Tag Archives: bowlers

Graeme Swann winds up Australia Test man Ed Cowan

Swann strikes first blow in the phoney Ashes war by winding up Cowan

By
Peter Hayter

PUBLISHED:

22:33 GMT, 27 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Graeme Swann appears to have won the first skirmish in the pre-Ashes phoney war by duping Ed Cowan into believing the spinner and fellow Nottinghamshire team-mate Stuart Broad have been ordered by England not to bowl to the Aussie opener in the county's nets.

Cowan, named in the 16-man Ashes squad to face England, has begun a seven Championship-match stint for Notts, played alongside Broad against Derbyshire and will link up with Swann against Durham tomorrow when the off-spinner returns after the elbow surgery that forced him to miss England's Test series in New Zealand.

Having a laugh: Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann

Having a laugh: Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann

But Swann may have some talking to do first as Cowan seems to have fallen victim to his notorious sense of mischief.

The spinner has claimed he and Broad have been instructed by Test coach Andy Flower not to give the Aussie any chance of a sighter in the nets or in the middle, particularly as the first Ashes Test is at Nottinghamshire's Trent Bridge ground.

Discussing criticism of counties giving Aussie players the chance to acclimatise to English conditions and England bowlers using a Duke ball, Cowan said: 'I can certainly see that point, but I can also see the other side.

'The fact is that it's an Ashes year, so, sure, there is some benefit for me, but there is some benefit for Swann and Broad as they get a pretty intimate look at my batting.

'They're not allowed to bowl at me in the nets. It's a bit of a joke. We're getting on famously, but I'd have thought that knocking me over a few times in the nets might plant a few seeds…'

Asked whether he knew the source of this instruction, Cowan insisted it had come from the England management. But Notts coach Mick Newell denied any such order and revealed the whole thing was a Swann wind-up.

Cowan knows how humour can backfire, as he has still not spoken to Kevin Pietersen over the 'Puddinggate' row in the last Ashes tour Down Under.

Wound up: Ed Cowan

Wound up: Ed Cowan

In his critically acclaimed diary, In The Firing Line, Cowan recounted that South African-born Pietersen could not identify the bread-and-butter he ate during lunch in England's match against Australia A in Hobart on the last Ashes tour.

When Cowan told Pietersen he should recognise the dish as it was typically English, Pietersen responded by joking: 'I'm not f***ing English. I just work there.'

The joke turned sour when the comment was used to cast doubt on Pietersen's loyalty.

Despite trying to contact Pietersen to clear the air, Cowan has still not talked to him directly and he now admits he wishes he had not included the story in his book.

'The KP thing was said as a joke and it got blown out of proportion,' said the 30-year-old. 'I was disappointed and I'm sure he wasn't thrilled. I think it was a good line all the same.'

One thing about which Cowan is deadly serious, however, is what he calls the defining moment for him and his team, the upcoming Ashes series, which, after their 4-0 defeat in India, he claims will be the making or breaking of many careers.

Cowan was among those who expressed concerns over aspects of 'team culture' to coach Mickey Arthur before the issue came to a head with three players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, dropped for failing to do their homework. Cowan knows the consequences of failure.

'I wasn't some sort of tell-tale,' he said. 'There were about six people saying: “Right, is this where our culture should be heading”

'You lose a lot of intellectual ability when players like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, and even someone like Justin Langer, the batting coach, leave in pretty quick succession. It's not just batting and bowling, it's culture.

'Some things are trivial, like lateness to meetings; some aren't so trivial, like general attitudes of not going out of your way to making sure that the team is your absolute priority.

'It showed a lot of courage. It was the day the coach and captain put their heads on the block. They said: “We are going to cop some flak, but we are all in this together.”

'It was saying – if we're going to win the Ashes, we need to be solid around all these core values.

'If we lose these back-to-back Ashes series, you will see a change of personnel and management.

'But the other side is that if you can win an away Ashes series, then it is a defining moment for this team.'

India in control of second test with Australia after Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar take three wickets each

India in control as Jadeja and Kumar blow Australia away in Hyderabad

PUBLISHED:

12:16 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 2 March 2013

India are in control of the second Test against Australia, who made 237 for nine declared in Hyderabad.

