Tag Archives: ashwin

India v England ODI series: Eoin Morgan praises preparations

Morgan praises England's preparations for India as one-day series looms large

. There are a lot of foundations already set so it's a matter of building on that,' he said.

'The majority of our preparation has already been done pre-Christmas. Many of us have been here (with the Test squad) since the 24th or 25th of October and some of the guys who weren't spent three weeks here before Christmas too.

'Over the next few days we'll just be doing top-ups in different areas of our games. We are prepared.'

'We've seen in past series how important that is – like the (2010/11) Ashes where we were there three or four weeks prior to the first game. It has done us good in the Test and Twenty20 matches and hopefully it will in the one-dayers too.'

While England are looking to get 2013 off to a winning start at the Palam Services Ground, all eyes in Delhi will instead be on the host nation's ODI match against Pakistan.

India have already lost that series after back to back defeats to their fierce rivals, but there is plenty still to play for in the final fixture.

Media pundits, former internationals and fans alike have called for a change when the squad for England is announced and established stars like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh are all in need of runs.

Run drought: Gautam Gambhir is in a rut

Run drought: Gautam Gambhir is in a rut

Spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin has been another target for criticism, having performed also modestly against England in the Tests, but Morgan is not ready to take the reigning world champions lightly.

'I don't think it is a good time to play India. I don't think it is ever a good time to play India,' said the Dubliner.

'We know how successful they have been in the past and they are the World Cup champions at the moment.

'They might be going through a bad patch but they are very, very dangerous cricketers and they have guys who can turn the game on its head in a matter of minutes.'

Tomorrow's match is due to begin at 9am local time (3.30am GMT) in conditions likely to be colder than an April outing at Chester-le-Street.

England's new limited-overs coach Ashley Giles is in charge of his country for the first time and has a couple of selection issues to ponder.

Somerset's Jos Buttler and Yorkshire's Joe Root appear to be battling for one place in the top six, while the variations of Jade Dernbach and the pace of Stuart Meaker offer different options for the final pace bowling spot.

Giles must also decide whether to leave Ian Bell at opener or restore Kevin Pietersen, back in the 50-over set-up after reversing his retirement, alongside Alastair Cook at the head of the innings.

Jonathan Trott"s sportsmanship has been questioned by Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin's anger: Spinner questions Trott's sportsmanship

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UPDATED:

03:42 GMT, 17 December 2012

Tempers spilled over in Nagpur yesterday when Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin questioned Jonathan Trott’s sportsmanship as England closed in on an historic series win.

Trott had taken advantage of a delivery from slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja that slipped out of the bowler’s hand and bounced several times away on an adjacent strip.

Anger: Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin (pictured) was angered by Jonathan Trott hitting a ball that slipped out of Ravindra Jadeja's hand for four

Anger: Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin (pictured) was angered by Jonathan Trott hitting a ball that slipped out of Ravindra Jadeja's hand for four

The batsman took a few steps to his left and whacked the ball for four, as he was in his rights to do.

But after tea India were incensed when they thought they had Trott caught behind on 43 — although the Snickometer revealed no edge — and Ashwin later became involved in a heated exchange with the England No 3 after warning him for backing up too far.

‘It was just about the shot with the rolling ball he got away with,’ said Ashwin. ‘When you talk about gamesmanship, we think you should hold yourself to the standards you expect from the opposition.’

India have not forgotten an incident during the first Test at Ahmedabad, when Trott clearly grassed a slip catch which was then referred to the TV umpire — although he made it clear at the time he was unsure whether the ball had bounced.

And India were furious yesterday when Ishant Sharma went up for a caught behind as Trott played an uncharacteristically loose cut shot.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena correctly ruled not out, which was the cue for uproar, as Sharma and Virat Kohli gave Trott — who appeared to blow them a kiss — the benefit of their advice, and India captain MS Dhoni had to be spoken to by the officials.

