India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 2nd day

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

George Dobell

December 14, 2012

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Joe Root acknowledges his debut fifty, India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 2nd day, December 14, 2012
Joe Root's defensive innings on a begrudging Nagpur pitch was one of England's longest Test debuts © BCCI
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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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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 14, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

nicholas i agree if he has learned from our best player of spin in the last 25 years. i could see alot of graham in some of his shots other than the obvious RH. the problem but not a bad problem in NZ who opens with cooky

Posted by Nightbat on (December 14, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Gambhir and Tendulkar need to be dumped post-haste. They should be replaced by Rahane (opener) and Rohit Sharma.

Dhoni needs to be sacked and replaced by an appropriate keeper.

Let Pujara captain the team.

As far as Jadeja goes, give him a decent run, now that he's in.

Dump Ishant Sharma, bring in Awana/Yadav/Dinda/Aaron. There's enough talent out there, use it for Gossake.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 14, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney on (December 14 2012, 13:47 PM GMT) Very astute observations regarding Sewag. Players who have prospered because of great inherent physical ability - hand/eye in this car - and have disregarded the fundamental skills, tend to decline very quickly as soon as that ability is even slightly compromised by age, injury, etc. Also, they seem psychologically more vulnerable, and any self-doubt amplifies those changes. Players whose game is rooted in very strong technique seem to last longer & fade less quickly. Alternatively, rigid adherence to technique can suppress natural ability. E.g. Kallis - or the human textbook as Zaltsman describes him - in his early career allowed technique to suppress his instinctive abilities, but has learned "new tricks" & evolved, making him the most consistent & reliable batsman of the last decade. He just gets better as he ages. A true balance of raw talent + solid technique defines the greats.

Posted by mikey76 on (December 14, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

The performance of Root is another shining example of the first class system in England, and the development tours. He looked like a 50 test veteran. There is no better judge of a batsman's skill than G Boycott who rates this guy highly. When Boycott was last batting coach we almost pulled off a sensational victory in the caribbean (89/90). Definitely a missed trick from England there. In the future Root will surely partner Cook up front making for a very solid top 3, the direct opposite to what we see from Australia who have all their solid players at 5-6. Wear down the bowlers, make the ball go soft and then KP, Bell, Bairstow, Prior or whoever can take advantage. Just common sense really.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Carryonregaedless -you are clearly a child of the 20/20 era -this is great test cricket

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 14, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

@Valavan on (December 14 2012, 13:52 PM GMT) - good funny post from you as ever - u r my hero! Now force and history is with us reminder and payback are coming to people such as @maddy20 @harmony111 and friend...

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

"......and Chawla said they would have been happy if they had bowled India out for under 300" ....... shouldn't it be "England" instead of "India" ?

Posted by jb633 on (December 14, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

To any Indian/ English fans- please read all the trolling comments from the first test. For those that are trying to dimish the achievements of England, just have a look at the pressure they were under and the monumental turnaround. If you ask me I would personally take losing the SA series to get a win or even a draw here. Throughout the whole of 2012 you could not even write on an English forum without numerous Indian fans jumping down your throat and throwing the "can't play spin card". Numerous fans tried diminishing the Ashes victory of 2010 by suggesting that because it was played in familiar conditions it somehow didn't count for anything. Now we have won in these "impossible" conditions against attacks we were supposed to lose against this must be a miracle? IMO if we can get a positive result here this will be the best series win since 05 and amongst the top two series wins since 1990. England are not the best side in the world but they have drastically improved since 1999.

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

Cracks in the brittle Indian batting line-up getting wider. Beginning of the end for sehwag. Nearing the end for Tendulkar. It says a lot for this indian batting line up that I feel more comfortable when ashwin is at the crease than either of sehwag/srt. Hope the series against aus sees more fight from India, hoping to see atleast couple of new faces by then.

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

@ Tom_Bowler But yet County cricket is still universally recognised as the best preparation of any first class structure for international cricket. How many times do we hear that young players from India, SA & Australia need to get a couple of seasons in CC to prepare them for international cricket. Sure not everything is rosey with fixtures etc but it has a hell of a lot going for it, especially the last 10 years or so since central contracts came in and the ECB got a overhaul. Of course the Lions and EPP have been great initiatives by the ECB and have helped young players get more of a taste of foreign conditions to enhance their skills but the grounding, toughness and basics are where the CC comes into it's own. Not sure why the writer needs to acknowledge inadequacies of CC years ago, irrelevant when talking about Root.

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

If Tendulkar retires now, people won't even miss him.

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

Can't believe that India next tour England will be in a 5 match test series.

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

We should win this now and make history. India please play teams around your calibre more like West Indies, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe and if you can beat them then you can start thing of challenging teams like us otherwise you're wasting our time.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

India has had some very unexpected victories in Tests prior to 2011, thanks to the efforts of Laxman, Dravid, Sehwag, Kumble,Zaheer and Harbhajan. Now, they have all gone by the board except Sehwag, a walking wicket. So, the expected demise has ben accelerated. I believe 2012-13 will mark the end of India as a competitive power in international cricket, they will continue to play the IPL until the public realises how farcical that is. If this results in the vast resources of the BCCI being directed to other sports, well and good, but I am afraid the vested interests will mulct the Indian public and sweep up ( reverse sweep?) the billions and go their merry way. As for SRT, words fail me after seeing his ignominious dismissal today.