Part-time spinner Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets, while in his second Test Bhuvneshwar Kumar also took three, with Michael Clarke's 91 keeping the Australian innings together.

The visitors once again turned to their skipper after slumping to 63 for four, with the 31-year-old putting on 145 with Matthew Wade for the fifth wicket.

Three wickets: India's Ravindra Jadeja (left) had Australia in a spin on the first day of the second test in Hyderabad

Three wickets: India's Ravindra Jadeja (left) had Australia in a spin on the first day of the second test in Hyderabad

Second Test, Hyderabad

Australia first innings
237 for 9 declared (85.0 overs)
Clarke 91, Wade 62
B Kumar 3-53, Jadeja 3-33

India first innings
5-0 (3.0 overs)

However after Wade went for 62, the lower order failed to fire as Australia lost their final four wickets for just 29 runs.

And with little chance of numbers 10 and 11 James Pattinson and Xavier Doherty adding to the total Clarke brought them in so his bowlers could take advantage of conditions for the final three overs of the day.

However India were untroubled and finished five without loss.

Australia made two changes from the side which lost the opening match in Chennai with Glenn Maxwell making his Test debut coming in for Mitchell Starc, while Xavier Doherty replaced Nathan Lyon. The home side were unchanged.

After the visitors won the toss, Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled David Warner (six) with a delivery which cut back into the left-hander, then trapped Ed Cowan (four) lbw with a ball which may have pitched outside leg stump.

That left Australia 15 for two, with Phil Hughes and Shane Watson at the crease.

The
pair effected a mini-recovery, with the left-hander playing some
eye-catching late drives off the back foot, but Watson (23) then fell
lbw attempting to pull a ball which kept a little low with the score on
57.

Hughes (19) followed,
caught behind at the second attempt by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the
bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin, before Wade and Clarke began the
Australian recovery.

Clarke looked comfortable at the crease, with a well-placed clip for four between two fielders indicative of his current form.

Wade
was less fluid, but equally determined, digging in at one end while his
skipper totted up the runs at the other as they moved Australia to 129
for four midway through the afternoon session.

Important innings: A 91 from captain Michael Clarke saved Australia from a humiliating total

Important innings: A 91 from captain Michael Clarke saved Australia from a humiliating total

Wade's confidence grew and when new bowler Jadeja came on to bowl, the wicketkeeper had no problem in hitting him back over his head for four.

After facing 95 balls, Clarke brought up his 26th Test half century with a single in the 48th over, edging his side closer towards 150.

On 52 India missed their best opportunity to dismiss Clarke as the skipper inside edged on his pad with the ball dropping to a diving Cheteshwar Pujara who got his fingers under the ball, but could not hang on.

Wade reached his half-century in the 55th over as Australia batted themselves back into the game.

Australia started the third session much as they ended the second, as the duo moved the score past 200 in the 65th over.

They could add just eight however before the hosts made a much-needed breakthrough. Wade cut one which was possibly too close to his body and was caught by Kumar at point for a 116-ball 62.

A sixth wicket did fall when Jadeja got one to turn away from Moises Henriques, who, playing to leg, missed the ball completely as it clipped the top of the stumps.

At 217 for six and with debutant Maxwell at the crease, the pressure once again was on Clarke.

He continued to bat sensibly, but his partner at the other end would make just 13 before he edged to Dhoni behind the stumps.

Peter Siddle was then soon walking back to the pavilion as he was caught on the crease by a low one from Harbhajan Singh for a 14-ball duck, leaving the visitors 236 for eight.

Clarke finally departed looking to up the rate with the tail, swinging across the line to Jadeja whose delivery kept low and hit the stumps.

India had little to worry about for the final three overs, with a Virender Sehwag boundary through gully off Siddle the highlight.

India wrap up comfortable win over Australia in first Test in Chennai

India wrap up comfortable first Test win over abject Australia in Chennai

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

08:02 GMT, 26 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:06 GMT, 26 February 2013

Australia were comfortably beaten by India on the fifth morning of the first Test in Chennai.

Aussie debutant Moises Henriques was left stranded on 81 as his side were bowled out for 241 this morning, leaving India chasing just 50 to win, which they did for the loss of two wickets.

