India v England, 2nd Test, Mohali, 1st day March 9, 2006

Patel makes a mark

while Irfan Pathan finished with a couple of wickets, the performance which would have gladdened Indian hearts the most Munaf Patel's display, especially with the old ball

India edged ahead on a truncated opening day at Mohali, and while Irfan Pathan finished with a couple of wickets, the performance which would have gladdened Indian hearts the most was Munaf Patel's display, especially with the old ball.

Working up a fair amount of pace - his fastest was clocked at 144.7kmph, and he regularly reached the late 130s - Patel also impressed with the consistent line that he bowled. Of the 71 deliveries he sent down, 50 pitched in the zone between middle and just outside off. He only allowed the batsmen to leave 12 balls; against Pathan, the batsmen got that luxury on 25 occasions. Patel only finished with figures of 1 for 44, but the start suggests that he has plenty to offer Indian cricket.

Patel was one of five specialist bowlers India fielded in the game. It was the first such instance for India in a home Test since since November 2000, when Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Sarandeep Singh and Sunil Joshi played against Zimbabwe at Nagpur. That match ended in a high-scoring draw.

  • Sachin Tendulkar is just a game away from being the most capped Indian Test player. He has equalled Kapil Dev's record of 131 Tests and will go past the mark in Mumbai, his home ground, in the third Test.

    S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo