Tag Archives: sehwag

Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put India in control of second Test as Australia"s struggles continue in Hyderabad

India take stranglehold on the second Test as Australia's struggles continue in Hyderabad

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:21 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 3 March 2013

The outstanding batting of Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put India in control of the second Test against Australia as they finished day two on 311 for one, already a lead of 74 runs.

Pujara was unbeaten on 162 while Vijay was not far behind on 129 after a day of delight for the watching India fans in Hyderabad.

They had begun slowly after Michael Clarke's surprising declaration on 237 for nine last night, resuming on five without loss and playing defensively.

In Control: India's Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Virat Kohli after the dismissal of Australia's Matthew Clarke

In Control: India's Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Virat Kohli after the dismissal of Australia's Matthew Clarke

After underperforming with the bat, Australia knew they needed to make early inroads and their hopes were raised when Virender Sehwag fended behind off Peter Siddle in the fifth over of the day to depart for six.

India did not seem unduly worried, though, as Vijay drove James Pattinson for four in the next over and Pujara clipped his first ball to the boundary.

Thereafter India dug in before the break and it was 18 overs until Vijay struck the next boundary, a lofted drive off Xavier Doherty.

Although Doherty did beat the bat on occasion, the closest Australia came to another breakthrough was a run-out appeal in which replays showed Pujara was comfortably home.

They made it through to lunch on 54 for one, but then stepped it up a gear with Pujara's intentions particularly clear.

Struggling: Australia's Shane Watson walks back to pavilion after his side were bowled out for 237

Struggling: Australia's Shane Watson walks back to pavilion after his side declared at 237

He struck three boundaries off a single Pattinson over early in the session while Vijay soon hit Doherty for six.

Test debutant Glenn Maxwell's first over was a maiden and helped Australia stem the tide, but he gave up 31 off his next six overs as India dominated the rest of the session.

They added 106 runs to reach tea on 160 for one, but were still only warming up and the final session of the day saw them pile on 151 more, their unbroken partnership worth 294 by the close.

Australia looked worryingly short of wicket-takers, with Doherty the only man to even slightly unsettle either batsman as he found a little turn, but nothing they were not able to handle.

The tourists will need to find a way to fix that tomorrow if they are not to let this Test get away from them as the series opener did in Chennai.

England lose to India A by 53 runs

Giles' reign off to losing start as England slump to 53-run defeat in frosty conditions in first ODI warm-up against India A

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

11:52 GMT, 6 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 6 January 2013

Aside from the numbing cold, Ashley Giles will not remember much about his first match in charge of England’s one-day team, and nor will he wish to do so.

The new jobshare era alongside Andy Flower began in temperatures of a mere four degrees at a windswept Indian Air Force ground, and ended in a 54-run defeat with the tourists dismissed for 175 in 36 overs.

India A made 224 for four from a reduced 39 overs, and the victory target was adjusted to 229 under the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

But England were never in the chase, with Ian Bell’s increasingly belligerent 91 bringing respectability rather than a genuine threat of victory. It served as a timely reminder of why the team Giles has stepped up to coach from Warwickshire have won only once in their last 17 matches in the 50-over format at international level when visiting this country.

Bell correctly pointed out afterwards that it was unlikely to have a huge effect on their chances in the first match of the series on Friday in Rajkot, but they will hope to do better tomorrow in the final warm-up against Delhi.

There was not even the compensation of knowing India are still in freefall, as they clinched a 10-run victory over Pakistan, albeit in the dead rubber of a series in which they already trailed 2-0.

That match, and India’s decision to drop Virender Sehwag for the series against England, were the main talking points in the Indian capital as Giles’s men slipped under one of the many radars around this military venue.

The only way... Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

The only way… Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

It will have been a learning experience, especially as this was England’s first match under the latest 50-over regulations, which include two bouncers allowed per over and only four fielders outside the 30-metre circle in non-powerplay overs. England overdid the head-high bombardment, while the pick of the bowlers was Jade Dernbach, against determined batting from Indian players keen to impress national selectors.

NEIL ADCOCK (1931-2013)

Former South Africa fast bowler Neil
Adcock has died aged 81 after a long battle with cancer. He played 26
Tests between 1953 and 1962 and was a Wisden cricketer of the year in
1961.

Eoin Morgan had inserted after winning the toss, taking the role of captain in place of Alastair Cook, whose absence through a heavy cold depleted a side already missing Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and Jimmy Anderson.

A successful run chase probably required something from Kevin Pietersen, in his first one-day international since dual hundreds against Pakistan last winter.

He started brightly enough before chipping Shree Sreesanth to mid-on after making 19. Then, what had been 42 for one swiftly became 72 for six with the kind of collapse Giles will be keen to iron out. Bell had anchored the innings, but then began to play with his trademark fluency, getting support from Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn as he mustered some respectability.

‘It’s disappointing and we aimed to win but we were outplayed,’ said Bell.

‘With more wickets in hand we might have been able to knock it off. It would have been nice to get the full 50 (overs) in. We wanted to get going this morning so that was a bit frustrating.’

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

The BCCI has refused access to 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.

Jimmy Anderson on cloud nine after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar – Lawrence Booth

Top Spin at the Test: 'Burnley Express' on cloud nine

|

UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 14 December 2012

When Jimmy Anderson knocked back Sachin Tendulkar's middle stump via an inside edge to dismiss him for just two, it was the ninth time in Tests Anderson has got his man – the most by any bowler during Tendulkar's 194-match career, one clear of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. In all, Anderson has trapped Tendulkar lbw three times, bowled him twice and had him caught behind and in the slips twice each.

Tormentor: James Anderson (file image)

Tormentor: James Anderson (file image)

Sehwag's unwanted record

Tendulkar may not be the only Indian batsman developing a complex about Anderson. Virender Sehwag also lost his middle stump to the England bowler, thus completing his 16th Test duck – a record for an Indian recognised batsman. Seven of those blobs have come against England, with Anderson now his chief tormentor, having also removed him for nought at Mumbai in March 2006 and at Edgbaston in August 2011.

Cheteshwar Pujara became the latest victim of a poor umpiring decision in this series when he was given out by Rod Tucker caught at short leg off his elbow. Despite that, it was a superb reflex catch by Ian Bell, who had resumed his customary position under the helmet after Joe Root had missed a chance there seven overs earlier, failing to stay down and getting hit flush on the right shin as Pujara played forward to Monty Panesar.

Root is up in good company

Only three England batsmen have made more runs in their debut Test innings against India than Joe Root's 73. Kent's Bryan Valentine hit 136 at the Brabourne Stadium in what was then Bombay way back in December 1933, while Owais Shah managed 88 at Mumbai's newer Wankhede Stadium in March 2006, an innings in which he was affected by wrist cramps. Lancashire's Geoff Pullar hit 75 at Headingley in 1959.

Swann is flying again

When Graeme Swann made 85 against South Africa at Centurion three years ago, hopes were high that England were uncovering a bowling all-rounder. But his 56 yesterday was his first half-century since that Test, in which time – until yesterday – he had scored only 679 Test runs at an average of 18. The way he timed Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla for sixes was a long overdue reminder of what he is capable of.

Lawrence Booth: England show more resolve and nous than India at key moments

Lawrence Booth: England show more resolve and nous than India at key moments of Test

|

UPDATED:

11:23 GMT, 14 December 2012

These are heady times for England. Already 2-1 up in a series they were widely tipped to lose, they have now taken control of a Test which yesterday looked as if it might descend into a bar-room brawl.

For the third Test in a row, England have shown more resolve and nous at the crucial moments than India. At 139 for 5, and then 242 for 7, their first innings was in the balance – or worse.

But Joe Root added his name to a list of heroes that has grown beyond England’s wildest dreams since Ahmedabad, and Graeme Swann proved he can still construct an innings worthy of his ability.

