11:03 pm - This has been an engrossing day of Test cricket at Trent Bridge. Sreesanth, Ishant and Praveen took three wickets each as they made the most of the seam-friendly conditions as England was all out for 221. The hosts could have folded up for far less if it weren’t for Broad and Swann’s counter-attacking partnership for the ninth wicket in the post-tea session even as the former put the Indian attack to the sword.
In response, India lost Mukund off the first ball of their innings when the opening batsman edged an Anderson delivery to Pietersen at gully. Anderson and Broad then asked questions aplenty of Dravid and Laxman as they made the most of the conditions to put the experienced duo under pressure as they were forced to be on guard. Both survived a couple of close shaves but managed to hold on to their wickets as India ended Day 1 at 24 for 1 in 15 overs. For more details on how the day’s play unfolded, see the scoreboard.
10:40 pm - This is Test cricket at its absolute best! Anderson and Broad are making life difficult for Dravid and Laxman as the experienced duo battle for survival in the middle. Dravid survived a caught behind appeal off Anderson which was reviewed but replays showed umpire Asad Rauf was spot on and shortly after Laxman was struck a painful blow in the soft spot as Pietersen was earlier in the day. Dravid and Laxman will do well to weather the storm and make it to stumps. Brilliant stuff this. Test cricket when played between the top countries is still exciting and riveting!
10:19 pm - Meanwhile, according to reports Swann has gone to the hospital for an X-ray on his left hand after he was hit by a Praveen delivery during his 35-ball 28. Luckily for Swann and England, that's his non-bowling hand.
10:17 pm - James Anderson sent the Trent Bridge crowd into raptures when he had Abhinav Mukund caught by Pietersen at gully off the first ball of the Indian innings. Anderson and Broad are making life difficult for Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman with some testing deliveries - the only run scored so far has been a leg bye and the fifth over is being bowled.
9.54 pm - Harbhajan has something to smile about as he dismisses England's top-scorer Broad for a 66-ball 64 as the hosts are all out for 221. England's last two wicket-pairs scored 97 runs in 17.4 overs with Broad taking centre stage as he scored consecutive half-centuries in the series. Broad has gained in confidence and has answered his detractors not only with his performance at Lord's, but also under difficult circumstances at Trent Bridge - his home ground. Sreesanth impressed on his comeback as well for India in seam-friendly conditions.
More from our readers –
Bhaskar D: “Even Dhoni is not justifying selection of Bhajji in the playing eleven...Bhajji has bowled only 3 overs till now!!! Did Dhoni pick Harbhajan only for fielding? Is he trying to prove everyone wrong? Dhoni, you must answer d reason for picking up Harbhajan n allowing him to bowl only 3 overs....why didnt you pick up d 4th seamer, on this pace friendly pitch?”
Y! Cricket says the pitch is bound to slow down by the time England’s second innings comes around, and while Harbhajan can’t be expected to work wonders, he may just shock all of us if ‘hope springs eternal’! The track so far has anyway been pacer-friendly; a spinner has no role to play on it currently.
Hsnbhatta: “after 7 wickets should have frustrated broad and swann with some tight bowling instead they are giving ex runs anything around 300 india in trouble against genuine fasdt bowling. let us how far the tail will wag . dhoni no game plan.”
Y! Cricket’s response – The bowlers were loose and bowled crap in the post-tea session. Not that it takes anything away from Broad and Swann’s counter-attack. As for England posting a total of 300+ in the first innings, that looks highly unlikely as the hosts have lost nine wickets with the score on 204 as I type this.
9:09 pm - Zaheer's absence was always going to hurt India, but in the first two sessions it appeared as though the hole had been plugged. The first 30 minutes of the post-tea session have put into focus the Indian attack's worthlessness sans Zaheer against the opposition's tail. Broad and Swann are making the Indian attack look like novices. Amazing counter-attack though.
Readers’ corner –
Indian: “Despite all odds, India seem to do better than last time. Many are abusinf Shree but I am of the view that his killer instinct worked positively and other bowlers bowled well. Skipper changed the bowling to spinners but thankfully changed his mind soon. I thnk within half an hour time Indian batting will start with Openers Rahul and Mukund. Bst of luck to team India in match's second and India's 1st inning.”
Parag takes a ‘dig’ at Vaughan, Boycott and other India detractors – “Till now Right answer is given by Indian team to all of them who pin point their capability.” That said, the important words are ‘till now’.
