india vs england (Day-3)
A tale of three spinners
Pitch not the villain of piece yet
We are still in the game
Punjab dominate on Day 1
Odihsa shoot patchy Haryana out for just 66
Andhra Pradesh on top of Himachal
Quraishi resigns from IOA election panel
Legendary Viv Richards joins Melbourne Stars as Team mentor
Vivian Richards. — File photo
Rival camps start blame game
Hosts in complete command; following on, captain Cook leads visitors fightback in the second innings
Ahmedabad, November 17
Against expectations, it did happen, and England would be quite satisfied with their second innings – they are 111 without loss at the end of the third day, after being made to follow on. They still need to climb a mountain of runs to make India bat again – they’re 219 behind yet – but captain Alastair Cook (74) and debutant Nick Compton (34) have patiently cut a path away from trouble.
England’s frailties against quality spin are not state secret, but Cook and Compton have displayed a most admirable ability to grind it out. They were disciplined, tight in defence and strong in attack – which is exactly opposite of the first innings story. They’ve shielded the top order and, surely, breathed inspiration into it.
The Indian bowlers didn’t bowl as well as they did in the early part of England’s first innings – Ravichandran Ashwin, for instance, hasn’t been able to replicate the ripping turner that got rid of Compton in the first innings.
Pragyan Ojha hasn’t drifted in away-turners to Compton in the manner he did in the first innings, when Compton was left frozen stiff with fear.
Ojha says this is due to the fact that the pitch, sluggishly slow to begin with, has become slower – it has basically shut down. He says it has lost the bite it had in the first innings. He also concedes that England are a top side, implying that strong resistance from them is not unexpected.
It all added up to a very lopsided day for the Indian bowlers – after picking up the last seven English wickets for 150 in the first two sessions, they went wicketless for 111 runs in 38 overs in the third session.
While India bowled well in the morning, the visitors were then clearly jittery – even Kevin Pietersen, usually the epitome of confidence. Bursting with energy and intent, he was determined to use his feet, but his movements were jerky and nervy. He nearly yorked himself early in the morning, then jumped out to Ojha and escaped getting stumped as MS Dhoni couldn’t gather the ball.
There were close LBW calls, too, and it seemed that Pietersen’s end was imminent. Ojha finally got him with a straight one, beating the outside edge of the bat and hitting the stumps.
Even the less crazy Indian fans know that Ian Bell now averages 27.75 in 18 Tests in India/SriLanka/Pakistan/UAE, against his career average of 51.26. Coming in at Pietersen’s exit, facing his first ball at 69/4, Bell showed exactly why.
Facing Ojha first-up, he was in about five minds – the chief of them being whether to hit the first ball for a four, six or a 10. He had decided he was the man who’d smash the Indian spinners off their lines and lengths.
He settled for a six, miscued the shot and popped up the ball to Sachin Tendulkar at mid-off. Cook fell soon after that, making it 80/6, when he tried to drive Ashwin without reaching the ball and edged it.
India’s second paceman Umesh Yadav, who didn’t get to bat, bowled for the first time in the innings after 47 overs and got Samit Patel LBW, but the ball was clearly going down the leg-side. It would be no consolation to Patel that he should have been given out LBW to Ashwin in the 42nd over, when batting on 4. Later, Stuart Broad also seemed unlucky to be given out LBW. Umpire Aleem Dar’s performance here is a fine advertisement for the umpire review system.
Yadav then bowled on and on, as did Zaheer – it’s not clear why. While they didn’t concede many runs, it was clear that they didn’t bother the batsmen, who found their pace more to their liking.
From 97 for seven, England recovered to 191 all out.This late resistance must have heartened the team, perhaps stilled their fear too. They certainly showed better resolve in the second innings and didn’t just roll over, letting India know that they now have a fight on their hands.
