(Note to readers: We will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the Trent Bridge Test. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically.)
Tweets on England’s dominant position at the end of Day 3 –
@cricketwallah - India's bowling has been plundered for over 400 runs today. Harbhajan has conceded only 47 of these, but is the biggest worry in the attack.
@cricketaakash - One could understand this scoring rate if we'd bowled 140 overs..tired bowlers, flat track etc. But not after 75 overs on a responsive pitch
@warne888 - England just scored 400 runs in a day - tremendous batting - India have been very poor today & do not look like the number 1 side in world !
@ZaltzCricket - India now officially bowling total garbage. Their heads couldn't be any more down if they were the French royal family in the early 1790s.
@cricketaakash - Fast bowlers needed support (not so much wickets) but unfortunately it wasn't forthcoming. Staring down a hopelessly dark tunnel #engvind
11.07 pm - A brilliant response by England on a day that they started under tremendous pressure. England started Day 3 on 24-1 and ended it at 441-6; adding a mammoth 417 runs on the day. India's bowling was shoddy as was their ground fielding to an extent; Dhoni's captaincy left a lot to be desired but his decision to call back Ian Bell will be a talking point for months, if not years. That apart, England were all over India today with Bell making 159 of the best Test runs one can hope to see. Pietersen, Morgan and Prior all chipped in with half-centuries. Prior and Tim Bresnan (47*) have so far added an unbeaten 102 runs in 18.2 overs for the seventh wicket as England lead India by 374 runs; and look all set to unseat India as the world's No. 1 Test team. England have shown the hunger and desire for most of the first eight days of the series; unfortunately the same can't be said of India. This was an eventful day of Test cricket that won't be forgotten in a hurry as much as for England's brilliance on the field that is likely to be overshadowed by the scenes just before Tea time.
10.27 pm - Prior continues to be a bane for India; in fact for the third time in four innings in this series. The runs continue to flow and far too quickly for India's liking as Prior and Bresnan are scoring at a brisk pace; the two breakthroughs that Praveen got with the new ball have been rendered useless thanks to some shoddy bowling by Ishant and Sreesanth. The field continues to be defensive; Dhoni hopes and continues to wait for things to happen for his rather than make things happen; and Prior has just brought up his half-century off only 38 balls. Advantage England!
10.14 pm - England have just extended their lead to 300 runs; and though India has time on their side, this will be a difficult target to chase down in the fourth innings. Matt Prior is looking positive and is stringing together an useful partnership with Tim Bresnan. Indian bowlers continue to have an on-off day; largely the latter.
9.51 pm - Praveen has been brilliant with the new ball and does dismiss Trott for 2 as he gloves an outswinger to Dravid at slip. No umpire is turning that down! But, umpire Erasmus is in the thick of things again as he turns down yet another plumb LBW off Praveen against Tim Bresnan. Is he going to risk the BCCI and Indian team's ire ala Daryl Harper who was rushed into retirement?
9.34 pm - Umpire Erasmus's nightmare of a Test continues as he turns down a confident LBW shout by Praveen against Trott off the first ball faced by the batsman. It was plumb though as Praveen's sharp indipper hit Trott in front of the off stump and would have gone on to hit the leg stump. Trott is lucky and India continues to pay for their aversion to the ball-tracking technology.
9.32 pm - India were desperately waiting for the new ball to be taken and Praveen Kumar duly obliges as he gets Morgan to edge an outswinger to Dhoni; which brings an injured Jonathan Trott to the middle.
9.25 pm - That 'golden arm' - Yuvraj Singh - gets the much-needed breakthrough for India shortly before the second new ball is due to be taken as he dismisses Ian Bell for a very well-made 159 off 206 deliveries. Bell added only 22 runs after he was reprieved in a run-out controversy (which has been detailed in previous posts); but he has put England in pole position. And, in a further display of bonhomie between the teams, Sreesanth and Dravid congratulated Bell on a well-played knock as he walked back to the dressing room. Morgan has looked extremely good in the post-tea session and has extended England's advantage on Day 3.