Tribhuwan: “India strikes back. At least the Indian seamers have performed well. Now it is upto the Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Dhoni to take team India to a commanding position. Guys dont slip from here. We keep our fingers crossed. Cheer up guys, Dhoni has selected the best from the options available. Everybody goes through a lean patch. So is with Harbhajan. Timefor him to reinvent himself. He should get rid of his containment approach and give the ball more air. Spinners are intelligent bowler. Harbhajan should get this talent polished. That's all.”
8:15 pm - How the tables have turned and Bell has got to be livid with himself. After putting in the hard yards and surviving some testing times, including a couple of close LBW shouts, he goes and plays at and edges at a wide Ishant delivery which is just about caught by Dhoni. Bell out for a 81-ball 31 four deliveries before the tea break as Ishant takes his third wicket. Swann wouldn't have expected to bat on the first day, let alone in the second session. England go into Tea at 124-8 and Dhoni's decision to field first has been vindicated by his pacers.
Some more tweets –
@sreesanth36 - I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. - Micheal Jordan
@VaughanCricket - Ball is swinging.. I wonder if the Indians are eating jelly beans..
@bhogleharsha - i saw sreesanth bowl at johannesburg but this spell is as good.
@DGoughie - Heyup we have a game on !! India coming back well
7:58 pm – Well, Dravid proves yet again that class is permanent and poor catching form is temporary! He may have grassed a simpler chance, but he pulls of an outstanding catch to get rid of Tim Bresnan and give Ishant Sharma his second wicket of the innings. Ishant bowls a beautiful delivery that angled in and pitched around the off stump which squared up Bresnan and the resultant thin edge was snapped up beautifully by Dravid diving low to his left. Genius at work, folks. Can Stuart Broad put together a partnership with Bell on his home ground? India continue to dominate and play like the No. 1 Test team. The Lord's defeat has clearly hurt them.
Harbhajan has been at the wrong end of the Indian team’s fans for quite a while now. He certainly hasn’t been ‘making it large’ of late. Here’s a Facebook page that has started a petition to have Bhajji dropped from the team.
7:39 pm - Boy oh boy! Dravid has made the 'angry young man' of Indian cricket, i.e., Praveen Kumar look like a raging bull who wants to have a go at the matador. Praveen bowls a beautiful delivery that held its line and it found Bell's edge but Dravid grassed the low catch. As safe as his hands are, Dravid has dropped about seven catches in the last 18 months. Is age catching up with him at least in the slips region? He is still one of the best in that position though.
7:21 pm - Sreesanth, take a bow! Prior rescued England in Lord's from 65 for 5 in the second innings and went on to score an unbeaten century, but was done in by a peach of a delivery from Sreesanth that pitched on off stump before it squared up England's wicket-keeper batsman who only managed to edge a catch to Dravid at first slip. High quality bowling this by Sreesanth. He has made his selection count and India firmly on top at Trent Bridge.
7:19 pm - Will Morgan be dropped for the third Test unless he comes up with the goods in the second innings? His place in the England team in the shorter formats is guaranteed, but he has been inconsistent in Test cricket. Bopara has been scoring heavily in the county circuit, and is the front runner to be drafted in should Morgan be dropped.
7:00 pm - After all his frustration in the first session, Praveen gets two wickets in one over to leave England wobbling at 85 for 5. He first had Strauss caught for 32 by Raina at third slip and then trapped Eoin Morgan plumb in front off the third delivery he faced. Praveen first bowled an outswinger to Morgan and then followed it up with an inswinger before pitching the ball inside the line and trapping the southpaw plumb in front. Superb over that!
6:46 pm - Strauss is looking solid; but Bell is looking uncertain in the middle with Sreesanth being his main bane at the moment.
6:29 pm - As he so often does, Sreesanth fails to endear himself to the Trent Bridge spectators as he appeals for an attempted caught and bowled effort off a leading edge from Ian Bell which clearly fell in front of him. He is being booed but Sourav Ganguly commentates: “He wouldn’t mind that. He has heard that a fair bit in his career. He will get on with his bowling.”
6:20 pm - Just what India needed in the post-lunch session. Sreesanth bowls a short of a length outswinger just outside the off stump and Pietersen edges it to Raina at third slip in the fifth ball of the session. A big wicket this as Pietersen was looking good in the middle. Sreesanth has justified his selection ahead of Munaf so far.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels the team should have brought a third opening batsman for the England Test series.
