India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 1st day

Pietersen leads England on tough pitch

The Report by David Hopps

December 13, 2012

Comments: 363 | Text size: A | A

England 199 for 5 (Pietersen 73, Prior 34*, Root 31*) v India
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Kevin Pietersen pulls on his way to a half-century, India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 1st day, December 13, 2012
Kevin Pietersen was a model of decorum on a slow wicket © BCCI
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India's strategy of beating England on sharply-turning surfaces had left them 2-1 down with one to play so in Nagpur it was time to find another way. It was not pretty. Plan B was to drive England to distraction on the slowest, lowest, shabbiest pitch imaginable. It might yet work, but Test cricket, not in the best of health as it is, is a little sicker for it.

That England came out evenly after the first day owed much to the self-denial of Kevin Pietersen, a quality with which he has rarely been associated, especially during a prolonged feud with England last summer which put his international career in jeopardy. But Pietersen yearns to end a largely unhappy year with a rare England Test series win in India and while others struggled he was a veritable professor of decorum. It is precisely because he had to work uncommonly hard that England will believe they are very much in the game.

His 73 from 188 balls ranked among his slowest Test half-centuries but it was an innings of great purpose for all that and prevented England from becoming entirely becalmed on a tedious day when the run rate ground forward at two an over. Turgid cricket was inevitable on a sub-standard surface that demanded a defensive outlook from both sides as India sought a victory to level the series and dissipate gathering criticism of the captain, MS Dhoni and his coaching staff.

Pietersen apart, England, needing to accumulate, largely gathered dust. Joe Root, a surprise debutant at No. 6, would understandably regard it as gold dust as he grafted for an unbeaten 31 in an unbroken stand of 60 with Matt Prior which stabilised England's mood by the end of the first day. Root, a patient technician, was well suited to such denial. TV viewers in England, who had roused themselves for a 4am start, may have nodded off long before then, but crease occupation could be vital on a pitch that started dry, abrasive and heavily cracked.

Pietersen fell early in the final session, flicking Ravindra Jadeja, India's debutant, to short midwicket - an area where Ishant Sharma also twice come close to dismissing him. The wicket was the highlight of a quite unforeseen day for Jadeja, who also drifted his slow left-arm onto Jonathan Trott's off stump when he misjudged a leave on 44, and who was generally met with such caution that he had 2 for 32 in 22 overs when Dhoni briefly honoured him with the second new ball. As the fourth-ranked spinner, he could not have expected that.

Even allowing for the different characteristics of pitches worldwide, this surface was inadequate for Test cricket. For Sharma, the sole representative of that increasingly endangered species, an Indian quick bowler, to find such persistent low and uneven bounce on the first morning of a Test was a travesty; the only question was how much it was by accident or design. Praveen Hinganikar, the curator, had no reason for satisfaction.

Sharma reduced England to 16 for 2 by taking the wickets of Nick Compton and Alastair Cook in his new-ball spell. It was vagaries in bounce that accounted for Compton, Sharma managing to get a short one chest high and drawing Compton into a defensive edge to the wicketkeeper. It was the vagaries of umpiring (mediocre throughout the series) that did for Cook as Sharma's hint of inswing was enough to win an lbw decision from umpire Kumar Dharmasena even though the ball was clearly missing off stump. Sharma had come close to an lbw decision against Trott in his previous over and that might have helped.

For England to find that they must repel India's challenge in the absence of Cook, their ultra-dependable captain, must have come as quite a shock. In the first three Tests he had batted 1,565 minutes, 1,164 balls and scored 548 runs. He did not adorn those figures very much at all, managing a single off 28 balls. His departure brought India hope.

The two wickets lost by England in the afternoon session were more self-inflicted, brought about by the pressure applied by India's quartet of spinners on a ponderous surface that allowed minimal first-day turn. Dhoni was left to play a waiting game, dispensing with slip or men around the bat for most of the day, and arresting the run rate with ring fields until gifts fell into his lap.

On several occasions, Trott and Pietersen, raised up on quick, bouncy South African pitches, made as if to pull a short ball before playing defensively on the crouch as the ball ambled towards them whenever it chose. Their third-wicket stand of 86 with Pietersen provided England's only concerted response, but after Trott allowed himself to be bowled, Ian Bell's unimpressive record in Asia continued as he punched a near half-volley from the legspinner, Piyish Chawla, to short extra cover.

On a pitch where the ball repeatedly died on pitching, lbw is in play for any bowler maintaining a strict wicket-to-wicket line. Even as they strangled England's innings, India must have seen enough to rue selecting four spinners instead of providing some fast-bowling support for Sharma. Steve Finn, omitted because of disc trouble in his back, was the type of tall, hit-the-deck bowler who might have been particularly effective and England could rue his absence.

Although Trott occasionally swept India's spinners to good effect and Pietersen, who was anxious to play positively against the spinners, muscled one or two shots down the ground, it was grim fare. Only a few thousand had turned out to watch it - this modern stadium on the edge of town echoing to the smallest crowd of the series. Those who stayed away were fortunate. Yawns all round.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (December 14, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

@ On the Boundary - yes , I agree wholeheartedly that we need more excitement in this match in the next few days - Sehwag being clean-bowled in the first over , how's that for starters , eh ?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 14, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

@JG2704 That is true, but you have to have a high boredom threashold and batsmen are generally getting out when they make a mistake. Loved Graeme Swann's approach: it is just what was needed. This is how he should bat always. You can keep your wicket, but I notice that the comments yesterday that India would rack up 500 in quick time have vanished.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 14, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (December 14 2012, 11:28 AM GMT) Funny thing is that Prior and Root looked untroubled by the pitch and Swann made it look like "What's all the fuss about" . I wonder if the less complicated your game is the more you're likely to succeed? I think Bumble made a good point in that at present (and it might change) it's generally not too hard to keep your wicket in tact but not so easy to score at a rate - esp from the off. Root and Prior looked genuinely gutted when they got out - like they felt they could have both scored tons.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 14, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

@JG2704 I note that the Indian runrate today has been only a tiny fraction faster than the English runrate was yesterday. It is a tough pitch to score on fast... end of debate.

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 14, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

SOLIDSNAK- YAA baring 3-0 win over ENG IN UAE on rank turners nothing noteasable , how ever u r team fared better than IND in ENG in last year but our record vrs ENG, AUS, SA WI IS FAR SUPERIOR THAN U R TEAM AT HOME & AWAY WE WON MORE MATCHES IN AUS, SA, WI THAN U R TEAM we had 3 series wins in ENG, WI , BARING LAST TOUR WE ARE THE only team from subcontinent which challenged AUS during tjhier hay days, ENG, AUS won series in PAK but could not had similar seccess in INDIA infact in last 3 decades this is first time an ENGLISH team dominating INDIANS IN INDIA ,full credit to them, our players never indulged in othrs metters i dopnt know from where did u gather this infirmation , IND fans might have comented inthat way but what about scores of demeaning coments by u r fans on our greats we never said such things on u r players .

Posted by CricketFirstLove on (December 14, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

If we make pitches like these it will kill cricket. See how few people are there in the stadium. It is important to see a good game of cricket not how one side manipulates to take advantage. High time ICC intervened and had neutral groundsmen just like neutral umpires otherwise we say bye bye to a good game of cricket. I don't care who wins so long as we see quality cricket on the field.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

the debate on India Pakistan in oversease conditions is not so old. but if we compare both sides, Pakistan dont have and they also do not claim to have the greatest players, they dont have Sachin, Virat, Sehwag, Dhoni or Ghambir. they have not played at home ground for years now, they even dont make pitches for specific teams, their players have let them down with match fixing and grouping in the team and many more fuss, they dont claim to be the best side in the world, they dont claim to have best domestic cricketing structure, but the only thing they do is "GO AND TRY TO WIN". India always try to defeat others rather to win, and while doing so they get defeated. So team make a change in your mental approach and you will feel the defference. Pakistantoday and in past by no match has player like India had, Dhoni was successfull because he wanted to win, he always looked at his strengths rather focussing on other weakness. so if you want to win then just simply try to win.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 14, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

@g.narsimha->dude indian team is no different than Pak.But our recent performance was far better. While india got thrashed by the Aussies 4-0,We won a match against them in England.That was a 1-1 draw..While India was getting thrashed by England bu 4-0,we won a match against them not long ago.So dont just say this UAE fortress stuff.I remember India was once proud of its fortress aka their home ground.Now you cant even defend yourself in your own fortress yet trying hard to focus on other team performances.Btw what have you achieved in Aus,SA & Eng?Ever won a series there?

PS->When we did white wash England in UAE..Your great Indian players said that it was a no big deal.Now it was a great time to back up those big words but team India got nothing except humiliation from this series.Dhoni thought that if Pakistan could do it,we can do it as well.Living in those dreams Dhoni forgot something ie Reality that got thrashed by England in England & now got thrashed by England in India.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 14, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

@g.narsimha on (December 14 2012, 03:51 AM GMT) And exactly the same thing happened when Pakistan hammered us with Indian fans celebrating the Pakistan victory like it was their own. Loads of comments. I guess it's different when the boot's on the other foot

Posted by JG2704 on (December 14, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

@Cricfan_99 on (December 14 2012, 00:30 AM GMT) How is it cowardice re England players? Is it not sensible for players who are finding the unfamiliar conditions tough to try and dig in? MSD had had few close in catchers and had fields set back - should the emphasis not be on him to try and force the game?

@ Syed Hassaan Ahmed on (December 14 2012, 01:10 AM GMT) Good response.Rather you didn't mention the UAE series but I know you were doing it by way of putting a point across as opposed to a gloat at the Eng fans

Posted by criclovingmind on (December 14, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

indians failed to understand that runs are runs when any one scores... they are complacent after departing KP... definitely this pair will go long and long!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

bravo team England, you have my respect. I accept you are better than us

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 14, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

our brothers from other side of the border are celebrating more than ENGLISH on our loses no doubt we are on slide not doing well , evry one does have ups & downs its apropratiate on thier part instead of taking pleasure on others defeasts they should concentrat on thier team which could not win any thing out side thier fotress UAE even not in SL than emgine what will happen in SA WE ALL SEEN IN AUS last time it was 3-0 ,5-0 , so forget IND , now its u r turn to move out from uae , CANT WIN IN wi ALSO ,in this match also we cant predict IND win as our batting is strugling only SAHWAAG can bail us out from this embarasing situation of losing a series to POMS after nearly 3 decades at home , irrespective of series result BCCI need to take some bold steps to restore confident on this team the first step should be to remove DHONI as test captain , the internal fued in the team is one of the major contributors in teams debacles right from ENG tour to present day .

Posted by Ruki-CMB on (December 14, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

It's dead pitch altogether but England fought very well despite a terrible umpiring decision of Alistar cook, the batsman in form. However the TV commentators at that moment Mr,Gavaskar said its a fair decision (he is so bias), I wish and pray the ICC will make sure that DRS compulsory for all the test matches including India.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 14, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

If England make more than 300 on this minefield of a pitch, it's going to be lights out for India. Expect some runs from Pujara, Jadeja, Ashwin and Chawla. Don't expect much from Sehwag Gambhir and Tendulkar - they are walking wickets. They are there to build confidence in the opposing team bowlers.

Posted by rafaelrey on (December 14, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

Test cricket is under the microscope with T20's and ODI's becoming increasingly popular the game has to be exciting to survive. This is a bad pitch not because england struggled etc. Its a bad ptich because it makes for boring cricket

Posted by Feroz9700 on (December 14, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

A very slow pitch making stroke play very difficult. It was like a dried up river bed and the ball just sticks into surface. India could have played a second seamer and probably got England out for even less. Maybe captain Dhoni did not have confidence in rookie seamers to bowl against Englishmen. If seamers bowl wicket to wicket and ball keeping low would be difficult for batsman.

Posted by me54321 on (December 14, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

I wonder how many of those people defending the pitch actually managed to watch the majority of the day's play. I know I could only manage less than 2 hours of my undivided attention, and I think I did quite well. Perhaps it's just England batting badly, but even when they have batted poorly in the subcontinent they haven't batted for this long and scored this slowly.

Posted by On_The_Boundary on (December 14, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

Good to see South Africa A (sorry, England) perform well on what appears to be a dead dog of a pitch. Not the ideal way for this fantastic test series to finish, here's hoping we have some excitement in store for the next few days.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

I just do not understand how India can play one seamer and four spinners. The spinners do not know how and when to bowl a straight deliver. From 165 for 5 to 199 for 5 is a clear sign of weakness in the bowling department.

I am sure Harbajan would have broken that partnership

Posted by Hammond on (December 14, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

jango_moh actually the point is i dont think we want this kind of test pitch anywhere!!!

Posted by Dhanvanth on (December 14, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

When a match is said to be crucial for both teams, u have to either produce a rank turner or a batting paradise! Not like this pitch. Indian pitches are sure substandard ones! No other country has this attitude

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 1:25 GMT)

This will be the most interesting Test of the series.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

@maddy20 See thats what I'm talking about .. People from "Largest democracy in the world" being so insecure as not being able to digest justified criticism of their overrated team. Focus on England first and worry about us later. Your cricketers spending less time in extra-curricular activities and ads, would certainly help too. At least we won a Test match, and lost a hard-fought ODI series on the same tour you're referring to. And as a reminder, this is the SAME England side which got whitewashed by us this year .. Now back to IPL!

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 14, 2012, 0:59 GMT)

This pitch will not be helpful to Indian batsmen either. Lets see how they perform. If India can manage 250+ lead in the first innings, it will have chance to win. It will be a tall order to get this type of lead.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 14, 2012, 0:39 GMT)

@maddy20 on (December 13 2012, 18:12 PM GMT), it's rather funny to hear you say that squaring the series will be a step forward for this India team. Were you predicting an England series victory before it started because India had such a young side then? I'm not sure that many Indian fans were and Virat Kohli certainly wasn't talking like a drawn series would be a good result for India.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 0:38 GMT)

This is the way Test cricket used to be, most of the time, in most countries, till a few maverick batsmen, like Viv Richards, or Ian Botham burst-ed on to the scene. Slow. Grinding. 200 for 5 on opening day? Always used to be hailed as evens stevens. And a good game. Where both batsmen & bowlers played their role well. We never used to talk about the pitch, since it was the same story, in any kind of pitch. This is a throwback to those days, to be viewed like on old black & white movie, more often seen, in sepia tones (not as a white dried up riverbed, as we saw today). Has any one seen a movie which got projected to the screen by a guy sitting in the projection room, rotating the role by hand, at different speeds, depending on how energetic or tired he feels? Most probably, not. Ask, some one in his 70's or 80's. He will tell you, what entertainment was all about in those days. Now, you guys, spoilt for choice! Don't believe me? Ask Boyce? Or, his Mom! Boyce wouldn't mind!

Posted by Cricfan_99 on (December 14, 2012, 0:30 GMT)

The POMS had actually earned respect from most of the indian folks here for the way they came and played and beat india in back to back matches against all odds.. until we saw their real faces today - (200 runs for 100 overs @ 2 runs/over) for 5 wickets - no matter what the state of the pitch is - its the same indian bowling attack that was termed as "toothless" a week ago...still a long way to go through this test match though - but England sure ain't winning any admirers with their cowardice!!!!

Posted by RoJayao on (December 14, 2012, 0:15 GMT)

Time to ban India from test cricket for three years for more disgraceful pitch doctoring. That it has backfired very satisfyingly against the hosts this series shouldn't be the point. There has been a deliberate and concerted effort by India to produce extremely poor pitches in the laughably mistaken belief that their very average spin bowlers would do better on them than England's two very good spinners. Trouble also is India no longer have any batsmen as good as Cook, hence the ploy has backfired. While I accept subcontinent pitches have always and will always spin, just as Australian pitches bounce and seam, these current Indian pitches are not normal and anyone who says otherwise is delusional or worse! Ban India!

Posted by willmot on (December 14, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

@Maddy,Taking cheap shots at Pakistanis can't hide Indian inability to compete against half decent opposition anywhere on any wicket type. Typical Indian Arrogance!!!! I This overated team were fed juicy schedules by BCCI till their stomachs finally imploded, never no 1 not even in prime , mid -table at best

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

@jango_moh on (December 13 2012, 18:45 PM GMT), noone has said that a pitch with turn and bounce is a bad pitch. What people are saying is that a pitch that turns a lot from the start favours spinners too much. Variation is good but any pitch that favours either spinners, seamers or batsmen too much doesn't make for a proper contest among all disciplines of the game. England fans don't want a pitch on which seamers are still unplayable on day 5 any more than they want a pitch on which spinners are unplayable on day 1. This pitch is hard work for both batsmen and bowlers so it's a good competition from that point of view but it makes for ugly cricket. If the cricket is ugly then people won't watch and if people don't watch then the game will die. Maybe people like you should actually listen to what people like me are saying instead of trying to play the victim all the time.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (December 13, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

@Gsingh7 - a bad day at the office there , my friend..