Playing his part: Graeme Swann chipped in with 56 runs with the bat as well as a wicket

Playing his part: Graeme Swann chipped in with 56 runs with the bat as well as a wicket

Then Jimmy Anderson, who came alive when he found reverse-swing in Kolkata, took charge, bowling Virender Sehwag and the hapless Sachin Tendulkar, and forcing a loose drive out of Gautam Gambhir, a combative cricketer England take special delight in seeing the back of.

It was high-class stuff from a bowler who was questioned in some quarters during England’s defeat to South Africa in the summer. Then, he was made to look ordinary by the big beasts of South Africa’s top order. Now, a combination of his own skill and India’s pussy-cat willingness to have their tummies tickled, has turned him into a match-winner.

In between, Swann accounted for Cheteshwar Pujara, whose star has waned since the first innings at Mumbai, a time when England did not appear to know how to get him out.

Getting his man: James Anderson took the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for the ninth time

Getting his man: James Anderson took the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for the ninth time

The shame was that Pujara should not have been sent on his way by Rod Tucker, caught at short leg by Ian Bell off forearm rather than glove.

But the point has been made so many times in this error-ridden series that it barely needs repeating now: India’s distrust of ball-tracking technology has persuaded them to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Every mistake that goes against them merely highlights their stubbornness. When, you wonder, will they learn

Getting it right: Alastair Cook has guided England to the brink of a series win

Getting it right: Alastair Cook has guided England to the brink of a series win

If England had been unsure where their first-innings 330 stood in the scheme of things, they were reassured by the instant removal of Virender Sehwag, who looked off the pace in losing his middle stump to Anderson.

And yet some fluent drives from Gambhir and Pujara suggested strokeplay was possible. England still had work to do.

What has become clear since their first-innings surrender at Ahmedabad is that they keep finding someone for the job. It is a conviction perhaps borne of adversity: they were rightly rounded upon after the whitewash in the UAE, then needed some sensible batting from Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, plus Kevin Pietersen’s pyrotechnics, to salvage a series draw in Sri Lanka.

After the home defeat to South Africa – their first in four years – they took a young squad to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and came badly unstuck. Then there was Ahmedabad, after which Cook made the point to his players that the rot had to stop, and it had to stop in the next game at Mumbai.

England’s response, whether the rest of the world likes it or not, has been one of the cricket stories of the year. What happened today felt like part of the narrative.

LIVE: India v England – day two, fourth Test, Nagpur

LIVE: India v England – all the action on day two of the fourth Test in Nagpur as it happens

|

UPDATED:

03:52 GMT, 14 December 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day two of the fourth Test between England and India with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds in Nagpur while our brilliant team of writers update with their
insights from the ground. Tweet your thoughts to: @JoeRidge87 or email your thoughts to [email protected]

India v England – essentials

India: G Gambhir, V Sehwag, C A Pujara, S R Tendulkar, V Kohli, R A Jadeja, M S Dhoni (Capt, Wkt), R Ashwin, P P Chawla, I Sharma, P P Ojha.

England: A N Cook (Capt), N R D Compton, I J L Trott, K P Pietersen, I R Bell, J E Root, M J Prior (Wkt), T T Bresnan, G P Swann, J M Anderson, M S Panesar

Umpires: R Tucker (Aus) and K Dharmasena (SL)

Match referee: J Crowe (NZ)

DM.has('rcp',”twitterCombined”,
feeds : 'newman_cricket, the_topspin',
tweetCount : 4
);

Cricket writers on Twitter

Twitter Avatar

Loading tweets…

Feeds provided by Twitter

3.50am: Just a quick reminder then that 21-year-old debutant Joe Root and wicketkeeper-batsmen Matt Prior will be the men at the crease for the tourists when we resume in 10 minutes time. They have put on a valuable 60 together so far.

3.40am: 199-5 doesn't sound too pretty batting first on a subcontinental track but you feel that if England can get to 300 they will have the mental upper hand given that they were 139-5 at one stage. Mind you, if they score at the rate they did yesterday it will take them half the day to get there!

3.30am: Good morning everyone and welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of the second day of the fourth and final test between India and England in Nagpur.

Field of dreams: England have the chance to secure a famous series win in Nagpur

Field of dreams: England have the chance to secure a famous series win in Nagpur

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.

LIVE: India v England – day one, fourth Test, Nagpur

LIVE: India v England – the action on day one of the fourth Test in Nagpur as it happens

|

UPDATED:

09:56 GMT, 13 December 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day one of the fourth Test between England and India with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds in Nagpur while our brilliant team of writers update with their
insights from the ground. Tweet your thoughts to: @James Andrew_ or email your thoughts to [email protected]

India v England – essentials

India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Mahendra Dhoni (capt & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.

Umpires: R Tucker (Aus) and K Dharmasena (SL)

Match referee: J Crowe (NZ)

ENGLAND WON THE TOSS AND BAT

DM.has('rcp',”twitterCombined”,
feeds : 'newman_cricket, the_topspin',
tweetCount : 4
);

Cricket writers on Twitter

Twitter Avatar

Loading tweets…

Feeds provided by Twitter

80th over: England 164-5 (Root 21, Prior 14)

79th over: England 164-5 (Root 21, Prior 14)

Ashwin comes back into the attack.

Prior plays one down to deep point for a single and Root then flicks one wide of mid-on for another single.

78th over: England 162-5 (Root 20, Prior 13)

Ojha comes back to bowl.

Root adds two more with a nice drive through the covers.

77th over: England 160-5 (Root 18, Prior 13)

Prior takes a single off the first ball with a shot to deep backward square. Root then adds two with a nice shot guided to point.

76th over: England 156-5 (Root 15, Prior 12)

Jadeja to Root and it is yet another maiden. I wish I hadn't said anything a few overs a go.

75th over: England 156-5 (Root 15, Prior 12)

Sharma comes back into the attack after his spell on the side lines and he starts off this spell with a maiden.

74th over: England 156-5 (Root 15, Prior 12)

Just as I mention the lack of maidens, what happens next A maiden from Jadeja.

73rd over: England 152-5 (Root 15, Prior 8)

A lovely shot by Prior from the final ball of the over with a nice shot through the covers.

72nd over: England 148-5 (Root 15, Prior 8)

A run each for Root and Prior, the runs are not flowing freely, but at least the maidens have stopped – for now.

71st over: England 146-5 (Root 14, Prior 7)

Sharma is back on the field.

Prior takes one and then Root plays a nice flick past square leg for three.

70th over: England 146-5 (Root 11, Prior 5)

Prior gets one off the over from the bowling of Jadeja.

69th over: England 145-5 (Root 11, Prior 5)

Prior plays a cut shot towards cover point for two.

68th over: England 142-5 (Root 11, Prior 3)

WICKET: Pietersen c Ojha b Jadeja 73

Big wicket for India, they have got England's main man, it was a loose shot against the spin (what little spin there is) and Ojha takes the catch low at midwicket. England are wobbling.

Matt Prior is the new man in the middle.

Prior gets two off his first ball with an edge and then adds a single to keep the strike.

Coming in for his debut: Joe Root came in for England at No 6

Coming in for his debut: Joe Root came in for England at No 6

67th over: England 139-4 (Pietersen 73, Root 11)

Some news emerging from the England camp, Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the two-match Twenty20 series against India due to a heel injury and will be replaced as captain by Eoin Morgan. James Harris has been called into the Twenty20 squad as a result.

Root gets a single with a shot into the covers and Pietersen then adds another one.

66th over: England 137-4 (Pietersen 72, Root 10)

Excellent shot from Pietersen from the first ball after tea, a flashing drive that goes past cover point for FOUR.

TEA ON DAY ONE: ENGLAND 133-4

View from Sportsmail's cricket writer and editor of Wisden, Lawrence Booth in Nagpur:

'The trouble with attritional cricket is that it places an onus on the batsmen not to give it away. While England were advancing at two an over to 101 for 2, this was not an issue. But Jonathan Trott gift-wrapped a first Test wicket to Ravindra Jadeja, and Ian Bell presented Piyush Chawla with his first since April 2008. If England are to close out this series, they can’t afford many more shows of generosity.

A lot now depends on Kevin Pietersen, who has reined himself in with impressive discipline on a pitch apparently designed to scare away the people of Nagpur for a generation.

Occasionally Pietersen has opened up, using his class to pierce the few gaps presented by MS Dhoni’s ultra-defensive field. But this was cricket for a very particular type of connoisseur – one who goes through life wondering who is going to blink first.

Dhoni was damned if he was going to be that man, setting 6-3 leg-side fields for Ishant Sharma and generally placing his men as if in a one-day international.

Trott was in his element for a while, and looked set for a repeat of his Kolkata vigil before he misjudged a delivery from the left-arm spin of Jadeja that went on with the arm. Bell got bogged down, but didn’t have the nous to ride it out, driving elegantly to extra-cover to make it 119 for 4.

Joe Root has made a positive start to his Test career, and Pietersen is still there on 68. But, after finally winning a toss, England will be disappointed with anything less than 300.'

65th over: England 133-4 (Pietersen 68, Root 10)

Pietersen sweeps one into the deep, they run one and come back for the second, for a second it looks as though Root may struggle to make his ground, but he does

Run off the final ball of the over meaning Pietersen will keep the strike after tea.

64th over: England 130-4 (Pietersen 65, Root 10)

Nice shot by Root to square leg for two.

He then finds a boundary with a well timed drive for FOUR.

63rd over: England 124-4 (Pietersen 65, Root 4)

First runs in Test match cricket for Root. He will be relieved to be off the mark. He takes a big stride forward and plays a neat drive through the covers for three.

Pietersen adds one more and then Root retains the strike with a single from the final ball of the over.

62nd over: England 119-4 (Pietersen 64, Root 0)

Ojha comes back on and it is another maiden.

61st over: England 119-4 (Pietersen 64, Root 0)

Now this is interesting, Ishant Sharma has gone off the field just one over into his latest spell. Rules state that players can only go off if injured (it does not always work like that in practice) but if he is injured then that is a problem for Dhoni, as he is his only seamer.

Piyush Chawla comes into the attack.

Pietersen takes two thanks to a miss field, gets home safely despite the appeal. And then another single.

WICKET: Bell c Kohli b Chawla 1

Bell chips one to short extra-cover and he is caught, 28 balls, one run and out.

Debutant Joe Root is the new man in the middle. A big moment for the young batsman.

60th over: England 116-3 (Pietersen 61, Bell 1)

And another maiden, this time it is Jadeja to Bell.

59th over: England 116-3 (Pietersen 61, Bell 1)

Sharma to Pietersen and another maiden.

58th over: England 116-3 (Pietersen 61, Bell 1)

Just one slip in for Bell. Four leg-byes come off the final ball.

57th over: England 112-3 (Pietersen 61, Bell 1)

India's only seamer Ishant Sharma is back into the attack.

Chance for India, or was it Pietersen flicked one away towards midwicket and Cheteshwar Pujara could not hold it, but unclear if it actually carried.

Maiden over.

56th over: England 112-3 (Pietersen 61, Bell 1)

Another maiden from Jadeja, bowling to Bell.

55th over: England 112-3 (Pietersen 61, Bell 1)

Another good shot from Pietersen which is dispatched to the boundary, it was in the air, but safely over extra cover for FOUR.

Looking to build: England batsman Ian Bell make a telling contribution with the bat

Looking to build: England batsman Ian Bell make a telling contribution with the bat

54th over: England 108-3 (Pietersen 57, Bell 1)

The dot balls continue to mount, another maiden for India, this time it is Jadeja.

53rd over: England 108-3 (Pietersen 57, Bell 1)

Ojha to Pietersen, and not for the first time today it is a maiden.

52nd over: England 108-3 (Pietersen 57, Bell 1)

Bell gets off the mark as he plays the ball to mid-on and scampers home for a single. KP then adds one more from the final ball to keep the strike.

51st over: England 106-3 (Pietersen 56, Bell 0)

Another perfectly timed shot from Pietersen for FOUR, this time he plays it through midwicket.

50th over: England 102-3 (Pietersen 52, Bell 0)

WICKET: Trott b Jadeja 44

The debutant gets his first Test wicket. Trott left it along and it came in to take the bails. What was he thinking

Ian Bell comes to the middle.

49th over: England 101-2 (Trott 44, Pietersen 51)

Another nice sweep shot from Trott to the backward square boundary for FOUR.

That brings up the hundred for England.

Time for drinks.

48th over: England 97-2 (Trott 40, Pietersen 51)

KP breaks to eat a banana.

Another maiden for Jadeja.

47th over: England 97-2 (Trott 40, Pietersen 51)

Ojha bowls another maiden to Trott. India have done well to keep the runs down.

46th over: England 97-2 (Trott 40, Pietersen 51)

Jadeja comes back into the attack.

KP sees a good shot well blocked. Maiden.

45th over: England 97-2 (Trott 40, Pietersen 51)

Trott survives a very optimistic shout for LBW after missing a sweep. It was sliding down the leg side. Maiden for Ojha

44th over: England 97-2 (Trott 40, Pietersen 51)

Pietersen works one away fine to the boundary for for FOUR.

FIFTY FOR KEVIN PIETERSEN

KP then nudges one away to square leg for one and then Trott gets a single off the last ball.

43rd over: England 91-2 (Trott 39, Pietersen 46)

Ojha comes back for the first time in this session.

Pietersen drives one down to third man and they run three.

42nd over: England 88-2 (Trott 39, Pietersen 43)

Ashwin bowls five dot balls to Trott, but the sixth is unleashed past point for FOUR.

41st over: England 84-2 (Trott 35, Pietersen 43)

Sharma continues, this policy of using just one seamer could come back to hurt India.

Pietersen drives one through the off-side for FOUR, brilliantly timed shot.

40th over: England 80-2 (Trott 35, Pietersen 39)

Pietersen whips one away down to deep square for one.

39th over: England 79-2 (Trott 35, Pietersen 38)

Pietersen works one away for one and Trott flicks one away for a single and KP ends the over with one more towards square.

38th over: England 76-2 (Trott 34, Pietersen 36)

FOUR for Trott, a nicely timed half volley through cover point.

37th over: England 72-2 (Trott 30, Pietersen 36)

Sharma looks to bang one down to Trott but it gets no height, Trott looks to sway out of the way to avoid being hit and it hits the gloves and goes away towards third man for one.

36th over: England 70-2 (Trott 29, Pietersen 36)

Ashwin to Trott and it is another maiden.

35th over: England 70-2 (Trott 29, Pietersen 36)

Sharma stays on at the other end.

Pietersen gets two from a ball he works away towards long-leg.

Sharma then bowls too straight and KP has no problem in flicking it away past midwicket.

Pietersen adds a single and Trott does the same, eight runs from the over.

34th over: England 62-2 (Trott 28, Pietersen 29)

Ashwin takes the ball after lunch.

Big session for both sides, England and Pietersen in particular will look to kick on, while India will no doubt feel that a couple of wickets and they are in with a good chance of winning this Test and leveling the series.

Pietersen flicks one away to deep backward square for a single.

LUNCH ON DAY ONE: ENGLAND 61-2

View from Sportsmail's cricket writer and editor of Wisden, Lawrence Booth in Nagpur:

'That was a bizarre session, in which England’s early nerves were assisted by India’s eggs-in-one-basket selection. If Ishant Sharma had been granted a fellow seamer to help him exploit a pitch of variable bounce (most of it low), England might have been in deeper trouble than 61 for 2 after both openers had fallen with 16 on the board.

At lunch, they were grateful to have faced as many as 25 overs of spin, many of them met with a dead bat as England focussed on not making a mess of winning their first toss of the series.

It really was slow going. Nick Compton nibbled at one he ought to have left, even if he might have been unfortunate to get one of the few deliveries which didn’t die a sorry death on the way through to MS Dhoni.

And Alastair Cook, tied down by Pragyan Ojha’s left-arm spin and a 7-2 leg-side field, was definitely unlucky to be given out leg-before by umpire Dharmasena to a ball that was clearly missing off stump.

If Cook’s 1 off 28 balls – following 548 runs in the first three Tests – said something about the mood of the morning and the state of the pitch, then Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen were generally content to bide their time. It may be the only match-winning template available as England go in search of their first series win in India for nearly 28 years.'

Looking to make his mark: Kevin Pietersen will look to build after lunch

Looking to make his mark: Kevin Pietersen will look to build after lunch

33rd over: England 61-2 (Trott 28, Pietersen 28)

This should be the last over before lunch.

Pietersen gets a single. Trott then ducks to avoid a bouncer, but again it does not bounce particularly high.

One from the over, and that is lunch.

32nd over: England 60-2 (Trott 28, Pietersen 27)

Trott sees off a maiden from Ashwin.

31st over: England 60-2 (Trott 28, Pietersen 27)

Sharma comes back into the attack before lunch.

No slips in play. No real surprise given the lack of bounce in the pitch.

He bowls a maiden with his first over back.

30th over: England 60-2 (Trott 28, Pietersen 27)

Change of bowling for India, and it is their best player from the last test, Ravichandran Ashwin, to take over with the ball.

Trott paddles one away for a single. Pietersen drives one to long-on for a single.

Trott then hits a couple off the final ball of the over.

29th over: England 56-2 (Trott 25, Pietersen 26)

Trott works one away on the half-volley wide past Ashwin for three.

28th over: England 53-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 26)

Jadeja stays on and bowls another maiden, this time to Pietersen.

27th over: England 53-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 26)

Chawla to Trott and it is another maiden.

26th over: England 53-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 26)

Pietersen looks in the mood now, he punches the ball through cover-point for another FOUR.

25th over: England 49-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 22)

Pietersen starting to show his power, brilliant shot for FOUR over mid-on, really nice shot from the England batsman.

He's done it again, another boundary, as Pietersen once again clears mid-on for FOUR, no fuss from KP.

Single off the final ball and Pietersen keeps the strike. Nine from the over.

24th over: England 40-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 13)

Pietersen finally finds the gap from the final ball, off the front foot and through cover point for three.

23rd over: England 37-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 10)

Pietersen walks down the wicket and works one away to long-off for a single. One from the over.

22nd over: England 36-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 9)

Trott facing Jadeja, and it is yet another maiden. Trott won't mind this, but you get the feeling that Pietersen at the other end could get frustrated, that is no doubt India's plan.

21st over: England 36-2 (Trott 22, Pietersen 9)

Bowling change for India, Piyush Chawla comes into the attack.

First run for a while. Trott pushes one away for a single.

20th over: England 35-2 (Trott 21, Pietersen 9)

This time it is the turn of Pietersen and Ojha, but the result is the same, another maiden.

19th over: England 35-2 (Trott 21, Pietersen 9)

Jadeja to Trott and it is another maiden. India keeping the runs down well.

18th over: England 35-2 (Trott 21, Pietersen 9)

Pietersen is having no real problem with this left arm spin so far, just struggling to beat the field at the moment. Another maiden.

17th over: England 35-2 (Trott 21, Pietersen 9)

Really nice shot from Trott, down the wicket, takes it on the half-volley and drives it between the stumps and mid-on for FOUR.

16th over: England 31-2 (Trott 17, Pietersen 9)

Ojha makes a big appeal against Pietersen, but there was a big inside edge. And then just a few balls later he goes up for another appeal, but Pietersen is so far down the wicket again there is no way it could be given out. Maiden.

15th over: England 31-2 (Trott 17, Pietersen 9)

Trott sees off Jadeja's first over after drinks. Maiden.

14th over: England 31-2 (Trott 17, Pietersen 9)

Trott sweeps one away over square leg for FOUR. Single off the final ball of the over as India look for a run-out, but Pietersen is home comfortably.

End of the first hour, so time for drinks.

13th over: England 26-2 (Trott 12, Pietersen 9)

Bowling change for India, and MS Dhoni is going for two left arm spinners as Ravindra Jadeja replaces Sharma.

Pietersen looks in the mood as he comes down the wicket again and plays one off the pads to midwicket and England run three.

Trott then pushes one to short leg for a single and then KP gets his first boundary of the morning. Pietersen comes down the wicket and lofts the ball back over the bowlers head for FOUR.

12th over: England 18-2 (Trott 11, Pietersen 2)

Ojha to Pietersen and there is another big appeal from the fourth ball as the ball hits the pads. But the England batsman is half way down the wicket when he lets the ball hit his pads. No way he could be given out coming that far down. Pietersen then takes a single.

Out in the middle: Jonathan Trott came in at No 3 earlier than he would have hoped after Nick Compton's dismissal

Out in the middle: Jonathan Trott came in at No 3 earlier than he would have hoped after Nick Compton's dismissal

11th over: England 17-2 (Trott 11, Pietersen 1)

WICKET: Cook LBW Sharma 1

Another big appeal from Sharma and this time umpire Kumar Dharmasena raises his finger. But it looked to be a poor decision. It was hitting him outside the line and did not look like it was going to hit the stumps. Very poor call from Dharmasena, not that you will hear too many Indians complain, they have dismissed England's talisman cheaply.

Kevin Pietersen is the new man for England and he will have to adjust to this pitch which seems to be dying a death out there.

He pulls one away from the final ball to keep the strike.

10th over: England 16-1 (Cook 1, Trott 11)

Trott sweeps Ojha away past short fine leg for FOUR. He is playing well, despite that scare in the last over.

9th over: England 12-1 (Cook 1, Trott 7)

Trott plays one fine down towards fine leg, good stop by Ojha on the boundary.

Trott then ducks to avoid a Sharma bouncer, with the pitch and its uneven bounce that one went through at about waist height.

Big, big appeal from Sharma. It was a length ball that was nipping in and it beat the inside edge, and hits Trott in front or just outside off as the umpire shakes his head. Probably just the correct decision, but it was very close.

8th over: England 9-1 (Cook 1, Trott 5)

India bring a leg slip in for Cook, the England skipper defends the over away.

Maiden over from Ojha.

7th over: England 9-1 (Cook 1, Trott 5)

First boundary of the day to Trott and it is a beautifully timed shot back down the ground past the stumps on the half volley for FOUR. It has been a careful start from England so far.

6th over: England 5-1 (Cook 1, Trott 1)

Cook gets off the mark with a shot to deep midwicket. Trott then gets off the mark with a single to mid-on.

5th over: England 3-1 (Cook 0, Trott 0)

WICKET: Compton c Dhoni b Sharma 3

Breakthrough for India early on. Sharma gets Compton to play at one and nicks off the edge and it is a straight forward catch for Dhoni behind the stumps, replays showed Sharma was very close to bowling a no ball, but it was ok – just. England are one down.

Jonathan Trott is the new man in the middle.

Wicket maiden for Sharma.

4th over: England 3-0 (Cook 0, Compton 3)

Compton defends the first five ball of the over. He then hits the final ball towards mid-on and takes a single to keep the strike.

3rd over: England 2-0 (Cook 0, Compton 2)

Compton works one away off the pads for a single down the leg side. Cook sees off the the remaining five balls of the over, and is still to get off the mark.

2nd over: England 1-0 (Cook 0, Compton 1)

Left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha takes the new ball at the other end.

First run of the morning as Compton pushes the ball to mid-on.

Cook then fends the remaining balls away. Just the one run from the over.

1st over: England 0-0 (Cook 0, Compton 0)

Only one seam bowler in the starting XI, and he, Ishant Sharma, opens up for India.

Low bounce from this first over, and it is a maiden first up.

Captain marvel: Alastair Cook has guided England to a 2-1 lead

Captain marvel: Alastair Cook has guided England to a 2-1 lead

3.57am: Earlier, Joe Root was handed his first Test cap by former batsman Paul Collingwood, big five days for the 21-year-old at No 6 for England.

3.55am: View from Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth in Nagpur via Twitter:

'England will miss Finn, but with Bresnan they have a shorter tail. In Mumbai, last four fell for seven, in Kolkata for 13…'

3.50am: We are just ten minutes away from the start of play and Alastair Cook and Nick Compton opening up for England. Hopefully from the England point of view they will start better than the second innings in the last Test where they found themselves 8 for 3.

3.45am: If England manage a draw then they will win the series 2-1 for the first time since 1984/85, if they win the game then they will win 3-1 for the first time ever.

3.35am: Couple of changes for England. Steven Finn misses out due to a bad back and Tim Bresnan returns. And as Sportsmail's Paul Newman revealed here, Joe Root comes in for his debut in place of Samit Patel.

3.30am: England have one the toss and will bat.

3.25am: The one thing England have not managed to do so far is win the toss, that is coming up. Can Cook win his first toss as England captain

3.15am: Good morning and welcome to the first days play of the fourth and final Test between India and England.

It has been some series so far, with India winning the first Test with ease and looking like they would stroll to a comfortable series win. But Alastair Cook and England had different ideas and fought back brilliantly to win the next two tests to take a 2-1 lead.

They now stand on the brink of a the first series win in India for 28 years.

Field of dreams: England have the chance to secure a famous series win in Nagpur

Field of dreams: England have the chance to secure a famous series win in Nagpur

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.

England on verge of winning third Test in India

England on verge of victory but Ashwin frustrates tourists as India dig in

|

UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 8 December 2012

England inflicted a telling collapse on India to put themselves on the verge of victory, and an unassailable 2-1 series lead, after day four of the third Test at Eden Gardens.

The tourists took six wickets for 36 runs this afternoon but, with an innings win almost within their grasp in the final session, Ravichandran Ashwin (83 not out) prevented them finishing the job.

Number eight Ashwin even took India into a 32-run credit by stumps on 239 for nine, and forced England to take a second new ball under floodlights, as the contest somehow limped into a final day.

There was no way past Ashwin and Ishant Sharma for more than an hour in a ninth-wicket stand of 38.

Ashwin escaped a stumping chance on 22, and Sharma was dropped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior on nought – both off Monty Panesar.

Then even after Panesar at last got the number 10, toppling over to be bowled, Ashwin stayed to complete his 111-ball 50 with successive fours off Graeme Swann which also ensured England must bat again.

England just did not have the leeway they needed as Ashwin stood firm, in company with last man Pragyan Ojha.

After dominating the first three days thanks to Alastair Cook's batting and James Anderson and Panesar's bowling, the tourists first had to overcome a chastening morning before India's collapse.

England's own last four wickets could muster only 14 on the way to 523 all out and then they were unable to take any of India's before lunch.

But after Graeme Swann kickstarted the hosts' troubles by bowling Virender Sehwag with the first ball of the afternoon, the rest of the frontline batting simply folded.

Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir sowed some doubts in an opening stand of 86 in just 28 overs, during which England had a half-chance to see off each of the openers.

But Sehwag escaped on seven when Swann could not hang on to a low one-handed catch to his left at second slip off Anderson, then Gambhir pushed Panesar off the face of the bat to short-leg, where Ian Bell could not quite react in time.

Ball rolling: Graeme Swann took the first wicket of India's second innings

Ball rolling: Graeme Swann took the first wicket of India's second innings

The most worrying aspect for the tourists was the increasing ease with which Sehwag in particular was playing their spinners.

But they need not have been concerned because Swann produced the perfect off-break to draw the drive, beat the bat and hit the outside of off-stump straight after the break.

Gambhir had accepted the blame in the first innings for Sehwag's run-out, and perhaps will need to do likewise for his part in a faulty single which saw off Cheteshwar Pujara thanks to Bell's direct hit from midwicket.

Transient controversy followed when Gambhir escaped on 36, umpire Rod Tucker apparently initially satisfied he had edged to slip but unsure whether the ball had carried to a diving Jonathan Trott.

It had, but third umpire Vineet Kulkarni also seemed to convey the fact Gambhir had not got bat on ball after all.

The right decision had been reached via a grey area in the established process for series not involving DRS.

But the fact that Gambhir followed some reverse-swing from Finn (three for 37) to edge behind just four runs later relegated the discussion, and it was less relevant still when Sachin Tendulkar was next out, edging a Swann arm ball to slip.

Flying Finn: England's bowlers all chipped in to dismantle India

Flying Finn: England's bowlers all chipped in to dismantle India

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli's attempt to stop the rot did not last long before the left-hander was bowled by one from Anderson that snaked in from round the wicket and kept low, and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni edged the same bowler low to his opposite number Cook at slip.

Kohli edged behind flailing at some more outswing from Finn after tea, and it seemed certain England were on the home straight – until Ashwin got set.

England had arrived this morning in the hope of maximising the pressure and an hour's profitable batting would have been their first wish.

Instead, their innings was finished in under five overs.

Prior and Swann could add only a single between them to their existing seventh-wicket stand of 56.

Prior drove the first ball of the day for a single, only for Swann to then immediately become Ojha's fourth victim – edging another attempted drive to slip.

Tail end: Monty Panesar took the final wicket of the day

Tail end: Monty Panesar took the final wicket of the day

Then Prior went to cut Zaheer Khan at the other end and edged behind – England's second departure in the space of seven balls.

Finn and Anderson managed a boundary each but the introduction of Ashwin for Ojha (four for 142) brought two wickets in two balls to conclude the innings.

Ashwin had previously conceded 183 runs for his one success but, after Anderson edged to slip and Monty Panesar went lbw first ball, despite an apparent inside-edge, the off-spinner had two more at no further cost.

It seemed the mid-match momentum had perhaps switched, all the more so when Sehwag and Gambhir tried to seize the initiative too.

But it was a short-lived illusion.

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 v England: Alastair Cook and Nick Compton are perfect blend – David Lloyd

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Cook and Compo are good neighbours (they have the perfect blend)… but Che Pujara won't revolutionise fielding

|

UPDATED:

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

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.

Che Guevara

Che Pujara

One's a Marxist revolutionary, the other's a rubbish fielder: Che Guevara (left) and Che Pujara (right)

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.

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)

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

Kevin Pietersen

Geoff Boycott

Kevin Pietersen

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.

Geoffrey Boycott

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
his life!

Colin Cowdrey

Wally Hammond

Colin Cowdrey

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

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!

LIVE: India v England – day two, third Test, Kolkata

India v England – the action on day two of the third Test in Kolkata as it happened

|

UPDATED:

11:08 GMT, 6 December 2012


India v England – essentials

India: Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni (c/wk), Ashwin, Zaheer, Sharma, Ojha.

England: Cook (c), Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Patel, Prior (wk), Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar.

Umpires: HDPK Dharmasena (SRI) and RJ Tucker (AUS)

Match referee: JJ Crowe (NZ)

India won the toss and elected to bat

First innings: India 316.

DM.has('rcp',”twitterCombined”,
feeds : 'newman_cricket, the_topspin',
tweetCount : 4
);

Cricket writers on Twitter

Twitter Avatar

Loading tweets…

Feeds provided by Twitter

3am: Morning one, morning all and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage on day two of the third Test between England and India from Kolkata.

The tourists efforts yesterday have rightly been described as heroic after being asked to bowl and taking seven wickets on the flattest of tracks.

Talk of pace and bounce were rendered nonsense early on and huge credit must go to James Anderson and Monty Panesar whose efforts have given England the advantage.

The plan from here is to wrap up the three final wickets with minimal fuss then begin the task of building big first-innings runs.

That's the ideal scenario, of course. But if the previous two Tests have taught us anything the first day has been a pretty accurate precursor of what's to come.

3.14: Right, we've got about 15 minutes before play resumes, enough time to have quick peruse of Bumble's Test diary. Day one left him dreaming of Monty and Bruno!

3.20: James Anderson drew huge plaudits for his efforts on day one. Nasser Hussain stood and admired as he got the better of Sachin Tendulkar.. again.

3.24: So, how do you see the action panning out today Can England wrap up the remnants of this India innings without too much fuss. Or are you worried this low, slow track will start turning big when England come in to bat Twitter and email details are above if you so wish to use them.

91st over: India 280-7 (Dhoni 27, Z Khan 1)

Credit to the hardy bunch of Barmy Army fans who serenade their heroes with a rendition of Jerusalem in the early stages of the over. James Anderson begins the attack for England and MS Dhoni is straight on the attack, taking a couple of steps down the track and firing Jimmy back to the rope at long-off.

92nd over: India 282-7 (Dhoni 28, Z Khan 2)

Are you prepared for another long day at the coal face, Monty He bowled 35 overs yesterday and is hoicked straight into the action this morning. Zaheer Khan is – unsurprisingly – in blocking mood, until the final ball of the over where he takes a quick single to retain the strike. Brave. I like it.

93rd over: India 291-7 (Dhoni 28, Z Khan 6)

Dropped! Anderson is absolutely fuming after Swann (now no longer his best mate) shells a dolly at second slip. What a chance that was. Swann was a close second slip, the ball hit him on the chest/ribs and looped up, but Cook couldn't catch the loose ball. Jimmy responds with a ludicrously short one which bounced over Prior for five runs (with the wide). And Khan slogs the final delivery of the over square for four more. It is all going on.

WICKET! Zaheer Khan lbw b Panesar 6

Khan wastes the extra life he was given in the previous over, lunging forward and playing around a straight one. The ball pitched on middle/leg and straightened enough.

94th over: India 292-8 (Dhoni 29)

Maybe that wicket has saved the Anderson/Swann friendship what with Khan adding not many after Swanny shelled him at Slip Well done, Monty. Your still the man. Although your celebrations remain bloody awful.

95th over: India 296-8 (Dhoni 33, Sharma 0)

Anderson dips one back of a length, Dhoni leans back and clubs the ball backward of square for four runs. Meat and drink that kind of length for the Insia captain. Final delivery is wide of off stump, Dhoni swings hard, but misses, which gives Monty a chance to have a dip at new boy Ishant Sharma.

Magic Monty: Panesar has picked up four vital wickets for England

Magic Monty: Panesar has picked up four vital wickets for England

WICKET! Ishant Sharma b Panesar 0

Lofted flight on the delivery does for Sharma who misreads it and plays all around a straight one. Proper No 10's shot and Monty has a four-fer.

96th over: India 296-9 (Dhoni 33, Ojha 0)

Wicket maiden for the boy Monty. But the face on MS Dhoni as he watched Sharma play all around a straight delivery was a peach. Fuming.

97th over: India 296-9 (Dhoni 33, Ojha 0)

'It's a stalemate', notes Nasser in the Sky comms boxs. And he's right. Dhoni's in blocking mode, until the final delivery which he heaves square for a single to retain strike.

98th over: India 309-9 (Dhoni 46, Ojha 0)

Now, here's a stat: No England bowler has taken three five wicket hauls in a row since 1970-71. Monty has five in his previous two and is on four here. One more, Monty, can you do it Well, no, Dhoni's having none of it as he rocks back on his heels and scores the second SIX of the innings over long-off. And then he scores the third SIX with the final delivery of the over – a massive boomer over midwicket.

99th over: India 311-9 (Dhoni 47, Ojha 0)

Well, if you want anyone marshalling the end of an innings, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than MS Dhoni. Ojha faces a couple, there's a big lbw shout which is turned down, and the India captain dabs a quick single to retain strike.

100th over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

A much brighter morning today than the misty fug which enveloped Eden Gardens yesterday, but that hasn't encouraged more spectators in this 63,000-capacity ground. A mere smattering: 4 or 5,000 at most. Monty continues to Dhoni, field set well back, the captain takes a single with the final delivery, chipping one to vacant mid-off.

101st over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Nick Knight reveals the news that Phil Hughes will replace Ricky Ponting in the Australia team. I'm no gambling man, but if I was (and I'm not) I would be down the bookies as soon as the door opened to wager every penny I can lay my greedy mitts on for England to win the Ashes. Hughes hasn't enjoyed the best of luck against England. Maiden for Monty.

102nd over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Bowling change: Graeme Swann is hoicked in in James Anderson's stead. Much to the paceman's chagrin, I presume – certainly when he has the No 11 to face. Slip, gully and short leg come in, Ojha does well to block out. Maiden.

103rd over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Do you think the denizens of Kolkata have any inkling knowledge of Only Fools and Horses Granted, why should those who live in this sprawling metropolis care for the antics of two zooms from Peckham Still, they'll be familiar with the theme tune now that Billy Cooper – the Barmy Army's trumpeter-in-chief has just belted it out.

104th over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Proddy, proddy, touch, touch. Ojha's doing his best to hang around, but this seems all rather futile, India haven't added a run in five overs. It's that tedious, I've searched – and listened to – Fat Larry's Band classic Zoom on youtube. Maiden.

105th over: India 316 (Ojha 0)

Bowling change: Steven Finn comes into the action to try and frighten India out of this innings. Which he does!

WICKET! Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Swann b Finn 52

Great work from Swann who races from second slip to pouch Dhoni's attempted cut which booms up off his gloves. And that is that.

INDIA ALL OUT FOR 316

On the attack: Cook is hoping to score more big runs as England begin their first innings

On the attack: Cook is hoping to score more big runs as England begin their first innings

1st over: England 4-0 (Cook 4, Compton 0)

England will be very pleased with their work so far. Restricting India to 316 after losing the toss is a super effort, particularly on a pitch which is offering no assistance. But what of England's replay Zaheer Khan begins the attack with two slips and a gully in position. Cook moves off the mark with a well timed dash via point for four runs.

2nd over: England 6-0 (Cook 4, Compton 2)

Ishant Sharma joins Khan in the attack to Compton whose busy defensive strokes I admire so. Compton pushes a quick single to cover, but some shoddy work in the field – an overthrow – allows the England pair to take another.

3rd over: England 10-0 (Cook 8, Compton 2)

It is said that whenever the word 'cricket' is mentioned, a Frenchman or German, somewhere in the world, starts laughing, such is esteem in which they hold the game.

Bucking this trend, however, is former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann. Didi Hamann, via Twitter: 'England on top if they get 400+ you got to fancy them to win …Anderson outstanding #onlyonemonty'. Thick edge from Cook sends the ball between slips and gully for four.

4th over: England 10-0 (Cook 8, Compton 2)

Six deliveries outside off, Compton doesn't look interested. That's a maiden.

5th over: England 16-0 (Cook 13, Compton 3)

A rather tepid start from the India pacemen. Cook and Compton looking unruffled, the captain helps himself to four via clip off his pads and, erm, that's about it.

6th over: England 17-0 (Cook 13, Compton 4)

The stats suggest Sharma has had the making of Cook more than many bowlers. But the seamer isn't going to trouble the left-hander with his current line, which is too straight into the England captain. He needs to look for the feather edge, wider of off stump if he is to prosper. Unless he can find some extra pace to leave Cook open to lbw. Just a single for Compton.

7th over: England 17-0 (Cook 13, Compton 4)

Pleased to say Eden Gardens is starting to fill up as the morning carries on. Still huge swathes of empty seats, but there's plenty of atmosphere pouring down from the stands as England go about their business diligently in the middle. Compton faces six from Khan and that's a maiden.

8th over: England 21-0 (Cook 17, Compton 4)

Cook hangs hit bat out to Sharma who finds an edge, but it is of the thickish variety and thusly runs wide of slips, but inside gully and brings up another boundary. Maybe some spin before lunch It's only 10 minutes away.