That simply was not enough to cause any jitters for India, even when the wickets of Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag fell to Nathan Lyon, and there was time for Sachin Tendulkar to delight the home crowd with maximums off his first two deliveries.

Joy of six: Tendulkar hit his first two balls over the rope

Joy of six: Tendulkar hit his first two balls over the rope

Vijay perished for six as he picked out Henriques at short mid-off when he mistimed a drive off James Pattinson.

Sehwag followed in unusually tame fashion, edging to Michael Clarke at first slip as he defended the spinner.

Few in the Chennai crowd were disappointed, though, as that brought Tendulkar to the crease – and he gave them what they wanted by heaving his first two balls off Lyon for six.

End game: Cheteshwar Pujara hit the winning runs for India

End game: Cheteshwar Pujara hit the winning runs for India

He could not make it a hat-trick to win the game, but an edge for a single from Cheteshwar Pujara did the job just as well.

Earlier, Lyon could not help Henriques reach a debut century as Australia could only add nine to their overnight score.

Lyon's stout defence helped to repel the Indian bowlers for around 20 minutes this morning before he was finally caught by Vijay at short-leg off Ravindra Jadeja.

The second of four Tests begins on Saturday in Hyderabad.

Australia beat Sri Lanka in second Test

Johnson shines as Australia fire Ashes warning with brutal demolition of Sri Lanka inside three days

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UPDATED:

07:37 GMT, 28 December 2012

Fierce bowling from a revitalised Mitchell Johnson powered Australia to victory by an innings and 201 runs against Sri Lanka in a Boxing Day Test that ended inside three days at the MCG.

Johnson – after being left stranded eight short of a second Test century earlier in the day when Australia were dismissed for 460 in reply to Sri Lanka's first-innings 156 – captured two for 16, injured two top-order batsmen and affected a run-out as the tourists were skittled for 103.

Sri Lanka had lost seven wickets midway through day three's second session but, with Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welagedara unable to bat, and Kumar Sangakkara unable to return having retired hurt on 27, the Australians were home and dry.

The trouncing meant Australia retained the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, with the third fixture in Sydney to start next week.

Flying high: Mitchell Johnson (left) and Matthew Wade celebrate the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan

Flying high: Mitchell Johnson (left) and Matthew Wade celebrate the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan

Party time: The Aussies celebrate as they grind down Sri Lanka in Melbourne

Party time: The Aussies celebrate as they grind down Sri Lanka in Melbourne

Johnson's brilliant second-innings effort capped a remarkable Test for the rejuvenated 31-year-old.
The left-armer claimed four for 63 – including his 200th victim – in Sri Lanka's first innings before boosting his reputation as a lower-order batsman with an unbeaten 92 in Australia's reply.

Light showers delayed the start of play by 15 minutes this morning before Australia added 20 runs for the loss of Nathan Lyon, caught at short mid-wicket for one, and Jackson Bird, comprehensively bowled by Shaminda Eranga for a duck.

Eranga (three for 109) and Dhammika Prasad (three for 106) were the leading bowlers for Sri Lanka.
The visitors could not have started the rearguard action any worse as Johnson and debutant Bird (two for 29) dismantled their flaky top order.

Unstoppable: Johnson was in stunning form in the Melbourne sunshine

Unstoppable: Johnson was in stunning form in the Melbourne sunshine

They had dramatically slumped to 13 for four midway through the morning session. Johnson started the rot with the run-out of Dimuth Karunaratne (one) in the first over and removed Tillakaratne Dilshan (nought) the next ball when Ed Cowan pouched a catch at square leg.

Bird made matters worse for the besieged tourists when he bowled Mahela Jayawardene for a duck and trapped Thilan Samaraweera lbw for one just before lunch.

Only Sangakkara (27) and Angelo Mathews (35) provided any resistance and, when the former retired hurt after copping a blow to the index finger from a Johnson bouncer, the match was in its death throes.

Sliding in: Johnson runs out Dimuth Karunaratne as Australia dominate Down Under

Sliding in: Johnson runs out Dimuth Karunaratne as Australia dominate Down Under

After Johnson bowled Mathews, Peter Siddle wrapped up Australia's win by removing Eranga for a duck.

