England tour of India, 2008/09 / Commentary

England in India Test Series - 1st Test

India v England

India won by 6 wickets

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150

9.30am This is what we've been waiting for. Ball one of this Test coming up. India are in the field, after a customary huddle. England's openers, Strauss and Cook, are taking their positions. Strauss wasn't part of the ODI squad and Cook just played one match during the 5-0 drubbing. Both have had success in India. Check out Siddhartha Talya's stats analysis for more interesting tidbits.

Zaheer has the new ball for India. Perfect batting conditions. Strauss marks out the fielders. Two slips, gully, point, cover, mid-off, mid-on, midwicket. Zaheer runs in from over the stumps.

9.25am The two teams line up for a moment's silence to remember the tragic losses of the Mumbai attacks.

9.00am Dhoni spins, Pietersen calls heads, and thats what it is. Pietersen has no hurry in saying "we are going to bat." As I said, win toss, bat first - this is the subcontinent after all. Pietersen wants to hit this first session "very hard" and he's proud to captain a "magnificent" team.

Dhoni smiles as Ravi Shastri asks him about the toss result. He's a cool customer, MSD. He says what is not in his control shouldn't be worried about. India have brought back Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir returns from a one-Test ban.

I'm hoping for an exciting Test match. A series win would help India topple South Africa and occupy the No. 2 slot in the ICC Test Championship table. Meanwhile, a 2-0 win for England would help them overtake Sri Lanka to No. 4.

Here's a feedback email from Sanjay: "It will be a shame if spectators don't come in. After England turning up inspite of the recent terror attack and showing solidarity, one would have thought that it is incumbent on spectators to do the same. Hope the crowds do turn up regardless of the security hassles. C'mon Chennai, show up."

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Swann, the debutant, is chatting with Mike Atherton. "I've changed my focus and delighted to be here, ready to have a decent game," he says. "I've learnt from my last tour here, when I was 19. I'd be a bit more nervous if I was playing at The Oval on a flat one. There should be some spin here, which you don't always get in England. As a kid, growing up, you dream about bowling at the best players, not muppets."

8.30 am A very good morning and welcome to Cricinfo's live coverage of what should be an enthralling Test, weather permitting. So much has taken place in the last couple weeks and now, finally, it is time for cricket to resume.

I'm Jamie Alter, your commentator, and along with Binoy George, on scoring, will cover the duration of this match. Its always a pleasure having your company, and thanks for logging on again. We value your input.

The major news first. There is no rain in sight and we look good to start on time. The pitch looks a batting track - surprise, surprise. There's but a smattering of grass but there are some bare strips too. Th captains felt there was going to be some turn and bounce. Both sides have included two spinners. Win toss, bat first.

Cricket is under a cloud of fear and the MA Chidambaram stadium is now virtually a fortress, what with commandos and top-level security officials everywhere. Is that whats keeping the crowds out? There are hardly any spectators in.

As I mentioned in the preview yesterday, England have recalled the wicketkeeper Matt Prior and handed a debut to Graeme Swann, the offspinner. Both Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen had plenty to say on the eve of this match.

Doubtless, the build-up to this match hasn't been ideal. England had to deal with a fortnight of uncertainty before their security experts gave the green signal for the series. Both teams' practice sessions were disrupted by rain.

We will have the toss at 9.00am local.

Have you updated your fantasy league team? If not, hurry and do so here.

0.1

Khan to Strauss, no run, a good start, pitching back of a length and getting decent bounce, Strauss hesitantly withdraws the bat in time, rather loosely too

0.2

Khan to Strauss, no run, pitches a tad wider and Strauss can comfortably leave

0.3

Khan to Strauss, no run, pitches on a length and comes in, Strauss gets in line and defends to midwicket, he thinks about the single but sends Cook back as Zaheer gets across

An extra slip comes in now.

0.4

Khan to Strauss, no run, slides down the pads, Strauss tries to get a tickle but the ball skims off his pads and doesn't carry to Dhoni, Zaheer lets out a muted appeal

"Cannot believe they are not playing Owais Shah. He is by far England's most attacking batsmen after Pietersen," emails Jatin.

0.5

Khan to Strauss, 2 runs, first runs courtesy a little nudge down the ground between Cook's legs, Strauss just gets over a full and straight ball and presents a full face, beating mid-on

0.6

Khan to Strauss, no run, back of a length outside off stump and Strauss shoulders arms

So thats the first over of this Test.

End of over 1 (2 runs) England 2/0
AJ Strauss    2* (6b)      Z Khan    1-0-2-0
AN Cook    0* (0b)     

Ishant Shrma has the ball, bowling from over the stumps

1.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, starts off full and wide, angling it away from Cook, who leaves it be

1.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, better length on middle and off and Cook defends to cover

1.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, this one gets Cook defending off the front foot to Harbhajan at point

1.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, hits a good length and stays a little low, Cook doesn't move his feet as he pokes at it and gets an inside edge back towards the on side

1.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, pitches on a length and angles away, Cook squirts it uneasily, uncertain of whether to play front of back, Sehwag dives at gully and saves runs

1.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, comes forward and defends this one firmly to the off side

Ishant starts off with a tidy maiden over.

End of over 2 (maiden) England 2/0
AN Cook    0* (6b)      I Sharma    1-1-0-0
AJ Strauss    2* (6b)      Z Khan    1-0-2-0

2.1

Khan to Strauss, no run, hits a length and jags in, 132ks, Strauss leaves for Dhoni

2.2

Khan to Strauss, no run, pitches a wee bit fuller but wide enough for Strauss to leave again

2.3

Khan to Strauss, no run, similar stuff, Zaheer keeps it in the right areas, Strauss not interested

2.4

Khan to Strauss, no run, that one's fuller, 134ks, and Strauss drives it back to Zaheer

2.5

Khan to Strauss, no run, hits a length and pins him on the crease, defending it back to Zaheer

We haven't seen anything in the pitch for the bowlers yet.

2.6

Khan to Strauss, no run, back of a length outside off stump and Strauss watchfully leaves

Two maidens on the trot. No real alarming bounce as such.

End of over 3 (maiden) England 2/0
AJ Strauss    2* (12b)      Z Khan    2-1-2-0
AN Cook    0* (6b)      I Sharma    1-1-0-0

3.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, back of a length and Cook defends from the crease towards cover

3.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, ah, beaten there, Cook's feet go nowhere as he feels for this one outside off stump, which pitches and goes on with the angle, well sucked into a loose shot

"The reason for poor attendance is definitely more security. Spectators are not allowed to carry mobiles, lunch bags and even water bottles. They have to drink the water available in tanks which is not what modern day spectator wants. They want to spend time leisurely forgetting all their worries," says Neel.