India 1st innings 521/8 dec
England 1st innings (overnight 41/3)
Cook c Sehwag b Ashwin 41
Compton b Ashwin 9
Anderson c Gambhir b Ojha 2
Trott c Pujara b Ashwin 0
Pietersen b Ojha 17
Bell c Tendulkar b Ojha 0
Patel lbw b Yadav 10
Prior b Ojha 48
Bresnan c Kohli b Ojha 19
Broad lbw b Khan 25
Swann not out 3
Total (all out in 74.2 overs) 191
Fall of wickets 1-26, 2-29, 3-30, 4-69, 5-69, 6-80, 7-97, 8-144, 9-187
England 2nd innings (following on)
Cook not out 74
Compton not out 34
Total: (For no loss in 38 overs) 111
India's first-innings lead of 330 is their second-highest in Tests vs England. Their highest is 355, at Headingley in 2002 Previously, India's three highest leads vs England were all in overseas Tests, including 319 at The Oval and 283 at Trent Bridge, both in 2007 Ojha's 5/45 is his fourth five-for in Tests, all of which have come at home. In 13 home Tests, Ojha has 68 wickets at an average of 26.83 Since 2008, KP has been dismissed 24 times by left-arm spinners in Tests. He averages 35.58 against them during this period
India's first-innings lead of 330 is their second-highest in Tests vs England. Their highest is 355, at Headingley in 2002
Previously, India's three highest leads vs England were all in overseas Tests, including 319 at The Oval and 283 at Trent Bridge, both in 2007
Ojha's 5/45 is his fourth five-for in Tests, all of which have come at home. In 13 home Tests, Ojha has 68 wickets at an average of 26.83
Since 2008, KP has been dismissed 24 times by left-arm spinners in Tests. He averages 35.58 against them during this period
A tale of three spinners
Ahmedabad, November 17
A day before the Test series started, captain MS Dhoni said something really curious. "If you see the top four-five spinners, Bhajji definitely features there," Dhoni. Now, did Dhoni mean to say that Harbhajan Singh is among the five best spinners in India - or in the world? It has to be the latter, surely?
Harbhajan is the top wicket-taker among all the international Test bowlers currently active. However, his recent form, even in domestic cricket, doesn't inspire confidence. But does Dhoni really believe that Harbhajan is only good enough to be rated among the top five spinners in India - and not, say, the top two? Or the top three?
Dhoni may clarify this at some stage during the series, but there's no question about who are India's top two, first-choice spinners in Test cricket. Before the series started, Ojha and Ashwin, both 26-year-olds, had taken a total of 73 wickets in five Tests they'd played together. That's something not even our spin legends from the past had managed.
Harbhajan, clearly, has much work to do if he is to return to the Indian XI.
Ojha and Ashwin have hunted well together. Dhoni says that the left-arm Ojha's role is restrictive, to sew up one end. This, he says, lets Ashwin attack from the other end. The two spinners have actually made this plan work very well.
Including the current match, Ojha has played 17 Tests for India, all of them in India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Quite unobtrusively, he has snared 80 wickets, at an average of 30.81 and a strike rate of 67.5. That's a middling average and a middling strike rate, which allow him to remain inconspicuous. The figures are in harmony with his role of an understated, containing bowler, an abettor to the inventive Ashwin. Yet, 80 Test wickets in 17 Test matches (unfinished) is a very good record, and doesn't suffer in comparison with the record of left-arm spinners like Ravi Shastri (151 in 80 Tests), Dilip Doshi (114 in 33) or Maninder Singh (88 in 35).
Of all the left-arm spinners who have contributed in Indian wins, Ojha (60 wickets in Indian wins) is next only to Bedi (97). That's quite a feat, though quite skewed - Ojha needs to perform around the world before the final analysis could be done.
For now, he's doing quite all right. He has troubled all the England batsmen here.
Pitch not the villain of piece yet
Ahmedabad, November 17
Judging from that look, Bell was in for a terrific verbal lashing – and who knows, even the sack, depending of the outcome of the match. Bell is scheduled to go back to England after this Test to be present at the birth of his first child, but he already must be a bundle of nerves.