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

Let's not talk about the pitch now.It is too early and I think we are not the right person to comment on the pitch condition, team selection, DRS, crowds etc... etc. Just wait and see what MSD speaks about all these when India loose this match, which unfortunately is very likely.

Posted by Mervo on (December 13, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

One has to smile. India say they can't win on a pitch with grass on it as that suits the seamers that other nations have. They they now say that sharp turning wickets are no good either, as England just won two tests on those against India. So now it is the hockey field pitch, low and slow. Only one fast bowler selected and 4 slow bowlers. Incredible. It seems that the options are running out and that India needs to stop looking for excuses and move on, toughen up and play cricket!

Posted by Nampally on (December 13, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

"It was the vagaries of the Umpiring that did for Cook" --I watched the action replay several times. Cook barely moved forward his front foot. The ball was half way up the pad & pitched within the range of the wickets.After pitching, the ball was cutting into the batsman & hit him on the inside end of the pad in line with off & middle stump. The umpire took his time before giving Cook Out LBW. "Cook was plumb out" & blaming the Umpire here is ludicrous. Actually Trott was also plumb out LBW, few balls earlier & the umpire was too generous in giving the benefit of doubt to Trott. On a pitch where the ball is keeping low, KP should also have been given out in single digits when he moved out to drive & missed ojha's ball. It was 8" above ground & in line with the middle stump!. In so called "vagaries of Umpiring" - at least one decision, went in favour of England & when Cook was given out, there is an outcry because he was the "one consistent England batsman" in this series.

Posted by cjscanada on (December 13, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

Well played innings by Kevin. Matt is always a hard working and strong player and Root so far has played really well. Not a bad day of outing for Indians though I would have preferred them to go with three spinners. India still has to play and dig deeply if they have to square the series. Whats all the talk about the pitch. I do not see anything wrong, yes it is low and the odd one does bounce, but it is so slow that it is not an issue. It is India's home advantage and they have the right. All the game has produced results and so does this look like. If India is pathetic or whatever it is not relevant to non Indians specially Pak fans. What is your problem? Why all the grudge? Remember India defeated you in Pakistan the last time. Much rather focus on the game. Applaud an out of character Kevin's inning, the young Root, the gutsy Trott and the ever reliable Matt. Also the way Ishant bowled and Jadeja, though I am not a fan of his but his bowling was great. Heading to a classic finish!

Posted by SalMonMariner on (December 13, 2012, 21:51 GMT)

Green top, seaming, bouncy wickets are all good for cricket but a low, slow wicket which requires old-fashioned attritional cricket are bad. No wonder these clowns who conveniently forget that they, till only recently wielded a veto in international cricket matters, keep putting India down. All this nonsense about having a beer with the opposition after the day's play - after pouring personal abuse on them through the day - that is your culture not the opponents, who have no need to follow yours - not to forget their culture is over 3000 years old and yours not even 200. Moaning that there are no crowds watching Test cricket - 17,000 watched the recent SA-Aussie test per day in Perth - not much less at the Tests in India. Mr.Hopps open your mind, expand your horizons - there is a new World Order.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (December 13, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

the hosts are entitled to come up with whatever pitch they like... it is the visitors job to counter it.... (that surely is the point of away series), and with kp, trott, prior and root they can do it... with regards to bell, the sooner he goes the better, it is a travesty that a person with no ability vs the turning, or even non-turning ball is still in the team, for heaven's sake selectors, look to the future and get JB in for the serially underperforming bell, bell's SR of 3% was just laughable and hopefully will get him benched for good. bell just ain't got it. Bell's Average of 8 in UAE will be matched by a similar ave here in India. A joke that he is still in the side.

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (December 13, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

with the retirement of indias big gunz Dohni lack of leadership and flwed decision making has beeen ruthlessly exposed over the past year and a half he should step down his batting is also nt as good as that of a keeper that drives a competitive side likethe South Africans AB de Velliers and Matt Prior

Posted by Jaffa79 on (December 13, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

This is beyond whether producing surfaces which suit the home team is right or not. I actually want Indian pitches to spin and why shouldn't they do it? Everyone else does; it is more about having a turgid, dead pitch which makes strokeplay virtually impossible. The woefully poor crowds in India are hardly going to be flocking back to watch the highest form of the game, if Tests are to be played on puddings like this. Whinging isn't anything to do with it! True fans want to see a pitch that encourages strokeplay and either spins/seams depending on where you are in the world. Shame on you BCCI!

Posted by Mitcher on (December 13, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

Jadeja has been quite vocal in criticising the pitch. Further emphasising its not about which team benefits - it's that the game suffers.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 13, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

@Long-Leg, can't agree more with you re: Bell. England has been carrying this passenger this entire year. He simply can't bat in the sub-continent. It is a surprise because he was very successful in his first sub-continent tour (to Pakistan, though, England were stuffed in that series). Since then, it has all been down-hill. I don't recall a game where he has delivered under pressure. Unfortunately for England, there aren't too many quality batsmen (who can play in the sub-continent) waiting in the wings. Fortunately for England, it will be a while before they tour the sub-continent again. But, still Bell has to go. Some think that he will score bucketload of runs in NZ but I don't see that happening either. As you say, he is very talented and that is why it is infuriating to see him waste his wicket to horrible shots. Let's hope good sense prevails and the England mgmt send him back to county cricket. He can surely return but only after toughening up.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 13, 2012, 21:17 GMT)

@syed.r.karim on (December 13 2012, 16:00 PM GMT) Have to say CandidIndian is one of the 1st and one of the few Indian fans who has been gracious in defeat and refrained from any form of gloating , pre series nonsense predictions etc etc. Happen to think he has a point in that some fans overplay the bad decisions when they go against their side and conveniently overlook them when they favour their side

Posted by JG2704 on (December 13, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

@gm47 on (December 13 2012, 10:13 AM GMT) If you're saying the line is the umpire's and the bowler has to have something BEHIND the line it did a decent impression of a no ball to me. It was certainly close

@maddy20 on (December 13 2012, 18:12 PM GMT) Well said . You are the model of grace and well balanced comments and always refrain from talking trash on other countries' threads.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 13, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

Wow - I see a bit of hostility has resurfaced here from both sides. Re the pitch , it looks a dodgy one but maybe Indians have the right skillset to bat on it and it will favour their natural wristy shots. As an England fan I'm not too unhappy at being near on 200-5 on a pitch which may not be the best especially after the start we made. A bold/surprising selection in bringing in Root who has leapfrogged Jonny to replace Patel but Root so far (and I don't want to tempt fate here) has looked one of the most accomplished debutant batsmen I've seen for England in his so far short inns and already looks more accomplished in such conditions than one of our senior batsmen has looked this year. Re Cook's dismissal - not a great decision but he has had his luck with decs and dropped catches so our fans should take it on the chin as Cook did himself. Root and Prior looked very good at the crease and as an Eng fan I wish the day had gone on for longer as they have to start again tomorrow.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 13, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

@nymphsatyr, while Bell certainly has done a lot of good to not be in that elite company, he too should be shown the door. He has failed miserably all year this year and still commands a place in the starting XI. England have given him enough chances and he is working really hard to make the selectors understand that he should be dropped. His first ball 'shot' in Ahmedabad was disgraceful and then the two first innings failures in Kolkata and Nagpur means that he has lost it. He should take some time off, work hard at his game and come back strong. Sure, he scored a good 28* to see through the run chase in Kolkata but that is still not sufficient for him to cement a place in this middle order which still doesn't have a solid #6 yet.

Trott seems to have lost it a bit too. In the first 3 tests, it was Ojha and now it is Jadeja. That leave was poor. But, he should keep his place for a while considering that England have at least 2 places to fill - #5 and #6.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 13, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

@maddy20 (December 13 2012, 18:12 PM GMT) It is hysterical that you of all people make snype regarding fine Pakistan fan "not involved"! ROFLMAO. India were "not involved" in Pak V Eng, Eng V WI and Eng V Ind and yet you and many hundred of India "fan" climb all over England even though it have NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH INDIA. Its just plain rude that you come to England forum in the past piping up with trolling comment. Now it is payback time I hope England crush India.

Posted by CricketFirstLove on (December 13, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

If India indulges in such tactics instead on producing good players and selecting right players and not dropping dead wood like Tendulkar and continue the worship of past performance then the only way to salvage is make such pitches which will also but boomerang. India may win or lose who knows but mind you such pitches are bad for the game of cricket. I cannot persuade my son 6ft 4" to take to cricket. He feels it is boring and takes too much time. Prefers basketball. India will kill the game of cricket by making such wickets.

Posted by sephotrig on (December 13, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

@gsingh7, really? As usual the funniest comments are yours. You do realise your shambolic lot are 2-1 down in this series and have pretty much been a laughing stock in tests over the last 18 months. Yet again the BCCI prove to be a spineless bully who demand spinning pitches, and then get outdone on them. Now playing on a wicket which wouldn't be fit for cricket on a saturday in local cricket. As for the team you've picked, the openers haven't done anything for 2 years, Tendulkar should have retired last year, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin and Chawla shoud return to the IPL and never play tests again, Sharma averages over 40 with the ball, there is really only Pujara and Ohja that look like test players.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

india at the moment is even below bangladesh's level considering the fighting spirit. even today when they had england 139-5 they gave it away and their body language was like they had been thrashed for all 5 days i mean come on this is international cricket not club or gully cricket where u can take it easy and u show a lethargic body language as if they all had walked miles into a hot desert. its winter and still they were like as if its june!! indian cricketers are the quickest to give away and lose hope and they just start waiting for the oposition to make a mistake rather making them to play a false shot. ok indian bowling is pathetic its a fact but that doesnt mean they cant break a partnership. simply indian team is the worse of all the other indian teams of precious eras becoz this team gives hope too early. i think its something to do with the comfortable lifestyle they possess these days through the ipl money they get. anyways india is losing at their home so sad!!

Posted by Dunross on (December 13, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

Ian Bell should be dropped from the england team and be replaced by Bairstow

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 13, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

@arvind9990, yep India are world beaters taking 5 wickets from 97 overs, and conceeding 200 runs in the process. Right, they're really back, lets reserve judgment until atleast 2 innings have been concluded.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 13, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, what no reference to the original T20 league, namely the english version, which if hadnt been successful Modi would never have done it.

Posted by Jaijo on (December 13, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

Fielding improved.. time for Pujara to work on this fielding abilities.. reminds me of Kumble and Kuruvilla's fielding...Cant keep dropping catches...

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 13, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster (December 13 2012, 18:44 PM GMT) The BBL and SLPL are relatively new so we'll have to wait a few more years to see the impact if any on their respective test team performances. Australia together with England and SA are different because their supporters still value test cricket as the pinnacle. For whatever reason the indian public's appetite is for the shorter format of the game and the BCCI is happy for this. Have a read of Aakash Chopra's article http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/596889.html on how the IPL is affecting current generation of Indian spinners. If I were a franchise owner I'd be putting in a bid for Monty and Swanny of the basis of the 3 tests so far.

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 13, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

Once again its a proven fact that india wins test match only because of no DRS and umpiring errors. Cooks wicket was a perfect example for that. The whole worls knows thats notout. and we all know how good a player he is on this wicket. I hope England wins this test match as well. They really deserved win this series.

Posted by Class-Apart on (December 13, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

@Maddy20. At least pak did not lose 4 nil in England also pak beat England 3 nil in UAE

Posted by haq33 on (December 13, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

Dearest Maddy, there is no rule against Pakistanis commenting on this match, unless your govt decides to ban us which I can never rule out entirely. Anyway, your point about pak's batting problems in England are valid but even still we won 1 test and 2 odi's, even with all the dramas going on. Your "boys" were no. 1 and had no dramas to deal with.....oh apart from the media invented drama called "doctored pitches".

Posted by Mitcher on (December 13, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

Geez, the Indian fans have really come out swinging. How can you complain about the English talking about the pitch when you've been fighting among yourselves all series about whether you should doctor the wickets a lot or heaps. Anyway, this isn't about advantage, it's about not killing the game. As an Australian this feels a little unnatural, but GO ENGLAND! This deluded lot needs a real black eye in their own backyard. Maybe that will get through to these confused masses.

Posted by mazii on (December 13, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

maddy20...I'm sorry to say that you and some Indian brothers are in the state of denial. When India were thrashed 8-0 overseas how many of players had played more than 20 tests. If you are not admitting that Indian test team is not a good team then God helps you. This was touted as revenge series and I don't see any kind of revenge. How many of Pakistani batsmen were world class at the time when Pakistan won 3-0 against England. Before the start of this series some Indian brothers bragged that Ashwin is a much better bowler than Ajmal. Now everything is crystel clear regarding this issue. And now you are giving an excuse that why India is losing matches. Do you know six of the Pakistan players just played 25 test and still able to beat England. Don't give excuse and confess India is no more invincible at home.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

I think India will not have any respite on this pitch, either. I won't be be surprised if India are humbled twice over, for miserable scores. Will David Hopps be singing a different tune, then?

Posted by SaranT on (December 13, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

One of the most biassed article I have ever read !!!

Posted by fguy on (December 13, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

i like how the article & the fans dont mention the plumb lbw that trott escaped but go on abt cook's wrong dismissal (which prob'ly balanced his 2 lucky lbw shouts not given earlier in the series) @jango_moh a "good pitch" is available only in aus, eng & sa @wibblewibble u conveniently forget cook's plumb lbw's in ahmedabad 2nd innnings & mumbai 1st innings when he was <50 but werent given

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

@jango_moh - no one suggested the pitches in the first three tests were bad for taking spin, simply that they were designed to take spin in the first three days and produce a result. Spin and bounce are as good as pace and bounce, even if it deteriorates and the bounce goes out of it as the pitch wears.

Any pitch that has such variable bounce in the first session, that offers little to spinners and not much to quicks beyond hoping for one to keep low or unexpectedly get up, isn't worthy of a club game let alone a test match.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

@jango-moh. I will tell you what a bad pitch is: 97 over in a day from 4 spinners, only 5 wickets at a run rate of 2 per over and a crowd that could fit 5 times into the stadium! Enoiugh said.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 13, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

@jango_moh: Well said. Some of these English fans simply cross the limits with their whining. They expect all pitches to behave like their county ones. In their language, a pitch with seam and bounce is a GOOD wicket, otherwise it's a bad one. What ridiculous assessment is that ? And for God sakes, someone should ask Geoffrey Boycott to stop insulting young Indian players. That guy knows nothing about our players or India's domestic teams.

Posted by may_the_best_win on (December 13, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

@maddy 20: there was no need to vent your frustration of self failures on a pakistani :) ... true we did score less than 100 but still with a depleted team scored a win each against england and australia and though against depleted aus, ur captain said before the series that this is our best chance to win a series in aus and ur senior players went their earlier to get in to touch .... the likes of gambhir, kohli, sehwag started saying this home series against eng as the revenge series as if they were sure that they r gonna win just becuz pakistan n SL won... isnt this arrogance or wot??

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

To England fans, when things quite don't go ur way,U blame the pitch. Ask ur batsman to play sportingly and not for a draw. Everything will be fine then.cheers:)

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 13, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

I don't believe England have blown anything. I think England can hold there heads high win or lose or draw we have taken first step for being competent on sub continent and even out played home side at times. I do hope we can win it so we can win series but we have not done anythin to be unhappy bout we need be proud of the lads.

Posted by SDHM on (December 13, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

I actually feel that the slowness of the outfield, coupled with the sluggishness of the track, means that England's effort is not quite as mediocre as it appears, even if it was largely a frustrating day that India will be the happier of the two sides with. After playing so well throughout most of the series, to see a few batsmen give it away so cheaply was highly annoying, not to mention Cook getting sawn off (you could see off stump behind his pad - the ball was clearly missing!). England will definitely miss Finn too, but with the reverse swing and uneven bounce on show, Jimmy Anderson might be thinking he could get a few cheap ones here. I also think England's spinners, being taller and putting more energy into the ball, will manage to exploit the uneven bounce better than India's, so if England can squeeze their way up towards 300, taking time out of the game to let the pitch deteriorate further, they are more than in this game.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 13, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

@arvind9990 After one day of the 3rd Test we heard that it was a beast of a pitch and that England would struggle to reach 200. At Tea tomorrow India could be 150-1, or they could be 30-5. I've even seen one prediction that India will race to 500. Wait until England have bowled on this surface before judging: you have to face Monty & Swann and a fired-up Jimmy Anderson. There is an awful lot of chicken-counting going on today and it is far too early to call the result.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

India should be fined for producing a pitch not conducive to test cricket. If a county side produced a pitch like this they would be fined AND docked points.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 13, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@Maddy20, What do you mean that England have blown it 50%?

