England: 393 all out Collingwood: 134* Sree Santh: 4-95
India: 190-6 (lunch) Jaffer: 81 Hoggard: 4-29
If there is an agonizing day then it has to be today. The first session was important for both the teams. This morning belonged to England. They captured five Indian wickets. The quality Indian batting line has a sorry scorecard.
I think the connotation that Indian pitches are a fast bowler’s graveyard has to be buried forever. I think seamers and fast bowlers don’t find the idle conditions on Indian test pitches. Then it is a test of skill of fast bowlers. The fast bowlers won’t get very impressive figures. The adaptability is the underlying issues. This demands few additional skills such as perseverance, control, change of length, change of pace (slower deliveries and cutters), reverse swing and some other similar skills. The approach of a fast bowler has to be unconventional so that he achieves success here. This is what Hoggard did he earned wickets using slower delivery, reverse swing.
I don’t think the English bowlers will be sulking that much. I think they will be relishing the challenge. The conditions are nowhere ideal but they are not playing on a dead pan there is something to work with.
These are the dismissals. Dravid wrap on the pads, the ball seemed to miss leg stump out L.B.W. Hoggard. Jaffer tried to drive a wide Hoggard delivery far away from the ball, sitter of catch to Flintoff at second slip. Laxman the next victim wrapped on the pads, unplayable stuff a dream delivery to any right-hander out for a first ball duck. Tendulkar again out to a second string bowler L.B.W. Panesar. Dhoni whiffed at a Flintoff delivery to get an edge caught by Jones. The two batsmen on crease Kaif and Pathan whole of India would be praying for them to get to at least 300. The English captain would be thinking of bowling them below 250. If they do it and play for say four sessions then Indian will have to play out of their skins to salvage some pride in order to save the Test match. There is an adverse situation. The Indian bowlers must have a say and try to get the English batsmen to a minimal score if the English manage a lead in excess of a hundred runs.
The English would be looking to keep Indians on the mat. They would dearly want a win in this match. Cricket is a funny game 36 hours earlier, they were written off and now they might have a step in the door. They might just win this Test. What will happen next will definitely worth a watch? This is a classic Test Series.