9.12 pm - Coming back to the post-tea session, Morgan is batting beautifully as is Bell. Morgan could have probably saved his Test spot with this counter-attacking half-century. While the Indian bowling is shoddy and the fielding is not the best either; Dhoni's gesture may have taken the spotlight away from that aspect for the moment. And, umpire Marais Erasmus, can you please wake up and do your job? He is having a horrendous Test match; while his on-field colleague Asad Rauf is at the other end of the equation having made some outstanding decisions.
9.09 pm - David Lloyd commentating on Star Cricket has just informed that Strauss and Flower had a word with Dhoni and Fletcher in the Tea break and asked them if the appeal would be reconsidered. Dhoni consulted with the team and then decided to rescind the appeal - all said and done; those mad five minutes after the initial appeal apart, this is a decision that Dhoni deserves to be lauded for and he has set the benchmark for other international captains to follow. Good on you, Dhoni after all, for keeping with the spirit of this beautiful game.
9.06 pm - While the official version of the events of the Tea break are still awaited, England have batted themselves into the driver's seat in the Test as they cross the 300-run mark. Morgan has made an attacking half-century; while Bell has been cautious after the Tea break and has just brought up a well-deserved 150. Please let's not get into whether he should have got to this landmark in the first place; that's a whole new debate!
Tweets on the Bell run-out reversal –
@warne888 - Umpires handled the situation extremely well.. Dhoni reverses his decision at tea break - politics in sport or the right thing ? Thoughts ?
@VaughanCricket - Great sportsmanship from India to reinstate Ian Bell..
@cricketaakash - Well done, Dhoni. Well done, Team India :) #lovestestcricket
@sardesairajdeep - thank you dhoni for restoring my faith in you and this great game. you are a champion. now, lets beat the english! gnight.
@SANJAYMANJREKAR - Ian bell was being very casual, almost careless, walking off before a definitve call from umpire for boundary or tea & deserved to be out.
8.51 pm - Nothing to take away from Dhoni - this is a brave decision, but he had 20 minutes to think about it; and he declined to overturn the appeal initially on the ground. That said, he has set a precedent for international captains, and needs to be applauded for his stand, even though it may hurt India. Let's put this issue to rest for the moment though and focus on Morgan getting into the thick of things at Trent Bridge.
8.47 pm - Sunil Gavaskar on commentary is being a bit melodramatic when he continues to bat for the DRS and takes a dig at the England team and Trent Bridge's lack of applaude for Dravid's century. The Indian team as a whole doesn't acknowledge the opposition's landmarks either and who can forget the booing that Pakistan great Javed Miandad got while he was walking off in his last international match at Bangalore. Was that sporting?
8.37 pm - Well, well, well .... boos rang out loud and clear when the umpires and the Indian players came on to the field but it soon turned to cheers when Eoin Morgan, and ... Ian Bell came out of the England dressing room. Ravi Shastri is being a bit of a sarcastic pain by going on and on about Bell coming back and Dhoni withdrawing the appeal in the dressing room; but the question persists why didn't MSD withdraw the field on the ground when the umpires gave him that option before the players left the field for Tea. And, would Shastri have taken the same stance if the situation involved an Indian cricketer? India would probably have been within the laws had they stayed with the appeal; but that spirit that they spoke about after the Sydney Test will have been on the other foot. That said, Dhoni has taken the right decision, though belatedly, and he will be the most popular person in England right now.
Some more tweets on that issue:
@achettup - Morgan actually tells Bell to get back, Bell presumes and acts incredibly arrogant... ignores the umpires, ignores his partner.. deserves it
@venkatananth - Sourav says he would have overturned the appeal. Top man. Agree with Dada that Bell wasn't trying to run the fourth run.
@cricketanalyst - Bell run out assuming the ball had gone for 4 last ball before tea. Not v sporting conduct by india.
