Bikash Singh

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Bikash still thinks cricket's a gentleman's game. And that our batsmen run away with most of the prizes.

The Enemy Camp: Swing in the tale

(Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the tongue-in-cheek name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)

Indian seamers had reduced England to 124 for eight at tea on the first day of the second Test at Trent Bridge when Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann came out and showed they can bat a bit. England's top scorer Broad (64) and Swann (28) added 73 runs for the 9th wicket as India look to level the four-match series at 1-1 after losing the first Test at Lord's by 196 runs. Sreesanth, Ishant and Praveen Kumar ripped through England line-up in the seam-friendly conditions to hand India initiative on the opening day of the second Test.

Vic Marks explains how Trent Bridge got the reputation for being a haven for swing bowlers and how Sreesanth, Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma merrily went about their business in this piece for The Guardian.

This is what we have come to expect here. The ball keeps swinging; the pitch is hard and has sufficient carry for the edges to reach a busy slip cordon. It makes for beguiling cricket, in which a plucky half-century, such as the one thrashed by Stuart Broad, can change the course of the match.

And whom should we thank for that? Well, Huw Evans, of course. Evans of Maber Architects in Nottingham has been the guiding light in the rebuilding of Trent Bridge, making it the most enchanting Test ground in this country outside of St John's Wood. According to the locals it is the construction of the new stands that has made Trent Bridge an even more fecund hunting ground for swing bowlers.

Steve James of The Daily Telegraph feels Trent Bridge pitch is too bowler friendly.

Pace and bounce are what I've been advocating all summer, but whilst there has been some bounce here there has not been a great deal of pace. But, with a rather uneven covering of grass, there has been seam movement to add to the swing through the air that you always seem to encounter at Trent Bridge these days. But when you see the ball that dismissed Graeme Swann, sending him off to hospital for an x-ray, you do wonder whether that really should be happening on the first day of a Test match.

Paul Weaver of The Guardian was clearly disappointed with the way England's batsmen handled Indian pacers yesterday...

England's real disappointment is that they have been rolled over by a side who look as if they are there for the taking, for India, now, are the Traveling Wilburys of international cricket. They are not so much a team, or a group, as a collection of ageing and ridiculously gifted individuals.

England were hardly intimidated by pace. Praveen Kumar is so slow that if he was the pizza delivery man you would fear a cold dinner. And until he started taking wickets it looked like Sreesanth's only sting would come from his beehive hairdo.

James Lawton of The Independent salutes Broad and Swann explains why India are not in a dominant position.

So why aren't India, who bowled England out for 221 in the evening sunshine, in the dominant position that seemed so remote when they trailed down St John's Wood Road a few days ago? It is because they learnt something utterly pivotal to their hopes of hanging on to their status as Test's cricket best team.

This was that it may not be quite enough for them to win back their old appetite for the battle - and at least some of the confidence in supreme talent that first enabled them to conquer the world. They might just have to face up to the fact that here, at Edgbaston and then in the fourth Test at The Oval, they have opponents who have developed a resilience that may indeed be nearing world champion levels.

Jonathan Agnew of The BBC writes how Broad and Swann turned things around brilliantly and how Dhoni missed it.

As many people know, I am a big advocate of Broad batting at number seven, because it would open up so many possibilities for England, and once again he showed what a capable batsman he is. Broad and Swann batted brilliantly to turn the tables after tea but they were assisted by some strange captaincy by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. When your fielders are scattered all over the place, you lose the initiative and that is definitely what happened.

It was a shame for India because they had bowled really well to get the home side into such trouble, exposing the technical failings some of England's batsmen have against swing bowling.

Writing for The Independent, David Lloyd writes how Sreesanth applied for the role of India's bowling hero - in the absence of Zaheer - and succeeded.

England's batsmen would not have had a clue what to expect from the volatile Sreesanth yesterday; which is hardly surprising, because neither did his team-mates. On this occasion, though, the 28-year-old left most of the histrionics to others and concentrated on doing something he can be really rather good at: taking wickets.

Lawrence Booth of the Daily Mail describes Sreesanth as 'one of the most misunderstood bowlers in the world'.

By removing Jonathan Trott with his fourth ball in Tests since January, then adding the scalps of Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior, Sreesanth showed that, when he gets it right, he gets it very right indeed. The trouble is, it has been hard at times to look beyond the eccentricities.

Other interesting reads -

Stuart Broad says Trent Bridge turf can play into the hands of bowling attack

Stephen Brenkley writes 'Daring pair chance arm to put England back in game'

Praveen Kumar bares tigers' teeth by Niall Hickman of the Daily Express

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