Then 10 overs later, Ashwin pulled up in his delivery stride to warn Trott he had strayed too far from his crease. ‘I said I could run him out if he could hit that ball,’ said Ashwin, a reference to the Jadeja incident.

Gamesmanship: Trott (pictured) is 66 not out as England head towards an historic series win

Gamesmanship: Trott (pictured) is 66 not out as England head towards an historic series win

‘He said you might as well run me out. But I said I wouldn’t. We’ve got him out enough times to get him out again.’

England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson last night defended his team-mate, saying: ‘I’d do the same if I was batting.

‘I think I saw Dhoni laughing about it at one stage, so I don’t think that was the catalyst for what happened later. But when you’re in the middle of a crucial Test, things are going to get heated from time to time.

‘There are two teams wanting to win a game of cricket, and the series is on the line. So things inevitably do boil over.’

We
are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a
dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and
international news organisations.

The
BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies
Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Nasser Hussain: We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches

Nasser Hussain: 'Enough is enough. We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches.'

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UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 16 December 2012

The time has now come for the ICC to stand up to the Indian cricket board and say: ‘Enough is enough. We are using the decision review system in all Test matches.’

This series has provided all the proof needed that the game is categorically better off using technology rather than relying totally on the men in the middle.

Controversy: England captain Alastair Cook was given out caught despite the ball traveling well wide of his bat

Controversy: England captain Alastair Cook was given out caught despite the ball traveling well wide of his bat

Surely the world game’s governing body can now go to India and say, ‘we have listened to your reservations and we respect them, but just look at what has happened in a marquee series when technology hasn’t been used. Big mistakes have been made on both sides and your players have misbehaved because of it’.

All the boards bar India now seem to want the system in place. Spectators want it and, judging by his reaction to a decision yesterday, India captain MS Dhoni wants it.

And sitting in the Indian dressing room is the man who invented DRS, their coach Duncan Fletcher. What more do they need

Nobody is saying the technology used is perfect. But the very professional people behind it are working towards making it as near perfect as it can be. And if it had been used in these four Tests, I reckon there might have been one or two errors made with important decisions. Instead, there have been 10 or 12.

I was asked by Sky to come up with the blatant umpiring errors in this series, and I quickly picked out 10 that really should have been spotted by the naked eye by elite umpires. I’m sure there have been other mistakes too.

10 UMPIRING HOWLERS THIS SERIES

Batsman / Bowler – What happened…

Test: Ahmedabad (1st Test)

Samit Patel / Ravi Ashwin – Should have been given out lbw on four

Mumbai (2nd)

Zaheer Khan / Graeme Swann – Given out caught at short leg — nowhere near it

Mumbai (2nd)

Pragyan Ojha / Monty Panesar – Obvious glove to leg slip — missed by Aleem Dar

Mumbai (2nd)

Gautam Gambhir / Graeme Swann – Out lbw after edging the ball into his pads

Kolkata (3rd)

Alastair Cook / Ravi Ashwin – Caught at short leg, not noticed by umpire

Kolkata (3rd)

Monty Panesar / Ravi Ashwin – lbw after nicking it

Nagpur (4th)

Alastair Cook / Ishant Sharma – lbw, despite being hit outside line of off

Nagpur (4th)

Cheteshwar Pujara / Graeme Swann – Given out at short leg off the forearm

Nagpur (4th)

Alastair Cook / Ravi Ashwin – Caught behind, but didn’t hit it

Nagpur (4th)

Jonathan Trott / Ravindra Jadeja – Hit in line with the stumps, survived the lbw shout

I am just not sure it is right when people say the elite panel get 90 per cent of their decisions right. It certainly hasn’t been that way in this series.

The four umpires used in these games seem to have become uncertain once they have had their safety net taken away from them. They have seen from technology that more decisions are out than was perceived in the past and, without it, they are not sure what to give and what to turn down.

The genie is out of the bottle. The modern generation can’t understand why technology isn’t being used. It’s time for India to see the error of their ways and accept the views of the vast majority. We have seen with our own eyes that it is the only way forward now.