3.3

Sharma to Cook, 2 runs, there's a stroke, Cook leans forward and drives a fuller delivery through cover, its not timed that well and the ball slows up on what seems a sluggish outfield

3.4

Sharma to Cook, 1 run, short on the ribs and he turns it down to Zaheer at deep square leg

3.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, 143ks, hits a length and moves away, Strauss leaves it alone

3.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, angles away off a shorter length and again Strauss leaves

Ishant is repeatedly working that angle across the left-handers. He's getting a hint of movement and more bounce than Zaheer, who is keen to pitch it up.

End of over 4 (3 runs) England 5/0
AJ Strauss    2* (14b)      I Sharma    2-1-3-0
AN Cook    3* (10b)      Z Khan    2-1-2-0

4.1

Khan to Cook, no run, hit a good length wide of the stumps and Cook lets it go through

4.2

Khan to Cook, no run, this time he gets Cook defending and he gets an outer edge that scoots along the grass to gully, where Dravid dives to his right and saves certain runs

4.3

Khan to Cook, no run, pitches on about the same spot and this time Cook drives straight to cover

4.4

Khan to Cook, no run, pitches on a length and shapes in, Cook hesitantly holds back the bat

4.5

Khan to Cook, no run, comes onto the front foot and pushes the ball confidently to point

4.6

Khan to Cook, no run, identical spot and Cook defends off the front foot to the off side again

End of over 5 (maiden) England 5/0
AN Cook    3* (16b)      Z Khan    3-2-2-0
AJ Strauss    2* (14b)      I Sharma    2-1-3-0

5.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, short of a length, angling away, and Strauss leaves it be

5.2

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, this one's fuller and he drives hard, too much bottom hand, only to get an inside edge towards midwicket, Strauss didn't get a stride forward by any means

5.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, now Cook presents a full face and defends back to the bowler's right side

5.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, short into the body and he just manages to tuck it to midwicket

5.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, a half-hearted appeal, as Ishant pitches full and draws a thick inside edge from Cook's forward defensive onto his front pad, bowler and wicketkeeper ask the question but the umpire is unmoved

5.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, lands on a length and he tucks it to midwicket

End of over 6 (1 run) England 6/0
AN Cook    3* (20b)      I Sharma    3-1-4-0
AJ Strauss    3* (16b)      Z Khan    3-2-2-0

6.1

Khan to Strauss, 1 run, banged in short, Strauss tries to pull from outside off but mis-times the shot, the ball falls between midwicket and mid-on

6.2

Khan to Cook, 1 run, another short ball and this time Cook fails to time the hook, he top edges it behind square for a single

6.3

Khan to Strauss, no run, slower and fuller ball outside off stump, Strauss leaves it be

6.4

Khan to Strauss, FOUR, too straight and with no fine leg in place thats easy runs for Strauss, who only has to turn it fine, using the pace, and gets four off his pads

6.5

Khan to Strauss, no run, on middle and leg but he cannot beat midwicket with his whip

6.6

Khan to Strauss, no run, pitches on a length outside off stump, no real pace, and he leaves it

"Based on the proceedings so far I don't blame the spectators for not showing up. This is yawn inducing stuff," says Bala.

End of over 7 (6 runs) England 12/0
AJ Strauss    8* (21b 1x4)      Z Khan    4-2-8-0
AN Cook    4* (21b)      I Sharma    3-1-4-0

7.1

Sharma to Cook, 1 run, fullish around off stump, Cook plods forward and places the ball wide of Mishra at mid-on, who slides and misfields to allow the batsman a single

7.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, oh ho ho, a loose pull shot across the line from Strauss, who sees a short ball and goes for a big shot, beaten completely, perhaps it didn't sit up as expected

7.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, fuller this time, , just outside off, and Strauss leaves

7.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, banged in short, but well outside leg stump, of no use at all

7.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, short of a length outside off stump and he shoulders arms

7.6

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, thats a touch fuller on middle and off and Strauss drives to midwicket

Raja emails: "The reason for the poor attendance is that people have work to do, for goodness sake, and don't have time anymore to goof off for five days. This isn't India of the 1990s where one can conveniently develop a stomach ache on match days. Jobs are hard to come by, layoffs are in the air, there is a recession on and watching Dravid make 10 runs off 10,000 balls isn't exactly on anyone's priority, except for retired fans and cricket hacks in denial who are paid to watch Test cricket. Test cricket is on the death bed. Wake up, get real, smell the south Indian Kappee - and concentrate on Twenty20, the real saviour of cricket."

End of over 8 (2 runs) England 14/0
AJ Strauss    9* (26b 1x4)      I Sharma    4-1-6-0
AN Cook    5* (22b)      Z Khan    4-2-8-0

Dhoni calls on Harbhajan after just eight overs. Interesting. He will bowl from over the stumps. A slip, forward short leg, and catching cover in place.

8.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, lands on a length, no turn, and Strauss defends off the front foot

8.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 2 runs, lands outside leg stump and Strauss tickles it down to fine leg

"Well in reply to Bala's comment - thats what a Test match is about, occupying the crease," says Sanjeev.

8.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker ball, 94ks, Strauss defends wide of slip

8.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, ah, there's some air on the ball, except its outside leg stump again and Strauss coolly turns off his pads for a single wide of forward short leg

8.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, 86ks, wrong line, outside leg and worked away for a single

8.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up on middle and off and he defends it back

End of over 9 (4 runs) England 18/0
AJ Strauss    12* (31b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    1-0-4-0
AN Cook    6* (23b)      I Sharma    4-1-6-0

9.1

Sharma to Cook, FOUR, top shot, just too full and Cook drives smack through extra cover for his first boundary ... he's moving on in Twenty20 style here!

A man now moves over to extra cover

9.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, banged in short this time, Cook hops across his stumps and defends

9.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, thats a decent length on about off stump and Cook thuds forward to block

Manish: "More than anything else, these flat tracks will kill test cricket. We need lively pitches with either swing, seam and bounce for result oriented matches. Infact we have even stopped dishing out rank turners."

9.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, he's not giving him any room, pitching on off stump, and Cook defends

9.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, on the stumps and played away to the fielder, tight line and length this

9.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, another thin inside edge as Cook once more plonks bat and pad forward to a fullish ball pitching just about on off stump, Ishant is a frustrated man right now

Do read comedian and satirist Andy Zaltzman's latest blog.