9th over: England 21-0 (Cook 17, Compton 4)

It's another maiden over for Khan, but it was almost so much worse for England after Compton called a kamikaze single, only to send Cook back before any damage could be done. Steady now boys, you're within a sniff of the lunch break. Now is not the time for rash decisions.

In good Nick: Compton has started well as England begin their first innings

In good Nick: Compton has started well as England begin their first innings

10th over: England 21-0 (Cook 17, Compton 4)

Bowling change: Yep, it's time for some spin and Ravichandran Ashwin is hoicked in to turn his arm over for six before the break. Nothing extra going on for him over Panesar or Swann. Maiden.

11th over: England 22-0 (Cook 17, Compton 5)

Short leg comes in for Compton as Sharma changes ends at in the dregs of the session. Just a single for the Somerset man. And that is lunch. Muy bien.

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth in Kolkata writes: So, England have done the first bit. /12/06/article-2243328-0D25177D00000578-345_306x459.jpg” width=”306″ height=”459″ alt=”Plenty to ponder: Dhoni's side have struggled to break England down” class=”blkBorder” />

Plenty to ponder: Dhoni's side have struggled to break England down

23rd over: England 61-0 (Cook 44, Compton 17)

Full credit to the England pair who are picking the right moments when to stick or twist. The tandem threat of Khan and Ishant had to be seen off, now with Ashwin's gentle spin on, they can vary the attack and take it to the hosts. Just a single from the over.

24th over: England 62-0 (Cook 45, Compton 17)

So, after an hour of the afternoon session, England continue to move forward serenely. They have added 40 runs without the loss of a wicket in the 12 overs thus far. A decent return. But there's plenty left to do. Another single from the over keeps the scorecard ticking over.

25th over: England 62-0 (Cook 45, Compton 17)

Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. That's a maiden. And time for some drinks.

26th over: England 62-0 (Cook 45, Compton 17)

England moving along serenely here. They've enjoyed this session so far. They've added 40 runs without losing a wicket. Still plenty of work left to do, mind. Another maiden.

27th over: England 62-0 (Cook 50, Compton 17)

Shot! Zaheer's attempted inswinging yorker arrows in towards off stump, but Cook flat bats back down the ground for four. Stunning shot. Another single also brings up the captain's half-century.

28th over: England 74-0 (Cook 51, Compton 23)

Shot! Compton leaves his crease and punches Ojha high and mighty over the midwicket boundary for another maximum! SIX big runs for Nick, England sitting pretty here.

29th over: England 74-0 (Cook 51, Compton 23)

A series of dots. Six in total. That's a maiden.

30th over: England 77-0 (Cook 53, Compton 24)

Ojha's in now, so we have spin on at both ends. England have played it well thus far. But I can tell you, this over-by-over lark isn't half made difficult with two twirlers on, what with their minute long overs and all. There's steam coming off my keyboard. Cook taps a couple backward of square.

31st over: England 83-0 (Cook 58, Compton 25)

Howizaaaat! Ashwin asks the question, but he's clutching at straws – the ball hit Compton's boot on the flush, but miles outside the line of the stumps. There follows a howler in the field – of which there have already been a few – which allows England to nick a single and overthrows add another four. Ouch.

32nd over: England 86-0 (Cook 60, Compton 26)

Half an hour to go until the tea break, England will be mighty pleased if they reach the break without loss. And will certainly hope to reach three figures by that point, too. Three more singles from Ojha's bowling.

33rd over: England 90-0 (Cook 64, Compton 26)

Courtesy of Sky Sports' statto Bendict Bermange, on Twitter: 'If – or rather – when Cook gets to 88 he will be the youngest to reach 7000 Test runs. Another Sachin record will fall'. Cook finds the rope with a well timed club through covers.

34th over: England 94-0 (Cook 67, Compton 27)

So, after a promising opening 34 overs, England trail by 222 runs. An excellent base from which to work on and takes the pressure off those coming in behind the openers. But India are allowing them to find the singles, find the gaps to keep the score ticking over. A couple of singles and one brace come as England move forward.

35th over: England 95-0 (Cook 68, Compton 27)

An eerie silence around the ground at the moment, despite the fact there must be 15,000 spectators in attendance. The locals have had very little to cheer today. Ashwin zooms through his over, one from it as yet another misfield allows the England pair to cross without too much fuss.

36th over: England 100-0 (Cook 69, Compton 31)

Dhoni's not happy with the ball, he asks the umpires to run it through that piece of kt which measures the balls roundness. It doesn't come up to scratch and so a selection of new'uns is brought on. But even the new cherry cannot help India as Compton chops forward of point to take England past the century mark.

Solid start: The England openers have laid excellent foundations for England's first innings

Solid start: The England openers have laid excellent foundations for England's first innings

37th over: England 104-0 (Cook 73, Compton 31)

Of course Cook will receive plaudits for his excellent form again today, but mention must be made of some of the dross which is being served up. Ashwin dips down a rank wide one and the England captain dispatches it through cover point for four. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

38th over: England 110-0 (Cook 74, Compton 36)

Compton leans across his pads and clips the ball square for four more. I don't want to gush, but England are filling their boots here at the moment, India need to find a creative spark from somewhere. Maybe they're waiting on an England mistake Doesn't look forthcoming at the moment.

39th over: England 113-0 (Cook 77, Compton 36)

Final few overs before tea now. England must be eyeing the break. They will be delighted to reach it without losing a wicket. India keeping everything crossed that they can.

40th over: England 116-0 (Cook 79, Compton 37)

England nurdle three more singles from Ojha who has looked pretty toothless in his eight overs thus far. And he's going at a shy under four an over.

41st over: England 116-0 (Cook 79, Compton 37)

Ashwin continues, a series of dot balls. That's a maiden.

42nd over: England 116-0 (Cook 81, Compton 40)

Four more from that over as England reach the break without loss. Sterling effort in that afternoon session from the tourists.

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth in Kolkata writes: That was another sparkling session for England – and a miserable one for India. Cheteshwar Pujara dropped Alastair Cook at first slip on 17, their spinners lacked bite, and the fielding was lethargic. If England reach stumps without major damage, they will be in a decent position to take a scarcely believable 2-1 lead in this four-match series.

Quietly, Cook and Nick Compton have gone about establishing an opening partnership that, despite a few rough edges (mainly Compton’s), seems to work.

Against the odds, Cook has become the aggressor, with Compton content to defend the good balls, chance the occasional quick single to mid-off, and take toll of the free gifts. The six he launched down the ground off Pragyan Ojha was a glorious aberration.

Cook simply looks immovable, and it needed a beauty from Zaheer Khan to induce the error that was spurned by Pujara: the ball shaped to swing in, then held its line before kissing the outside edge. It was the kind of delivery only in-form batsmen tend to nick.

This pair have put on 123, 66, 58* and now 121* since they were parted early on the second evening in Ahmedabad. And if Cook has stolen the headlines, scoring more runs in a series in India than any England captain in history (Ted Dexter, who has been at this game, was the previous record-holder, with 409 runs in 1961-62), Compton has been a more than faithful sidekick.

As for India, some shoddy work in the field betrayed their state of mind. But it's far too early for heads to drop: a couple of quick wickets, and a reversing ball after tea, can bring them back into the game.

TEA: ENGLAND ARE 121-0

43rd over: England 127-0 (Cook 80, Compton 46)

No pressure, but Alastair Cook needs just 20 more runs to become England's most successful batsman ever. Those runs will take him to his 23rd centrury, taking him past the tally of 22 held by Kevin Pietersen, Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Sir Geoffrey Boycott. Compton gets England underway with a rather ugly chop backward of square for four.

44th over: England 131-0 (Cook 81, Compton 49)

India really have been poor in the field today. Two rather shoddy pieces of work turn dicey singles into comfortable strolls. Surely cricket -even in India where the hosts are usually so dominant – has moved on from this part-time-looking attitude.