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

@Nicholas Saunders and @ Tom Bowler - Excellent points. He rarely misses an opportunity, however slight, to work this one into his articles. As you both demonstrate, it is at best only a half truth.

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

@gsingh7 on (December 14 2012, 13:07 PM GMT) you gotta be kidding me. It's just a question of the margin of defeat for India and on what day the match end.

Posted by Valavan on (December 14, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

@gsingh7, you continue to giggle us, first try to avoid follow on then think of taking a lead, no decent test player remain 2 quick wickets, rest will be bundled, Anderson is just winning it. Sehwag and Tendulkar got castled in newer ball, rest will get castled tomorrow. cricinfo please publish.

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

Sehwag may have the best hand/eye coordination in cricket but his footwork, or rather lack thereof, is criminal. I just wonder whether he actually puts in any work to improve it or he just figures that he's an old and that would be a new trick. Given that his average is about 50 anyway, imagine how good he could have been if he had learned to move his feet properly. I can only assume that his coaches when he was younger just didn't bother working on it because he was so good anyway. Tendulkar is a fine example of what can happen when a batsman starts to lose his edge. Given that Sehwag relies so heavily on his eye, I imagine that his fall will be swift when it starts to go, if it hasn't started already.

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

Match going as expected.The Margin a slightly smaller(7-1) awaiting us for the so called home tigers.Now cant blame anybody now.As Dravid told India dont have the talent at the moment to compete in test cricket.Both bowling wise as well as Batting wise.Believe Can still beat atleast SL(due to decline,still cant win again due to Jayawardane and Sanga and our talent) and Bangladesh.Others i dont have any hope with the current team. We were boasting about 2-0 win against Ausise when they last travelled here.But it was an absolute GEM from VVS.and current era cant create miracle.

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

@big_al_81 Some readers may consider your own description "turgid" sums up both the cricket and your comments. Attractive cricket is just that no matter who it is played by or where it is played. The same goes for turgid cricket.

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

tom b fully agree.the counties have been at fault in the past. at the moment CC is producing the guys but the ecb with the help of sky and a SA insurance group putting 100 million in to making the english system work. most winters we will have 3 teams playing its similar strength opposition in various cricketing countries. was great to see a 21 year old playing the type of cricket he did in difficult conditions. at the same time we see in australia, cricketers who think T20 is the way to go in test cricket.they should be looking at their state cricket as to why they have lost the 25/30 aged quality batting that they have had for the last twenty years

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 14, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

game in favour of england 55-45 , due to anderson swing bowling, he mastered reverse swing like a charm, many foreign bowlers got thrashed in sc due to lacking this trait, still remember when sachin and ganguly wud thrash fast bowlers coz they cud not do basic adjustments here, india have to go past 400 to win inside 4 days, still cant see in no way this wud be draw, english funboys must imbibe this fact that india produce low spinning wickets from decades to win here (best home record of all nations), expecting anything otherwise is downright stupid and denial,pujara got hard done by so does cook, even out,sachin have one last innings in illustrious career,he carried whole nation himself at times so bashing him now wud be immature on indians part,enjoyed pc bowling ,he is most underrated of indian spinners, he have atleast 3 stock balls, more than most spinners,pitch wud turn square from day 3 evening,if india bat whole of tommorow than game over for poms

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Nothing special about this innings like this reporter is trying to make but it was a good one for him. If you're looking at a special knock then it was that number 10 bowler that scored a 100 on debut whatever his name was.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 14, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

I thought one of the plays of the day was Dhoni showing his footballing skills behind the stumps. Following up from that it would be too easy to make a cheap comment

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 14, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

@ CarryOnRegardless. Not really sure of your motive in this comment. I'm wondering if it's a desperate attempt by an Aussie to do some England-baiting which is becoming increasingly difficult in recent years since whatever format we play and wherever we play in the world, England beat Australia these days. If you have any understanding of Test match cricket you'll appreciate its variety and despite a fairly turgid day yesterday the match is moving on quite rapidly now. Those variations from session to session, day to day, pitch to pitch, country to country are what make Test cricket great. That's why us Poms so admired the great Aussie teams of the nineties to mid noughties. And it's why we're enjoying England finally being better than Australia for these last few years and perhaps at least a couple more to come.

Posted by vin77 on (December 14, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

This match is surely the last time Tendulkar has played in a Test Match for India.Beyond this if he plays again & Dhoni continues to be Captain then GOD only help the Indian Fans.So with these two out India will surely embrace DRS the next time they play.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Once again underlined the worth of the County Championship in producing international players? I think the amount of time in the EPP working with Thorpe on playing spin had more to do with it. That's of course unless you think playing 4 spinners is the norm at Headingley?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 14, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Great little knock from Mr Root, on another glorious day for English cricket. Anderson yet again proves lethal on flat decks, and England outclass India in every facet of the game.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 14, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Is this match a deliberate attempt to kill off Test cricket? True cricket lovers will deplore what should be the most skillful and fascinating form of cricket being reduced to this. I thank the heavens above that some attractive Test cricket is being played over in Aus.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (December 14, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Once again underlined the worth of the County Championship in producing international players? This studiously ignores the decades in which England foundered when County Championship players were blooded and sank without trace as the County game left them so ill equipped for international cricket. The ECB recognised this and began to progress players from age group cricket to the Lions then the full team. An entirely new structure had to be introduced to compensate for the systemic weaknesses of the bloated and inefficient Counties.

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