Some interesting tweets –
@legsidefilth - Amused by KP's shout to Strauss during Yivraj's over: "No spin, very slow". Pies before lunch, lovely jubbly. #EngvInd
@venkatananth - That's the lead spinner. Drawing the batsman forward and all that. More attacking field than HSP, I guess.
@fakingnews - Sreesanth is the only fast bowler who benefits from injuries.
@deepakyen - PK loses his cool, has a go at the umpire. Bhajji escorts him away. Next thing we know Sreesanth will be calming him down. #EngvsInd
@SANJAYMANJREKAR - One thing that u often get with sreesanth...are wicket taking deliveries.
@cricketwallah - When he bowls with an upright seam, getting late swing & temper in control, Sreesanth looks a match-winner who shud play every game
Readers’ speak –
Govindan: “The absence of Segwag is a big setback for India. Now the injury to Gambhir has further reduced the chances of India to bounce back in this test. Harbhajan Singh should have been replaced with leg-spinner Amit Mishra.”
Indian is not too happy with umpire Erasmus: “1-4 (Strauss, 2.3 ov), 2-24 (Vaughan, 8.6 ov), 3-47 (Pietersen, 14.4 ov), ' History was repeating but the umpire came between KP, PK and wicket. Denied clear plumb off PK.”
It was a close call, sure, but India didn’t want the DRS for LBW decisions. The BCCI and the Indian team didn't want the ball-tracking technology to be used. Remember!
Sunil: “Why again Harbhajan is continued, such a normal perfomance and he has got a place in playing 11, this is possible only in India where players are chosen by off the pitch size, not by perfomace, we should have a rotation policy, Give chance to Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha or Ashwin. but Harbhajan's selectin is not digestable, even we could have taken Munaf, and for spin, Raina and Youraj were enough........”
5.36 pm – Ishant and Praveen have been good in the first session asking some tough questions of the batsmen. Sreesanth has been decent enough; while Harbhajan and Yuvraj bowled one over each before the lunch break. Pietersen has counter-attacked and is looking confident in the middle, and it will be interesting to see how he copes against Yuvraj in the post-lunch session. Strauss has been solid but has survived a close LBW appeal from Praveen. India’s session but Strauss and Pietersen have held firm after the quick dismissals of Cook and Trott. England 69/2 in 27 overs at Lunch.
5.27 pm - Harbhajan has been brought on just before the lunch break and he starts with a long hop that Strauss dispatches to the backward point boundary. He just hasn't been bowling like a bowler who has 400+ Test wickets for a while now.
Dhoni has been short listed for the ICC’s People Choice Award. Does he deserve it?
5.08 pm - Ishant Sharma has been good with the ball so far in his seven overs, but has also been guilty of not making the batsmen play on occasions. Praveen has been good, while Sreesanth hasn't done too badly either though three boundaries have been hit off his bowling. Strauss and Pietersen have had their nervy moments but have also counter-attacked and kept the scoreboard ticking over.
5.00 pm – Kevin Pietersen survives a close shout for LBW from Praveen Kumar. Though Pietersen was a long way down the match, the ball appeared to hit his pad really adjacent. It was a fantastic delivery. At the end of that over (18th of the match), Praveen had a heated discussion with umpire Erasmus and had to be pulled away by Harbhajan Singh. Not done Praveen. Suck it up and move on!
Ayyappa comes up with this interesting anecdote:
“Last time India played against England in TRENT BRIDGE," starts Lingavan, "the fall of wickets were 1-4 (Strauss, 2.3 ov), 2-24 (Vaughan, 8.6 ov), 3-47 (Pietersen, 14.4 ov), 4-101 (Collingwood, 32.2 ov), 5-109 (Cook, 35.5 ov), 6-147 (Prior, 45.6 ov), 7-157 (Bell, 50.3 ov), 8-186 (Tremlett, 59.4 ov), 9-195 (Panesar, 62.5 ov), 10-198 (Anderson, 65.3 ov) Next wicket is expected to fall in 40's or 50's. So folks take some rest.”
4.37 pm - The first hour has belonged to India as Ishant and Sreesanth have dismissed Cook and Trott respectively. Ishant has been lively, while Praveen was effective in his own way. Strauss and Pietersen need to take England through to Lunch.