Aakash Chopra tweets on the Bell run-out issue: “Bizarre...that's how I'd describe this run-out. Legitimate by the book...not sure about the spirit though!” AND “Reminds me of our Ranji finals...Vadodara did something similar. Created a lot of bad blood.”
And, the bad blood is something Test cricket and the Indian team can do without. Let's see what happens at the start of the third session though.
8.25 pm - Interesting tea-time conversation at the Sky Cricket studio. Ganguly feels Dhoni should have overturned his appeal; but Lloyd says Bell had left his ground so India were justified in their stance. Ganguly adds this could open up a can of worms as batsmen of both sides would need to be careful while leaving the wicket for the rest of the series. He says this is not the best way to take a wicket. Let's wait and watch if Bell comes out in the third session; whichever way this is going to leave a sour taste in the mouth.
8.19 pm – Unfortunate end to a terrific knock from Ian Bell as he is run out after scoring 137 off 178 balls. Is this the luck that India wanted to go their way? Morgan flicks the last ball of the second session bowled by Ishant Sharma to deep square, and the batsmen probably going by the fielder’s confusion assumed the ball had touched the boundary rope and casually crossed over though the umpire had neither signalled a boundary or called for tea. After an eon, Bell was in my opinion, rightly declared run out but this is yet another controversy this Test is going to spark off. A splendid knock by Bell though that was ended by his own carelessness. This could just be the fortune that India could have been waiting for.
7.59 pm - Harbhajan back on the field but is still looking in a fair bit of discomfort. Apparently, Dravid is off the field too.
7.41 pm - Eoin Morgan has come to the middle to play what could probably be a career-saving innings in the immediate future in the longest format of the game. Sreesanth is an aggressive character and thrives when he is under the kosher; the crowd have booed him and he comes in and gets Pietersen to edge a loose shot to Dhoni behind the stumps. Morgan has already hit a couple of boundaries and Bell continues to motor on. The pitch has flattened out but the run-scoring has been made easier by Dhoni's odd tactic of spreading the field wide which has helped the batsmen score easy boundaries. India's best chance of chasing a gettable total seems to be if they can see Bell's back in a hurry, if at all.
7.24 pm - Harbhajan is apparently off the field; not sure what the problem is. An update as soon as we get one. Meanwhile, the Nottingham crowd still hasn't forgiven Sreesanth for that disgusting caught and bowled appeal against Bell on the first day and are booing him loudly!
7.18 pm - Indian players looking deflated; Dhoni's captaincy has lacked imagination and he looks to be paying dearly for his defensive tactics through Day 3. There are plenty of gaps in the field and while the pitch appears to have eased out; batting still had to be good and Bell and Pietersen are putting on an exhibition of some fine aggressive Test batting and scoring at a fast rate. Problems galore for India and the match has turned on its head yet again courtesy Bell and Pietersen.
6.58 pm - Ian Bell has just scored one of the best Test centuries in a pressure situation one will ever see; it's his 15th Test century and first against India. It is also Bell's first Test century at the No. 3 position. The Trent Bridge crowd have been treated to two fine contrasting hundreds - Dravid weathered the storm and displayed exemplary technique and concentration; whereas Bell has been a lot more attacking and has made the Indian attack look like novices. Bell scored his century off only 129 balls; and with Pietersen stepping on the accelerator in the post-lunch session and getting to his own half-century, things are looking ominous for India.
Aakash Chopra makes a valid point on Twitter: “No Ishant in the post-lunch session at Lord's when Eng was 62/5 n no Sreesanth here straight after lunch. Defies logic.”
6.42 pm - England have scored 33 runs in the first seven overs in the post-lunch session with Pietersen starting to play the brand of cricket he is known for. Bell continues to be solid and looks good for a big 100+ score if he keeps his wits around him. Praveen has been good early in the post-lunch session but Ishant is showing signs of tiring; and Dhoni continues to have a nightmarish time behind the stumps. The match is still even despite England having scored at a fast clip on Day 3 but they have been helped by some lacklustre and insipid Indian bowling. Can Harbhajan actually make an impact in the match? Important spell for him.
