India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 2nd day December 14, 2012

Joe takes Root in tenacious Test debut

Plays of the Day from the second day of the fourth Test between India and England in Nagpur

Stat of the day (taking Root)
By the time he was out, Joe Root had batted longer - in terms of balls faced - than all but five players on their debut Test innings in England history. Root faced 229 balls - 151 fewer than the Nawab of Pataudi senior on his debut in the Ashes of 1932-33 - and became the sixth member of England's top seven to register a half-century or better on Test debut, once again underlining the worth of the County Championship in producing international players.

Shot of the day
Progress has been desperately slow on this begrudging surface. The one batsman, to date, who has defied the nature of the pitch to score freely is Graeme Swann, who registered his fifth Test half-century and his first since the Centurion Test against South Africa almost exactly three years ago. Swann is also the only man to have struck a six so far in this Test with the first of them, somewhat closer to a slog than a slog-sweep, depositing the otherwise parsimonious Ravindra Jadeja high over wide mid-on and providing one of the more entertaining moments in an otherwise prosaic England first innings.

Duck of the day
Virender Sehwag was seen as one of the few batsmen on either side - Kevin Pietersen is the only other obvious example - with the ability to rise above the conditions and play a match-defining innings. It was not to be, however, as in the first over of India's reply, Sehwag was beaten on the outside edge by an inswinger from James Anderson that knocked back the middle stump. It was a fine delivery, but Sehwag's tentative foot movement resulted in a feeble defensive shot. It was the seventh duck of his Test career against England. Only four men have suffered more, with Bishan Bedi (11 ducks) leading the way.

Decision of the day
Such is Cheteshwar Pujara's obvious class that he is rapidly developing into the key wicket in this India team. So to lose him to another umpiring error, this time caught off the arm at short-leg as he played forward to Swann, was desperate misfortune for the individual and the team. While the catch, Ian Bell diving to his right to cling on to a sharp chance, was excellent, it is a shame that such a high-profile game can be undermined so unnecessarily by the continued refusal to utilise the DRS.

Near miss of the day
After his involvement in two run-outs in Kolkata, it might have been expected that Gautam Gambhir would have been at his most alert when running. But, called for a sharp but perfectly reasonable single by Cheteshwar Pujara, Gambhir, on 30, was found resting on his bat at the non-strikers' end and only survived due to a poor throw from Joe Root, at square leg, and a desperate slide.

Drop of the day
Gambhir was on 33 and India were 62 for 2 when Matt Prior was unable to cling on to a tough chance off the pad from the bowling of Swann. With the ball coming off the inside edge of Gambhir's bat and on to his pad, the double deflection made the chance tricky and the ball bounced off the gloves and chest of Prior. The chance did not prove too costly, though, with Prior accepting an easier chance just a few minutes later off the bowling of Anderson.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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