Johnson took man-of-the-match honours ahead of Australia captain Michael Clarke who scored 106 on day two.

Shane Watson was another contributor for the winners with a gutsy 83 yesterday, but the all-rounder was unable to bowl in the second innings and is in doubt for the third Test after aggravating a chronic calf injury.

England cricket: Five key questions to answer

Five questions England must answer before tackling the challenges ahead

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 17 December 2012

After England's superb Test victory in India Sportsmail looks at the challenges ahead of Alastair Cook's side. Here are five pertinent questions.

Can England fit Monty Panesar into their side outside the subcontinent

Graeme Swann is still the No 1 spinner but Panesar has been superb, particularly in taking 11 wickets in Mumbai, and must be in contention for a regular place alongside Swann now. His fielding and batting will hold him back unless England take the plunge, put Matt Prior at six and go for five bowlers. Unlikely unless they fall behind in a series and need to gamble.

Has Nick Compton done enough to cement his place as opener alongside Alastair Cook

He impressed without producing that defining innings. Joe Root’s introduction will crank up the pressure but both could play in New Zealand in February. A top six of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Root may be one attacking strokeplayer light when it comes to taking on the Aussies.

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Do we need to be worried about Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan

Vice-captain Broad’s heel injury has ruled him out of the two Twenty20 matches that conclude this leg of the tour and he must come to terms with being dropped from the Test side for the first time in four years. Bresnan has not looked the same since his elbow operation at the start of this year and didn’t take a wicket in his two Tests here.

Will the new two-coach system work

Neither Andy Flower nor new man Ashley Giles will be around for the Twenty20 matches in Pune on Thursday and Mumbai on Saturday, but Giles will start his new role as limited-overs coach when England return to India for the one-day series next month and how he works alongside team director Flower will be fascinating. England can be backed to make a success of it.

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Has Kevin Pietersen been successfully ‘reintegrated’ into the England team

It looks that way. All within the camp confirm that Pietersen has been a model professional in the dressing room here and it is almost like the text saga of last summer never happened. England’s decision to add him to this squad, with Cook the driving force, has been thoroughly vindicated, with his series-defining innings at Mumbai an act of genius.

Picture dispute: 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.

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole loses Rafa Benitez"s bowling game in Japan

Cheque please! Ashley Cole becomes team waiter after losing Rafa's bowling trip

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UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 13 December 2012

One week after being skittled out of the Champions League, Rafa Benitez organised a ten-pin bowling expedition for his Chelsea players with Ashley Cole among those to suffer in the unforgiving lanes of Yokohama.

Benitez hatched the Japanese bowling trip to help his players bond and fight the jet-lag ahead of their debut in the FIFA Club World Cup. Players and staff split into small groups with the worst bowlers being made to wait on tables for their team-mates.

'It wasn’t really about who won, it was about who lost,' revealed Gary Cahill, who performed better than left-back Cole. 'Whoever lost had to serve the dinner at the hotel. It was Ashley in our group.'

Loser: Ashley Cole was forced to wait on his teammates after losing the bowling tournament

Loser: Ashley Cole was forced to wait on his teammates after losing the bowling tournament

He added: 'There were about six of us and he was waiting on us. I have to say, he’s a better left-back than a waiter. I think the only tip anyone gave him was: “Don’ t do it again”.

'Everyone played, including the manager. There were a few strikes and the standard was alright, actually. I’d describe myself as an average bowler. It was a bit of team bonding, a chance to get the lads together and then we had some food.

'It was good because aside from that, we’ve just been preparing for the games. This has given us an opportunity because we’re all away together for a few days and once you’ve trained, there’s nothing on.

'That’s been the only thing really. We’re not here on holiday. We’re here for a reason. We’re here to prepare for the game. But we’ve had a bit of down time when we first came and it was good to get out for an hour instead of going stir-crazy in the hotel.'

Chelsea will get down to business on Thursday when they face Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final

Chelsea will get down to business on Thursday when they face Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final

Benitez also wanted to guard against jet-lag and feared if the players had free time in the evening they would spend the evening snoozing, settling into the wrong sleep patterns for a team who will launch their campaign on Thursday against Monterrey, of Mexico.