End of over 10 (4 runs) England 22/0
AN Cook    10* (29b 1x4)      I Sharma    5-1-10-0
AJ Strauss    12* (31b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    1-0-4-0

Micky: "I am just replying to Raja's email. I think when people say test cricket is dead, you have to come to the MCG where every boxing day test match sell's out with 100000 people on Day 1 and 2. The hype here regarding the SAF Aus series is great. 20/20 cricket is good fun, but it will NEVER compete with Test cricket, as most players/fans will say. A true cricketer is measured by his performance in test matches, not in the "hit or miss" style of T20! And I think India keep forgetting that Dravid has made 10000+ test runs and saved India many many many times, even more so than Saachin at times. Cut the guy some slack."

10.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up just outside off stump, turns away and Strauss leaves

There is now a leg slip in place as well, so three men around the bat

10.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, slows his pace, gives it air, lands it on middle and off, Strauss defends

10.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker and flatter outside leg stump, Strauss gets into a tangle, shaping to pad it away and then awkwardly almost kicking it away off the inner thigh

10.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, a shout, but not out as this one pitches outside leg stump before hitting Strauss o the pads as he kneels down and misses out on the attempted sweep

10.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up and he comes forward to keep this one out

10.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tosses it up on a good length, getting Strauss forward on the defensive

End of over 11 (maiden) England 22/0
AJ Strauss    12* (37b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    2-1-4-0
AN Cook    10* (29b 1x4)      I Sharma    5-1-10-0

11.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, 138ks, pitches on leg and shapes in, Cook defends to square leg

A tidy, if unspectacular start, from England's openers.

11.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, lands on middle and leg and he mistimes the shot back to Ishant

11.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, pitches on off stump now and Cook gets forward to defend to the off side

11.4

Sharma to Cook, 2 runs, too short and Cook rolls the wrists, pulling it down through square leg

Abhinav: "Replying to Raja and Mickey. I am gonna have to agree with Raja here as well. I understand that test cricket is still popular in Australia, but I'd like to compare attendance between a test match and lets say, 4 T20s. 5 days of test cricket vs 4 days of T20s. I am willing to bet T20s would get more attendance. Test cricket can't globalize the sport, it's way too slow compared to majority of the sports. T20s and ODIs are the only formats that can make cricket popular among other nations who don't play cricket."

11.5

Sharma to Cook, 1 run, ooh, a good ball, middle and leg, just drawing a thin inside edge as Cook gets across his stumps and shapes to play it squarer, the ball sneaks down to fine leg

11.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, pitches outside off and shapes away and he leaves it be

And here's an email from Peter: "If I had a dollar for every time test cricket was pronounced dead I'd have enouygh money for a contented retirement. Test cricket has survived 2 world wars, terrorist attacks, ODI cricket and sundry doom and gloom merchants. Will test cricket survive Twenty20. Of course! We now have 3 great games to watch."

I agree. A very heated discussion happening. Shall we leave it aside before people get nasty?

End of over 12 (3 runs) England 25/0
AJ Strauss    12* (38b 1x4)      I Sharma    6-1-13-0
AN Cook    13* (34b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    2-1-4-0

12.1

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, tossed up on leg stump, Cook strides forward, defends to short leg

12.2

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, now some turn, but its pitched outside off so Cook can leave

12.3

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, 96ks, middle and leg, Cook hesitantly defends to short leg

12.4

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, tossed up on middle and leg, and Cook smothers the spin

12.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, slower ball, outside leg, Cook unfurls the sweep, bisecting two men

12.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker one, pushing Strauss back on the crease, defending

End of over 13 (1 run) England 26/0
AJ Strauss    12* (39b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    3-1-5-0
AN Cook    14* (39b 1x4)      I Sharma    6-1-13-0

Zaheer is back after a change of ends. Nothing alarming in this track.

13.1

Khan to Cook, no run, stars off fullish outside off stump, Cook leaves well enough alone

13.2

Khan to Cook, no run, this time he gets to the pitch and drives sweetly down towards mid-off

13.3

Khan to Cook, 1 run, comes onto the front foot, opens the face, steers it wide of Yuvraj at point

13.4

Khan to Strauss, 2 runs, short on the stumps and Strauss pulls down through midwicket

13.5

Khan to Strauss, no run, pitches outside off stump, just, and now he decides to leave it be

13.6

Khan to Strauss, no run, too wide of the stumps and Strauss again leaves it be

"Lets' get a drink," barks the umpire Harper. After the first hour we have 29 runs on the board. Here's an email, a rather apt one too, from someone going by the name of 'r': "if Test cricket were dead.. why are there so many people online following the scores and sending feedback as to the fact that Test cricket is dead.. i think its a bit like the UK and the monarchy.. every once in a while they debate whether the monarchy should be removed but then keep on with it and love it and hate it equally.. we all followed the Test series with Australia like we had nothing else to do..i am sure we will follow this series as well."

Here's an idea. Discuss this match on our Facebook page.

End of over 14 (3 runs) England 29/0
AJ Strauss    14* (42b 1x4)      Z Khan    5-2-11-0
AN Cook    15* (42b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    3-1-5-0

14.1

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, FOUR, tossed up, Cook sees width and smears it through cover and point, a very hard shot as Harbhajan invites the shot ... what did Cook have during the drinks break, he's simply motoring along

14.2

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, tossed up, slower delivery, this time Cook has to defend

14.3

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, yup, normal service restored .. Cook comes forward and defends

14.4

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, quicker ball, 94ks, leg stump, Cook defends to short leg

14.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, flatter trajectory, and a tad shorter, Cook defends off his pads

14.6

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, slower, much wider outside leg stump and Cook retains hold of the strike with a booming sweep between forward short leg and leg slip

End of over 15 (5 runs) England 34/0
AN Cook    20* (48b 2x4)      Harbhajan Singh    4-1-10-0
AJ Strauss    14* (42b 1x4)      Z Khan    5-2-11-0

15.1

Khan to Cook, no run, pitches it in the slot, Cook drives handsomely down the ground, Zaheer gets fingertips on the ball to tale some pace of the shot

15.2

Khan to Cook, no run, holds back the length ever so slightly and Cook defends to point

15.3

Khan to Cook, FOUR, lovely flowing shot, a well-timed straight drive as Zaheer just overpitches

15.4

Khan to Cook, 1 run, back of a length on middle stump, Cook shuffles and eases it around the corner

15.5

Khan to Strauss, no run, stands his ground and drives this one off middle stump to midwicket

15.6

Khan to Strauss, no run, pitches on the stumps and again Strauss cannot beat midwicket

"Well said "r", typical hypocrisy, they all say Test cricket is dead, but they follow it like there is no tomorrow," emails Ram.

End of over 16 (5 runs) England 39/0
AJ Strauss    14* (44b 1x4)      Z Khan    6-2-16-0
AN Cook    25* (52b 3x4)      Harbhajan Singh    4-1-10-0

Harbhajan moves around the stumps

16.1

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, tossed up on off stump and Cook defends it back

16.2

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, quicker delivery, middle and off, watchfully defended

16.3

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, slides onto middle and leg, Cook plays it straight to midwicket

16.4

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, slower ball, tossed up wider, and Cook reaches out to play to point

16.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, 87ks, middle and off, Cook gets well forward to defend

16.6

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, good length there, quicker ball too, draws another defence from Cook

End of over 17 (maiden) England 39/0
AN Cook    25* (58b 3x4)      Harbhajan Singh    5-2-10-0
AJ Strauss    14* (44b 1x4)      Z Khan    6-2-16-0

"Too many people believing the hype and following the money that goes with the short form. Test Matches can offer everything and not just hitting," says Paul. On that note, the camera pans to a hand-painted banner in the Chennai stands that reads 'Test cricket = real cricket'.

"Guys leave the discussion lets focus on the match .England have made a good start .They are going nicely," says Syed Hasnain from Pakistan.

Good call. Do discuss this match on our Facebook page. It's almost a mirror site of Cricinfo's home page, except you can talk and discuss. Feel free to express your opinions on the death/health of Test cricket openly there.

Meanwhile in the middle the umpires Harper and Bowden inspect the ball after Zaheer summons them over. They have a look and Harper calls for a change of balls. Out comes an official with a box of balls. Bowden and Harper start feeling the balls to see which is best suited for play in the 18th over of this Test.

17.1

Khan to Strauss, no run, down leg stump, Strauss shuffles but can't time it well off the pads

17.2

Khan to Strauss, 1 leg bye, down the pads again, there's a nibble on this one down to square leg

Dhoni sticks in a leg slip after two successive balls down the pads.

17.3

Khan to Cook, no run, pitches outside off and shapes away, Cook gets forward and leaves

17.4

Khan to Cook, no run, and again, moves away after pitching and Cook doesn't offer a shot

17.5

Khan to Cook, 2 runs, too straight and Cook tucks it through midwicket, running hard

It will be interesting to see how the legspinner Mishra does. He debuted against Australia recently.

17.6

Khan to Cook, no run, pitches outside off and straightens, Cook shoulders arms

End of over 18 (3 runs) England 42/0
AN Cook    27* (62b 3x4)      Z Khan    7-2-18-0
AJ Strauss    14* (46b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    5-2-10-0

And indeed Mishra comes into the attack. For the uninitiated, he's 26 and in his fourth Test. Bowling from over the stumps, he has a slip and short leg in place.

18.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, tossed up generously on a length, Strauss drives to backward point

18.2

Mishra to Strauss, FOUR, aggression from Strauss immediately, reaching across and sweeping hard from outside off stump and through midwicket for four

18.3

Mishra to Strauss, no run, turn there, squaring up Strauss, who shapes to shuffle and dab it square but gets up playing nervously to the off side

18.4

Mishra to Strauss, FOUR, and with that, up comes England's fifty, courtesy another fine and very hard sweep from outside off stump smack through midwicket, good shot from Strauss

18.5

Mishra to Strauss, no run, the bowler's reply is a topspinner, Strauss starts to feel for it and stops

18.6

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, another sweep, this one from middle and off, out to the sweeper

Strauss welcomed Mishra into the attack. This is a strong start.

End of over 19 (9 runs) England 51/0
AJ Strauss    23* (52b 3x4)      A Mishra    1-0-9-0
AN Cook    27* (62b 3x4)      Z Khan    7-2-18-0

19.1

Khan to Strauss, no run, thats wide, pitching very far from the sticks, wobbling away to Dhoni

19.2

Khan to Strauss, no run, hits a length, Strauss plays it back, Zaheer collects and feigns a throw

19.3

Khan to Strauss, no run, brave leave from Strauss, not entirely getting across as he shoulders arms to a fuller ball that comes back in after pitching outside off stump

19.4

Khan to Strauss, no run, wide outside off again as Zaheer pitches it up in search of swing

19.5

Khan to Strauss, 1 run, slides down the pads and Strauss clips it out to the sweeper

19.6

Khan to Cook, no run, now Cook shoulders arms to one served up wide of off stump

End of over 20 (1 run) England 52/0
AN Cook    27* (63b 3x4)      Z Khan    8-2-19-0
AJ Strauss    24* (57b 3x4)      A Mishra    1-0-9-0

20.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, tossed up, turns back in, Strauss gets back and defends to short leg

20.2

Mishra to Strauss, no run, once more, he gets across and defends, this time to the off side

20.3

Mishra to Strauss, no run, slower ball, 79ks, fizzed up outside off and Strauss leaves

20.4

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, tossed up fuller and Strauss again takes out the sweep, connecting from outside off stump and getting a single out to deep midwicket this time

20.5

Mishra to Cook, no run, tossed up nicely on a good length, Cook gets in and defends it back

20.6

Mishra to Cook, 1 run, ah, a loose shot! Mishra tosses it up again, landing it just outside off stump, Cook gets down and heaves very hard, looking towards midwicket, but the ball slashes off the splice and just evades a running Yuvraj at a deep backward point

End of over 21 (2 runs) England 54/0
AN Cook    28* (65b 3x4)      A Mishra    2-0-11-0
AJ Strauss    25* (61b 3x4)      Z Khan    8-2-19-0

Just one slip and a gully for Zaheer

21.1

Khan to Cook, no run, pitches on a length and he eases a good-looking shot to cover

21.2

Khan to Cook, no run, he can easily leave that one be well outside off stump, no swing at all

21.3

Khan to Cook, no run, 132ks, pitching outside off stump, no shot offered again

21.4

Khan to Cook, no run, back of a length on this occasion and Cook defends to the off side

Zaheer has been rather one-dimensional so far, obviously not aided by this surface

21.5

Khan to Cook, no run, once again, clinical defensive stuff from Cook, compact in everything

21.6

Khan to Cook, no run, full and down leg stump, Cook can't get bat on it, Dhoni tumbles to collect

We're just about 20 minutes from lunch. I'm hungry.

End of over 22 (maiden) England 54/0
AN Cook    28* (71b 3x4)      Z Khan    9-3-19-0
AJ Strauss    25* (61b 3x4)      A Mishra    2-0-11-0

22.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, looks like the googly, hint of turn to skim past the bat

22.2

Mishra to Strauss, no run, manages to pick this one and leaves it be outside off stump

22.3

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, fuller and flatter and paddled down towards fine leg for one

22.4

Mishra to Cook, 2 runs, sweeps from in front of his front pad, right in line with the stumps

22.5

Mishra to Cook, no run, quicker and wide, Strauss flashes a loose cut towards gully

22.6

Mishra to Cook, no run, argh, too short but Strauss pulls into the ground to Laxman at midwicket

End of over 23 (3 runs) England 57/0
AN Cook    30* (74b 3x4)      A Mishra    3-0-14-0
AJ Strauss    26* (64b 3x4)      Z Khan    9-3-19-0

The openers are looking to go after Mishra. Back comes Ishant. Two slips and a gully in place.

23.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, starts off with a short one outside leg stump, Strauss gets up on one leg before pulling out of the pull shot, awkward bounce for Dhoni behind the sticks

23.2

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, pitches on middle stump and Strauss squirts a single off the inside edge, he walked across his stumps, the ball swings and draws the faulty shot

23.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, pitches on a length and Cook gets across to defend to the off side

23.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, a bit fuller and he gets forward to defend towards cover and point

23.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, another comfortable defensive shot to the off side

23.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, pitches on the stumps and he defends it back to the bowler

Check out comedian and satirist Andy Zaltzman's blog.

End of over 24 (1 run) England 58/0
AN Cook    30* (78b 3x4)      I Sharma    7-1-14-0
AJ Strauss    27* (66b 3x4)      A Mishra    3-0-14-0

24.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, tossed up on middle and leg and Strauss defends it back

24.2

Mishra to Strauss, no run, quicker ball, middle and leg, Strauss mistimes the shot to the off side

24.3

Mishra to Strauss, no run, short again, sits up a touch but he cuts this one down to gully

24.4

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, legspinner on the stump, worked wide of midwicket for a single

24.5

Mishra to Cook, no run, on the stumps, looks like a legbreak, which Cook defends

24.6

Mishra to Cook, no run, gives this one generous flight, its got good dip too, and Cook keeps it out

End of over 25 (1 run) England 59/0
AN Cook    30* (80b 3x4)      A Mishra    4-0-15-0
AJ Strauss    28* (70b 3x4)      I Sharma    7-1-14-0

25.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, pitches fullish on middle and off, Strauss drives, Ishant fields

A very solid start from the openers. Just five minutes to lunch. India's bowlers have had a tough morning on this beauty of batting deck. Superb toss to win.

25.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, 141ks, back of a length and angling away, Strauss leaves it be

25.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, there's some bounce to unsettle Strauss a bit, he shuffles across and shapes to flick this one off leg stump, the ball sits up and raps him above the knee roll

25.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, this one lands outside off and straightens, Strauss bravely shoulders arms

25.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, bangs in a short one on leg stump, Strauss goes for yet another unpleasant pull shot, miscuing it, the ball just bobs up off his gloves and drops at his feet

25.6

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, and again, Strauss is not convincing when playing that shot, he mistimes another attempted pull shot, the ball just balloons up off his gloves towards square leg

End of over 26 (1 run) England 60/0
AJ Strauss    29* (76b 3x4)      I Sharma    8-1-15-0
AN Cook    30* (80b 3x4)      A Mishra    4-0-15-0

Mishra moves around the stumps

26.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, lands the legbreak into the footmarks, Strauss gets back to defend

26.2

Mishra to Strauss, no run, mistimes a sweep from outside off, with the turn, hit outside the line

26.3

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, gets across and paddles this one very fine, down to fine leg

Mishra goes back over the stumps for Cook

26.4

Mishra to Cook, 1 run, he too sweeps, much harder, into the yawning spaces at square leg

26.5

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, the top spinner, gets some good lift, Strauss walks across his stumps and just helps it in the air agonizingly wide of leg slip, and is cross with himself

26.6

Mishra to Cook, no run, quicker ball on middle and off, defended to the off side and thats lunch

11.30am England's session all the way. Strauss and Cook have taken the score to 63 for 0, A slow session, yes, but crucial to the side who won the toss and decided to bat. There is not much in this Chennai pitch to assist the bowlers, bar the odd delivery that spits up. The openers have 31 apiece. Do join us in just under 40 minutes. Twitter users can follow our news here.

End of over 27 (3 runs) England 63/0
AN Cook    31* (82b 3x4)      A Mishra    5-0-18-0
AJ Strauss    31* (80b 3x4)      I Sharma    8-1-15-0

12.10pm Welcome back for the second session. England's openers are set to resume their watchfully impressive stand. The Indians had another huddle near the boundary line. Harbhajan will bowl. A slip, silly point and short leg in place. Harbhajan will bowl around the stumps.

There's a small crowd now at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Do have a read of our In Focus topic on Security Concerns here. If you like any of the stories and want to share them, click on the Share button at the bottom of the page.

27.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up on off stump and defended back to the bowler

27.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, short, Strauss cuts hard but to Yuvraj at backward point

27.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, flatter, on middle and off, Strauss gets back and defends

27.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, another confident leave to one fizzed up just outside off stump

27.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, FOUR, too short and confidently punched between cover and point

27.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, tossed up on middle stump, down he goes, sweeping through square

End of over 28 (5 runs) England 68/0
AJ Strauss    36* (86b 4x4)      Harbhajan Singh    6-2-15-0
AN Cook    31* (82b 3x4)      A Mishra    5-0-18-0

These two have prospered with that sweep shot today. Their most productive shot. Here's Mishra.

28.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, its the googly outside off, Strauss drives off the back foot and misses

28.2

Mishra to Strauss, no run, an appeal for a catch! Mishra invites the drive, Strauss obliges with a streaky shot, there's a noise before the ball balloons up towards Dravid's right at slip, he dives forward and takes it, they ask the question ... the umpires consult and refer it to the third umpire ... replays indicate it was a bump catch, as the bat hit the ball and the ball skims the ground before going to Dravid ... an extremely tough call for the official inside the cabin, but the right one in the end ... it looked doubtful

28.3

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, low dipping full toss on middle and leg, whipped out to midwicket

28.4

Mishra to Cook, 2 runs, flighted outside off stump, turned from outside off stump to midwicket

28.5

Mishra to Cook, no run, flighted wide of off stump and Cook leaves it be confidently

28.6

Mishra to Cook, 3 runs, short, spinning away, Cook cuts off the back foot out to deep cover

End of over 29 (6 runs) England 74/0
AN Cook    36* (85b 3x4)      A Mishra    6-0-24-0
AJ Strauss    37* (89b 4x4)      Harbhajan Singh    6-2-15-0

29.1

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, gets across as the ball is bowled and paddles it from outside off stump and down to the sweeper coming in from deep fine leg, he plays that shot well, does Cook

29.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up on a length, turns away and Strauss leaves it

29.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, FOUR, gets more room and connects well on the cut, placing the ball wide of Yuvraj at backward point and Strauss too is coming along nicely after the lunch break

29.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up straighter and he plays it to the close-in fielder

29.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, FOUR, aha, thats nice from Strauss, Harbhajan drops fractionally short and though its not that wide Strauss gets on top of it and flashes a cut wide of gully again

29.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker ball, gets Strauss onto the back foot, defending

"During the 1987-88 reliance world cup semi final the england team SWEPT themselves to glory! they practiced the sweep with local Mumbai spinners who had no clue what the English were up to!" - thats from Prof Krishna.