Commanding: Despite his unfair dismissal, Alastair Cook's (pictured) England team remain on course for an historic series win

Commanding: Despite his unfair dismissal, Alastair Cook's (pictured) England team remain on course for an historic series win

We
are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a
dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and
international news organisations.

The
BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies
Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

How have England turned it around so successfully after opening Test defeat in Ahmedabad?

How have England turned it around so successfully after opening Test defeat in Ahmedabad

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 8 December 2012

Outplayed in the opening Test, England will be dreaming of a first series win in India for 27 years if they can finish things off in Kolkata today. Here’s how they have made it happen…

Key omission: Monty Panesar (FILE PHOTO)

Key omission: Monty Panesar (FILE PHOTO)

Picking the right team

The decision to play just one frontline spinner — Graeme Swann — in the first Test in Ahmedabad proved costly. The recall of Monty Panesar might be the single biggest factor in England turning around the series. He took 11 wickets in Mumbai and has five so far in Kolkata.

Preying on ageing stars

A team full of ageing greats such as Sachin Tendulkar (right) unravelled in the second Test. That more focus was lavished on the pitch than England ahead of Mumbai laid bare India’s lack of faith in their own abilities, which the tourists ruthlessly exploited.

Bowling well

Poor team selection in the first Test was compounded by the performance of England’s seamers. Tim Bresnan was axed immediately and Stuart Broad after Mumbai. James Anderson, poor in Ahmedabad, has been superb, while Steven Finn totally eclipsed Broad.

Finally getting big runs

Alastair Cook’s 176 in Ahmedabad, the first of three centuries, kick-started a phenomenal run from the captain and showed his team-mates big runs could be scored. Kevin Pietersen followed in Mumbai as England found the knack of amassing large totals.

Working out the spinners

The figures of Ravi Ashwin in England’s second innings in the first Test told their own story as he leaked 111 runs in 43 overs for the solitary wicket of Swann. He was quickly worked out and has since had more impact with the bat. Pragyan Ojha has been India’s best spinner, but he is no Saeed Ajmal.

England"s patience paid off against India – Steven Finn

Patience paid off for England, admits Finn after India collapse in third Test

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UPDATED:

13:07 GMT, 8 December 2012

Steven Finn believes England earned reward for their patience after a stunning afternoon session catapulted them to the brink of victory in the third Test against India.

India collapsed after lunch on the fourth day, losing six for 36, to at one stage leave them staring at the prospect of an innings defeat.

The hosts had been 86 for none at lunch but they folded after Graeme Swann bowled Virender Sehwag with the first ball after the break.

Main man: Steven Finn helped England move towards victory in the third Test

Main man: Steven Finn helped England move towards victory in the third Test

A determined unbeaten 83 from Ravichandran Ashwin slowed England's progress, however, the tourists will begin the final day tomorrow expectant of leaving Eden Gardens 2-1 ahead in the four-Test series.

India will resume 32 runs ahead, with just Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha left to defy England's bowlers, who were led by Finn's three for 37 today.

'It was hard for us to get that first wicket but we stuck to our guns and we stuck to the plans we have worked towards in the series and that paid off,' he said.

'At lunch we said that we needed to up it a bit. We needed to focus on how we wanted to get the batsmen out.

'We got lucky with the run out and we had a very good ball first up after lunch.

'I thought we worked hard.'

Under pressure: Virender Sehwag

Under pressure: Virender Sehwag

Finn grabbed the key wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli before noticeable reverse swing trapped Zaheer Khan in front.

Asked about the late swing he found, Finn said: 'That is something I like doing.

'When you come out here it is something that you have to be able to do.
“It's a good weapon for us to have. It has done it more here than at the other grounds because the wicket is more abrasive.'

Despite India's predicament Sehwag retained hope they could yet claim an unlikely draw.

'We lost six wickets in a session which is disappointing,' he said.

'But we are still fighting. Something could happen tomorrow and we could draw the Test match.'