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

Let's see around lunchtime on Day 3. I do agree that this potentially could turn on a mad Sehwag 3 hour innings - all I would say is that this is true 'purist' Test Cricket. Personally my view is that England need a lot more than 250 as a fighting score at this stage : 325+ realistically and unless Root / Prior dig in until lunch tomorrow that could be difficult. BUT a long way to go until the fat lady starts even clearing her throat

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 13, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

Some English fans here need to be quiet and stop whining about the pitch. This is what you have got so be happy about that. Besides, it was a POOR batting display by the England team. Some of the wickets, barring Cook were given away. India did bowl well but I felt our bowling was unidimensional. 4 spinners is too much and it seems the quicks will be a lot more dangerous here. Nobody can tell anything until India bat on this pitch. This is known to be a result venue so I am hoping to see a result come day 5. One thing is for sure, India need to make much more than England in their first innings if they want to win.

Posted by syed.r.karim on (December 13, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

@maddy20 : Please check the statistic before rush to the comment, Pakistan won 2 of each 3 game against India. If you are innocent and intelligent you will surely understand Pakistan is far better team than India. We have roast you every time. So, are you joking I hope so..Take Care your team are looking like a strow.

Posted by jango_moh on (December 13, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

if there is more turn and bounce, then its a bad pitch, if its flat its a bad pitch, if its slow and low, its a bad pitch(ofcourse all these only in the subcontinent!!) .... so whats a good pitch?? one with swing and seam and some spin on last few days??, thats whats called a standard pitch, and i dont think we want the same kind of pitch everywhere!!!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 13, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

@ICC-IndianCricketCouncil: Why bring the IPL into a test cricket article ? If IPL is destroying Indian cricket, then the BBL and SLPL should also destroy Australian and Sri Lankan cricket respectively. Give me a BREAK !

Posted by nymphsatyr on (December 13, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

Finally England got rid of Samit Patel. neither a bowler, nor a batsman at test level. What is it with England with all these pseudo-smart picks! (remember Darren Maddy, Dougie Brown, Mathew Fleming!)

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (December 13, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

@maddy20: Where are all these thrashings that Ind has been handing Pak? The only one that mattered was the 2011 WC semi final. The other few defeats came in tournaments which Pak did better than Ind. Think T20 WCs, Asia cup etc. The irony is that the Ind cricketrs seem to think winning the odd game is good enough these days. They don't bother doing the hard yards anynore. Suresh Raina sums it up, he was cheering when Pak were losing against SA in the last T20 WC, which they went on to win the game. And then he posts offensive tweets when his own team has been knocked out early, once again. If he spent that effort trying to play the short ball, he might actually become a good player.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

ind need to make eng all out in less than 285...runs then have a lead of minimum 75 runs to win this match. But india must play a bit fast at run rate of 3 and above otherwise this test will be a draw and england will win the series

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 13, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Cook currently best opener in world I think . Well played trott pietersen root. Hopefully we can put 30-150 more runs on to give India fairly high target on what has being reported as slow pitch.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 13, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

@Syed Hassaan Ahmed Its just plain rude that you called us Indians arrogant, more so when your team is not involved here. Typical headstrong Pakistanis. This is the main reason why you people get thrashed everytime we play you. And dont worry we will make kabab rolls of your team again when they do come here. As for your point Atleast we did not get bowled out for under 100 4 times in England like your dust bowl champions, not to mention the extra-curricular activities of your cricketers! I can think of one other reason for India's first bad performance at home. Look at the player profiles of the 11 and see how many of them have played over 20 tests. Nearly half the side has played just over 10. This is possibly England's best chance to win a series in India and they have already blown it 50%. If India squares the series , it will be a big step forward for this young team(barring Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir ofcourse).

Posted by mazii on (December 13, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

gsingh7...Dear stop applauding team and watch this test match till the last day. I think Indian team batting happened to be fragile and not English batting. Remember who is the highest runs getter in this tour? You are putting your money on India. Fair enough but this series has already exposed Indian team to the best. India is not a good test team. You have to admit this. They lost 8-0 overseas and now on their home grounds are being humiliated by England. If this is not enough for you then you better watch this match till the last. Cheers....

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Pitches play an important role in team's success only when players cannot play. Classic case of cowardness from our team to rely on pitches. If they cant do the job, better take rest and work on some of their pending tv ads.There are lot of capable players waiting...............

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

looks like magic wand which was away from Dhoni, is approaching towards in this final Test

Posted by arvind9990 on (December 13, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

its not as bad pitch as pitersen said, its just after two test match india fight like a fighter. spartan"s are back today they are played so well today. after soo many days i saw smile on dhoni"s face. today they are playing like unite, ojha in great touch, he bowled in right areas despite he don"t got wicket but he show his character. pitersen played good inning in tough situation. ishant sharma bowl like a rockstar big hair and lot of confidence on slow track. today i am not talk about jadeja because his work is not over yet, i think tomorrow he will play a big role in the game. its not over guys please one victory only one more :)

Posted by ICC-IndianCricketCouncil on (December 13, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

IPL will slowly but surely destroy cricket in India and we are already seeing it in this test series.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 13, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

Definately sub-standard pitch not fit for test cricket. Only person who may enjoy it is the king of the flat tracks Sehwag but given he scored a century in the first test he may feel his work is done for the next 17 tests. Besides given that Panesar and Swann both turn the ball more than the Indian spinners, we'll have to wait and see wait until India bat to get an idea of what a par score is. Despite the low slow pitch England have gifted their wickets except for Cook who got a shocker from the umpire. It's howlers like this that DRS is there. The BCCI (read Tendulkar) must review its stance on DRS.

Posted by mainul079080 on (December 13, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Ha ha ha.I have a funny speculation about this "Vampire pitch" which is making everybody scary.The speculation is-India will post a big total.Only they know how to bat on this pitch

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

India bowling 4 spinners vs the English duo of Swann and Panesar. I wont be surprised if the latter come out trumps... thats what we have been seeing thru out this series. Indian bowlers shud try bowling some really slow deliveries since the pitch is sluggish and make the poms work harder for their runs. Prior has been a real thorn scoring some important runs lower down the order (are u listening Mr.Dhoni??).. its important to get him out early tomorrow if the indians are to make any inroads into this line up.

Posted by Santander on (December 13, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

gsingh7 Fragile English batsmen haha look who's talking look at your team first. fall down like a pack of cards

Posted by Selassie-I on (December 13, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

@ Posted by on (December 13 2012, 16:17 PM GMT) I see your point, but the problem with 'slow' pitches is that it is both difficult to score and difficult to take wickets, which makes for very slow cricket. Whereas a fast pitch gives both batsman and bowler something.

I'm not judging this pitch though as of yet, we have to see how it goes after a couple more days. I have yet to escape the office and get home to watch the highlights so I especially don't want to judge the pitch without having a look on it in HD rather than just on my phone at the end of the desk!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

So if ICC can call a pitch too dangerous, can they not call the pitch "too boring" or for that matter "not in spirit" of good cricket ...

Posted by harry414 on (December 13, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

Yielding a result is far more necessary than the number of runs scored, such wickets will have to be encouraged, not only do they provide a test, they are a test for batsmen, bowlers and fieldsmen alike, please encourage such wickets...

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 13, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

@gsingh,I beg to differ, I would think 400 for either team in the 1st inns will be a match winning total. Due to the natural of the pitch I feel that at this stage its pretty difficult to say wot a par score is, although I would hazard a guess its probably nearer 250 than 400. I also think your comments regarding the pitch are wrong, I don't think this sort of track gives either side an advantage and just makes for boring cricket but hey if ind think this is their best chance of winning then so be it.As for Sehwag, at this stage of his career is he really a better or more destructive batsman than KP? who had to face 188 balls for 73? to score runs on this track it will need patience & if VS can't adjust he will be out very early. If Eng get another 100 tomorrow I think Ind will be in trouble, to have any chance of winning they will have to get a 1st inns lead & they barley made 300 in the last 2 games batting first on good surfaces I wouldn't think they are likely to do better on this.

Posted by Nampally on (December 13, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

Lots of trash talk going on from both the sides. The fact is India did well after losing the toss. They lost their way after getting England 139 for 5. Had they finished England for around 160, India would have been on top by the end of the day. Sadly they did not after getting the frontline batting out. The best India can do now is to get the last 5 Wkts. out quickly & play the rest of the day with minimal damage to their batting. India need to compile at least 400 in their first innings to have a fighting chance to be in the game. They will bat last on this wkt. As Cricketers they must play hard on all types of pitches.KP hit his way to 73 & showed that there are lot of runs in this pitch if only one tries to play tactfully. I think this pitch is similar to that in the First Test - low slow turner. Hopefully the centurions from the first Test Sehwag & Pujara will reproduce their form & score big!. I also hope Tendulkar, Kohli & Jadeja will also put up big scores. India needs them.

Posted by littlecegian on (December 13, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

If one can not embrace slow pitches, they are not deserving enough to watch test cricket. maybe go watch some T20's where the masala you want will be available for sure !

Posted by topeleven on (December 13, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

Poor pitch I dont know how Indian batsman can score here when stroke making is difficult. If England manager another 100 runs ...300 will competitive.England should not have slips . Attacking field set up is necessary. When shewag is playing they should not spread their field.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 13, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

@gsingh7, oh, so Indian batting is not fragile? lol. We beat you 4-0 in England are leading 2-1 here. So, it is time to learn some humility perhaps?

@Saket Waghmode, good that you agree because that is the fact. Some of your fellow Indian fans don't seem to share that though. They still believe India is the best team in the world.

cricinfo, please publish.

Posted by Class-Apart on (December 13, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

prediction time : England 1st inng 280 India first inng 210 England 2nd inng 230 India 2nd 230 England win

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

What a curious day of cricket, I felt as though India was getting right on top when Bell went, however the excellent p'ship between Prior and Tiny Tim pulled them right out of the hole they'd dug themselves. I feel now that if England can muster 270+ that India will most likely wilt under the pressure of what is quite tedious going. 270 is a long way away at 2 runs an over! Englands series for mine and this result puts a real gap between the top 3 nations and the rest.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 13, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

India should be demoted from test cricket and their status given to a team that actually want to play like Ireland. What a pathetic excuse for a cricket pitch. Shame India. Shame.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (December 13, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

I agree with comments that a score of 300 would be credible, looking at the pitch before a ball had been bowled it had wide cracks in it. I would have thought Indian batsmen are more adept at playing on this type of surface but even bounce and the abrasive nature helping reverse swing give the bowlers assistance if they can use it. I am not wholly against making home advantage count and wish England did it more sometimes rather than thinking of the gate receipts; however this pitch is not condusive to entertaining cricket with stroke play options so limited. Probably a desperate act by India to win at all costs (and save their jobs), so not suprising really.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 13, 2012, 17:16 GMT)

@Carryongegardless, You cannot blame Eng for the painfully slow pace of change in the ind team. Ind had known for sometime that the likes of Dravid, Sachin & VVS were coming towards the end of their illustrious careers & whilst they were all still playing there was next to no attempt to blood any young batsman. For Instance Ind played WI in 6 test matches last year, Dravid & VVS played in all of them! As well as this they have had Yuvraj batting at 6 for long periods over the past few yrs even though its been clear for sometime that he isn't good enough in the long form of the game. Ind really should have planned for all this long ago, SRL will have a similar problem over the next yr or 2 when all their champion batsman retire.

Posted by krvij on (December 13, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

I think the Eng media and fans don't get bored on commenting on Indian pitches..oh..wait..they didn't when they did well. Indian pitches are by nature slow & dry because of type of soil,weather etc. At best they can produce something like kolkata. This is why Dhoni asked for pitch with bounce from day one so its interesting, it will test, and is even for both teams. That was misinterpreted to the maximum..I've seen many test matches played in India on similar pitches...but why so much noise this time and that too claims like its doctored..media in & outside India making merry. Enough about the pitches, move on people...

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 13, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

I think it even at moment could swing either way looks like it at least will be a game. Hoping for over all England victory. I think with our two spinners there equal or if not better than four spinners India are playing . Though ohja and ashwin look decent spinners . Not sure other ones though. I think if England can get another 50-130 runs it be fair amount and if we can expose Indian lower order quickly again who knows what outcome will be .

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 13, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

@ gsingh7. I do apologise to you and everyone else for taking you rather too seriously in your comments on another article. I see from your comments below that you are a chap who likes a good joke. The terms 'fragile English batsmen', Sehwag and 'shrewd plans' should alert us all to the fact that you are employing irony at the end of the series...

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

India continues to be the champion of manipulation and deceit. Indian Cricket has never stooped so low.

Posted by PPL11 on (December 13, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Again flowing some mindless comment.... @clarke501 - Pitches like this are bad to test cricket?? Please explain why? because it tests the Patient and skill of batsmen to play petiently or just because we can never prepare slow pitches, or spinner / slow bolwers are bad to test cricket? Is it all about Fast Bowling? Please explain mate !! or else dont comment again

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 13, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

@gsingh7 On the contrary. There seems to be a pretty good consensus that 300 will be a winning first innings total. If the England bowlers are as good as in the last 2 Tests, India will struggle to score too. It's a battle of patience and determination. No issue for me. India have consistently failed to show either except in the 1st innings in Ahmedabad: why should we expect a big change now?

Posted by tests_the_best on (December 13, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

slow pitch alright but atleast it'll produce a result. better than a tame high-scoring draw with atleast a couple of double hundreds. and it's not a dangerous pitch either like some that have been seen before where one ball suddenly leaps up and another suddenly stays low.

Posted by wibblewibble on (December 13, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

@csowmi7: The reason Cook wasn't given out when he went on to make tons in the previous games is - and this is the crucial thing - if you drop the catch, its not an umpiring error to give him not out.

@gsingh: You're quite right, I've had enough of the English complaining about the pitch. See this one? "The wicket is too flat, It's slow. There is no turn. It's difficult for fast bowlers too. After pitching it loses all the pace." What a moaning jessie, he should just get on with it, whinging poms eh? Oh that was Ravi Jadeja? My bad.

@ Newbury_1: KP said the wicket was "the toughest I have played Test cricket on"

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

india have not faced this situation in home series... this is the lesson for our selectors do select our team by talent not by seniority.... india will not win this test also.... draw will do favour our team... shame on indian cricket team... recently these kind of poor performance not seen by team india.... dhoni must be step down... and next captain must me gambhir... india must be try new faces in test cricket.......

Posted by Sami_P on (December 13, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

@Newberry the player who are playing the current match will never complain because they will be called a cry baby. But, I would rather expect some players/officials of any country not involved in this match to complain to ICC about this horrible pitch. The ICC took action against SL for a bad pitch & this one is worse. Even street games are played under better conditions. This test at Nagpur should be termed as the saddest days of test cricket. I'm glad that Olympics do not have rules like ICC, because a sport battle field is supposed to be on an even ground where the winner can be called a true champion. I wish many people here who state that a player has to prove to play under extreme condition to win, that's all bullcrap because I would rephrase that as "a player has to prove to play under extreme NATURAL conditions to win" by natural I mean natural causes that are beyond our control like weather, etc.

Posted by Strikeforce2007 on (December 13, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

England did well, paced their innings, and should they get to 275 plus they seem well placed on this pitch. The wicket will get lower, probably crack up. It seems the far better pommie bowling on such a wicket, will work to England's benefit, as remember they bowl last. Unfortunate for Al Cook. KP played exceptional. Root brilliant and Prior the steady man as always. All else seemed placid, the Lions batted, as those in stadium sat back and could yawn watching Chawla's fattened Loins! Anderson, Panesar, Swann, Bresnan are the guys who will be more effective than our bowlers were or are.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Sorry I'm not an Indian fan and usually critical but please don't blame the pitch. Cricket is unique sport played on all surfaces and conditions. What's the opposite of fast? slow and if fast is okay then slow should be okay as well. Indian fans forget what these other people say they're just making silly excuses.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 13, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

After the game this wicket needs a plough on it...the pitch that makes the Dacca one look entertaining. I am still slightly perplexed by the idea of a captain ordering up wickets when a lot of it is just down to nature surely. I am not sure that test cricket actually needs saving even here- in spite of ICC's most concerted efforts it continues to thrive nicely and it is the 20 over game whose life is really under scrutiny-big time. How good or otherwise 199 is for a day will be revealed later. I would think we need to up to 350 to feel comfortable-it is possible that India actually know how to bat on this though their bowlers have not exactly sparkled. People are saying 250 is enough but I would like more. India have not selected the right team and there is not enough work to keep 4 spinners happy, but enough for 2 seamers. Hopefully we can bowl better than they have. I would not like to see the series drawn after this much work.