End of over 30 (9 runs) England 83/0
AJ Strauss    45* (94b 6x4)      Harbhajan Singh    7-2-24-0
AN Cook    37* (86b 3x4)      A Mishra    6-0-24-0

30.1

Mishra to Cook, no run, tossed up just outside off and Cook pushes it to cover

30.2

Mishra to Cook, no run, quicker, fuller, flatter and now he clips it towards midwicket

30.3

Mishra to Cook, no run, flights it up wide of the stumps, Cook follows it and leaves be

30.4

Mishra to Cook, no run, full and flat, Cook gets across and mistimes the shot to midwicket

30.5

Mishra to Cook, 1 run, walks across again and whips a full ball wide of the fielder this time

Smart batting from Cook ....

30.6

Mishra to Strauss, 2 runs, now he shuffles and tickles the ball wide of short leg for a couple

End of over 31 (3 runs) England 86/0
AJ Strauss    47* (95b 6x4)      A Mishra    7-0-27-0
AN Cook    38* (91b 3x4)      Harbhajan Singh    7-2-24-0

"Is this the same dead pitch where Sehwag scored a triple hundred versus SA or does it look more lively?" asks ANX. Well it looks slightly better than that in that the odd ball spits up. Harbhajan got some wickets in that match. Let's see how it pans out.

31.1

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, flatter trajectory, Cook gets back and across and defends

31.2

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, just a little too straight and Cook paddles it around the corner for one

31.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker, shorter, Strauss again gets back and across to defend

31.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, spins into Strauss from outside leg, he neatly tucks it off the pads

31.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, 91ks, full on leg stump, turned to the midwicket fielder

31.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, turns away from Strauss off a short length, cut hard to gully

End of over 32 (3 runs) England 89/0
AJ Strauss    48* (98b 6x4)      Harbhajan Singh    8-2-27-0
AN Cook    40* (94b 3x4)      A Mishra    7-0-27-0

32.1

Mishra to Cook, no run, gets well forward and turns a tossed up ball to short leg

32.2

Mishra to Cook, no run, takes out the sweep again, from off stump, but Laxman at leg slip intercepts it with a good dive,saving certain runs

32.3

Mishra to Cook, 1 run, waits for turn and dabs the ball towards cover and point this time

32.4

Mishra to Strauss, no run, tossed up wide of off stump, he leaves, Dhoni fumbles

32.5

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, likes the length and swivel-sweeps out to Ishant in the deep

32.6

Mishra to Cook, FOUR, more trash, short and wide and duly cut out to deep point for four

End of over 33 (6 runs) England 95/0
AN Cook    45* (98b 4x4)      A Mishra    8-0-33-0
AJ Strauss    49* (100b 6x4)      Harbhajan Singh    8-2-27-0

Strauss on 49 ...

33.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, flighted up on off stump and he watchfully pats it back

33.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, turns in from leg stump, slower one too, Strauss edges to point

33.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, an off-key delivery, fired in quite wide of off stump

33.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, there's his fifty, shuffles across and turns one wide of forward short leg, an impressive innings from Strauss but he has much more to do

33.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, 1 run, Cook too shuffles and gets a single, tucked around the corner

33.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up, he gets forward to defend with consummate ease

End of over 34 (2 runs) England 97/0
AJ Strauss    50* (105b 6x4)      Harbhajan Singh    9-2-29-0
AN Cook    46* (99b 4x4)      A Mishra    8-0-33-0

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34.1

Mishra to Cook, 1 run, waits for turn and then doesn't see much, so works a single away

34.2

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, uses his feet and drives an easy single into the covers

34.3

Mishra to Cook, 1 run, there's the 100 up with another dabbed single, this is very good for England

34.4

Mishra to Strauss, FOUR, a bit too short and thats cut past point and the ball wins the race

34.5

Mishra to Strauss, 1 leg bye, gets down to sweep a full ball just outside off stump, misses and the ball scoots on to hit his back leg outside the line of impact, it skims past Dhoni and Cook calls the leg bye

34.6

Mishra to Cook, no run, flighted up on middle and off and he watchfully defends it back

End of over 35 (8 runs) England 105/0
AN Cook    48* (102b 4x4)      A Mishra    9-0-40-0
AJ Strauss    55* (108b 7x4)      Harbhajan Singh    9-2-29-0

35.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, flighted on middle and leg, Strauss defends to short leg

35.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker ball, 90ks, Strauss defends from leg stump

35.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, slower ball, 87ks, outside leg, Strauss misses sweeping

35.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up on leg stump, he shuffles and turns it past short leg

35.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, fired up outside off stump and now he decides to leave

35.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, short outside leg stump, he rocks back and mistimes the pull, its into the gap behind square leg, Laxman from leg slip chases after it

End of over 36 (1 run) England 106/0
AJ Strauss    56* (114b 7x4)      Harbhajan Singh    10-2-30-0
AN Cook    48* (102b 4x4)      A Mishra    9-0-40-0

36.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, bowled from around the stumps, beats his forward push

36.2

Mishra to Strauss, 1 run, drifts down the pads and he sweeps wide of leg slip

36.3

Mishra to Cook, no run, tossed up on a length, Cook checks the shot at the last second, he thought of driving hard but just pushes it towards cover

36.4

Mishra to Cook, no run, fuller and flatter outside off stump, squeezed down to gully

36.5

Mishra to Cook, no run, flights up the googly, Cook gets across his stumps and mistimes it

36.6

Mishra to Cook, FOUR, shot! Flighted outside off stump and Cook collects it from outside off stump, slog-sweeping out to cow corner for four ... thats his half-century as well, well played Cook

End of over 37 (5 runs) England 111/0
AN Cook    52* (106b 5x4)      A Mishra    10-0-45-0
AJ Strauss    57* (116b 7x4)      Harbhajan Singh    10-2-30-0

37.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up and he defends it to the short leg fielder

37.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, FOUR, short, wide, turning away, Strauss smashes the cut superbly

37.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, pushes it through at 95ks and now he opts to leave it be

37.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, tossed up on leg stump, Strauss turns it to midwicket

37.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, tossed up on middle and off, Cook gets forward to block

37.6

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, spins away from Cook, bouncing too, and he leaves it be

End of over 38 (5 runs) England 116/0
AN Cook    52* (108b 5x4)      Harbhajan Singh    11-2-35-0
AJ Strauss    62* (120b 8x4)      A Mishra    10-0-45-0

"Is it time to get Sehwag in to bowl? Hope Dhoni is thinking about it," asks Ganesh Dubai. Well, here's a change. Not Sehwag, but Ishant. Two slips await.

