BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Cook and Compo are good neighbours (they have the perfect blend)… but Che Pujara won't revolutionise fielding
13:39 GMT, 6 December 2012
Captain Cook leaves me lost for words
A perfect day. Alastair Cook just goes on and on and I am running out of superlatives. England will be looking at a massive lead because this pitch is doing nothing. The theory is that they bat all day today, then look for some wear and tear in the pitch and tell the bowlers to get to work again on India.
Day to remember: Alastair Cook is now England's record Test century-maker with 23 hundreds
Che Pujara won't revolutionise fielding
India’s fielding was abysmal. The young lad Che Pujara was standing at first slip with his shin pads on and a chest guard. This restricted his movement, he looked like a ridiculous Michelin man and, surprise, surprise, he crucially dropped Cook.
First slip is a specialist position and Virender Sehwag normally fields there but for some reason was stood at extra cover. Fielding is hard work, and India look reluctant to do it. This is Test cricket, it tests you physically and mentally.
Even India’s running between the wickets was farcical, summed up by Sehwag’s run-out. The ironic things is their specialist fielding coach is Trevor Penney, who was electric. He will be tearing his hair out.
One's a Marxist revolutionary, the other's a rubbish fielder: Che Guevara (left) and Che Pujara (right)
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Cook and Compo are good neighbours (they have the perfect blend)
Nick Compton definitely has a Test-match temperament. Nothing fazes him. He will continue to find his feet in a careful manner at this level and should find things more natural against Australia in English conditions next summer.
Compton contributed to an opening century partnership and has found a nice blend with Cook. It’s noticeable that Cook has increased his scoring repertoire and is the more aggressive of the two, developing his sweep shot, hitting over the top and generally extending his game.
Perfect foil: England captain Alastair Cook (right) and fellow opener Nick Compton (left)
Fill yer boots, lads
Jonathan Trott also looks very determined. The massive plus for England is that this pitch will be excellent for batting again on Friday and part of the talk from Cook and coach Andy Flower will be to keep India out in the field for as long as possible, especially if their fielding continues to be shambolic.
And remember that this pitch has been played on previously so something should be happening for the England bowlers – whether it’s turn for the spinners or movement for the seamers – on days four and five.
My verdict on the four greats who Cook has overtaken
He will now be chasing Cook, he’ll see
this as a nice challenge.
KP is simply box office, the best English
player I have ever seen, just because of his sheer ability.
The type of player you would want to
play for your life. Bowlers had to prise him out. And even when he was
out, he was reluctant to go! He was never out when he got back to the
dressing room. A typical Yorkshireman, he was careful in every aspect of
An elegant batsman and a gentleman, on
and off the pitch.
He would celebrate a century by doffing his cap,
maybe a warm handshake.
For some reason I can’t quite imagine him
kissing the pitch, kissing the badge or setting off on a dance!
Wally Hammond: I never saw him play but I
can only quote my great hero Fred Trueman, who once describe Hammond as
‘the great Wally’ and who could disagree with Fred Mind you, on Test
Match Special, Fred was once reminiscing about bowling at Hammond and
Bill Frindall looked up the stats and quietly mentioned that Wally had
retired before Fred had started playing!