Posted by jb633 on (December 13, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

gsingh7- just keep telling yourself all these things because: 1. Nobody is listening 2. Most Indian fans will probably agree this pitch is rubbish, it is good for nobody, not even your spinners 3. Even if you win it is a drawn series 4. Where will pitches like this leave you on a deck with any bounce 5. Pakistan will batter you on these pitches so I would worry about these for that series 6. This is hypocisy at its finest, remember Perth the "pasturised cow field" 7. Your guys haven't batted yet 8. Your team will never improve with the IPL in place 8. You have lost the crown of best team in the SC 9. You have no bowling talent coming through so expect to lose series in New Zeland and maybe Ireland if they get test status.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (December 13, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

@gsingh7 - did we REALLY expect India to prepare pitches that would give advantage to England and not to India ? Why , of course not !! What a suggestion ! That would be almost as ridiculous as expecting England to win 2 back-to-back tests on pitches prepared specifically for the advantage of India , wouldn't it ? So , let's have a look at the results for the last 2 tests , shall we ? D 'OH ! D'OH !!

Posted by subbass on (December 13, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

You know England are having a good tour when India fans are getting excited about 200/5 on a pitch they don't have to bat last on that looks like crazy paving ! Pleasing debut from Root hope he can go on to get a big score tomorrow. But yes, these two at the crease are very important, we'll need 300 on the board.

Posted by 158notout on (December 13, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

funny how people like gsingh7 can make smart comments after they guaranteed a 4-0 whitewash revenge and are now 2-1 down in this series. not saying england will win this one but India has to bat and so far they have been terrible all series.

Also, please note, those complaining about the pitch are not complaining that it gives one team advantage, just that it is not conducive to a decent match between bat and ball. It is kind of easy to work out, unless you want to deliberately misunderstand.

samincolombia - i have been reading these sort of comments from you for years now. i thought you would already be in the big school and be learning about nationaility, heritage and the legacy of british empire. obviously not.

electric_loco - keep on trolling.

Posted by shillingsworth on (December 13, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

gsingh7 - India may well win and, if so, they will have been the better team in this particular match and will have deservedly squared the series. However, in your eagerness to indulge in petty point scoring, you've failed to grasp the wider issue, namely that pitches like this one are bad for test cricket.

Posted by richardror on (December 13, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

@Gsingh7 - actually all commentators are of the opinion that 300 is a good score. Indians, we beat you 4-0 at home, and we have largely dominated you away! Its time for a shake up!!!

Posted by Trickstar on (December 13, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

@ gsingh7 Some of these comments by Indians get weirder and weirder, which pitch we've had so far has meant to have favored England, hello they've all been massively in Indians favor especially the last 2 and that backed fired big time didn't it. Its funny how you think you've finally got a pitch that you're batsmen will score runs on, what makes you think this one will be any better, it's very low and goes up and down and by the time the 4th innings comes around it will be spinning big time.

Posted by syed.r.karim on (December 13, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

LOL @CandidIndian Involving Pakistani fan with poor umpiring decision against Cook , you can't hide your poor performance. This is not the case of poor umpiring but the Indian team management also involved. Indian team management can easily minimize the poor umpiring. EG. In the @2nd test Jonny Bairstow was not out as the ball first hit Gambhir helmet them the catch the ball, then Andy Flower complained against the decision but the Indian Team management ignore it. In the @3rd test Cook was run out by Bad cricket sprite, He should have allowed bat again. And now @4th test he was given out as the ball missing the off stamp by one yard. Can anybody tell me why the Indian always oppose the revival process????

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Keep hearing that England are complaining about the pitch. Can someone post a link to anything... Any one single comment or quote from ANYONE associated to the England team who has made any sort of complaint . I've looked high and low and can find nothing. I can, on the other hand find LOADS of comments from BCCI members regarding the pitches for this tour and how they should definitely be tailored to suit India. That's a perfectly fair thing, home advantage SHOULD count. So when exactly is one of these pitches that suits India going to be made? England two one up and I predict they will win this test by an innings.

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 13, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

rd_se3-Well its BCCi who is not ready to accept DRS,that does not mean that all Indian fans including me support that thought.I mentioned that bad umpiring is part of the game as there is no DRS in this series and hence there is no option but to accept all decisions made by umpires.Its sad that BCCI is refusing use of DRS.

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 13, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

shrewd plans went awry in tests 2 and 3 !! so much for those shrewd ones !! Eng did spectacularly in ind than what ind did in Eng !! Clearly, SA, Eng and Aus in that order are the best ones to play test cricket.

Posted by Trickstar on (December 13, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

@gsingh7 Surely this is some attempt at irony, after England have humiliated India so badly on pitches made to order from their Captain and for the past few weeks Indians have been non stop whinging. It really is hilarious to see that the Indian trolls are out in full force after their team has been an embarrassment for the past 2 tests. You'd think they'd keep their powder dry until their team's batted on the pitch or they've won the test because after the last couple of performances against the England bowlers, they could be all out for 150.

Posted by Nampally on (December 13, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

David, Whatever criticism one has about the pitch, both the teams have to play on the same one. Actually it is England who have the advantage after winning the crucial toss. For once Cook got out cheaply & gave the lower order batsmen to shine. Root & Prior need high praise for holding the fort from 139 for 5. On this pitch steady bowling & good fielding are crucial to save every run. Each run saved is a run made.Even a total of 250 looks a safe one for England because India will bat last.So it is critical for India to get the remaining 5 wkts. early on Day 2. They need to break thru' Root & Prior first. The game is well poised. Some have questioned Cook's LBW. But appeals against Trott & KP looked very close & they were lucky to survive in single digits.Indian batting needs to show up in full strength in the first innings to have any chance of winning.India now know what the pitch is like &they should play accordingly in a patient, disciplined & determined manner with a will to Win!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

I'm an England fan, and don't see any sense in complaining about the pitch. All pitches are different. Its a cricketers job to play on the surface provided I mean, you didn't see Indian players/supporters complaing about fast paced "Greentops" when they toured England and Australia............ Oh wait!

Posted by Herbet on (December 13, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

250 will be a good score on this pitch. Just bowl straight at pace and pick up the bowled and lbw's. If England get up to 300 then India will struggle to win.

Posted by bhrangi on (December 13, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

@Pras_Punter: We never complained about the pitch in England? We blamed our form out old batsmen. It seems that England played very slowly to draw the match. Why blaming the pitch always ???? I wonder how whole world laugh at us when we fell into the ground , when we do the same they tag us arrogant hmm and Apart from this series i never saw England play good in spinning tracks, even now England has been carried in shoulder by KP and cook,apart from that England is mediocre. We whitewashed same England 5-0 before 5/6 months.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 13, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

I personally think it even Stevens but when decision are clearly bad decision then thing mentioned other cook things were marginal were they not ? Plus if india used review system enough said :) I think England have fought back well after all India have took 5 wickets two possible umpire mistakes but it cricket. The crease is crease and same for everyone possibly it not best but it what it is . But it funny when India did make effort for turning wicket nod it failed. I believe it time to be humble there so called white wash was horrible attitude to take. I believe England cricket team deserve respect as Indian or any team should in England when they visiting

Posted by rajthedoctor on (December 13, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

@syed ahmed atleast we have won a series 5 years back in eng. Dont remember eng winning a series in india, wait have to ask my father. Also we havent been whitewashed in our familiar conditions, remember ashes aus. Your team hasnt won the series yet so....

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 13, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

Not a good test pitch indeed .It was a brave decision by Dhoni to demand for sporting pitches after first test.Strategy of playing on slow low dust-bowls may have worked in India as we lost just two tests in last 5 years but side effect of this strategy is that whenever India played on sporting pitches they got thrashed like it happened in Eng and Aus.If our youngsters will not face challenges how will we get quality players like Dravid ,Laxman Gavaskar , Ganguly , Tendulkar in future.Losing to Eng in last two tests exposed many problems about our batting and bowling and its good for future as improvements can be made accordingly.I dont know what was the need for pressing the panic button and returning to that strategy of playing on slow low dust-bowls again.If this continues ,to repeat performances like Aus 2004 and in Eng 2007 will be a distant dream.We should make sporting pitches like Mum and kolkata,there is no shame in losing to better side,that's how you improve.

Posted by Harlequin. on (December 13, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

@Marlin00 & BengalTiger - I can't see many English people claiming the pitch is unfair, stop putting words into peoples mouths, not everyone is like you guys when it comes to making pathetic excuses. The complaints are not about the fairness, but rather the fact that these sorts of pitches tend to make for pretty boring matches. Hopefully the likes of Sehwag can do a little better and give us something to watch, but the fact that KP - one of the most attacking and dominating batsmen in world cricket - struggled to play his shots, it will take some doing to score quickly.

Posted by criclovingmind on (December 13, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

last one hour india doesn't shown any urgency...that will drop the morale down... and it will back fire on them tmrow....

Posted by Trickstar on (December 13, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

@ GRVJPR LOL of course they'll score 500 on this pitch, just like they have in the previous 2 tests. Got to laugh at the comments about the quality of the pitch from some of the Indians because if this pitch was in any other country they would be crying foul about it, I mean they still whinge about perfectly good pitches in England and Aus. KP played very well for his 73 really dug and grafted hard, very un KP like. Looks like the only way the Indians are going to get Cook out is by atrocious umpiring calls, what was the umpire thinking, a 12 year old would know not to give that out. Good to see Root show his worth, along with Prior, they just need to get us up to around 300 if they can then game on.

Posted by AKS286 on (December 13, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

both bell and trott again disappointed. thank no samit in the team. i'm very much impressed with ROOT. i think cook LBW is controversial. waiting for root's century. the pitch, field placing, 4 spinners are teasing and really frustrate POMS. can bresnan moves the bowl at a good speed i hav a doubt. meaker/ onion are ahead of bresnan.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

i think england have faced their innings quite nice... india will find difficulty facing panesar and swan.... for this bad run of india is the reason is only that india is missing mr. wall the dravid & very very special laxman

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 13, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

did u english fans hoped that india wud give pitches to suit english strengths while weakening theirs, ? i hope not, ;; par first innings score is above 400 which will be mountain too high to conquer for fragile english batsmen, this test will end in innings defeat and 2-2 scoreline, sehwag innings hold key for indian win, a rapid start wud provide enough momentum to indian players to execute their shrewd plans and conquer the three lions

Posted by jackthelad on (December 13, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

BengalTiger - this pitch is inadequate - indeed grossly inadequate - for reasonable Test cricket; a Test pitch should allow a decent balance of skills to be demonstrated, and as wide a range of variety of styles exhibited over five days as possible. On this muck-heap, bowling is a lottery and batting a farce; the pitch will, indeed, probably self-destruct before day five. It is an abomination and needs to be reported in the strongest terms. CarryonRegardless - who, pray, are these Indian Champions who have retired? Gambhir and ... ? I can think of three or four who SHOULD retire, but so far as I know haven't yet. Try looking at reality one-eyed, not fantasy, eh?

Posted by o-bomb on (December 13, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

This is clearly a difficult pitch to score runs on. The only rewards seem to be for the patient batters prepared to grind it out. If we get to 300 I think that'll be a matchwinning score. I expect Gambhir and Pujara to be able to stick around for a while when India bat, but I also expect the likes of Kohli and Dhoni to get impatient very quickly again. @GRVJPR - By saying things like that you're just setting yourself up to look foolish when India don't get 500. Give it a rest!

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 13, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

perhaps india may have got their wishes on the type of pitch, if so good luck you have had 4 goes at it. if england can bat another 40 overs and get upwards of 280,then the balls in indias court. maybe indian supporters can tell us whats the norm, and is the nature of the wicket different. we have played differently than i have seen us bat before this type of wicket.we dont bat well on low slow wickets an i guess we would have normally been out for 150 inside 60 overs. so just after lunch tomorrow i hope, but will not be disappointed if we are still there at stumps, lol

Posted by cricketstarbest on (December 13, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Dont know about the condition of the pitch but India will win this test match

Posted by Newbury_1 on (December 13, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Just to point out i havent heard any English players complaining about the pitch and they are the ones whose opinion i am more interested in!!!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Why complain about spinning pitches? Since England won the last 3 matches in such conditions, they have an equal chance of winning this one also. Secondly, India doesn't get (or expect) pitches that suit them when they go to England, SA or Australia. But suddenly, pitches that swing, seam and bounce are supposed to be good for cricket, eh? I do agree that India has miles to go before becoming a team that performs in all conditions....

Posted by maddy20 on (December 13, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

Negative batting at its very best. Playing for a draw from the first ball. The worst performance I have seen by a visiting side. Despite of all their South African , Irish (and what not) imports , if this what they can put together against a rookie Indian side its really really shameful. I bet this is gonna bite them in the behind. Given that this pitch is similar to Ahmedabad and we have cannon fodder Bresnan and Anderson bowling dibbly doblies on a slow wicket Sehwag and Gambhir will make merry. As for Panesar, this pitch is really slow, and there is no bounce. It will be a miracle if England can make India bat twice! And for those whining about Cook, watch the replay of Trott's turned down LBW in the 7th over and then we will talk!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 13, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

England have rolled over India this series, and now they've made runs on a pitch which should dust over from tomorrow on wards. If it doesn't we are all in for a slow match that requires crease occupation, with opportunities for the batsmen not being what they should be. England have runs, India will be all over the place if they lose their openers before making 70-odd.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 13, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

the regular english whining have started about pitch, it was all rosy and balmy when they won 2 matches but knives r out when india dominated them on day 1 , i expect england to roll over for 240 tommorow then we will see how much indians score on this "sub standard" no life , clayey minefield, lols

Posted by scottnye on (December 13, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

@CarryOnRegardless - what an odd comment. You can only play against the players that the opposition select to play against you. Not the greats from the past orfuture greats. what you are basically saying is that if this same england side played againts the Indian side with the likes of Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble at their prime then they would loose. Or if england were playing an Indian side that had other players with the skill and experience of those past greats, that then they would loose. They are not playing those sides, they are playing the current Indian side, who are not that great, and are not performing well.

I might as well say that England would have beaten SA last summer if England had been a stronger team such as the 2005 Ashes winning side. Daft and pointless.

Posted by ICC-IndianCricketCouncil on (December 13, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

Indians can't play on green tops, they whine when its bouncy, and spin friendly is too much to handle so they come up with flat dead wicket with no bounce, no spin, no movement of the pitch (green top) so they can rattle England and save themselves from another embarrassing defeat. Grow up INDIA!

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 13, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

@ GRVJPR , on similar lines, when getting hammered 0-8, why did your team go around crying about the supposedly green-tops ? It's not the curator's fault, isn't it ?

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

@paul-rone-clarke .... well all i can say is englishmen should play upto merits !! which they convincingly did ! well the soil matters a lot as far as pitches are concerned ! if i import a truck load of soil from perth or even durban and place it in this stadium the ball would still keep low & slow !! there i nothing called tailor made ... yeah a grass bed would have provided some nip to the fast bowlers ... but even without that there is considerable reverse swing is on offer ... ishant found a few .... Dale steyn picked up 7 in the last encounter o'er here !! As the testing clouds gulf the indian batsmen in cloudy swinging conditions at nottingham ... same is the case here ... the batsmen who adapt better sustain better !!

Posted by Subho85 on (December 13, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

The way this pitch has behaved on 1st day, seems it will be very difficult to handle fast bowlers and India only has one of them. I won't be surprised if India loses this one too. I won't be surprised if it ends on 3rd day. But whoever win's this, its a loss for cricket. Its high time for the administrators of cricket in the country to wake up.

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 13, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

@ gsingh7 - it amazes me that there are any Indians left who want to talk about pitches when your team gets beaten home and away on whatever surface is produced. With that out of my system, it wasn't a particularly bright day for England but there are runs on the board at least. With another 50 at least it'll be getting towards competitive and with 100 more, truly competitive. In England's favour however is that we have three bowlers who are better than anything India have so we'll have a better chance of wickets on what should be a tougher surface. It's anyone's game from here still, though. If India bat well they'll be able to put pressure on given the fact that England will have done amazingly if they get more than 300. Seems a long way from here still though.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 13, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

carry on regardless. we played with them in 2011 with as you say the so called champions and beat them then, so whats your beef. as they say you can only play whats in front of you

Posted by ethijanaki on (December 13, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

A good team performs well in all kinds of conditions and pitches(lifeless/bouncy/turning/low/wicked/green) and i didn't know why some english and pakistanis cry about the pitch.We are going to play in the same pitch and not in a pitch from different planet.If you poms are unable to play in slow tracks against slow bowlers then you guys start complaining about the pitch.I also accept that indian team is not performing well now and cook(real class) saves u guys all the time otherwise it will be a different scenario.All the talk about pitch came as Dhoni requested for a particular type of pitch openly and all other captains/board does the same but not openly.

Posted by fan_2_fans on (December 13, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

I dont know why people are blaming the pitch.Any pitch is good if it is going to produce a result,and that is what everyone wants.The reason test cricket is in trouble because of lots of drawn games on flat pitches.

Posted by rd_se3 on (December 13, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

CandidIndian: "bad umpiring is part of the game". It needn't be - and I can think of one bit of technology that can help...

Posted by aa61761 on (December 13, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

The uneven bounce is due to some moisture left in various parts of the wicket, this moisture will dry out in a day or two and then the wicket will stay Slow and Low for rest of the game. This is a kind of wicket where Indians score big runs. Watch out England, Indians will come out Driving every ball and pile up huge total. This is a wicket where you have to stay on front foot. SRT is going to score another 100 and will be set for another year. To English fans I am from Pakistan.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 13, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Will the ICC investigate Cook's 'dismissal'. In all my years of watching cricket and playing it with a couple of now junior members of the England 'A' side, I have never seen an umpire give a guy out for a ball missing 3-4 stump's worth. What's actually going on here?

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

People have to realise that Dhoni is correct in every word what he said about the pitch.. Sporting pitches in India are spinning pitches.. That is what Dhoni is asking for.. He does not want dead pitch....

Only few pitches in India can be considered is good for Test Cricket... 1) Mumbai 2) Bangalore 3) Mohali 4) Chennai... But still, sometimes pitches in bangalore, Mohali and Chennai can be batting paradise, but offers good bounce... I saw a Ranji match played in Chennai recently.. it was turning square from day one... Cricinfo Please publish...

Posted by abhiyog on (December 13, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Well England are playing for a draw to win their first and in fact if they win their last test series of this millenium against India in India........

Posted by Hammond on (December 13, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

@CandidIndian- I think most of the vitriol is directed at the fact that the BCCI refuses to endorse the DRS. Simple as that. Cook would still be batting apart from the terrible howler that he had to walk off to.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 13, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

We'll see how England bowls on this wicket and then we can judge.

Posted by Akash_23 on (December 13, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

This pitch would have been ideal for a timeless test match like the early 90's. Can't see a result coming out unless some really poor batting is on display.

Posted by milesy100 on (December 13, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

I have a feeling India will be bowled out for less than 150 tomorrow. And if they are....then its just desserts for preparing such a dreadful pitch.

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (December 13, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

England is totally dependent on Cook. If Cook fails, POMS can hardly reach 200. So far in Mumbai and Kolkatta english enjoyed bowling on pace and bouncy wicket. Now, when pitch stays low batsman choke. English fans do the best thing they are known for when their team is in distress.. i.e moaning. grow up kids and enjoy the game. Run rate of just over 2? really??.. Worlds best test team did not even cross 200 by end of day 1. What a shame!

Posted by rayfanatics on (December 13, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

Yes, the pitch is not ideal for Test cricket. However, it is an attritional surface which plays right into the hands of typically no stroke English batsmen with all due respect to Pietersen who has perhaps played the best innings of this series. India will rue this all spinner strategy.

Posted by OzWally on (December 13, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

Hard to tell how bad the pitch is until both teams have a chance to bat, but when you see a graphic that shows (on average at this ground) the score in each innings (from 1 to 4) decreases each time, that to me, describes a poor, unfair pitch. Win the toss and you win. Not what test cricket deserves or needs.

Posted by _Oracle_ on (December 13, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Guys, having pitches the way you want is called home game advantage. Having rank turner or low-slow pitch is exactly the same thing as green-top @ oval or Lords. I am first to admit that England is better overall team here. However, just because England think they would love to win this series 3-1 and India makes pitch that they like, it doesn't make it not test worthy. If England is truely that much better team let them win on this pitch and take the series. David Hopps, I watched the match and I believe the ball is keeping low, but its consistent. If you think, India is playing unfair, please don't come to play in India.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 13, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

@gsingh7 on (December 13 2012, 10:13 AM GMT) isn't it time for people like you to pipe down? India reputation for this kind of pitch go unchallenged and yet it is abomination to world test cricket. There is no depth - no depth that india will not stoop to in order to spare its embaressment and its blush. Shame! And as for you @TheBengalTiger - surely even you can see it is India, not England who are just poor in this condition!? When Swann and Panesar get to work we'll see how fine you think the pitch is then.... I will watch for your post.

Posted by kingofspain on (December 13, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Stop whining about the pitch. I wouldn't want a pitch like this in every test but it's interesting to see different conditions. Unless, of course, you're like the author of this article and the only thing you find "interesting" is boundaries. This is fascinating stuff.

Posted by Kulaputra on (December 13, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Four spinners is supposed to be as scary as four pacemen that Clive Lloyd unleashed on the rest of the world ???

Posted by Ven61 on (December 13, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

On the first day of the fourth test, there is already a loser - test cricket. The sub-standard pitch BCCI has prepared is a disgrace to test cricket. BCCI has continued its brazen small-mindedness throughout the series. It is so unfortunate that the richest cricket board has fallen to such levels.

I, as an Indian, am not proud of BCCI.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 13, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

@gm47 - You must be blind as a bat. The no ball you are talking about was referred to the third umpire and he gave it not out. Cook's decision was 50-50 which could have gone either way not a horrible decision like the one for Trott. He was plumb LBW and was not given. So now tell me who needs more players in the team. Stop watching sky may be that will make you think better.

Posted by valvolux on (December 13, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

Im all for preparing pitches they favour your side. However no one in world cricket needs to except India. In England they have the advantage because no one has as much experience in such variable weather where one session its flat, then the next session when the clouds come over the ball starts doing a lot. I laugh at people who say Australia prepares pitches - this past series played out like every other Australian series. Brisbane had a bit in it with the new ball, then became a good wicket. Adelaide was as flat as ever (the only Aussie pitch that always is) and Perth tested every batsman and paceman could come into their own. What made it look like a batting fest was because you had Clarke and Amla in the form of their lives. The problem with this India is that no matter what wicket they prepare, England has a better side. They have better spinners, better seamers and better batsmen. No matter what pitch they prepare, England has a better chance of winning.

Posted by pratit on (December 13, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

The earlier test matches showed that the Indian batsmen lacked the patience to play test cricket. Then how will they fare on this pitch, a pitch in which KP had to grind? Can't wait to find out

Posted by Nerk on (December 13, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Some people on this site are confused as to what constitutes a good wicket for a sporting five day contest. A pitch where, in the third over of the day, the ball fails to bounce through to the 'keeper on the full, is not a good pitch. But, as the old saying goes, both teams have to bat on it.

Oh, and @Basil777 - could you please explain how exactly Australia 'manufactured' pitches to the disadvantage of Sth Africa? Obviously, Australia were worried about Sth Africa's potent spin attack of Tahir and Peterson, so they designed pitches that favoured fast bowling.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

This pitch does not provide entertainment for the cricket public. No wonder no one is watching at the ground. If India don't want to play test cricket they should withdraw from the test championship and just play one day. Tendulkar can play for another 10 years then. That's the only important thing for Indian cricket fans.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

@Basil777 which two pitches were they? They all seemed to play the same as the last few years, except Adelaide which didn't break up as much as usual.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Look who's crying foul now. Just the other day wasnt it you who came up with "England are now ready for challenges in Asia" nonsense. Now what happened, this pitch is too much of a challenge? The pitch is same for both the teams, so stop whining and try to put some runs on the board. Its just day 1 and already looking for excuses

Posted by doubtingthomas on (December 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

England must play for a draw. Considering the kind of shameless strategies Indian team's think tank is using, I do not think Indian team deserves any better.

Posted by balajit on (December 13, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

India have left England of the hook with prior & root adding 60 & looking good for more. 250 on this wicket is par . Batsmen need to show lot of patience to get runs on this wicket. Whatever the score to give themselves a chance India need to get whatever England get or at least 50 more.

ICC umpire of the year just had a very poor day!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

It was a very horrible umpiring against england. perhaps bcci wants to win this match anyhow. no matter if it is in indecent way. shame on you. cook was simply robbed by umpire. otherwise we would get a different score.i think without biased umpiring, india will not be able to win this match. hope to see too many horrible decision in favor to save indian test cricket.

Posted by landl47 on (December 13, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

As an England supporter I'm reasonably satisfied with day 1. Winning the toss was an advantage and then England needed to occupy the crease for as long as possible. This wicket is going to fall to pieces in 3 days and the longer England can bat the closer that comes. I suspect England has already got a decent score and if they could reach 250 it would be an excellent score. I've actually enjoyed watching the batsmen having to work really hard for runs on this wicket; it's a lousy wicket to bat on, but don't worry, it's going to get worse unless, of course, the curator waters it. Now THAT would be doctoring the pitch.

Posted by creekeetman on (December 13, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

lol, its amazing how india were capable of getting 97 overs in a day when it suits them... even if they had another seamer instead of chawla they would've gotten in the full 90 without going to the extra half hour.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (December 13, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Both the teams are playing on same pitch everyday. Horrible for one team and good for another..Give me a break..Whoever plays better wins the game..England needs to bend theiri back to play low bounce.

Posted by Rajeev129 on (December 13, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

Aus and SA pitches are identical. Both teams are comfortable in playing at any venue in those countries. The tests between those 2 have repeatedly produced great test matches in last 7/8 years. Always the away team is winning relatively better (i.e Away has 51 marks and Home as 49 marks). I believe that all other series are one sided in last 3 seasons. Off course it won't repeat when India and Pakistan start playing against each other.

@Basal777 Stop complaining on the series between Australia and South Africa.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

If england are a better team they should not complain about the wicket.... If players are talented enough to play on picthes that bounce and turn they should also show talent in these pitches.... This pitch may yield a result in 4 days... if pitches with too much bounce are challenging so are these kind of pitches..

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

England is struggling and hence the person writing this day end report is "crying".

Posted by rajthedoctor on (December 13, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

Mr hopps what u hv written is totally biased. This pitch may have uneven bounce but it is for india as well ,they hv to bat 4th so it wasnt deliberately prepared. Fast bowling may not be best in india but it isnt endangered as we hv qt a few in domestic level (hope they gt chances hereafter) , for this match the squad replacement awana couldnt arrive in time also as the pitch was dry chawla was selected. And last test cricket will always get low attendance especially in the wk days in the minor cities,bt that doesnt mean they dont follow test cric ,many do throu tv and internet. And for ur kind information if a delivery doesnt reach the batsmen on first bounce its a dead ball and if it goes over the head is a wide.so on what basis do ur men call low bounce pitches inferior and unfit to test cricket.remember we won a series in eng 4 yrs back in bouncy pitches ,i dont remember eng winning a series in india since i was born.also i dont remembr india getting whitewashed on pitches they are familiar. This series isnt lost till. So cmmon guys.

Posted by rd_se3 on (December 13, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

"Test cricket, not in the best of health as it is" - is it? OK, so maybe crowds are lower these days but but in excitement terms, it's in rude health. We've had some of the most swinging and tense Test matches in the past 5 years or so. Some absolute belters.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

maybe india need to be reminded of the old adage, be careful what you wish for. they wanted pitches to help them and have paid the consequences, the aussies tried the same to a lesser degree against SA and got beaten. world class teams will win on any pitch, teams that need to fix pitches are simply trying to make up for their lack of overall quality

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

@gsingh7 and @TheBengalTiger .. 2-1 down, First day of series decider, and with rubbish pitch in hand, peculiar Indian bullying and arrogance is back .. Even If you weren't presented with rank turners in England, how many games did you win there anyway??? .. Last I checked, you lost back to back tests in your own backyard in a "revenge" series LOL!!!

@Paul Rone-Clarke .. Can't agree more!

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

I know, i know he is the one of or even the greatest batsman ever, but why is Sachin playing? give Rahane a chance..come on.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 13, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Disgraceful wicket, horrible umpiring decisions with no DRS. Playing in India is like going back to Stone Age .

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Come on guys...Test cricket is supposed to "Test" the players. We all talk of uncovered pitches on which the DON played. Pietersen, Trott and the 2 unbeaten batsman showed that this pitch can be mastered...Lets wait for Sehwag to bat on this pitch.

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

I am sorry, but this pitch is a disgrace. A first-day test wicket where the pacer's deliveries barely reach the keeper? I grew up an Indian fan, but what this is just shameful. The BCCI, the groundsman and the team calling for such a pitch are all an utter disgrace to cricket. I think Dhoni and the BCCI should just come out and acknowledge that, starting now, in all test matches played in India, the Indian batsmen will be allowed at least two mulligans each. That way, their dishonesty is out in the open. As an Indian fan, I hoping for India to lose this series. It's the wake-up call Indian cricket needs.

Posted by swat1999 on (December 13, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

The pitch is ugly. not for for Test match at all. I afraid India might fell itself into own hole which digged for England

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

KP is such a great batsman, i still remember the forums filled with KP hate from the English before the series, and quite a few Indian fans batting for him. KP and Cook have been the difference. KP,Cook,Trott,Prior are world class batsmen while Finn, swann, and 'Monty in indian conditions' are also world class. It would be difficult for any team to beat England in India at the moment. I think unfortunately for india its going to be a long hard road to redemption now, with no world class batsmen or bowlers..its bound to be diffiult even in home conditions.

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

Looks to me England is already batting for time from day 1...LOL No one seem to be in a hurry to score and most except Bell look calm and collected...batting with a clear mind. I don't mind a grind it out, bat as long as you can, bore them to death draw. I'm hoping Bresnan can do a repeat of his Bangladesh performance with Swann in a supporting role. Anything above 300-350 would be an excellent score imo.

Posted by py0alb on (December 13, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

I'm all for turners and seamers, damp pitches and dry pitches, low pitches and bouncy pitches, slow pitches and fast pitches. The variety of pitch and its effects on the game are one of the joys of Test Cricket.

But a pitch that produces variable bounce on day 1 is simply unfit for play. An amateur club side would be fined for producing such a poor pitch.

Posted by cricprasu on (December 13, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

whats happening to indian cricket....rifts b/n players...rifts btwn captain and team..captain and Ex players..no one performing well..trashed in overaseas...now in home...players r not evn botherd abt winning and loosing..no attitude...is this the end of good days of indian cricket after the retirement of wall,vvs and kumble..... I really cant understand whats the coach,captain and bowlers are doing...if batsman played well in a match...after the match, they should observe where he's feeling difficulty, to which bowler he's facing problems, which length..so that atleast they can restrict him...not even doing anything these people..if indian bowlers are getting a wicket means either its a mistake of batsman or umpire....nothing by the bowler...how they are allowing cook to score again and again centuries..look at BD ...how they controlled Gayle... Nothing is going good for india...players performance,captaincy,attitude to win,coaching...every one blaming others...

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

Desperation by BCCI, MS Dhoni, and Co....common people!! cricket esp test cricket is a gentlemans game, agreed all countries prepare wickets to suit their advantage,,,,on such a track surely India dont see an advantage, people pay to watch these matches and this is what you offer your viewers? a crappy track on DAy 1 of a test match!!!....shame on the groundsmen and on the spirit of the game,,,,you have dissappointed fans and viewers all around the globe!! to make it worse Gautam Gambhir had a lot of chat about when teams will come to play in India...where the big words now my friend???

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

Ironic that India seems determined to destroy cricket, considering how popular the sport is there

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 13, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

This is the last, cynical throw of the dice by the BCCI. The best India can do is share the series with a win here on this mockery of a Test match wicket. No wonder the curator was gagged from saying anything, because this pitch, doubtless prepared under strict orders, is a disgrace. It does no favours for Test Cricket & the way of looking at this opinion of mine is to think what would TC be like if this was typical of pitches round the world, and indeed, elsewhere in India? This form of cricket, theoretically its highest expression & most severe examination for its participants, would be deemed unwatchable.Those that dislike cricket, because it's too slow (like watching paint dry, they say in England) could point to this pitch & today's play & emphatically make their point. It'd be hard to argue with them. It insults the paying customers. Just imagine a young lad, watch his first-ever day of 'live' play! Can we go home now, Dad? And on that basis alone, India does not deserve to win.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

@ TheBengalTiger on (December 13 2012, 09:53 AM GMT), even if England win this game, this is still a rubbish Test pitch.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

250+ in this innings will be a very good score for England. The pitch will probably get progressively worse from here and India will have to bat against Monty and Swann in the last innings. Good luck with that!!!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

The pitch was two paced alright, but this is article is lil too offensive especially where it says "it was time to find another way. It was not pretty. Plan B was to drive England to distraction on the slowest, lowest, shabbiest pitch imaginable." , with all due respect to the writer and being absolutely aware of our shortcomings and tactics, its still far fetched to say these words as it sounds as if we as home team try cheap tactics, and talkin about wickets as being gifts is disrespectful to the bowling, please give credit where due, we ARE NOT as cheap as you've put it here !!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

250+ in this innings will be a very good score for England. The pitch will probably get progressively worse from here and India will have to bat against Monty and Swann in the last innings. Good luck with that!!!