38.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, back of a length, Strauss gets in line and defends off the back foot

38.2

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, full on the pads, flicked out to deep square leg for one

38.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, full and wide, pitches and dribbles away to Dhoni

38.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, 137ks, back of a length but just too wide, so Cook leaves

38.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, he's working that angle but not too successfully, this one pitches wide and goes on further, no need for Cook to play at those, Dhoni does the collecting

38.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, on the stumps and he defends it back towards the off side

End of over 39 (1 run) England 117/0
AN Cook    52* (112b 5x4)      I Sharma    9-1-16-0
AJ Strauss    63* (122b 8x4)      Harbhajan Singh    11-2-35-0

Kirubahar emails to remind me that Strauss has crossed 4000 Test runs. Kudos. To both of you.

39.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, ah, beaten by the turn! Harbhajan skims one past Strauss' bat, he pushes forward and the ball goes on, with some decent carry too

39.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, shuffles across the sticks and drives towards midwicket

39.3

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, tossed up, extra bit of bounce, Cook defends to the off side

39.4

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, gets him coming forward again, this is the right line to bowl

39.5

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, no run, 91ks, teasing line and length, Cook defends to point

39.6

Harbhajan Singh to Cook, OUT, and Cook loses his composure in what has been a top over! Harbhajan is rewarded for a nagging few deliveries, he takes pace off the ball and tosses it up, Cook fetches it from outside off stump with a mess of an attempted slog sweep, the ball skies up into the air and Zaheer settles under it at mid-on ... Cook was batting really well until that brain freeze

AN Cook c Khan b Harbhajan Singh 52 (172m 116b 5x4 0x6) SR: 44.82

So, after 40 overs India dislodge what was a superb opening act for England. Cook worked hard for his 52. Now its up to Strauss to go deep. He's on 64. In comes Ian Bell but he won't face yet.

End of over 40 (1 run) England 118/1
     Harbhajan Singh    12-2-36-1
AJ Strauss    64* (124b 8x4)      I Sharma    9-1-16-0

40.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, pitches outside leg, hint of reverse, tucked away to midwicket

40.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, there to be driven outside off stump, Strauss does so and inside-edges back onto his boot, shuffling forward on the drive

40.3

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, short of a length outside leg stump, allowing Strauss to get outside the line and gently nibble it off his hips down towards fine leg

"I wonder why Strauss is left out of ODIs. He is giving an impression of Gary Kirsten in the way he is playing his game," says Ravi. Yep, Kirsten was a modern-day John Edrich in many ways. Leave, leave, leave, flash only when given room. and then leave some more. A handy batsman for South Africa. Right, here's Bell to face his first delivery.

40.4

Sharma to Bell, no run, back of a length on the stumps and he gets forward in defence

40.5

Sharma to Bell, 1 run, and he's off the mark, shuffling and pushing the ball away

40.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, clipped from middle and leg to Gambhir at midwicket

End of over 41 (2 runs) England 120/1
AJ Strauss    65* (128b 8x4)      I Sharma    10-1-18-0
IR Bell    1* (2b)      Harbhajan Singh    12-2-36-1

Three men around the bat for Bell. Tendulkar at deep midwicket.

41.1

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, 1 run, spins in off a short length, Bell shuffles and turns it fine

41.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, tossed up on a length, which Strauss likes, getting back to punch it through the covers, he's been strong in that area today

41.3

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, tossed up fuller, Bell comes forward and shapes to on-drive to midwicket, misses and gets struck on the flap a long way down, and also outside the line ... Harbhajan is animated and asks the question but no one else does

41.4

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, tossed up, pushes Bell back, he shuffles and defends, ball brushes the pad but again its turning down far and he's gotten outside the line

41.5

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, 2 runs, speared in down leg stump, Bell clips it around the corner

41.6

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, gets back and across and defends it to the off side

"Harbhajan is sometimes lacks in his flight. Whenever, he make good flighted delivery he has always succeeded. Some body from time to time remind him to flight the ball," says Babuss. Fair point, even though Harbhajan just snapped a century stand in a top over. He has been prone to keep it flat outside leg stump. He's bowling well here though. The wickets has obviously spurred him on.

Meanwhile, Jagadhish pops up with this email: "The way Cook's been batting this year, teams can be assured he'll get out after 50. In 2008: 38, 13, 44, 60, 2, 37, 61, 19, 28, 6, 60, 18, 60, 76, 9, 39, 67, 52."

By the way its drinks. If you're feeling up to a challenge, play the latest episode of Cricinfo's quiz.

End of over 42 (4 runs) England 124/1
IR Bell    4* (7b)      Harbhajan Singh    13-2-40-1
AJ Strauss    66* (129b 8x4)      I Sharma    10-1-18-0

42.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, pitches on middle and leg and he drives it back to Ishant

42.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Strauss gets forward and plays this one towards point

42.3

Sharma to Strauss, FOUR, free runs, full outside leg stump and all Strauss needs to do is get a faint tickle on it and thats a boundary to fine leg, efficient batting this from Strauss

42.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, tidier stuff, short of a length on the stumps and Strauss defends

Strauss has taken his average against India in Tests to 43.16.

42.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, pitched up wide of off stump and he leaves it be with ease

42.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, 137ks, on a length on off stump and he presents a full face

Srini: "Dhoni seriously needs to think of introducing either Yuvi or Viru into the attack.....they turn the ball a lot more." Sehwag does, thats for sure.

