that, but in strange fashion, especially considering that it was the first time that Cook had been run out in 312 first-class innings. Zaheer Khan bowled to Kevin Pietersen, who clipped the ball towards square leg from where Virat Kohli's good, hard throw struck direct at the non-strikers' end. Cook, having left his ground to back up, was on the verge of grounding his bat but, in an attempt to avoid the throw, took a step back down the pitch. The umpires, after checking that Cook had not grounded his bat at any stage, soon adjudged him out. Law 38 (2a) states that a batsman will only be reprieved if "he has been within his ground and has subsequently left it to avoid injury, when the wicket is put down."

Near miss of the day
India's most damaging near miss came in the early moments of Pietersen's innings. MS Dhoni, hoping to take advantage of Pietersen's reputation of uncertainly against left-arm spin and Yuvraj Singh in particular (Yuvraj counts Pietersen as one of his nine Tests wickets and had dismissed him four times in ODIs), soon introduced Yuvraj into the attack. The plan almost worked first ball. Pietersen, on one, attempted to cut a rank wide ball but could only bottom edge the stroke perilously close to his stumps. He survived to score another 50, increasing England's run-rate and lead in the process.

Catch of the day
It took remarkable reflexes from Virender Sehwag to end Samit Patel's innings. Patel, attempting to cut a short one that turned and bounced sharply from the left-arm spin of Ojha, could only get a thick edge on the ball. Sehwag, at first slip, stuck out his right hand sharply, parried the ball into the air and completed an impressive catch. The wicket must have provoked mixed emotions for India, though. Not only did it suggest the pitch was starting to deteriorate quite markedly, but it underlined the folly of Sehwag not being in the slips on the second day when Cook, in 17, was put down by Pujara.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 8, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

What's this nonsense talk of sportsmanship for? A bowler bowls a noball by just an inch but cleans up the batsman. Will the batting team be gracious enough to say, "oh that's ok, he was just over by an inch and asks the batsman to come back to the dressing room"? Rules are there for exactly these kinds of situations (Cook's dismissal) so that there are no grey areas. So, where's the question of bad or good sportsmanship when rules are formulated to address these contexts? If sportsmanship, good or bad, is (y)our recourse, then definitely the inventors wouldn't have taken the pains to formulate solutions (rules) for these contexts and must have left it to the players on the field. Isn't it? But they didn't do any such thing. How hard is that to understand? People need to check their heads and understand the utility of rules before dishing out utter garbage. Talk of good or bad sportsmanship is a crying shame and is mocking at the collective intelligence of people who respect rules.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

There are lot of emotional selections like rushing Yuvi, Harbhajan, Ishant.. lets hope for some good selections based on current form and not on past laurels.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

India is not very far from 11 losses from their last 12 test matches!! when they are gonna turn around this downward spiral??

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Team India should do something to bring in some luck for so called unlucky bowler Ishant!! After 45 test matches is he still unlucky?

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 8, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

People like @myStraightTalk and @Naresh28 either don't understand the game of cricket, or like majority of Indian fans living in denial. Sure, bowlers win matches, but batsmen lose matches. This was a 500 run pitch. Our batsmen put the team in a compromising position by scoring only 300 runs on a 500 run pitch. myStraightTalk still thinks India has a chance to win this match. What planet is he from?

Posted by Ross_Co on (December 8, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

@PFEL -More than a little hypocritical for moans about sportsmanship to be coming from supporters of a team responsible for the shenanigans in Cardiff in 2009 and Prior's 'stumping' in the SA series just past - to name just two.

Posted by PFEL on (December 8, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

I just saw the cook dismissal, and i suppose according to the rules out is out, but i can't help but be incredibly dissapointed in sportsmanship of the Indians and Dhoni in particular. It seems every match Dhoni is involved with something controversial, as far as sportsmanship is concerned.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 8, 2012, 0:04 GMT)

@Naresh28, you are wrong. Bowlers don't lose you matches in test cricket. Batsmen do. Bowlers win the matches and batsmen lose the matches. If bowlers aren't good, they may not win matches for you. Batsmen are the ones who should defend the team from losses and when you are losing so badly, something has to be wrong with the batting. It's the batsmen's job to make sure that we don't lose the matches by making sure that they set up good to high scores. We batted first on a pitch conducive for batting and then failed to put up 500!!!! The batsmen are going scot-free with below normal performances on a batting pitch and you are asking bowlers to perform above their potential on a pitch conducive to batting?? Check it again. It's the Indian batsmen who are losing us matches with their below par for the course performances.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 7, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

I have no doubt that it's Ishant Sharma's hair that was his undoing. Absolutely indisciplined 'professionals' we have in our team.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 7, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

@FFL, get real. What should Kohli do? Throw the ball wide of the stumps, so that he can avoid hitting the stumps and Cook in the process? Cook made an error of judgment. Simple. You sure would throw the ball away from the stumps and preach that to England players as well right when an opposition batsman is out of his ground? Oh wait a minute, Collingwood was from your country right? Or was he an Indian when he was appealing disgracefully after knocking down the batsman in mid-pitch by one of his bowlers and suddenly became an Englsih player???? Nuff said!