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 13, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Funge Blaming the umpire for an under par performance achieves little. Perhaps England should just be thankful for playing India at a time when their champions have retired and the replacements are still to get the necessary experience.

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

LOL@hypocrisy of few Pakistani fans(not all) crying out loud here about decision of Cook ,Aleem Darr did not give Cook out twice when he was LBW earlier in the series ,not a single one of such howlers complained about poor umpiring then,truth is that neither Aleem Darr should be blamed nor Dharamsena,bad umpiring is part of the game.Twice decision has gone against Indians once it got in favor of them,but conveniently ignoring two earlier bad decisions and picking out this one is hypocrisy.I have deep respect for Pak cricket and their fans overall,so my post is directed towards few trash talkers .

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

LOL@hypocrisy of few Pakistani fans(not all) crying out loud here about decision of Cook ,Aleem Darr did not give Cook out twice when he was LBW earlier in the series ,not a single one of such howlers complained about poor umpiring then,truth is that neither Aleem Darr should be blamed nor Dharamsena,bad umpiring is part of the game.Twice decision has gone against Indians once it got in favor of them,but conveniently ignoring two earlier bad decisions and picking out this one is hypocrisy.I have deep respect for Pak cricket and their fans overall,so my post is directed towards few trash talkers .

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

As ever the maxim 'don't judge a pitch until both sides have batted applies' but I suspect that if England can chisel out another 100 runs that might prove a good score.

Posted by Haseeb.Rehman on (December 13, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Well India at last have shown some character today mainly because of their tight feeling.... That is how you block in-form batsmen by making them earn their runs.... only concerns regarding India today were first the selection of more than enough spinners and secondly the usage of faster bowlers, Dhoni kept his team nicely but a little bit too much bowlers were used and a question arises that if you have your pacemen bowling pretty well, why is their a need of bowling from Jadega?(though Jadega has taken 24 wickets in first-class cricket but can still be regarded as a part-timer).... still, India had a good day at the office.... Regardless of the pitch....

Posted by Strikeforce2007 on (December 13, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Poms firmly placed in driver's seat, adapting once again in their batting response, having lost Al Cook on a bad umpiring cal. 275 runs seems an above par score 1st innings on a wicket that is a shame to call a 1st day test pitch! dhoni & his ponies will find it tougher chasing with the far better and attacking pommies bowling..expect the low in-swing of Anderson, the fast low spin of Monty and the increased revs of Swann on a doctored wicket hassling the Indian team,wrecking havoc! Its reversing yet again on the hosts on their doctored wicket! Match should be over before dusk day 4?

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (December 13, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

Why is the pitch inadequate for test matches? I don't understand. its slow. Big deal. some pitches are fast. Why is that so much better? Stop moaning and get on with it

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 13, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

Its not curators dault if england can't bat properly. India will easily score 500 on this pitch and that too at a quick rate. Apart from Cook no one can play properly in england

Posted by rajsarkar1980 on (December 13, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Team Composition? If Jadeja was to be played, why Chawla... Donno wats up with the think tank. Selecters needs some serious accountibilty ...

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 13, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

Sad day for me as an Indian fan,when India beat Eng in their own backyard in 2007 and then won at home in 2008,i never thought that Indian cricket will go in reverse direction.Quality of players wins you matches or pitches?future of Dhoni as test captain and player depends on this match, series loss will certainly make sure that he will be forced to leave,no wonder panic button is on.Having said that its disappointing that some people are moaning over LBW dismissal .Cook was not given out twice by Aleem Darr ,none of these fans chirping now wrote a single word then ,plain hypocrisy !! Anyways like many fans including me mentioned before the series that Eng team is much better in quality and skills than current Indian team hence if Eng does not win series after being 2-1 up i think it will be great disappointment for Cook and his boys.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

I'm not sure who is responsible for this pitch but I'll be the first to admit that it's not what Dhoni was asking for. It may indeed be India's best chance for a win but it doesn't really promote attractive cricket, and Dhoni himself stated that. It will be interesting to see whether India have similar trouble with the lack of pace and bounce. Hopefully Bresnan can live up to selectors faith and get some reverse swing going.

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 13, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

Sad day for me as an Indian fan,when India beat Eng in their own backyard in 2007 and then won at home in 2008,i never thought that Indian cricket will go in reverse direction.Quality of players wins you matches or pitches?future of Dhoni as test captain and player depends on this match, series loss will certainly make sure that he will be forced to leave,no wonder panic button is on.Having said that its disappointing that some people are moaning over LBW dismissal .Cook was not given out twice by Aleem Darr ,none of these fans chirping now wrote a single word then ,plain hypocrisy !! Anyways like many fans including me mentioned before the series that Eng team is much better in quality and skills than current Indian team hence if Eng does not win series after being 2-1 up i think it will be great disappointment for Cook and his boys.

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

Not sure what some of the Indian fans mean about the two pitches (Brisbane and Adelaide?) which Aus manufactured, particularly seeing as both pitches held together long enough for SA to draw. While it was no doubt be incredibly painful to watch, I'd be fascinated to see how Australia, who seem to have rediscovered their attacking mindset recently, would go on a pitch where kevin pietersen scores at a strike rate of around 40. Preparing something like this against England though may reduce the chances of losing, but it will do nothing to improve India's long term prospects, particularly with fast bowling. Providing England bowl straight, anything around 300 should be plenty

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

Commentators always say you can't tell what is a good score on a pitch until both sides have batted so let's wait until the second innings before making comments about the pitch.

I'm also bored with comments about England's South African born players change the record guys please.

Jadeja I think is a good choice, I've been an admirer for a while and maybe throwing him to rescue a test series may be a good test of his character.

Posted by HK_Sachin on (December 13, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

David Hopps, "the curators" arent answerable to anyone. and i mean anyone ....

indian test teams wants the game decided in 3 days, helps with thier rest days, injuries and makes exciting cricket.

makes senses?

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

Amla and Kallis scored 253* and 173 respectively on this ground in 2010. Was that pitch same like this one?

Posted by Romenevans on (December 13, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

@ late--cut - ...and what about your SL who just couldn't even win against NZ at your own backyard? LOL! Gloating Lankans i tell ya!

Posted by Stumay on (December 13, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

India yet again trying their hardest to ruin test cricket as a spectacle. It wouldn't Surprise me if they do these things on purpose to drive down crowds and promote the joke that is the IPL.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 13, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

I a glad I am not the only one in contempt of this wicket..I'd have Vincent Price doing the pitch reports on this zombie surface ( creepy tales from the land of the undead,as it were.) I wonder how many 199 is worth. BTW KP is perfectly capable of reining back but only in the direst of circumstances. I felt sorry for the openers - like a hermit being thrown a surprise party the shock was all but unsustainable, and they duly collapsed. One thing in England's favour was that only Sharma can bowl seam in that side. Will Trott be doing duty as 3rd seamer for us? And will Bell make it to the tarmac for NZ where he will be far happier. For the truth is really out;Bell cannot play spin in Asia. Is the tolling of the bell terminal?

Posted by jb633 on (December 13, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

Ian Bell has had enough chances in these conditions now. I have said it for a while but he should play in seaming conditions but just scrap him for any tour of the SC. In every innings I have seen him in on a SC tour he just looks like a walking wicket. People say he has all the shots but against spinners on these surfaces does he really? Ok he hits over the top but only on a wicket where there is bounce. When he uses his feet he doesn't get to the pich like Cook or KP does which allows the ball to grip and hitting through the ball becomes difficult. He doesn't sweep which is a cruical shot on these wickets. When the guy defends as well he is so often beaten as he plays from the crease. He does not smother the spin ie Cook when defending and if it turns he is always in trouble. I cannot tell you how many times we have seen him beaten on the outside by a ball with a minimal amount of turn. Ian Bell has the yips with regards to batting the SC. Just use him for bouncy tracks from now on.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

Its only because of editors like you feel that Test cricket is not in best health. What is wrong with this pitch? What unusual did you find in this wicket? Just because England did not score runs you feel that the wicket is bad? Accept the fact that England cannot play on pitches that keep low.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 13, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

For some devious reasons IND created a pitch like that, which is not in accordance with game spirit. On the otherside, a good batsman would be able to make runs and good bowler would be able take wicket regardless of pitch condition. Mr. Cook, why you gifting your wicket that cheaply, it is second time in a row. You need to have a serious meeting with Mr. Gooch.

Posted by Umbra on (December 13, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

@gnsingh7: Ha, as if. England's spinners outdid yours on the infamous 'rank turners' and how has that 'revenge' worked out for you? :P England now have nothing to lose in this series. Even taking all you have said for truth, we can at least accept the fact that the BCCI has bribed the most 'excellent' umpires, including the honorary 'umpire of the year'. Filthy tactics as I've seen, but sadly typical of Indian cricket. And that is to say nothing of the consistent ridiculous appeals for bat before wicket. It's almost as if the players themselves are lacking knowledge of this sport, let alone proper sportsmanship. I'll tell you what though, should bad decisions go England's way, you and many other Indians will be calling for the heads of the umpires. I believe that defines hypocritical far more considering your distaste for the DRS; reap what you sow, and grow up.

Posted by Tigg on (December 13, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

@gsingh7 Yes substandard. Nobody is asking for a green seamer (although india like to pretend that's what they were given when they toured England, they weren't), but uneven bounce on day 1 is disgracefull. Are Indian curators incompetent? They seem to thick tests should either last for three weeks or two days.

Frankly a shocking pitch.

What i'm dissapointed in is England returning to Bresnan without giving Onions a look in. 250+ will be a good effort. If we can somehow bat to tea tomorrow we'll be in the box seat.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 13, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Look how confused Dhoni is..2 back to back defeats & he went out with so many spinners.Watching this match closely.But most probably this move would back fire resulting in poor Indian batting performance. Bowling is & never was Indian team's strength.Dhoni need to do something in batting area,not Bowling lol..I always think that our pakistani batsmen are pathetic.But after watching this series,i can clearly see how great our Pak players performed against England.. Ps->Compton got out on a no ball..Dont understand how Umpire did not call it a no ball

Posted by UglyIndian on (December 13, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

@samincolumbia - So you're saying that 2 South Africans are better than 11 Indians..including one SR T? Who do you think you are?

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 13, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

lets see the 2 not out batters get big 50s and get us up to 300+. great wicket it should be used like they do in oz, drop in pitches then they can move it around india then you do not require curators. not seen joe root play before the tests if he is a good player of spin then it stands him in good stead. lets hope for the indians sake it deteriorates big time.

Posted by Valavan on (December 13, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

@English Fans, Guys dont jump up your complaints. we are not the Indian bunch to cry for pitches. Lets play out and the better team win, ofcourse the rare cook failure will help him to build in 2nd innings. If we make India play in the 4th innings, yep we create history. Bell has rang enough, atleast we must drop him when we come to sub continent. We can still score at 2 per over and play out time if we have the luck by our side. If jadeja can take a few wickets with his substandard bowling, so we can expect a few for our duo. Given that Dhoni is the poorest test captain after Srikkanth that India ever had, lets dont complain pitch. India's Plan A in test in pitch, so they dont have any Plan B. If we see exactly Ojha and Ashwin are decoded by English. If we get close to 300 and we need just 2 wickets - Sehwag and Pujara. we are still not far away from making history. Lets hope and cheer harmy army. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by breathsport on (December 13, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

The pitch very clearly reflects the sorry state of indian cricket. This is not the cricket people want to see. BCCI and Dhoni want to buy a win however cheap it is(it is quite possible that they may still fall short). In India, will we ever a see a fast bowler charging in from his long run up.Bowlers and Batsmen are handicapped in this sort of pitches. HATE TO SEE THIS...

Posted by jb633 on (December 13, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

I am not one to complain about pitches but this is just plain rubbish and it is making for boring cricket. Yes both sides have to bat on it and so on but this is embarassing. In the UAE we saw the ball turn but nothing even close to the level of this. I have genuinley never seen a pitch that is a lifeless as this. @TheBengalTiger I know you are just trolling so this is not a response to you but the real Indian fans. I mean I am sure the real fans can see the dangers of pitches like this even if you do win this game. I mean how will your players ever learn to play on a normal track if you fall back of wickets like this when times are tough. It is so short sighted and ridiculous. @Basil777- I am sorry which pitches did Oz manufacture exactly? Brisbane and Adelaide have played like that for the last 5 years. If they wanted to manufacture wickets then they would have made Perth a dustbowl as SA have no spinner. Comparing AUS/IND is chalk and cheese. This is rubbish.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 13, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

All the vast resources available & they still can't churn out a decent pitch. Where is the direction to return to the glory days, guys? This pitch isn't even up to shire standard level let alone first class. professional set up? professional joke.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

I think India's ploy is to disallow England seamers a wicket....since the b all will not carry...this is atrocious...what the hell happened to the gumption that sportpersons show in.."I have the ability to take on any pitch..."the state of Indian cricket dctated by escapists...is surely going to the dogs...Shame myself on being called an Indian fan..it is not the culture that I want to see myself in...it in the short is morally debilitating...

Posted by Joby_George on (December 13, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

Dig out these pitches and make fast pitches at least for the next generations. Sachin pappa and dhoni dreamed of spinning out the english batsmen and it came back as a tragedy to them, so to conclude, this indian test team cant play fast bowling and now they proved they cant play spin also. Sachin for heaven sake, pls retire ..bring in Badrinath, Rahane .let them prove what they can do

Posted by venkatesh018 on (December 13, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

I can't agree more. This pitch is a pathetic advertisement for Test Cricket. It helps neither the pacers or spinners because the turf sucks the life out of the ball on pitching with its appallingly low bounce. The lack of bounce also forbids the batsmen from playing their strokes with any assurance or freedom. The BCCI and the VCA should be ashamed for preparing such a pitch. So should be the so called expert commentators on TV(Dravid and Ganguly included) who didn't say a word condemning the pitch all through the day.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 13, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

The pitch is alright. Incase you were wondering Mr.Hopps, this is India not England and we have the right to prepare pitches to our liking. This is a replica of the Ahmedabad wicket and this is what suits perfectly for India. @Paul Rone Clarke Keep dreaming pal. This is a slow and low wicket. Spinners bowling fast, will not get any help from the wicket as the ball slows down drastically after pitching and the pace would not allow the ball to grip and turn unlike in Mumbai. Also there is no bounce so the ball would not carry to shortleg or slip fielders. Panesar is gonna get pasted on this wicket. Bresnan and Jimmy would not get the swing they got in Kolkata and come tomorrow Sehwag and Pujara are gonna show the inept Englishmen(I mean part English part South Africans, who rely on their captain and South African imports to succeed) how to bat!

Posted by vishwashg on (December 13, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

why the fuss about the pitch? when you won on rank turner in Mumbai at that time there was no fuss about the pitch? Just enjoy the game guys.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 13, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

@Bengal Tiger, comments such as yours have been few and far between on these pages over the past few weeks. No one in their right mind can say this is a good test match pitch. It will be interesting to see how the Ind batsman cope with it. I think its already been demonstrated by Engs batsman that a great degree of patience & application is required on this surface to score runs. Pujara apart I don't think anyone of the Ind batsman have shown that sort of patience or application in the entire series so far. Although Ind have had their best day in the series since the 3rd day of the 1st test, Eng have still done ok, particularly after loosing the 2 early wickets. If Eng get up past 300 tomorrow then I think Ind will be in trouble. Eng bowlers will be licking their lips at the prospect of bowling to Ind's brittle batting line up on this track.

Posted by UglyIndian on (December 13, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

@The Bengal Pussycat - All I see is India losing, whining, losing again, whining, even of pitches at home, losing at home on tailor-made pitches and whining some more, and their fanboys (like yourself) gloating (for no apparent reason) after one odd day of cricket. Typically Indian behaviour - and thats coming from an Indian.

Posted by CricketBirbal on (December 13, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

@ Nincompoop posting through Facebook at 0932 GMT: Dhoni never cried about the pitches after losing in Mumbai or Kolkata. He was equally critical of the Ahmedabad pitch which was also like this one in Nagpur. Get your facts right. And am sure you are also one of those lamenting/lousy commenting Englishman. How weak mimded!!!