End of over 43 (4 runs) England 128/1
AJ Strauss    70* (135b 9x4)      I Sharma    11-1-22-0
IR Bell    4* (7b)      Harbhajan Singh    13-2-40-1

43.1

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, 1 run, tossed up on off stump, 86ks, Bell gets well forward to defend, struck on the front pad as the ball turns in, but he's safe, then he scampers a leg bye

43.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, turns and bounces past Strauss' bat as he pushes feebly, his feet were not going forward that time and he just sort of held the bat out there

43.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, uses his feet and clips the ball straight to midwicket

43.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, FOUR, he likes that shot, does Strauss, and pulls it off effectively as well, getting down and sweeping against the turn, pinging the deep midwicket boundary

43.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, quicker ball, almost expectedly, which Strauss patiently defends

43.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up gently, turns in from middle and leg, he defends

End of over 44 (5 runs) England 133/1
AJ Strauss    74* (140b 10x4)      Harbhajan Singh    14-2-45-1
IR Bell    5* (8b)      I Sharma    11-1-22-0

Three men hover around the bat for Bell as Dhoni calls back Mishra.

44.1

Mishra to Bell, no run, tossed up on a length, Bell comes forward and defends to the off

44.2

Mishra to Bell, no run, flatter delivery, Bell goes back and defends it

44.3

Mishra to Bell, FOUR, uses his feet, collects it on the full and drives the ball confidently down past the non striker and mid-on, very straight, to collect his first boundary

44.4

Mishra to Bell, no run, tossed up slower, wider, it turns and Bell watches it go through

44.5

Mishra to Bell, no run, legbreak on a good length, Bell comes forward and defends

44.6

Mishra to Bell, no run, flights up a good delivery, which straightens, Bell gets back and across and ends up defending the ball to forward short leg

End of over 45 (4 runs) England 137/1
IR Bell    9* (14b 1x4)      A Mishra    11-0-49-0
AJ Strauss    74* (140b 10x4)      Harbhajan Singh    14-2-45-1

I remember Pietersen and Flintoff taking the attack to young legspinner Piyush Chawla on his Test debut in Mohali in 2006. England's aggression is not so blatant or powerful, but they are taking Mishra on.

45.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up, he reaches out and drives with the turn to cover

45.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, and again, plays with the turn and drives a single

45.3

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, turn and bounce! That one spits it up, the doosra, Bell gets back to defend and has to play it down off his chest, does well to use soft hands as well

45.4

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, fuller and spinning down leg stump, Bell gets well forward to defend, ball strikes his pad but the appeal is turned down due to the amount of turn and Bell's movement

45.5

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, 1 run, shuffles and works a single into the gap behind square leg

45.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, tossed up, Strauss drives almost inside-out into the covers

If you've got a question for Geoffrey Boycott regarding the India-England series, how to read a googly, or on anything else, you can submit your queries by clicking here.

End of over 46 (2 runs) England 139/1
AJ Strauss    75* (143b 10x4)      Harbhajan Singh    15-2-47-1
IR Bell    10* (17b 1x4)      A Mishra    11-0-49-0

46.1

Mishra to Bell, no run, tossed up on middle and leg, Bell drops his head and defends

46.2

Mishra to Bell, no run, makes room and drives a low full toss past a diving mid-off

46.3

Mishra to Bell, no run, shorter ball, this too sits up and Bell plays it to the off side

46.4

Mishra to Bell, no run, well flighted, spins into Bell, who makes room and defends

46.5

Mishra to Bell, no run, quicker ball, 83ks, spins down leg stump to Bell, who gets back and mistimes the defensive very near the forward short leg fielder

46.6

Mishra to Bell, no run, fuller ball now and Bell gets over it to smother the spin

End of over 47 (maiden) England 139/1
IR Bell    10* (23b 1x4)      A Mishra    12-1-49-0
AJ Strauss    75* (143b 10x4)      Harbhajan Singh    15-2-47-1

47.1

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 2 runs, short and wide, Strauss gets over it and cuts to deep cover

47.2

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, slower, with some air, Strauss comes forward and defends

47.3

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, opens the face to steer it fine, but Dravid dives and intercepts

47.4

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, slows the pace further, smartly, and Strauss has to defend

47.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, 1 run, fuller outside off stump and Strauss sweeps to deep midwicket

47.6

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, skips out, Harbhajan sees him and spins it down leg stump, the ball balloons up off Bell's front bad, short leg and leg slip converge, Gambhir takes it and they ask the question but thats clearly not out

End of over 48 (3 runs) England 142/1
IR Bell    10* (24b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    16-2-50-1
AJ Strauss    78* (148b 10x4)      A Mishra    12-1-49-0

48.1

Mishra to Strauss, no run, flighted up on middle and off, Strauss simply dead-bats it back

48.2

Mishra to Strauss, no run, turn beats the bat this time, looks like the googly from Mishra, pitching on the seam and bouncing past Strauss as he pushes forward

48.3

Mishra to Strauss, no run, a tad fuller now and Strauss defends it to the off side

48.4

Mishra to Strauss, no run, shuffles across his stumps, the ball stays low and turns in, but he manages to turn it past forward short leg

48.5

Mishra to Strauss, no run, sweeps with the turn, but straight to Laxman at leg slip

48.6

Mishra to Strauss, no run, shorter ball turns into Strauss, who plays it to Laxman again

End of over 49 (maiden) England 142/1
AJ Strauss    78* (154b 10x4)      A Mishra    13-2-49-0
IR Bell    10* (24b 1x4)      Harbhajan Singh    16-2-50-1

49.1

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, tossed up on off stump, getting Bell forward to defend

49.2

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, flatter delivery, which Bell turns from middle to midwicket

49.3

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, no run, starts to come forward and then adjusts to defend to silly point

49.4

Harbhajan Singh to Bell, 1 run, short, spinning down leg stump, Bell gets across and turns it between leg slip and forward short leg for a single, smart little shot that

49.5

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, a tad too short, Strauss cuts but cannot beat a short square point

49.6

Harbhajan Singh to Strauss, no run, an uppish drive to short cover, Strauss not to the pitch there

"Everyone knows Geoffrey Boycott's advice on how to read the googly is to do it from the non-striker's end," says Justin. Hah. I like.

End of over 50 (1 run) England 143/1
AJ Strauss    78* (156b 10x4)      Harbhajan Singh    17-2-51-1
IR Bell    11* (28b 1x4)      A Mishra    13-2-49-0
Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150
Series Results
India v England at Mohali - Dec 19-23, 2008
Match drawn
India v England at Chennai - Dec 11-15, 2008
India won by 6 wickets
More results »

Match Coverage

Photos

Dec 15, 2008

Sachin Tendulkar closes his eyes, India v England, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, December 15, 2008

Sachin Tendulkar closes his eyes

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Dec 15, 2008

The trophy is not a distant dream for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India v England, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, December 15, 2008

The trophy is not a distant dream for Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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