English hearts much have sunk considerably at the sight of that shot. However, England ended the day in a much more robust position, thanks to the application of their captain, Alastair Cook, and the 29-year-old debutant opener, Nick Compton. They were untroubled by the Indian bowlers, who didn’t seem to bowl as well as they did in the first innings – or perhaps weren’t allowed to bowl well.
Then again, Pragyan Ojha, who finished with five wickets in the first innings, said that the pitch had slowed down further.
Ojha could well have picked up both of them, though – Compton was dropped by Virat Kohli at gully when on 23, and Ojha’s LBW appeal against a sweeping Cook deserved to be upheld. All that made for a strange day of contrasts, which displayed both frailties and strengths of England, as they lost seven first-innings wickets and none in the second.
The wicket is clearly not demonic – the Indians expect and hope for it to crack over the final two days, though, and that would make things interesting. Matt Prior, played the second highest number of deliveries (100) in England’s first innings, said he’d prefer to dwell on the pleasanter events of the day. "It was a shocker to lose wickets quickly and was disappointing. As a professional you have to look ahead and take positives. The way (Nick) Compton and Cookie (Alastair Cook) went about their task this afternoon was fantastic. We are behind but are still in the game," Prior says. To stay in the game, and to get ahead, England need Kevin Pietersen to play a useful hand. Pietersen’s last five Test hundreds have all been big ones – 227, 202*, 175, 151 and 149. Of these, the 151 (followed by 42 in the second innings) came in Sri Lanka in April this year. This he did against spinners Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv and Tilllakaratne Dilshan in their home conditions. Pietersen, thus, had helped England draw a Test series in the Indian subcontinent for the first time in seven years. Since 2005-06, they had lost series in Lanka, India and Pakistan.
A draw on this Ahmedabad track would be akin to a victory for England from here on.
Ahmedabad, November 17
Prior top-scored with 48 in England's first innings. India made 521 for 8 declared in their first essay. "We are honest enough to admit we did not get that right. We knew the wicket was going to turn a bit. I think we got a little bit ahead of ourselves and panicked a bit. "In the second innings we were a lot more calm, led by Cookie and Compton, the way they batted. May be it's turning a bit, bouncing a bit, but you can bat with time out there," Prior added. Though the team was shot out for under 200 with Pragyan Ojha taking five wickets, Prior said it was better to look ahead.
"There's no point in crying over spilled milk, you have to move on. We are still in this game though we are behind as 111 for no loss sums up the turnaround. That's what we would be looking at," he insisted. Prior said that the wicket was behaving differently on different days. "Wicket is certainly turning, you look at day 1 wicket and day 2 wicket - they were different. That's not an excuse at all. We were prepared for it. We have to execute our plans well."
Prior came out in defense of KPand Ian Bell who were dismissed off successive balls against Ojha. "Bell is one of the finest batters in hitting the ball over the top. One thing we have talked about is to play your game and back yourself.” — PTI
Bhubaneswar, November 17
Gony (2/20), Sandeep (2/32) and Kaul (2/62) scalped two wickets apiece while left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma (1/15) accounted for the other Railways batsman on the first day of the encounter which produced only 74 overs.
Sent into bat, Railways lost both their openers —Amit Paunikar and V Cheluvaraj — with the scoreboard reading just 16. Nitin Bhille (41) and skipper Sanjay Bangar somewhat resurrected Railways innings with a 48-run third wicket stand before the batting side lost three quick wickets. PM Madkaikar (30) and Ashish Yadav (34) then shared 52-runs for the sixth wicket before two more quick wickets rocked Railways' ship. At stumps, leg-spinner Murali Kartik was batting 21 while Krishnakant Upadhyay was not out on 32 as the duo added vital 54 runs for the eight wicket.