'I was here in 2005 and we knew we had to do something to keep the players busy because if not they go to sleep,' said Benitez, the first manager to lead three different teams into the Club World Cup.

'When they are thinking they need to go to sleep, we had to organise some activities to keep them ready. The majority understand they have to do it. Each person is different. For most people it is not the main thing but for a player who has to compete, sleep is really important.'

Relaxed: Juan Mata and Frank Lampard have some fun in training at the Yokohama International Stadium

Relaxed: Juan Mata and Frank Lampard have some fun in training at the Yokohama International Stadium

English teams have suffered similar problems in the past. When Liverpool were in Tokyo for the Toyota Cup final against Flamengo in December 1981, some players were struggling to sleep on the eve of the game and they went to a nearby driving range for 30 minutes to hit some golf balls. It did not help as they were beaten next day by the Brazilians.

Despite their early exit from this year’s Champions League, this tournament has rekindled memories of Chelsea’s victory in Munich in May, as did Didier Drogba’ s decision to buy “Superbowl” style commemorative rings for his team-mates and staff at a personal cost thought to be around 800,000.

'It was an amazing surprise,' said Cahill. 'I had no idea when he came in and called us all together. I was very touched. It was extremely generous for a start because it was his idea and no-one needs to go out and do that. Not just for us for the staff as well.

'It shows what his character is. He is a great lad. It reminds us of what a great achievement it was. He said that's why he did it, so that none of us forget what a huge achievement it was.

'It’s something I'll keep for the rest of my life but I’m not sure it’s a ring I’d wear. I'm not flashy. It’s more of a memento. It's personal and individual to every player and something you want to save.'

James Anderson praises Alastair Cook"s leadership skills

Anderson praises captain Cook for leading by example with the bat to put England on brink of series win

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UPDATED:

11:21 GMT, 9 December 2012

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

England paceman James Anderson praised the leadership skills of captain Alastair Cook after leading the side to a seven-wicket win over India in the third Test in Kolkata.

Cook's 190 in the first innings helped set the tourists on their way at Eden Gardens before the bowlers took over to dismiss India for 247 on their second turn at the crease.

That left England with a victory target of 41 runs and, despite a last-minute wobble, Ian Bell and Nick Compton settled nerves to move the team 2-1 ahead in the series with one match to play.

It followed an impressive performance in the second Test in Mumbai last week, and Anderson admits they could not have done it without captain Cook.

'The first Test we saw how it was going to be tough for us,' he told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek.

'We bounced back last week but to come here and put in an equally good performance was something special.

'Cook has been brilliant. The amount of runs he's got in the last three games have been incredible and he's crucial to the team. His first-innings score was a huge factor in us winning the game.

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

'He's the sort of guy who likes to lead from the front, lead by example, and he just wants to go out there and show what he can do and hopes everyone follows him. And we're certainly doing that.'

Anderson finished with six wickets in the match, but thinks spinners Graeme Swann (three wickets) and Monty Panesar (five) also deserve credit for the part they played.
'(Swann and Panesar) have been fantastic in the last two games,” said Anderson.

'Monty especially, having not played much international cricket over the last 12 months.
'He's settled back in brilliantly and got us crucial wickets at crucial times, and he's done that throughout the game.

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

'With Swanny, we know what we're going to get with him. As in this game, getting the crucial wicket of (Virender) Sehwag which started off that run for us in that session yesterday.'

Anderson is already turning his attention to the fourth Test in Nagpur next week, where England have the chance to secure a 3-1 series win.

But the paceman sounded a note of caution, saying: “We've got a lot of improving to do.

'We're really pleased with the last two wins, but going into the fourth Test we want to win the series outright and put in a really good performance to finish with.

'We really want to focus on the last game and if we can win that and win the series outright we can celebrate after that.'

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.'

India v England: Alastair Cook run out case of after you Claude – David Lloyd

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: It's a case of 'after you Claude' for captain Cook but England can rely on their attack

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 7 December 2012

The Alastair Cook run out was a classic case of “after you Claude”.

It’s just a quirk of the game. As usual, the players didn’t know the law but it is very clear – if he had ever grounded his bat he would have been not out.