Posted by dhekar01 on (December 13, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Ya Ya, the pitch is bad but Dhoni's captaincy is equally bad. I just feel that he has a mental block for not trying out other bowlers (Sachin, Kohli, Sehwag) to break the "strong" partnerships (Trott & KP as well as Root & Prior). I just wonder if all these bowlers he used have bowled from the same end or has he tried rotating the bowling ends? If not, I am not surprised that this guy is no longer THINKING on the field and is seriously lacking "killer instinct". He better pray that he and other batsmen reach an unattainable total in 2 days when India bats in the first inning. Otherwise, loss or a draw is a strong possibility.

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 13, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

Another 75+ runs and Eng has the advantage !! First the indians tried with a rank-turner - Got hammered. Then a flat one, got blasted - much better. Now a slow and low one. Good. Time for England to show them for the third time why the indians are where they are. Wonder why we need stumps of full-length when playing on these wickets. Half of those are good enough . Go England !!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

I was somewhat dubious but Joe Root is looking like an inspired selection at the moment. Who knows what will happen tomorrow but he's certainly shown great temperament and technique. I'm intrigued to know what might happen if he does well. Will they consider playing him down the order long term? Will they let him open and move Compton down the order? Will Compton miss out and Bairstow or Taylor get another chance at #6? It would be nice to have to make those choices.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 13, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

@LongLeg, agree with you re Bell. I think the selectors may give Root some time to try and nail down the troublsome n06 spot but I would also be tempted to give Bairstow the 5 spot for the tests with NZL, which may help him to find his way in test cricket. Bell has had an awful year and although I wouldn't write him off yet a spell on the sidelines may do him some good. Personally I don't think it was right for him to be able to miss the 2nd test & come straight back in he has done nothing in this series to justify the faith the mangement have shown in him, I would leave him out altogether from the NZL tour & let him spend some time at home with his wife & new born.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

@gm47 : Did u watch the match? Referral made for no ball during Compton out. Y didn't u mention abt trott LBW wen score was 11? @Paul Rone-Clarke: Think u guys r hiding during last SA series, aren't u???????

Posted by Dhanno on (December 13, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

@ Paul rone.. I say this wont lst 6 sessions if you declare right now! If england declares for 199 they can still win this with a innings margin, there are enough runs on board to dig graves of likes of kohli/dhoni/ gambhir three times!

@ gsingh. For umpeeth time , england didnt tinker with their pitches ever. It was normal english conditions, some bounce/ some swing due to moisture/overcast and india were flat. stop talking like m_orons.

@Basil.. which Aus -SA series you talking about ?? When did Aussies manufacture pitches ?? Imagining things for sake of nothing ??

Posted by sanjaycrickfan on (December 13, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Its just a flat, batting track although very slow. There is no turn or bounce for spinners. Blame the English batsmen for their defensive mindset and inability to play spin than blame the pitch.

Posted by KameshRao on (December 13, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

David and all the people complaining about he pitch, have you actually watched the game??... Low bounce doesnot equate to a difficult pitch, scoring may not have been fluent for England's batsmen but apart from Pietersen and perhaps Prior which England batsman has played fluently including Cook... They have consistently put me to sleep!!. It is India's better tactics in the field for once and the batsmen s inability to score that is the driver behind the low score. I did not see a single instance when any batsman was threatened really..... So stop moaning.

Posted by universalanalyser on (December 13, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

the pitch is just like one of them in Ahmdabad,350 plus is par score!finaly india comin with their winin formula,one of Ahmdbd.!must admit tat india has dominated the day. As an English fan,one of these guys should get to a century...then there wud b some talkin to do..besides goin thru a bad day and posting 190 odd for 5 on day 1st isnt a bad option at ol.but we often tend to fall apart in th start and end of a day...so keepin my fingers crossed..wish u all of luck for victory England, we desperately need however wont b a last thing to do.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

As I've said many times, I am a fan of Ian Bell but he has failed to live up to his obvious potential and he's making it very hard to keep the faith right now. I was a bit ambivalent about his selection for this game but I knew that he wouldn't be dropped. I imagine that he''l be selected for NZ and quite possibly make runs there and then play the Ashes. In more familiar conditions he may well score runs again but, when England's next tour to the subcontinent comes around, I hope that the selectors remember this time and, even if he's playing well at the time, choose someone else.

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (December 13, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

Everyone whining about cook's dismissal must remember the fact that cook scored all his runs in the tournament with the help of wrong decisions which went in favour of him. Finally life went full circle for the luckiest batsman in the tournament.( Atleast 5 times he was given not out when he really was out in first two test matches)

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 13, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

This is a below-rubbish pitch. There's absolutely nothing in it for anyone. No pace, bounce or seam for the bowlers and batsmen struggling with the timing. Far more interesting cricket on results pitches. Dhoni is absolutely correct calling for rank turners even if England have the better spinners and India loses its precious home record. Does not do anything to help fill the embarassingly empty stands.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

@ all England fans dont try to blame the pitch as you said when you were winning. Surely we are trying to say you are only the fast track bullies, hence these four spinners. If you blame this pitch what are good pitches in you dictionary. Any kind of pitch will favour atleast one batsman or bowler.No pitch in the world will escape this scenario. @cook praisers, first cook should prove in limited overs cricket, otherwise world will remind him only as test batsman as we neglected dravid and laxman in the past. Articles are written comparing sachin and cook, Its too quick to say this. first prove it in limited overs cricket and say it. We know what england people say of trott and cook in ODIs.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 13, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

Right armer bowling across the left-hander and the ball pitches outside off strightens fractionally and strikes the batsman outside off and given out. These are the types of howlers that lead to DRS. Although I'm not a fan of ball-tracking in its current form, it should be used to assist the third umpire to decide on whether the balll pitch in line and if it hit in line. Shame on the BCCI for not even having restricted use of DRS. Run-outs such as Eden Gardens or poor umpiring were going to be the only way to Cook out.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

Wonder how bad the pitch will be on days 3 and 4, Monty's gnna have a field day

Posted by Mervo on (December 13, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

India should be fined and penalised for this sub-standard pitch. Maybe the Tests need to be played in countries that can make a cricket wicket, rather than try to manufacture something that looks like cricket but really isn't. 4-5 spinners, one fast bowler. In 50 years of watching cricket I have never seen that. Is this hockey or cricket?

Posted by imrankhan76uk on (December 13, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

It will be same pitch for India's batting too so we should not worry about if its low bounce or not. even india will be batting 4th so its going to be their worry more than England's. What makes me laugh is that it is 199/5 on day one only and some indian supporters are already out with their knives, trying to degrade, telling England team is worse and all. how blind they are in their hatred to English cricket team

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 13, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

This pitch is going to develop inconsistent bounce, and of course Swann and especially Panesar put more pace on the ball than their Indian counterparts.

If we assume that the second and third innings should be similar, then it becomes a question of England's First Innings versus India's Fourth Innings. At 139-5 I think India was the better-placed side, but 199-5 means that England have runs on the board. If they can get close to 300, they win. If India can bowl England out for less than 220, they should win. But any score between 220 and 280 leaves the match in the balance.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (December 13, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

A good workman does not blame the tools. And a good cricket team does not blame the pitch. Remove negativity from the mind and concentrate on doing your very best. Good luck to both teams.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Harsha and Collingwood both said that the honours were about even at the end of the day but I can't agree with that. While 5 wickets in a day is not the end of the world, with England not even managing 200 in 97 overs after winning the toss, I would have to award honours for the day to India. It was always going to be hard for the bowlers to make things happen on that pitch so I congratulate the bowlers, fielders and captain for making it hard for England to score and waiting for them to make mistakes, which they duly did. Cook was obviously a gift from the umpire but the rest all contributed significantly to their own downfall. The pitch was obviously difficult, given that even KP had trouble scoring when he looked fairly keen to get on with it, but the batsman just lacked the concentration and discipline to tough it out. It will be interesting to see how India bat on this track, given that they're basically obliged to push for the win.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 13, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Root was a complete surprise pick..totally out of left but he's done well ending the day still at the crease when he came in with England in a bit of trouble. With the way Bell has been playing I guess the #5 and #6 spot are wide open for a plane ticket to NZ. Win lose or draw, it's been a very rewarding series. Not everything went England's way but it at least shut some one-eyed prognosticators up and was well worth the 1 1/2 year wait. Thank god we won't be hearing "wait til the come to the sub-continent" or "lol whitewash" anymore!

Posted by maddy20 on (December 13, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

This is pure negative cricket. It looks as though they are playing for a draw from ball 1. Tomorrow Indian kids are gonna show these bunch of rookies how to bat! @gm47 What rubbish? That was not a noball. With their batting exposed on a slow wicket. If you want to moan about Cook then I would Moan about Trott who was plumb in front early in his innings. @Paul Rone My dear, this is a replica of the Ahmedabad wicket. This is what I would call a perfect wicket for India. Bowling quicker through the air is not gonna help here as the ball slows down a lot after pitching. There is no bounce to so catches wont carry to slip or shortleg. Without the other one or variations of the like spinners will toil here. You have to give the ball a lot of air and get the batsman to drive. I figure Panesar is gonna get pasted here. Sehwag scoring a hundred or more, Pujara too and the Englishmen are gonna be shown how badly a bunch of kids can beat a team of vastly experienced English side

Posted by Long-Leg on (December 13, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

@gsingh7: I don't see any hypocrisy at all in English quarters. We presented India with 4 good batting wickets when they toured England. They were very fair pitches which rewarded good bowling (and good batting as Dravid proved) and made for some interesting cricket. The pitch we now have in Nagpur is totally unrewarding in every way. I don't mind turn, but slow uneven bounce on day one is just horrible and will kill test cricket.

Posted by wibblewibble on (December 13, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

@Long-Leg: I want them to drop Bell for Bairstow. Matty P isn't going to be around for ever, the more time Bairstow gets in the middle before the inevitable happens the better.

Not seen any action from today yet, sounds like a low and slow pitch (so, OMG, why do we have the swing bowler picked and not the wicket to wicket of Onions?). If even KP can only score at a strike rate of <40, then the wicket is a bit rubbish.

@Basil777: 'Manufactured' wickets in AUSvSA series? Nonsense, the WACA played as the WACA always plays. The only team doctoring pitches is India, stop trying to justify it by saying that ENG, AUS, SA produce 'green tops', its utter nonsense, there hasn't been a green top in Tests in England for 30 years, and claiming so makes you look ridiculous.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

@all England fans : agreed my team India isnt performing well in tests and is a weak test team these days but its pretty ridiculous ven u r pointing incorrect Cook's dismissal today..where were you ven both in Kolkata and Mumbai Cook had LBW reprieves by the umpires when he was clearly plumb...In Kolkata I think he was on 41 where he wasnt given out ven he was plumb n he went on to score 173 runs which was a very big margin for India to compensate..n vat abt Trott's decision when he was clearly lbw out on Ishant's bowling but adjudged not out by the umpire...

Posted by Dhanvanth on (December 13, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Din expect such a bad pitch! Traditionally Nagpur is a batting paradise and bowlers should toil but today the batsmen had to really toil! Another ahmedabad wicket! No turn very slow and low! I think Mumbai and kolkata pitches wr far better! Now advantage India! And the story continues, India ll win this match, dhoni wont be sacked, coaches wont be under scrutiny and India's poor test cricket run ll continue under the crooked hands of Srinivasan! Really feel bad for the talented players who r benched!

Posted by Suman_Star on (December 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

@gm47 -- Its part and parcel of the game...these decisions...sometimes u get them and sometimes you dont...dont crib over that...and its not as if you guys always get the wrong umpiring decisions...heck even when you guys are out ...you need to resort to umpires n match referees et all to call them on field.. remember Dhoni asking Bell to return in the last series..??

Posted by csowmi7 on (December 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Cook has had his fair share of luck this series. In the first test he was not given out when he was plumb to the bowling of Ojha in both innings of the match early on in his innings. Even in the second and third tests there were lbw decisions going in his favor.

Posted by siddhant328 on (December 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Negative approach by English players...They are playing for draw from Day-1. Ridiculous....

Posted by Hammond on (December 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

England only need 240 on this horrible excuse of a test wicket. I am predicting one awful Indian batting collapse on the cards. Swann will adore this wicket. If England make it to 280 they are home and hosed.

Posted by jagatr on (December 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

England is going to make 400 odd runs....the Indian batsmen will fall short by about 100 in the first innings and go on to lose by 6 wickets!

Posted by Mariakutty on (December 13, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

A pitch which would've been substandard for even a school match. Don't be surprised if India gets bowled out below 100 in the first innings. Simply bowl straight, the pitch will do the trick. English, by now would've understood this better. Feel sorry for my team India.

Posted by JimmyDean on (December 13, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

@ TheBengalTiger - Seriously Indian is the master at doctoring pitches in India that is why they pick 4 spinners & leave out their best quick - Zaher Khan. England will never lose this match. England will remain 2nd on test ranking closely to SA.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 13, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

Some of the comments from some fellow Indians are really embarrassing. Have u guys forgotten that we're playing in tailormade conditions and still getting badly beaten. I think its high time we accepted that our cupboard is really bare at least as far as Tests are concerned.

Posted by scottnye on (December 13, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

lol at some of the comments on here, it seems the majority Indian fans who post on here have no real depth of understanding of the game of cricket, TheBengalTiger in particular.

I dont mind seeing matches played on different wickets and home team preparing wickets that suit them, but the pitch should be fit for purpose and provide entertainment to the paying public. this pitch is a lottery as somebody else said.

decent performance from England in the end - was worried when Pieterson got out but Root looked pretty solid and organised and Prior continues to be one of the most reliable batsmen in the side. if we can get to 300 i think that we will be in a strong position to bowl india out cheaply and roll them over inside 3 days. I think Onions would have been useful on this pitch as i suspect wicket to wicket bowling will bear fruit given the variable bounce, Bresann should be able to do a job too. Trott's bowling might be worth a few overs too.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 13, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

What a month of test cricket! Australia scored 482 on the first day and England managed just a meager 199! Of course, the conditions are different, but England were supposed to dominate in this match after being 2-1 up in the series. Really sad to see Dhoni not trusting Dinda or Awana and going with 4 spinners with Sehwag already in the side, who can bowl a few decent overs if it is a rank turner. Dhoni is a gambler and chances his luck no end with team selection. Rahane must be wondering if he can also play till he becomes 40 to make up for being out of the team for so long! Tendulkar has almost played international cricket for the same number as Rahane's age now!

Posted by SirLen on (December 13, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

Can see us bowling the Indians out for less than 100 on this pitch. Absolute disgrace this is hosting a Test match. It will get a result though, for England.

Posted by csowmi7 on (December 13, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

strange to see English fans lamenting on the standard of umpiring regarding cook's dismissal when he was not given out twice during this series early on in his innings and eventually went on to make match winning hundreds.

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 13, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

If this report is to be beleived, it looks like India has got the team selection wrong again. But, only the time will tell that. However, I believe England have also made a big mistake here. Scoring 199 in one day's play is just too boring and it will keep the people away from test cricket. England may end up getting 300 by tea time tomorrow. But, if India can get 500 by lunch on the 4th day, England could be facing an innings defeat. 2-1 up in the series, they should have approached the match more positively. Now, they made a mistake of playing very negatively and unsportingly. It can only be punished if India try to seize the advantage and play aggressively to force a result. Going 3-1 down or 2-1 down makes no big difference. But, making it 2-2 makes a huge difference. So, they should push for a win even if it means risking another loss.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

If England rack up another 100 tomorrow, which is more than possible given we still have Bresnan to come in, then I'd say this test is massively swinging to England. Finally won a toss and so India will have to bat last on this. Interesting that India win 1 session (where we don't even know what a par score is on this pitch) and the chat is back! When you criticise your captain, change 3 players and call for overhaul half way through a series then the series isn't going well. Anyone who supported England in the nineties knows this and some earlier comments need to realise this.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 13, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

If England are still batting after lunch tomorrow they should win. Agree with @Paul Rone-Clarke: 350 might be good enough to win this by an innings. It's a result pitch and it is only going to get trickier to bat on.

Posted by eyballfallenout on (December 13, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

When i complain about indian pitches, its not about an advantage to India, its when the new ball is already on its way down before it even reaches the batsman is atrocious, this is really bad for cricket... 5 days of puss!