Posted by subbass on (December 7, 2012, 22:57 GMT)

The celebrations were amusing, you'd think they had won the game. Still I guess Cook has tortured them in the field by just batting and batting and batting and.....well, batting ! Still he deserved the double hundred imo so it was a pity he never got the chance to raise his bat again after such a silly and plain unusual dismissal.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 7, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

@SurlyCynic on (December 07 2012, 12:00 PM GMT) You seriously think the ball was deliberately thrown at Cook and therefore it must have been a very lucky throw to hit the stumps? Wow you have a vivid imagination.

Posted by myStraightTalk on (December 7, 2012, 18:59 GMT)

If india bat well and make 150 runs lead then it has a good chance to win.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

India = Bangladesh ....They both are same now....

Posted by Shan156 on (December 7, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, well said re: the Cook dismissal. I am an England supporter too. It was a moment of indiscretion from the Indian captain. He wanted to avoid getting into trouble for obstructing the field but he has no one else to blame other than himself for not grounding his bat first. These things happen in cricket. And, India were fully entitled to the wicket as it was a *clear* runout. No grudges here as well. In fact, even re: the Ian Bell incident in TB, I believed like many other England fans, that he should not have been reinstated. It was a mistake on the batsman's part to assume that the ball was dead before it was. It was gracious on India's part to reinstate the batsman but they cannot be blamed if they did not. Even Bell admitted he was stupid. Coming back to this test, as someone mentioned, Cook had already done the damage and as long as it steels him more for future contests, which I think it would, it would be good for England:-)

Posted by knan on (December 7, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

Outbatted, outfielded, outspun, outreversed - just about sums up what happened to the Indian team. After this performance, a few careers seem to be on the line - starting with Zaheer. Ashwin , Ishant and Yuvraj also likely to be dropped for the next match. If India can take the game to the 5th day, it will be a big achievement . Good time for Bangladesh to tour India and savour a series win here. Ishant, Gambhir and Kohli are probably getting a feel of their own words being shoved down their throats. If Australia can come up with a good spin attack , they can also thrash this Indian team. Prophetic words by Sunny Gavaskar at the start of the series that this is the weakest Indian team in a long time.

Posted by RameshSubramaniam on (December 7, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

Why on earth Cook wanted to backup so much far? Only to take quick single. If he can use that advantage to take quick single, always he has the risk of being run out like this fashion. Sometimes batsman flicks in the front foot, and ball hits the short leg fielder and he ran batsman out. That is called intelligent, but this is not? Cook is tired and lost his concentration for a moment, thats all. These are the days when batsman run between ball and wicket to save themselves, why can't Cook dive? India played poorly and paying the price thats all. Cook made mistake and was run out by accurate throw. Appreciate the fielder, thats all.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

India's attack without doubt the worst bowling attack in the world; Scoring against this attack would not make Mr.Cook any greater. He had a lot to prove against south african pace attack,and the whole world witnessed how great he was agianst a gud attck in his own backyard.Cook- another great of mediocres .

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

Ishant has dropped a caught and bowl chance in Australia also. He is very predictable bowler with very less movement.

Posted by Rohan-Lalpudha on (December 7, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

us Indians need to stop being delusional and acknowledge that we are better than only Bangladesh at the moment. Our bowling is arguably the worst amont the test plaing nations (yes, im including bangladesh as well) and even Pakistan have a better batting line up. We need to follow the route that pakistan are taking in blooding in the youth. Tendulkar is WAYYYY beyond his sell by date, Dhoni is a poor all rounder, sehvag is VERY inconsistent and Kohli is confused. we need to only retain ashwin, kohli, ojha, and pukara. get rid of the rest. Oh where are the Dravids and the Laxmans of this generation?

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Well played England.. let's see, when will they declare???

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

@ Naresh 28.. What do you mean by new blood sir, Almost half the team if new now. People like pujara (young blood) dropping catches, is not working for us. Fitness levels of our players are really low. Our management needs to work on that and make our players work on their fitness. As of now I can see only Virat Kohli with proper fitness in the team. When bowling is letting you down, you fielders need to be more energetic and provide some extra support to the bowlers which will at least have some effect on the bowlers and also will play on the batsman's mind. Taking a team like South Africa, their fielding is something that can pump their team's overall performance when the team is down and out. For that we need fitness and the mindset that even in test cricket leaking a single is a blunder. Our player need to take it seriously.

Posted by yoohoo on (December 7, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

@SurlyCynic - Tendulkar has had more than his share of unlucky dismissals. Infact, most of his dimissals during his golden years of the 90s were either freakish or just biased umpiring. The number of bad decisions that tendulkar got in Aus in the 90s is almost legendary (two neutral umpires started happening only in 2002).

