India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 4th day December 16, 2012

Series finally gains an edge

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day in Nagpur

Heated moment of the day
For the first time in the series, there was some confrontation after Jonathan Trott, on 43 with the total 123 for 3, played and missed attempting a cut off the bowling of Ishant Sharma. MS Dhoni, behind the stumps, went up for the catch immediately with Sharma soon joining in. But, after Kumar Dharmasena made it clear that he thought there had been no edge, several players - notably Dhoni and Virat Kohli - gathered round Trott and the umpire to make their displeasure known. Trott did nothing to appease Sharma by appearing to blow a kiss at him next ball. The arguing carried on for a couple of overs until a drinks break calmed tempers.

Subsequent replays and the use of Snicko suggest that Dharmasena's decision was correct but it was another example where the use of DRS may have quickly resolved the dispute. It is also somewhat ironic to note that one of the reasons the BCCI have resisted the use of DRS is because they feel it questions the authority of the umpires.

Error of the day
It would be a shame if a series that has lasted over a month and seen fine performances from individuals on both sides were to be defined by poor umpiring decisions. But, for the second time in the match, umpire Dharmasena gave Alastair Cook out incorrectly. This time Cook missed a delivery from R Ashwin by some distance but the umpire, perhaps mistaking the noise of Cook's bat hitting the ground for an outside edge, raised his finger.

Some will point that such moments are all part of the fluctuations of fate that must be accepted and that Cheteshwar Pujara was also dismissed by an umpiring error. But the fact remains that such errors could be easily be avoided with the introduction of the DRS. It is surely absurd that television audiences around the world have access to technology that umpires do not. The decision also renewed one of the great mysteries of cricket: how on earth was Dharmasena rated No.1 umpire by the ICC this year?

Decision of the day
This was not a day of bold decisions. Runs came painfully slowly for both sides and, with little in the pitch for the bowlers, the game descended into a battle of attrition. India were unable to make the progress they would have liked in the first hour - they scored 29 in just over an hour - but Dhoni did attempt to force the pace a little by declaring with his side still four runs behind. While it was a tactic that made sense in the context of the match - with five-and-a-half sessions left India needed time to bowl England out.

But it is worth noting that only two sides in the history of Test cricket have declared their first innings behind their opponents and gone on to win the game. Both matches took place in Barbados, the first in 1935, when England declared 21 behind West Indies' first innings total of just 102 but still went on to win by four wickets, with the second occasion coming in April of this year, when Australia won by three wickets despite declaring 43 behind on first innings.

Boundary of the Day
Bearing in mind the torturous rate of scoring - there were only three boundaries off the bat in the first 50 overs of the day and one of those was an edge - it was understandable that Trott's eyes should light up when presented with an unusually poor ball from Ravindra Jadeja. After the bowler lost control as he released the ball it rolled into the legside and, having been called as a no-ball, came to a halt several yards from Trott in the short-leg region. Seizing upon a rare scoring opportunity, Trott ran towards it and thrashed it to square leg boundary.

Ja-deja vu of the day
When Kevin Pietersen was dropped on two - Virender Sehwag, at slip, slow to react to an edge off the bowling of Jadeja - it appeared that India may have spurned a golden opportunity. They need not have worried: in Jadeja's next over, Pietersen, playing for non-existent turn, left a straight one and was bowled. It was an almost identical dismissal to that of Trott in England's first innings and an episode that will do little to dissuade those who believe Pietersen has a weakness against left-arm slow bowlers. It was reward for some disciplined bowling, though. While Jadeja is not the biggest spinner of a ball, he has good control and varies his pace and his angle of delivery cleverly.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sharon on December 17, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    @JG2704 on (December 16 2012, 17:28 PM GMT) - very funny!!! BTW after today do you still think Kohli is "mature"...??? My - this is a lively board isn't it??? Time for some home truth to be told. - nice one @Lmaotsetung - I am with you all the way!!!

  • Chintaka on December 17, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    Sports is taking us to dangerous grounds, administrators and governments has to react before parents start telling their children, stuff education and school, go and play sports!

  • Richard on December 17, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    @Balaji Kumar ".... others like you with ill-judgements and bigotry entrenched firmly into the system creating an unpleasant and undemocratic environment for a casual debate " Yes , you're quite right , there are far too many such ' trolls ' here on Cricinfo posting crass , ill-judged bigoted comments. Thing is , the vast majority of them are Indian . Check out The Bengal Tiger and Inside Hedge , for starters.

  • Yasir on December 17, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    England come on & giving batting to India now..England can still win this match.Even this time frame is more than enough to take all 10 wickets of India :)

  • dinesh on December 17, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    i don't know why everybody is against only tendulkar.. can you tell which player has perfomed in this sereis

  • Chintaka on December 17, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Gone are the days we just enjoyed sports in any form. Today sports has become such a big business (probably the most profitable business), all sportsmen should abide by the same guidelines as a normal citizen. An ordinary citizen who is more educated earn 1% of a sportsman. Hence, have a mandatory retirement age along with other statutes, its never too late.

    US constitution made the term of a US president a maximum 2 terms, why? till FDR it was an unwritten law that a US president shall not run after the 2nd term but unfortunately during the WWII, FDR was elected for a 3rd term due to the circumstance but the constitution was amended for a max 2 term policy. FDR was also a great president but where would have ended if FDR didnt die and the war continued?????

  • Chintaka on December 17, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    For Ind to recover for the long run Ind needs to restructure the BCCI priorities, then restructure the IPL, then get rid of all the grand fathers.

    This a notice to all cricket boards, if u want Test Cricket to live, here is method that might need tinkering to work. Make all T20 internationals for young and up coming players from the domestic structure and restrict the maximum age to 25 years. Players who excel in T20 should have a path to ODI and players who excel in ODI should have a path to test cricket. Its a promotion/demotion system for players instead of clubs in a league system (Domestic > T20 >< ODI >< Test Cricket. Just because a player does well in T20 should/must not walk in to a test team PERIOD

  • Karthik on December 17, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    The only reason I can think of for BCCI opposing DRS is our senior batsmen (Sachin, Sehwag?) being apprehensive, since they play with bat so close to the pads and are afraid of the LBWs even when they are well forward (which umpires normally don't give). But its funny how Srini cannot come up with a better excuse for not using DRS, simply claiming its not 100%.

  • Yasir on December 17, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    Hey Ashwin come on take the wickets & help you team level the series :P Before this series you were the so called best spinner of the world.Now suddenly what happened to you..The Same Trott,Bell & all the England batsmen who are scoring piles of runs against so called best bowlers,all of them were dancing in UAE just recently in front of Ajmal & Rehman

  • Narayan on December 17, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Indians clearly ran out of ideas about how to get England out by fair means; so they stooped to this level of arguing with the opposition players. The Indian cricket team is clearly a classic case of "The Emperor's New Clothes">

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