The right-hander did admit, however, that his fellow batsmen had lacked the application required today, but denied they had been left red-faced by Ashwin's innings late in the day.

'It's not embarrassment. He's part of the team and he's a good player,' he said.

'He has a different style that can work. My style is different.

'If you apply yourself on this wicket I don't think it is too difficult to score runs.'

Sachin Tendulkar"s future in doubt as he heads towards 40

Whispers grow louder about Tendulkar's future as he approaches 40

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 27 November 2012

The future of Sachin Tendulkar was on the lips of almost every Indian after the selectors made just one change to a 15-man squad for next week’s third Test.

With seamer Ashok Dinda coming in for the injured Umesh Yadav, the players who lost so heavily here have been given the chance to redeem themselves in Kolkata. And all eyes will be on Tendulkar.

India’s most marketable export has endured runs of bad form before but his failure at the Wankhede, where he was removed twice for eight by Monty Panesar, means he has scored 153 runs in his last 10 Test innings.

Doubts: Sachin Tendulkar will be 40 in April and his future in the game is being discussed frequently by Indian media

Doubts: Sachin Tendulkar will be 40 in April and his future in the game is being discussed frequently by Indian media

Barely a news show goes by in India without a former player commenting on Tendulkar’s future. He turns 40 in April and locals are fretting.

Seven times in those 10 innings Tendulkar has been bowled or lbw; previously, those modes of dismissal accounted for only 38 per cent of his innings. ‘My concern is whether that great mind is tired of concentrating as the way he has been getting bowled suggests,’ said former Test spinner Maninder Singh.

India fans have other concerns, too, and the selectors rowed back from their plan to name a squad for the last two Tests.

Fail in Kolkata, it seems, and you may miss out in Nagpur.

No 6 Yuvraj Singh and off-spinners Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin are particularly vulnerable.

Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann outspin India in their backyard – Lawrence Booth

Panesar and Swann outspin India in their own backyard

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UPDATED:

05:45 GMT, 26 November 2012

This is an England win to rank with any. Derided after Ahmedabad, they appeared ripe for more humiliation here, with MS Dhoni demanding a track tailor made for his spinners. And if the result was largely the work of four players, England were not in the mood to be picky.

They have thrashed India inside 10 sessions in their own lair. Apparently heading for a rout, this series, gloriously, is now back in the balance.

For Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann there will be memories to last a career. Jimmy Anderson may have struck with the second ball of the match when he swung one into Gautam Gambhir’s pads, but England’s spinners hit back with 19 wickets. More than that, they outbowled the Indian spin trio.

Spin twins: Swann (right) and Panesar (left) mopped up the final few wickets for England

Spin twins: Swann (right) and Panesar (left) mopped up the final few wickets for England

The general wisdom, most authoritatively expressed on Sunday evening by Kevin Pietersen, was that Panesar in particular bowled a couple of mph quicker than the Indians.

But it has also been the case that Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh offered almost no support at all to the steady Pragyan Ojha. Ashwin’s line was wrong for most of the match, while the selection of the ageing Harbhajan looked like what it was in advance: pure hubris.

Sure, Panesar’s pace suited a pitch that, crucially for England, had more bounce in it than the surface at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. But he and Swann were also more accurate, conceding 2.66 an over to the 3.61 leaked by India’s spinners.

Dhoni, watching it all impassively from behind the stumps, never had any control. A rupee for his thoughts.

Much of this, of course, was down to the differing qualities of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. Perhaps the most definitive statement of the match came not when Pietersen eased his first ball through extra cover on Saturday afternoon, but before that, when Cook decided to attack Ojha.

The six he hit over long-on struck all kinds of psychological blows, not least because it told India that their banker could no longer be guaranteed to cash in his chips.

Chipping in: Swann was able to support Panesar with his wickets

Chipping in: Swann was able to support Panesar with his wickets

Main man: Panesar bowled very well in both innings

Main man: Panesar bowled very well in both innings

After that, Cook and Pietersen put together a partnership of 206 that was all the more watchable for its contrasts. Pietersen’s genius is of a bums-on-seats style: to be at the Wankhede on Sunday morning was a genuine privilege. But Cook’s talent is no less remarkable. It’s just different.