6.32 pm - Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has been getting a fair bit of abuse through the day after his ‘Vaseline’ tweet about Laxman yesterday.
A reader Manoj has this to offer: “If India has to win Nottingham test then it must restrict England to a maximum of 265 runs. Any thing above that total means an advantage for English team. They have a fine allround bowling attack and Indian team will have to struggle to score a total of more then 200 on this wicket. Yuvraj's return is a positive sign for India. Tendulkar must concentrate and improve in the coming tests.”
Some interesting tweets about the 1st session –
@ZaltzCricket – “Latest odds: Bookies have England and India level at 11/10. The draw is 8/1. What do you think?”
@cricketwallah – “Strauss has made 20, 4, 0, 3, 22, 32, 32, 16 in his last 8 innings. If England lose, searching questions will be asked of him for sure.” AND “Dhoni's sequence in last 8 innings reads 5, 16, 28, 74, 5, 2, 16, 0. Form no better than Strauss's...”
@VaughanCricket – “Heavy roller playing a big role.. As the day goes on the pitch will do more..”
@SANJAYMANJREKAR takes a dig at Michael Vaughan – “Michael vaughn has got exactly what he wanted, attention..there was also that tweet with the world cup final toss..ignore..is wht i say”
5.31 pm - This has been England's session courtesy a terrific counter-attack from Ian Bell, who goes into Lunch on Day 3 at 84*. He has so far added 73 runs in 18.5 overs for the third wicket with Pietersen and England lead by 63 runs. The hosts scored 106 for 1 in 27 overs in the first session on Day 3. The batting has all been about Bell, who is doing his talent justice in this innings but he needs to bat for a lot longer if England is to get into a comfortable position. Sreesanth has been the pick of the Indian bowlers, while Ishant has bowled a few good deliveries. Harbhajan though continues to be ineffective in his short spell in the first session.
5.23 pm - Don't understand why Dhoni is being so defensive! Have an aggressive field, get in close-in fielders especially as India is operating only with three bowlers (am excluding Harbhajan as his being there or not is the same thing!) Meanwhile, Bell is in sublime touch and Pietersen is slowly getting into his groove.
5.05 pm - Tweets on the Shastri-Hussain debate:
@Shrenit10 - Great to see Nasser Hussain standing up against Shastri's nonsense. Shastri cleverly changing subject now.
@hankypanty - Nasser Hussain and Ravi Shastri - two supremely defensive batsmen attacking each other with the aggression of Sehway.
@mahekoholic - Good to see Nasser Hussain stand his ground. Unlike Ravi, he's not on any board's payroll.
@greigtalks - Go for it Ravi I think there is a bit of truth in what you are saying
@jhunjhunwala - English Commentators and Ravi Shastri.Pretty much like eating an Ice Cream made of Tomato Sauce and Coconut Chutney
4.58 pm - Bell continues to lead England's fightback and is looking real good in the middle and set for a big one; Pietersen has been struck by an Ishant delivery under the ribs. But, the real action has been in the commentary box where Ravi Shastri and Nasser Hussain were involved in a slightly heated debate regarding the DRS. Hussain said he has earned the right to comment after playing 96 Tests and adds he is paid for expressing his opinions by Star Cricket. Shastri says he is of the opinion India has the right not to use the DRS if they don't trust the technology and clarifies his remarks about jealousy around India being No. 1 were directed at the British press and not Hussain. It went on for a while with both making valid points and Harsha Bhogle trying to play peace maker.