Rayudu, Chauhan take Baroda to 252/3
Stand-in captain Ambati Rayudu led from the front with an impressive half-century as Baroda ended the first day's play at a comfortable 252 for three against Delhi in a third round Ranji Trophy Group B encounter.
Put into bat, Baroda rode on Rayudu's undefeated 83 and his partnership of 143 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand with Abhimanyu Chauhan, who is giving him company on 82, while Chauhan continued his good form having scored a century against Vidarbha in the last game. They didn't hit any flashy shots but also punished the loose deliveries. — pTi
Railways 193/7 (74.0 ov)
Paunikar c Uday b Gony 0
Cheluvaraj b Sandeep 3
Bhille lbw b Gony 41
Bangar c Uday b Siddharth 21
Madkaikar c Jiwanjot b Bipul 30
Rawat lbw b Sandeep 4
Yadav c Uday b Siddharth 34
Kartik 21 no
Total (for 7 in 74 overs) 193
Fall of wickets 1-0, 2-16, 3-64, 4-78, 5-83, 6-135, 7-139
Chandigarh, November 17
Haryana now have the ignominy of getting shot out for less than 100 in two of their first three matches. This time it was the turn of wily Basant Mohanty who is always known to be a difficult bowler in helpful conditions and looked menacing on a track where the ball moved around.With the track at Lahli being the strip that he needed to show his prowess, the lanky seamer had figures of 5 for 24 in 11.1 overs as the home team were all-out in only 32.1 overs. He was well supported by Biplab Samantray who took three for 17.
Only Abhimanyu Khode and Rahul Dalal with scores of 12 and 21 respectively reached double figures for Haryana. Odisha then came out to bat and took their score to 177 for six and now have a handy 111-run first innings lead. However, there certainly will be an outright result after 16 wickets have fallen on the first day. For the visitors, skipper N Behra (44), Samantray (42) and D Behra (31) made contributions.
Brief Scores: Haryana 66 in 32.1 overs (R Dalal 21, B Mohanty 5/24, Biplab Samantray 3/17); Odisha 177/6 (Natraj Behra 44, Biplab Samantray 42, Deepak Behra 31, Mohit Sharma 4/37). — PTI
Chandigarh, November 17
For HP, Vikramjeet Singh Malik, Rishi Dhawan bagged three wickets each. Jitender Mehta bagged one crucial wicket. Himachal Pradesh will need to pull upo their socks after failing to seize initial momentum.
Brief Scores: Andhra Pradesh 331/7 in 88 overs (B Sumanth 102, AA Muzumdar 101, D Shivkumar 41, HH Watekar 31,Vikramjeet Singh Malik, 3/21, Rishi Dhawan 3/25). — PTI
New Delhi, November 17
As a result, the scrutiny of nominations, scheduled to be held here today, has been postponed by returning officer Justice (retd) V.K.Bali. Bali said the scrutiny process will start only after the appointment of a new chairman/member of the election commission.
Quraishi’s resignation has created a piquant situation as it is going to upset the schedule of the IOA elections, slated to be held on November 25. Dr. Quraishi, in his resignation letter, has said that he was quitting the Commission because there was a “breakdown of consensus”. He wants the IOA elections to be held under the Sports Code of the Government of India.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in a letter to IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, had objected to the application of the Sports Code in the IOA elections, as it felt that the code would violate the Olympic Charter. Malhotra had replied to the IOC that the IOA too was not in favour of the Sports Code, but had to accede to the fiat of the election panel, to fall in line with a court order.Malhotra said the IOA was opposed to the Sports Code of the Government since the time it was mooted, but had to include the provision of Sports Code in the IOA election because of the directive of HC.
He said the matter, however, has got complicated with the IOC stepping in and asserting that any election held under the Sports Code will not be acceptable to them as it will violate the IOC Charter. “I have replied to the IOC communiqué last night in which I made it clear IOA’s opposition to the Sports Code but stated that because of the High Court of Delhi directives, this provision was included “, Malhotra explained.