As if to prove the point, both men completed their 22nd Test hundreds – a seminal statistic in the annals of English batsmanship – within a couple of overs of each other.

There is a long way to go. You sense that all India need to do to recreate English doubt is to produce a slow turner – not a bouncy one, as here in Mumbai – and things could change. Equally, England could do with runs from a few of the unusual suspects.

But it doesn’t do to carp in these circumstances. Four days ago, England were down and out. Suddenly, they’re dreaming of the impossible.

DAVID LLOYD – BUMBLE"S TEST DIARY: Sir Ian Botham goes to see Rolling Stones concert

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Why Monty bowling on this pitch is 'Satisfaction' guaranteed… but unlike that old rocker Beefy, 'Wild Horses' can't drag me away from the cricket

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 23 November 2012

CLASSIC PITCH = CLASSIC MATCH

This is a cracking pitch and it promises to be a classic Test match. A spinning pitch makes for a great game. Some resolute batting from Pujara and Ashwin during some superb India resistance, and they could have a good score already.

SWANNING AROUND IN THE SHADOW OF MONTY

A big tick for Monty Panesar. He was handled very well by Alastair Cook, who brought him on in the seventh over. His dismissal of Tendulkar was a classic and it was great to see him and Graeme Swann bowl together, although it is interesting that when Monty plays, he tends to push Swann into the background. It might be that Swann thrives as being the main man in a four-pronged attack while he is less effective when there is another spinner in the side.

Perilous place: Stuart Broad's vice-captaincy does not guarantee him selection and his poor displays have put his place in the side in jeopardy

Perilous place: Stuart Broad's vice-captaincy does not guarantee him selection and his poor displays have put his place in the side in jeopardy

VICE-CAPTAINCY DOESN'T GUARANTEE SELECTION

Stuart Broad is out of sorts..he’s running on empty. I know him well and he will be frustrated that his contribution is not as it should be. Quick bowlers need to be used in short, sharp bursts in India and his pace is down. He needs a break and England should freshen things up for the next Test. They are under no obligation to pick him just because he is vice-captain. Why do we even need one

MY PRINCELY PORTRAIT

Former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell is now a world-renowned artist…and he’s doing my portrait. It’s a work in progress. I’ve sat with him for two hours so far and he won’t let me see it, he says it’s bad luck. But crikey, having my portrait done…I feel like Prince Philip!

Ugly mug: Bumble is having his portrait painted by former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell

Ugly mug: Bumble is having his portrait painted by former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell

Prince Philip

Jack the lad: Former England wicketkeeper turned professional artist Jack Russell is painting Bumble's portrait

Royal appointment: Bumble says that sitting for Russell (right) makes him feel like Prince Philip (left)

JIMMY'S DODGY BARNET

Jimmy Anderson is supposed to be a fashion icon, a star of magazines. So who on earth was let loose with the scissors to give him that haircut Whichever of his team-mates it was, they must have done it when he was asleep.

ROLLING WITH SIR BEEFY

Ian Botham is off to see the Rolling Stones in London this weekend and it promises to be a fantastic occasion. All together now: 'This could be the last time…'

Sir Ian Botham

The Rolling Stones Grrr!