Readers’ speak –
Chiru Chanti: “no shewag india loss the 2nd test match.”
Mayur: “Dhoni is stupid – He is always won the toss and elected to field – is it a right decision by world’s best batting line – who prefers to chase – this is 5 days match not one day.”
Srikanth MA: “Sreesanth is not even good as an water boy. BAD choice.”
Nisheeths: “Harbhajan is not performing well,Amit Mishra would have been better choice.”
Well, Mayur, these are bowler-friendly conditions, and Dhoni was justified in electing to field. Strauss would have done the same. England have already lost two wickets; and Srikanth, while I am not a Sreesanth fan, you are being a bit harsh on him as he enjoys these conditions and can be a handful if he gets his act right. Nisheeths, couldn’t agree more with you. It is a shock that Harbhajan continues to be in the XI.
4.20 pm - Sreesanth strikes! His first ball was hit to the boundary by Strauss, but three deliveries later, he got Trott to edge an attempted drive to Laxman at second slip. Trott out for 4 and England 23/2.
4. 19 pm - Jonathan Trott gets off the mark with a cracking boundary behind point off an Ishant Sharma delivery. Meanwhile, Sreesanth comes in to bowl replacing Praveen in the 11th over.
4.07 pm – Surprisingly, Sreesanth didn’t share the new ball with Ishant. Praveen is a good swing bowler but just doesn’t have the pace to trouble the batsmen on a fast bowler’s pitch. Meanwhile, Strauss has taken advantage of a half volley on leg stump by Praveen and slapped it away for the first boundary of the match.
4.05 pm – It’s now Jonathan Trott’s turn to have a LBW appeal against him by Ishant Sharma, but this time umpire Erasmus rules in the batsman’s favour. He was struck outside the line and the ball was also going over the wickets.
3.57 pm – Cook survived a close LBW shout from Praveen Kumar, but his luck ran out when umpire Marais Erasmus upheld Ishant’s appeal. Replays suggested though Cook was hit in line, the ball would have gone over the top of the wickets. A third failure for Cook in the series, who has been in fine form since the Ashes. England 7/1.
3.51 pm – Alastair Cook has survived a huge appeal for LBW from Praveen Kumar in the first ball of the fourth over. It was a tight call but umpire Asad Rauf was unmoved.
3.44 pm – Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook have made a cautious start on the Trent Bridge wicket that has movement but not a great deal of bounce. Praveen Kumar, in fact, generated extravagant swing from the first ball of the match, while Ishant Sharma, who has got himself a haircut, has located a full length early on.
Stuart Broad speaks about his confidence-boosting performance at Lord’s and says he is glad to silence his doubters.
India have a point or two to prove to Michael Vaughan and Geoff Boycott who feel their days as the No. 1 Test team are numbered. Stephen Brenkley lists out five things that England need to do at Trent Bridge. S Ram Mahesh of The Hindu says now is the time for India to play like the No. 1 Test team.
Rohit Brijanth makes some interesting observations in his column on the beauty of waiting in Test cricket.
3.10 pm – Indian captain MS Dhoni has won the toss and elected to field. India has made two changes – Sreesanth and Yuvraj Singh, whose last Test match was against Sri Lanka at Galle in July 2010, replaced the injured duo of Zaheer and Gautam Gambhir. England have also been forced to make a change with Tim Bresnan coming in for Chris Tremlett, who had a back spasm yesterday and was already doubtful for this match with a hamstring problem.
Venkat Ananth feels India can bounce back in Nottingham and level the Test series.
England thumped India by 196 runs at Lord’s to go 1-0 up in the four-Test series. India was outplayed in all departments and the visitors’ woes were compounded on the first day of the series itself when pace spearhead Zaheer Khan hobbled off the field with a hamstring injury. Zaheer has been ruled out of the second Test.
Young Indian opening batsman Abhinav Mukund says he wants to maintain his form; while England wicket-keeper batsman Matt Prior returns to the scene of the infamous jelly bean scandal. On that subject, England captain Andrew Strauss has said there won’t be any repeat of that ‘silly’ incident.
Sachin Tendulkar may have 99 international hundreds to his name, but former England skipper Nasser Hussain feels the Indian batting legend will have it tough against James Anderson. And, England coach Andy Flower takes a dig at India’s stubbornness on the UDRS.