Posted by siddhartha87 on (December 13, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

India will lose this test too, no doubt about that.It will be impossible here in 4th innings to bat.Panesar,Swann and Anderson(with his wkt to wkt stuff) ,will be impossible to play.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 13, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

A big LOL at those so-called Indian fans who are actually supporting this poor excuse of a pitch! And continue supporting our flat track kings, who are now equally clueless both home and abroad. Atleast Azhars team of the 90s won everything at home, despite getting trashed outside. Wake up fellow countrymen, else we'll see the same stale lot racking up loss after loss, and continue giving age-old excuses!!

Posted by Webba84 on (December 13, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

@gsingh7 - blah blah blah, rank turners blah. You may have noticed that in the last two games England spanked India on rank turners. The underhanded search for favorable conditions is reaching ludicrous proportions. How about winning a test match by effort and hard work? Why does nobody in India want to face the elephant in the room that is the sad state of your test team?

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Who exactly are these Indian "fans" who are supporting this ridculous excuse of a pitch??? India were given rank turners in Mumbai and Calcutta and got thrashed. Now they have scuffed up the pitch more than usual. Our flat track kings will struggle to put bat on ball on this minefield! And its due to supporters like BengalTiger and gsingh7, that the team refuses to mend its ways, despite all the money in the world. Supporters as arrogant as the team we have

Posted by Marlin00 on (December 13, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Two international, highly paid professional teams playing on the same strip of earth. Get on with it. Test cricket is exactly that - a test. Play on any surface and see who fares the best. A low, slow pitch in India is surely not a surprise!

Posted by Charlie101 on (December 13, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

The English selectors must really rate Root to thrust him into the team at such a crucial point in the series especially with Samit out performing Bell .

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

This pitch is horrible. There is a difference between a spin friendly wicket and a horrible wicket. I mean a day 1 pitch and 5 out of the 6 deliveries don't even carry to the keeper even when the bowler is bowling short.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

@Thebegaltiger. All we've heard over here is Indian players moaning about pitches at home not being giving them the advatage. Groundsman being told to "keep quiet" or threatening to resign. So they prepare pitches that do turn... then lose two tests by a MASSIVE margin. And then INdian fans on here like you who just must be watching a different series, cause the one I'm watching is India being humiliated in conditions tailor made for them.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

I think this will be a 10 session test match. 280 - 220 - 160 - 100 would be the sort of innings totals. 250+ will be a great score on this pitch. England would like to bat 4+ sessions first innings to age the pitch as much as possible. Panesars extra pace will be lethal here. I'll have him down for 6 wickets in the first innings - 3 or more of them LBW.

Posted by gm47 on (December 13, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

did anyone notice that the ball that got Compton was a no ball ! Then cook's awful decision..... well I guess we should give India a few wickets start to give them a chance. maybe we should let them have 12/13 batsmen too :) Not great to watch on this wicket... but I guess it is a test for good batsmen.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 13, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

sub standard pitch?? manufacturing victory?? as if indians were presented with rank turners in england, hypocricy is epidemic in english quarters, hope indians wrap this test inside 4 days, we will see if england can get indians out cheaply on uneven bounce, lols

Posted by Basil777 on (December 13, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

In the AUS and SA test series ; the Aussies manufactured two pitches but SA never complaint ; England should use their oppertunity when it is there chance to bowl; just play the game stop giving the platform to umpires and technology let the players play.

Posted by Long-Leg on (December 13, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

166-5 and I'm still keeping my faith in England. We've got our runs on this pitch while India still have to get them.

Posted by Long-Leg on (December 13, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

Time for Bell to be dropped from the side. The problem is not talent, but a continual pattern of mental frailty. I bet the selectors will keep him in the side and he'll score a hatful against New Zealand when it matters less. He has all the shots and can be magnificent when the pressure is off. He has never looked like scoring runs in this series nor in the UAE and that is just not good enough. Other batsmen have improved in the sub continent, but Bell has not. The New Zealand tests are the perfect time to develop youngsters like Root and Bairstow.

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (December 13, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

This pitch isn't even turning. its just staying low. England are just poor in these conditions. The pitch is fine

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

India playing with 4 spinners ! Where are the pacers guys ?

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (December 13, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

Moaning about the pitch already. Typical English media. Get on with the game. And try find 11 English players

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (December 13, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

as usual bell is useless... bell's terrible series, terrible year, terrible player... unless it's B'desh.... please get rid of him asap... even patel has more runs than this patsy during this series... it beggars belief he is still anywhere near the an international squad...

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

It took india an under prepeared wicked and an umpire to get Cook out finally. LOL.

Posted by richardror on (December 13, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Looks like the only way India can get Cook out is by a bizarre run out or a shocking decision!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 13, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

England showing their true 'worth'. No wonder the long list of heavy defeats in this year only is set to add one more..... Won't be too long .....just another 2 days and the mediocre Eng will add 1 more to their 'kitty'.....

Posted by Moppa on (December 13, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

@PanditCricketanand, Hopps' point is not that the pitch will be different for India than for England, it is that it offers inconsistent bounce on day 1. A pitch with inconsistent bounce makes cricket a lottery - how can you play any shot with confidence if you can't predict where it will bounce to? Any rubbish bowler can take wickets by aiming at the stumps on such a pitch. This is why it is not a *Test standard* wicket. A pitch that seams, spins or bounces a lot, but consistently, can potentially be a good Test wicket. A pitch where luck largely determines the outcome cannot. And, let's be honest, even an out of form team has close to a 50-50 chance of winning on a completely flukey pitch...

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

@ PanditCricketanand : l0lx.. why was Indian captain and everyone crying and complaining abt the pitch when India lost 2 matches in their own yard?? Now if someone else talks about pitch u guys get defensive! l0lx.. how slum minded!!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

England is playing to draw the test ;)

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 13, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Ordinary Eng team proving their 'true' worth again against a friendly attack on a dead Nagpur surface... Need we find any more reasons they can't stop sliding from one big defeat to another....lost count how many just this year!!- though find hard to think of any more interesting pastime.... 1 more to the kitty in 2 day's time-though Ind will just sneak in a win in a low scoring match......

Posted by Mervo on (December 13, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

The report says "a sub-standard pitch" and Cook given out incorrectly. When will India enter the modern game and produce wickets that suit cricket not hockey? If this is all they can do, then they deserve to lose.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (December 13, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

And normality has been resumed once more...

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 13, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

England Going for a Draw..Lol i had some respect for England but not any more.. Cowards..Just go for a win & thrash India once and for all..

Posted by CricketBirbal on (December 13, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

There goes another English scribe complaining about the nature of the pitch as if the pitch will change for the better when India bat. Whether it is a dustbowl or dead,placid,flat or whatever, it is the same for both the teams. How narrow minded, Mr Hopps!!!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Pietersen has shown lot of character here. If India can remove him cheaply then india has lot of chance to win this game :)

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

LOLxz @ India .. they really needed dead life-less pitch like this to cover for their untalented squad and overrated batting order. Their tactics and status in ICC should be looked into.

Posted by krishsarkar on (December 13, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

In my opinion only the pitch which can result in bodily injury to the players due to ints pace & bounce is bad. And on other hand those pitches which can throw a result is good. It doesnt matter if the ball turns or stops of bounces ankle hight or goes past yr nose, what it matter is if the bowler got the batsman or not

Posted by Ven61 on (December 13, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

India must look at winning through better performance.Not by tweaking wickets and denying visiting teams practice against spin. What will they do next - deny visas, decent accommodation and practice pitches?

This is not cricket.

Posted by Long-Leg on (December 13, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Only two runs an over. What a truly awful pitch. I am beginning to understand now why test cricket is dying in India.

Posted by landl47 on (December 13, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

The question now is what a good first innings score would be and, possibly even more important, how long can England bat for? If they can get through today and into tomorrow they will have done a pretty good job. Anything over 250 looks like an excellent score and 200 wouldn't be bad.

Posted by Humdingers on (December 13, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

Might as well give the series to England with the team selection by India. One Seamer and Chawla just doesn't make sense. Picking Jadeja was a good move as you need to pick players who are in form. Far better going in with two seamers (Dinda or the like) and Rahane in place of Ghambir.

Posted by UsmanAnsari on (December 13, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Dharmasena is supposed to be the one awarded by ICC as the Umpire of the year... simply cant believe it by looking at his umpiring standards

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 7:04 GMT)

Looks like the biggest threats to England's dominance in this game will be India's traditional 12th & 13th men (Dharmasena, a BCCI/IPL stalwart, & a pitch so shamelessly doctored it's a surprise it's not sporting a stethoscope). An uncharacteristically bold - but welcome - selection by England to give Joe Root a debut ahead of Bairstow & Morgan, both horribly fallible against top-classs spin. As for India: poor Zaheer must be tearing his hair out: he'd have had a field day on this pitch.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 13, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

So England are playing against 12 men, 1 being the umpire. Have he rules of cricket changed recently? If a guy gets hit 3 stumps' worth wide of the actual stumps, how is that out. And more importantly, who would appeal for that? Who would have the integrity to appeal for that?

Posted by Webba84 on (December 13, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

Test matches against India are becoming a complete farce. ICC should revoke their test status, maybe that would actually motivate them to win by playing better, rather than by doctoring pitches, ignoring their selection committee and bullying the media.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

On a normal pitch you would have said the umpiring was terrible, but let's give them some leeway here. This pitch is not of a standard suitable for even a division two FC match never mind a test. Balls in the second over staying low and dust and broken bits of pitch flying all over the place after less than twenty minutes play. A three day test match in prospect here. Eight sessions is my guess, and no batsman getting 50 in the match. It may well turn out that this first session is a big batting "win " compared with what will follow.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 13, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

Lunch: this looks to be a very low, slow wicket which will test the patience of the batsmen. Batting first should be to England's advantage as it's difficult to see this pitch playing any better than it has this morning. Several batsmen are likely to get out to grubbers - lbws or bowled. whilst not making predictions, I'd have thought that 280-300 will be a good score from here. Does this wicket make for good cricket? Not in IMO.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Ishant Sharma looked to be swinging a few in his second spell so reverse swing could prove to be a weapon in this game. If that's the case then it may prove to be quite a blunder for India to stack their side with spinners. With Tim Bresnan reputed to be England's best exponent of reverse swing, he may have a reasonably good chance to vindicate his selection. He's going to have to do very well to match his critics' imagined performances by Onions and Meaker. We may be able to use Anderson as a measure but you'd like to see Bresnan do as well as Finn did in game 3.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 13, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

You'd probably have to give that session to India by a small margin. England haven't scored too many, although that's probably thanks to the pitch as much as the bowling. Two wickets in the first session is not too bad after losing the toss, although they'd have been hoping for more after those two went early. Trott and KP and looking reasonably well set now and KP is looking as ominous as could be expected on such an ugly Test pitch. Some will say that Cook's dismissal evened out some of his earlier luck and that is true to a degree, but surely it would be better to get more decisions right in the first place. If the ball was coming into Cook then you could forgive the umpire missing that he was hit outside the line but that fact that it was going even further away makes that decision very poor indeed. I'm watching a small, blurry web feed and I could see first time at full speed that that wasn't out.

Posted by Hammond on (December 13, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

How pathetic. The worse pitch I have ever seen. India are literally trying to bore the England batsmen out, and in the process are boring everyone else who wants to watch test cricket to death. India couldn't care less about test cricket, and this pitch is the obvious result. They better be careful though, they lost the toss and will be batting on a raging turner by the 4-5 day. Again, what a joke.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

This changes too late and again India left with some batsman short. Kohli is nowhere deserve to be in the starting 11. With Jadeja promoted to No.6, who always bats down the order then Dhoni in ODI, let see how the Indian batting line up holds in this slow pitch. Now India have 3 batting all rounders in the form of Jadeja, Ashwin and Chawla? If India can get England below 300, then India with a chance, else, game over and series over for India

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

Jadeja got a dream debut. Included in the test squad and handed over the debut instantly. Hope he lives up to selectors expectations.

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

DHoni's favourites are in... Chawla & Jadeja... I wonder, is this a test match or a 20-20?

Posted by freo75 on (December 13, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

Cooks dismissal is exactly the reason India refuse to use DRS. Shameful.

Posted by surepush on (December 13, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

As usual 12th man of Indian cricket remains 12th man. this is Indian cricket rule. why we select a third opener & middle order batsman if you are not going to play any of them at any game. now any one can make out who is pushing for piyush & jadeja.

Posted by samincolumbia on (December 13, 2012, 5:14 GMT)

Two South Africans come to England's rescue yet again!!

Posted by jargs83 on (December 13, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Good to see another rubbish Indian pitch. Not to mention a rubbish decision to get rid of Cook

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

Disaster selection, only 1 seamer and 4 Spinner we also consider revidra jadeja as a quality spinner who can bat as well, if not then his selection is out of thinking in test, also piyush chawla selection is something bring bear in job interview, he selected for world cup afetr 2 years without any performance not play a single game in world cup and then got out of the team and now selected for the test squad. hehehehehehe....we have to laugh to selectors and management.

At start Ishant take both opener, and 4 spinner selection may leads to loose this test as well, Is that our 2 spinner is not good enough to take wicket, I think England play with only 1 spinner Monty with Swann as sideline.

How dhoni rotate their spinner and Fast one ? also dhoni captancy is in Question?

Suppose if Team India won then, Is seletor are continue with this team ? and if India lose then may be we see a new Indian team...! In both ways team are going to change, then who is going to be accountable

Posted by pommy80 on (December 13, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

Seems like the only way India can get Cook out is by terrible umpiring.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

well done icc you gave kumar dharmasena umpire of the year...wat a joke

Posted by pratit on (December 13, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

As expected, Dhoni has successfully filled the team with his "Yes-men". Probably nobody other than himself thinks this is the correct combination. Ajinkya Rahane is ignored yet again for Jadeja. It will be interesting to see how Dhoni justifies this selection- either Rahane and Chawla or Jadeja and Dinda combo was logical. But what is the logic in going with 4 spinners? More importantly in which role is Chawla playing? If he is selected as a bowler, then his bowling average of 55 must be a new yardstick of excellence in Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

I dont understand when you say "Chawla and Jadeja replaced Zaheer and Harbhajan" the fact is that Habhajan did not play the Kolkota test and it was Yuvraj and Zaheer who were present in Kolkota and not playing in Nagpur.

Posted by CricketFirstLove on (December 13, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

The pitch is made clay and cracking already. Looks like Dhoni will fall in his own trap batting the fourth innings. Also sorry to see old hags playing. Ishant Sharma is also questionable. I have high hopes from Ravinder Jadeja though. Good luck young man.Make the best of the opportunity Ravinder.

Posted by challagalla on (December 13, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

Big mistake leaving out Samit Patel. He may not have converted his starts to big scores yet they may miss his spin option on what may turn out to be devilish pitch. India seem to have made all the right choices and look very strong on paper. Lets see.

Posted by yankinsa on (December 13, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

It looks like a shocker of a pitch. Glad England won the toss - India deserve to bat last on this pitch. This is "home advantage" taken to it's worst degree. And if it proves not lasting for 5 days as a Test match pitch should, will India/BCCI be penalised ??

Posted by cricketstarbest on (December 13, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

Everything is going India's way. Firstly Brave decision by Dhoni by picking 4spinners, secondly Ishant picking up wickets with new ball. Hope India controls the game for the remaining days and win this match easily.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

A lot of comparisons between both teams

Cook/ Gambhir- Reliable Compton/Sehwag- Unreliable Trott/Pujara- Extreme Patience Pietersen/ Tendulkar- Stars and idols of team Bell/Kohli- Classy Root/Jadega- Young Talent Prior/ Dhoni- Aggressive Batsman, Keeper Bresnan/Ashwin- Bowling allrounder capable of topscoring Swann/Chawla- Specialist Spinner Anderson/Sharma- Main Pace bowler Panesar/Ojha- Left Arm spinner

Posted by vjven on (December 13, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

Ridiculous that Chawla is playing, but let's hope that the English players find his bowling so easy that they throw their wickets away. There isn't a match in recent times that I have wanted the Indian team to win so badly. Given the way the media and ex-players have gone after them, I just hope that they give it their all.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 13, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

Joe who? No doubt the first in a series of disastrous decisions by England.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 13, 2012, 4:04 GMT)

Four spinners? Ha ha ha ha ha, no really ha ha ha <chortle> <guffaw> etc. Expect England's quicks to take the bulk of the wickets.

Posted by TheOrestes on (December 13, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

Total ridiculous selection! Why four spinners? Where is Rahane? Why Chawla? Why Jadeja over Rahane?

What is going on? India MUST lose this match for the better future!

Posted by MrAdishaan on (December 13, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

Why Chawla is playing ??? For his batting or for his luck!!!

Posted by Dhanvanth on (December 13, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Poor selection! Pity rahane for losing out again. Hope India loses and dhoni be sacked to give India chance of rebuilding its test cricket! Bcci politics playing again:(

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