Old rocker: Sir Ian (left) will be rocking it out at this weekend's Rolling Stones gig, titled Grrr! (right)

More from David Lloyd…

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Drop Trott, it's time to wield the axe because India are having England for breakfast
19/11/12

Bumble's diary: Cook doesn't perspire and never changes his gloves, magnificent
18/11/12

Bumble's Test diary: England finally wake up and join the Test series
18/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: How the utter madness of England sending in Jimmy left me calling for Sunny and Cher
16/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: England have picked the wrong team… but why I'm in a tizz over Chas
15/11/12

Bumble's guide to Twenty20 Finals day: Yorkshire v Sussex, Somerset v Hampshire
23/08/12

Bumble at the Test: KP's Headingley innings was my magic moment, will it be his last
20/08/12

Bumble at the Test: Polly thriller as Shaun finally gets to ring the Lord's bell
19/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

England Asia spin nightmare rumbles on in India defeat

England take leave of senses as Asia spin nightmare rumbles on… and on

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UPDATED:

12:14 GMT, 19 November 2012

Alastair Cook may have expressed it in slightly more diplomatic terms, but the reason England lost this Test by the whopping margin of nine wickets was that they took collective leave of their senses in their first innings.

Never mind that they had lost the toss, which was hardly Cook's fault. Nor that they had picked the wrong team, which partly was.

No, the damage was done in the space of 13 balls on the second evening, when a debutant, a nightwatchman – with 20 minutes to go, for goodness' sake! – and a top-order batsman who had been hoping beyond hope he wouldn't be required to bat that night kickstarted the England-can't-play-spin-in-Asia bandwagon.

Plenty to ponder: England have been found wanting in the face of spin again

Plenty to ponder: England have been found wanting in the face of spin again

And it was compounded on a third morning on which English paranoia was at its most heightened. Kevin Pietersen batted like a hyperactive child, Ian Bell played the worst shot of his Test career, and even Cook drove at an off-break that, by definition, was turning away from him.

From 97 for 7 in reply to 521 for 8, only face could be saved – not the game.

India v England – pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the first Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

England partially achieved this thanks to a four-hour interlude on Sunday afternoon, when Cook and the equally resourceful Matt Prior proved that Ravi Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are not, in fact, Erapalli Prasanna and Bishan Bedi, or even Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.

But their sixth-wicket stand of 157 was the exception here, not the rule. And the rule is an increasingly tedious one: England are very slow indeed at learning how to combat spin in Asia.

Unless this series takes an unexpected twist in the second Test at Mumbai, Andy Flower will be looking at an annus horribilis following two years of near-perfection.

In 12 Tests so far this year, England have lost seven and won only three – two of them gimmes at home against West Indies. Put more damningly, they have won one serious Test out of nine, the Pietersen-inspired heist in Colombo. It’s grim stuff.

Grim viewing: KP's much-heralded return failed to produce rewards

Grim viewing: KP's much-heralded return failed to produce rewards

Broad's petulant tweet shortly after play today betrayed their frustration: 'And before u listen to too many ex playing 'experts' being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test series in India….#28years'

Yet it would surely help if England picked a side capable of competing in the conditions. Since all the pre-series talk was about turning pitches, why did they think it a reasonable idea to go into the Ahmedabad Test with only one front-line slow bowler

England in India – Test fixtures

Second Test – Mumbai, November 23-27

Third Test – Kolkata, December 5-9

Fourth Test – Nagpur, December 13-17

Cook had the good grace to admit they may have got that wrong, but will they be brave enough to make not just one change to their bowling attack for Mumbai, but two If Steven Finn is fit, he must play, but as one of only two seamers. Monty Panesar has to come in too.

And since Jimmy Anderson again proved his pre-eminence in this game – conceding more than a run an over less than both Broad and Bresnan – that would mean an attack of Anderson, Finn, Swann, Panesar and Patel.

If India can thrive with two seamers, two spinners, plus a few part-timers from Yuvraj Singh, so can England. Stubbornly stick to the old gameplan in Mumbai, and their latest attempt to conquer India will be over almost before it has begun.

Full Monty: Panesar is a certainty to return for England in the second Test

Full Monty: Panesar is a certainty to return for England in the second Test

Matt Prior happy with England fightback

Prior takes solace after fightback and claims England can still eke out a draw in India

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UPDATED:

18:27 GMT, 17 November 2012

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

England did their best to put a 'shocker' of a first innings behind them as they followed on 330 runs behind against India at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

It was hard to make much sense of a day of two halves in which the tourists lurched from 41 for three to 191 all out by teatime to the spin of Pragyan Ojha (five for 45) and Ravichandran Ashwin (three for 80), yet then moved serenely to stumps on 111 without loss.