Umpire Rod Tucker knew straight away, Cook had never regained his ground so he had to go.

After you Claude: Cook was run out in bizarre fashion

After you Claude: Cook was run out in bizarre fashion

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata 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.

India on the ropes

England are exactly where they want to be. That last session they really stepped on it and scored at four-and-a-half an over as India wilted in the field – their fielding was almost comical again.

England are now looking to get a lead of 250, which puts India out of the game.

This pitch will not get any better, there are already signs of wear and tear, and I fully expect England to go 2-1 up unless India can produce something extra special.

No comparison

I expect England to win because their bowlers are infinitely better than their Indian counterparts.

In terms of pace and bounce, India have nobody to match Steven Finn (and he will be a real handful now the bounce is uneven), Jimmy Anderson has completely outbowled Zaheer Khan in terms of swing and the spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann have simply been too hot for India.

Tall order: Finn offers far more pace and bounce than India's seamers

Tall order: Finn offers far more pace and bounce than India's seamers

For whom the Bell tolls

In terms of England’s batting, it’s big ticks for Cook, Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott, plus we had a little cameo from Kevin Pietersen.

But Ian Bell is a touch player and it is so hard to wander back in to Test cricket (after he went home for the birth of his boy) when you are in no form at all and to play well straight away.

Give Samit a good go

I’d really like Samit Patel to get a run in the side at No 6. I think he’s an excellent player and deserves to play ahead of Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan.

Six of the best: Patel deserves a good go

Six of the best: Patel deserves a good go

He scored 33 quality runs but he will know he has still not done enough. However, he should get a prolonged run and play the Tests here and in New Zealand. One thing he is not is an all-rounder. He’s a batter who can roll his arm over.

Shane gets a tonking

Anyone who watched the Big Bash cricket from Australia will have seen Shane Warne bowl two overs for 41! It was so funny.

Warne was miked up and was saying “I’m going to bowl the slider now”… and it disappeared 12 rows back! Next ball he said “right, I’m bowling the googly” and that went even further! Ever the showman he took his cap and said: “Think I’ll go and hide now.”

Maybe that Ashes comeback should be put on ice…

Sachin Tendulkar struggles to work out Jimmy Anderson: Nasser Hussain

Sachin just cannot work paceman out as Anderson gets the better of him again

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 5 December 2012

Losing another toss like that must have been a real kick in the teeth for England, so to respond the way they did by taking seven wickets on the first day was an outstanding effort.

There really wasn’t much in the Eden Gardens pitch and it is to Alastair Cook’s credit that he has quickly learnt from his mistakes in the first Test and has used his bowlers intelligently.

Cook made sure Jimmy Anderson was fresh enough for when the ball was reversing and still had enough energy to strike late on with the second new ball.

Not up to the pace: Sachin Tendulkar struggled against Jimmy Anderson

Not up to the pace: Sachin Tendulkar struggled against Jimmy Anderson

Anderson was excellent. Long gone are the days when we used to say that he was only the man for the job if the ball swung conventionally. Now he has great control and variations and gave us a reverse-swing masterclass.

Jimmy is all over Sachin Tendulkar at the moment and not many people have been able to say that over the years. He’s almost playing with the great man and the ball he got him with in Kolkata was an absolute beauty.

What is his secret in getting Tendulkar out eight times Well, Sachin likes to work bowlers out. He’s a thoughtful cricketer and he just seems to know what most are going to bowl at him. But with Anderson I just think he has no idea whether the ball is going to swing into him or away from him.

Getting the rewards: Anderson took the wicket of Tendulkar (file picture)

Getting the rewards: Anderson took the wicket of Tendulkar (file picture)

Tendulkar was waiting and waiting for the big inswinger yesterday but it didn’t come and Jimmy got him prodding at one he held out there.

All respect to Sachin, though. He was far from at his best again but he showed that he doesn’t just rely on his huge natural talent to score runs. He was gutsy and displayed a lot of heart and character to get to 76. I have rarely seen him so resolute in defence.

I would have liked him to get a century just to prove to everyone that sometimes even the greats have to get their heads down and work hard for their runs. He deserved one for the way he applied himself when he was so out of nick. As it is, this was very much England’s day.