He said he will have consultation with other senior members of the IOA and will name the chairman/ member of the Election commission at the earliest.
He said the Sports Code, High Court directive and the IOC communiqué were at variance, leading to different interpretations.“We will have to go into the whole issue in detail and take a decision on this very important issue”, Malhotra added.
The stage was set for heated IOA elections when incumbent secretary-general Randhir Singh and vice-president Abhay Singh Chautala filed their nominations for the post of president when the nominations closed yesterday. With K.Murugan of the Volleyball Federation of India aligning with the Randhir panel and Lalit Bhanot of the Athletics Federation of India joining the Abhay Singh panel for the post of secretary-general, the election was expected to be a battle royal.
But the Randhir group also suffered a major setback when Anil Khanna, president of the All India Tennis Association, shifted allegiance to the Chautala camp when the nominations were filed, though he was tipped to file for the post of treasurer for the Randhir panel. The IOC directive, though would have helped Murugan, it has come as a tool for Chautala faction to mount the heat on the rival panel, though they too were against the Sports Code. — TNS
Melbourne, November 17
"You hear some say a blast from the past. Why not add some of that blast from the past to what we have at present?" Richards told reporters at the MCG.
"If we have individuals who are receptive enough ... I think I can help in that category," he added. The 60-year-old from Antigua said he was excited to be a part of Melbourne Stars and would look to help the youngsters.
"To be given an opportunity to come back to the scene of the crime, I'm very excited about that," he said. "I'm going to be around. I'm not one of these individuals who's going to be here basically for my looks. "It's all about helping some of these young individuals."An explosive and prolific batsman of his time, Richards, who was named along with Shane Warne in Wisden's list of the five cricketers of the 20th century, will join the team's support staff. "I'm one of these individuals who try to keep things as simple as possible," he said. "Sometimes, you get coaches in the modern day who, there's so many little things you hear them speak about. "The game of cricket is still the same. It's still the same routine that you go through. I've always been in that lane - to be as simple as possible," said Richards.
"Our job with the team is for us to just keep things at the level ... to be in that particular lane where individuals mentally are solid enough to do the job," said the former skipper. "People like Ian Chappell, who I've always had admiration for, he's as good as anyone else.” — PTI
New Delhi, November 17
The scrutiny process for the IOA's election was postponed today after Quraishi resigned from the post, leading to a further delay in the entire poll process. Randhir Singh's lawyer is learnt to have demanded immediate postponement of the scrutiny process. However, lawyers from Abhey Singh Chautala’s side continued to push for the election process. — PTI
Tino Best picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests as West Indies fought back to beat Bangladesh by 77 runs. The home side were all out for 167 runs in their second innings, having been set a target of 245 runs in a maximum of 78 overs. Bangladesh lost the test match despite scoring 556 in their first innings replying to Windies' 527/4 decl.
Brief Scores: West Indies: 527/4d & 273; Bangladesh 556 & 167 in 54.3 overs (Mahmudullah 29, N Islam 26, Nafees 23, T Best 5/24, V Permaul 3/32, Rampaul 2/32).
Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath continued his love affair with the Galle stadium as he took 5/65 to help dismiss New Zealand for 221 on the opening day of the first Test. The left-armer's effort was his fourth five-wicket haul in eight matches at the venue and means 40 of his 159 Test wickets have come there. Tim Southee dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne leg-before wicket as the home side reached 9/1 at close of play. Herath dismissed McCullum (68) and Flynn (53), and was well supported by Eranga (3/51) and Kulasekara (2/ 31).
Brief Scores: New Zealand 221 (McCullum 68, Flynn 53, van Wyk 28, Herath 5/65, Eranga 3/51,Kulasekara 2/31); SL: 9/1 in 5 overs (Karunaratne 0, Paranavitana 0*, Ramdiv 3*)
Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse could stand down as captain of Senegal in the wake of a club versus country row that prevented him playing in EPL on Saturday. — Agencies