Captain Alastair Cook tried to lead from the front both times, getting as far as 41 first time round and then an unbeaten 74 at the second attempt in an unbroken century stand with debutant Nick Compton.

With two days remaining in the first Test, it is tough to work out which England will turn up tomorrow.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior is struggling to make sense of events so far, but is pinning his hopes on the belief that England have learned the errors of their ways.

Happy: Matt Prior is delighted with the way England have fought back

Happy: Matt Prior is delighted with the way England have fought back

'We all know our first innings was a bit of a shocker,' said Prior, whose battling 48 from number eight was England's best first-innings score.

'As a professional sportsman, you have to look forward – and the way Compo and Cookie went about their business was absolutely fantastic.

'To end up none down at close of play, we'll take a huge amount from that.'

Prior is both a realist and an optimist.

'We're still behind in the game, obviously, but it gives us a lot of confidence so we can go out tomorrow and try to bat for a long period of time – which we need to do,' he said.

'To end up none down at close of play, we'll take a huge amount from that.'

– Matt Prior

'I sat here two days before the Test match and said “It's all very well talking – you've got to go out and do it”.

'Unfortunately, in the first innings we didn't do it.

'I think we're all honest enough to hold our hands up and say “Right, we didn't get that right”.

'Maybe we got a little bit too ahead of ourselves, and a bit panicky.'

Kevin Pietersen was perhaps the least convincing of all, while Ian Bell's first-ball exit was the most embarrassing after he went down the wicket and was caught at mid-off.

Prior knows of old both are capable of world-class batting, and said: 'KP' is one of our main batters, but he's only one player.

'We watched Kevin batting at Headingley against (Dale) Steyn and (Morne) Morkel (last summer), at Colombo getting 150.

'But because he doesn't get runs today, we can't all fall apart.

'He's one player in a team of 11, and we all need to hold our hands up.'

Bell was anxious to dominate Ojha from the outset, but never gave himself a chance.

'Belly is one of the finest batters at hitting over the top that I know, and the one thing we talk about is playing your own game and backing yourself,' added Prior.

'Only Belly will know the plan he had … and it didn't come off.

'These are the fine lines in sport. It doesn't come off, and it doesn't look great admittedly.

Composed: Alastair Cook made a half century in England's second innings

Composed: Alastair Cook made a half century in England's second innings

'But you cannot question the quality and class of a batsman like Ian Bell. We all know, and hope he's going to show it.

'There's no point sulking. He knows he probably got it slightly wrong. But we've got a big second innings coming up, and I'm sure he'll be as motivated as any of our batters to get a big score.'

Whoever makes good on the start Cook and Compton have made, Prior believes it is still feasible to eke out a draw.

'In the second innings we seemed to be a lot calmer,' he said.

'There are no demons. Yes, it's turning a bit and bouncing a bit – but you can bat out there.

'It's certainly not a snakepit by any stretch of the imagination.

'We're still in this game. We're behind the game, but we're still in it and fighting hard. That's all you can do'

– Matt Prior

'There's no point crying over spilt milk – you have to move on.

'We knew that we under-performed – no one was more frustrated than the guys sitting in the dressing room – but most importantly, we've gone out there (again) and we're none down for 111.

'That's a fantastic turnaround.

'We're still in this game. We're behind the game, but we're still in it and fighting hard. That's all you can do.

'If we get anything from this game, it will be a fantastic effort. But it's not unrealistic.'

Ojha knows he may have to work harder to see off Bell and Pietersen so cheaply next time.

Of the former, he said: 'He has a weakness against left-arm spin. But I won't be taking him easy in this series, because he's a very good batsman.'

As for Bell, he added: 'I think when you're playing a five-day Test, and a batsman comes at you like that the very first delivery, it's a very encouraging thing as a spinner.'