Posted by Rolling_in_The_Deep on (December 7, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

@SurlyCynic.. the possibility you mentioned about Sachin has already taken place during a Pak-India Test match in 1998-99, when Sachin bumped into Shoaib Akhter (the fielder who was backing the throw) and in the process his bat was lifted off the ground and at the sametime, the throw had hit the stumps resulting in a run out.. Sachin had to console the crowd himself and the next day whole stadium was vacated to start off the play..

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (December 7, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

To be fair, England Played outstanding cricket throughout the series, except for one innings in Ahmedabad. For Cooks out, leave it alone, i remember some australian ( is it steve waugh?)was given out, handling a ball! it happens in cricket ( he has already done more than enough damage to the Indian side). At first, our media all reported about " Revenge Series". Yah, it looked like " Revenge Series", though its for England, for India having denied the chance of winning in indian soil for 20+ years. I wonder, if we can survive atleast for tomorrow ( expecting a Rahul + Laxman Innings repeat, now Kohli + Pujara)

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

@If Kohli throws the ball and Cook grounds his bat, the ball ricochets off the stumps for overthrows then people would talk about sloppy fielding when it was clear that there was no chance of a run out, but Cook's moment of indiscretion and drop in concentration changes views.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 7, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

As an England fan, I have no issue with Cook's dismissal. He'd played an excellent innings but, just like flashing at a wide delivery, that was a lapse of concentration. Kohli didn't throw the ball at Cook; he threw it at the stumps, obviously. The fact that Cook's bat was so close to the crease means that he could have grounded it and still not been hit. He made a split-second decision and it was the wrong one. It was an unusual dismissal but there's nothing untoward about it. People will obviously try to draw parallels with Bell's run out in England but I still see that as a different situation. Under the circumstances, I think that India did the right thing to reinstate Bell on that occasion but I wouldn't have held a grudge if they didn't. On this occasion, there's no reason to expect them to allow Cook to continue, regardless of the match situation.

Posted by CaptainPedant on (December 7, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

No complaints here about the Cook run-out - at least *this* time India were plainly trying for the dismissal and not innocently rolling the ball in from the boundary in the hopes the batsman would think it was dead.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 7, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

Funny to see how India can't get Cook out properly. It takes a bizarre moment in cricketing history to send him back o the pavilion, and that's all India have to cheer about as they get rolled over by the far better side, a side fielding far better spinners, far better fast bowlers, superior batsmen and fitness levels.

Posted by Jayco on (December 7, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Batsmen routinely place themselves between the throw and the stumps to avoid being run out and few people complain about this being unfair to the fielding side. Very often people consider what is fair to the bastmen but ignore what is fair to the fielders. What should Kohli have done...aimed wide of the stumps to not risk getting the ball anywhere near the batsman? This is the pinnacle of the game, it is meant to be tough, hard, with careers on the line - it is not a friendly backyard game. Kohli did absolutely nothing wrong, and other indian and english players should expect to play the game hard.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

this guy must be the luckiest bowler in the history of cricket...he keeps getting chances inspite of horrendous performances...he should thank his stars tht hes born in a bowler starved country like india..they argue tht he is unlucky...how can anyone be unlucky throughout the course of his career..ridiculous to stay the least...

Posted by Jimmers on (December 7, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

Slightly disappointing to see someone run out in that way, but it would have been unrealistic for India to revoke the appeal - especially given the match situation. Cook wasn't really genuinely taking a run, and really shouldn't be expected to let the ball hit him - but I bet if you ask him he'd say that missing the 200 hurts more than the ball would have. Still can't take it away from him - a really great innings when it was needed, surely a matchwinner

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Just as NZ wants split captaincy and Ross Taylor stepped out of the test team touring SAF, is the same possible for India too with Dhoni doing the same :)

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

@m0se..this is not the first time that a batsman lost his wicket while dodging the ball,a fielder has every right to aim at the stumps if he thinks there is a chance of batsman's dismissal,its not a gully cricket,in professional level nothing comes easy,fielders r throwing the ball like this since ages or is it that u just started to watch cricket??

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 7, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

I wonder how Indian fans would react if someone threw the ball directly at Sachin, with no run taken, and ran him out when he dodged the ball. I'm not English but was disappointed with that dismissal.

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (December 7, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

Of course, the quick silver reflexes by Sehwag will further fuel the debate whether India should rotate their slip fielders considering they've lost two of the better slip catchers recently

Posted by m0se on (December 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

Lately, it seems that batsmen have to dodge a lot of balls from fielders. Cook's choice was either to get hit by the ball or lose his wicket. In many instances, batsmen always have an eye on the ball even after they have made their ground since fielders will throw the ball at the stumps without regard to if it will hit the batsman or not. I will see this getting abused in the future by intimidating batsmen by throwing balls at them or even "softening" up a batsman by the fielder. I think Dhoni should have taken back the appeal for the run out of Cook's wicket since he would have easily made his ground if he hadn't needed to dodge the ball from the fielder.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 7, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

BOWLING is again letting India down together with poor fielding. Time to change and inject new blood.

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