4.30 pm - England have just taken the lead for the loss of only Strauss' wicket in the first hour. Sreesanth has been by far the pick of the Indian bowlers with Praveen Kumar being decent enough. It was surprising though that Dhoni chose not to start with Ishant on Day 3. Sreesanth and Ishant would have been the ideal combination to start with Strauss being low on confidence and he could have been out even earlier. Bell though is looking really good and England need him to go on and play a Dravid-like innings for England to come back into the Test especially with the uncertainty around Trott.
4.15 pm - An update on Trott. He apparently batted in the morning practice session, but could face only two-three balls before he was overwhelmed by pain. I am guessing Trott, if he bats at all in England's second innings, will do so only lower down the order. More updates on Trott as and when we get them during the day.
4.10 pm - England got off to a good, positive start today with Bell looking in very good nick. He had an extended session with batting coach Graham Gooch before the start of play and so far it seems to be paying off. Meanwhile, Strauss' lean trot in recent times continues as he plays a loose shot and edges a catch to Dhoni off Sreesanth to be out for 16. Strauss has now only scored 129 runs in his last eight Test innings. Bell and Pietersen need to string together a partnership here.
3.30 pm - A big day in the series is all set to start. The first session could very well be a defining one not only for the match but for the series as a whole. Can an England batsman play the kind of special knock that Rahul Dravid did for India yesterday? Let the action begin!
The first two days of the Trent Bridge Test have seen drama galore. India must have thought they were on course for a sizable first innings lead after a 128-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh; but Stuart Broad’s hat-trick and the loss of their last six wickets for only 21 runs meant the visitors could only manage to take a 67-run lead, though that could yet prove crucial in the final outcome of the match.
Dravid was once again the only Indian batsman to overcome the testing English conditions which were well-utilised by the hosts’ seam attack as he scored his 34th Test century. Read my blog which pays tribute to Dravid’s genius.
The British media were all praise for the drama on offer at Trent Bridge on the second day of the Test. Dravid, meanwhile, in his understated style said though he has 34 Test centuries, he doesn’t believe he is in the same league as his boyhood hero Sunil Gavaskar. And, Jaspreet Sahni of cricketnext.com writes Yuvraj has passed the Nottingham ‘Test’.
Broad has said “the hat-trick won’t mean much if England don't go on and win this Test match”. England’s run-scoring machine Jonathan Trott injured his left shoulder yesterday, but scans have cleared any bone damage to the shoulder.
And, this is what Yahoo! Cricket’s readers had to say about yesterday’s action:
Chirag Joshi: “with the availability of better technology, it is painful to see incorrect decisions of umpire for any team....why bcci is opposing drs and later on complains of wrong decisions....one more thing.... rahul dravid is less appreciated than he deserves, as compared to his companions.... despite of such a wonderful technique, temperament, nature, he is always on the verge of insecurity for his place in indian team... painful...”
Mark: “Dravid is just like our Indian Army Soldiers. They keep fighting and fighting saving our country from threats or disasters. Gets their body totally worked out on the country but dont get awarded for anything. Rather when someone wins a Olympics Gold get praised like he has killed one thousand enemies single hand-idly. Just like the story of our Indian Cricket Team. Some get highly praised with all the possible limelight and some remains in the SHADOWS like this man. M not naming anyone or hurting anyones idol cricketers but just saying some people slog and slog throughout but still it has either no value or its value is only remembered for a certain time.”
Gurmanjot Singh: “Hats off to Dravid but whatttttttttttttttttttttttttt has happened to Dhoni's Batting?????????? I think this is a serious issue now......he must do something about it now before it’s too late.....”
DM seems to be one angry person: “Indian cricket test team is nothing less than rotten @#$%….a team which allows last to batsmen of opposition to score almost 100 runs…..looses 4 wickets for not a single run….is crap of a team..but definitely not the best team in the world…..leave apart anguish of the Indian fans….even a player like dravid was distressed n angry with his ‘@#$%’ team mates….which was evident from d shot he played to get out….. is England the best test team? I don’t know…but one thing is for sure…Indian ‘sissy’ test team is not."