45th over: England 138-0 (Cook 88, Compton 49)

I'll be honest, we've had a bit of a chat about the impending milestone Alastair Cook could pass if he reaches 100 runs here, and I was worried I could jinx his chances. But with bowling like that, he'll have no trouble becoming the first Englishman to score 23 Test centuries. Man at extra cover could have stopped the ball, I reckon, before it passed him to the boundary. But I think I've covered the quality of India's fielding already.

46th over: England 138-0 (Cook 88, Compton 49)

Ashwin continues – with very little reward. That's a series of six dots – a maiden in old money.

47th over: England 144-0 (Cook 92, Compton 50)

Are they signs of frustration creeping in there from Ishant Sharma The paceman dips one in well short, Compton has to take evasive action and there follows some staring action from the pair. There follows two singles which bring up Compton's half-century. You can't see me, but I'm clapping in admiration. A huge milestone in any player's career. Cook chips in with a dashing drive which finds a the edge and races to vacant third man.

48th over: England 146-0 (Cook 93, Compton 51)

England into the 48th over, still without loss and trail India by 170 runs with all their wickets intact. They won't find parity today, but could be within 50 runs of the hosts' total by the close of play. Two singles dabbed either side of the wicket.

49th over: England 146-0 (Cook 93, Compton 51)

There's a Mexico Wave wending its way round the stadium at the moment. It seem the locals are entertaining themselves seeing as their players are declining to offer any support. I'd ban the bloody things if I could. Mexican Waves, that is. Not locals. Maiden over.

50th over: England 148-0 (Cook 94, Compton 52)

I am getting ahead of myself here, but, for the record, England's highest first wicket stand against India was the 225 scored by Messrs Gooch and Atherton at Headingley in 1990.

51st over: England 152-0 (Cook 98, Compton 52)

Shot! Cook goes on the sweep, finds the rope in front of square to take him to two runs shy of that tantalising 23rd Test century for England.

Man of the moment: Cook has become England's most successful batsman ever

Man of the moment: Cook has become England's most successful batsman ever

52nd over: England 156-0 (Cook 101, Compton 53)

There it is, he's done it! Alastair Cook dabs the two runs he needs to become England's most successful Test batsman, with his 23rd century. Plaudits will rightly rain down on Ice Man. He's on some run at the moment.

WICKET! Nick Compton lbw b Ojha 57

The attempted paddle/sweep, but misses the ball which hits his back leg. That looks plumb.

53rd over: England 165-1 (Cook 106)

Big moment for India , they've been desperate for the breakthrough. The crowd have really come alive now, too.

54th over: England 176-1 (Cook 117, Trott 0)

Zaheer Khan returns to the fray… can he shake up the England pair with a new man in Nope. Cook pulls one just behind square for four and another boundary come via backward point.

55th over: England 181-1 (Cook 118, Trott 4)

So, the ever dependable Trott is in. But he's in dire need of some runs. His scores thus far in this series are 0, 17, 0. Not good enough. But he makes a decent start here, with a flick round the corner for four runs.

56th over: England 187-1 (Cook 124, Trott 4)

The wicket has really endowed the Indian players and crowd with renewed energies. Ishant Sharma has just performed an athletic slid e to save a certain four and the crowd scream their agreement as Ojha asks for an lbw decision against Cook. No dice, well outside the line. There follows a stunning cover drive from the England captain. A real beauty. And that takes us up to drinks.

57th over: England 187-1 (Cook 124, Trott 4)

Here we go then, final hour of the day – or 17 overs. Should squeeze them all in with the spinners in play. If England end the day with just the one in the wickets column they will be mighty pleased. The trick will be to bat all day tomorrow, build a lead of 200-odd and go from there. Granted, that is a best-case scenario, India are formidable on home soil, surely they can't remain as docile as this for much longer. Ojha continues with a maiden.

58th over: England 191-1 (Cook 128, Trott 4)

Cook eyes the ball as it races to the fence via mid-on. He holds his pose, just long enough to let Ashwin know who's in charge. The local producers also show us Trott's three dismissals in this tour. All have come on turning pitches. This is not one of those.

59th over: England 191-1 (Cook 128, Trott 4)

Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. That's a maiden.

60th over: England 194-1 (Cook 130, Trott 5)

With spinners on at both ends we might actually end up bowling more than the allotted 90 today. A rare scenario and one which will please Bumble immensely. Trott dabs one and Cook dabs a couple of singles.

61st over: England 194-1 (Cook 131, Trott 9)

Zoooom! Ojha rips through his over at lightning speed, Trott scores what now seems like the obligatory boundary – through midwicket – for England.

62nd over: England 201-1 (Cook 132, Trott 10)

Cook dabs a single to mid-on which brings the England supporters to their feet as England reach the 200 mark. In all honesty, it has been something of a cake walk.

63rd over: England 205-1 (Cook 132, Trott 14)

England
are still behind by 111 runs, but India already look deflated. It is
like they are being forced to watch and swallow England's lesson in how
to play the conditions in their own back yard. They're probably keen to
get back into the dressing room to regroup and think about the plan of
attack for tomorrow. Trott bangs one through midwicket which zip to the
fence in a flash. Four!

64th over: England 207-1 (Cook 133, Trott 15)

Another
couple of singles and we have nine overs left today. India desperate to
make a breakthrough before the close of play. They need it to give them
some impetus for tomorrow.

Able assistant: Trott is hoping to improve on his poor record in the series

Able assistant: Trott is hoping to improve on his poor record in the series

65th over: England 208-1 (Cook 133, Trott 16)

Trott dabs a single via midwicket. Shot playing is being reined in now as the England pair have their sights firmly set on the close of play.

66th over: England 209-1 (Cook 133, Trott 17)

The life's gone out of this one. Is it worth shaking hands on the day now England aren't playing any shots, India's body language suggests they've had enough for the day.

67th over: England 209-1 (Cook 133, Trott 17)

Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. That's a maiden.

68th over: England 209-1 (Cook 133, Trott 17)

You can read more on Alastair Cook's batting heroics today right here. As for the action out in the middle Well, erm, there isn't any, really. Maiden.

69th over: England 210-1 (Cook 133, Trott 18)

Trott pushes to midwicket and England snaffle a single. Sends my heart a-flutter, been a while since England scored four overs left in the day.

70th over: England 212-1 (Cook 134, Trott 19)

Another couple of singles added to the tally in the fag end of what has been a thoroughly successful day for England. The defeat in Ahmedabad seems like a lifetime ago just now.

71st over: England 214-1 (Cook 135, Trott 20)

Final throw of the dice today for MS Dhoni who asks Zaheer Khan to come back in and tried to 'do a Jimmy'. And by that, I mean take a late wicket in the dregs of the day, not the rhyming slang Jimmy Riddle (you can work it out for yourself). Nowt doing, though, three singles from the over.

72nd over: England 214-1 (Cook 135, Trott 20)

The penultimate over of the day starts after a lengthy break for the England pair to take on some fluids. Trott blocks/shoulder arms the life out of the over from Ishant Sharma. Maiden.

73rd over: England 216-1 (Cook 136, Trott 22)

Cook dabs a single to mid-off, Trott angles one to third man and that – my good friends – is stumps.

STUMPS: England are 216-1

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 v England: Monty Panesar and James Anderson turn the screw in third Test at Eden Gardens

Anderson and Panesar turn the screw on India as only Sachin knock stands between England and paradise at Eden Gardens

|

UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 5 December 2012

Even India's back-to-form greatest batsman Sachin Tendulkar was unable to stop England grinding out an advantageous position on day one of the third Test at Eden Gardens.

Veteran Tendulkar (76) remains without a Test century in his last 29 innings dating back to early 2011 – but he and opener Gautam Gambhir (60) did manage to salvage a stumps total of 273 for seven.

On a pitch already offering some uneven bounce to the spinners, and some carry and swing for the seamers with the new and old ball, England could easily have been more significantly-rewarded for their disciplined and determined efforts.

James Anderson (three for 68) thought he had Yuvraj Singh lbw for nought, but could not convince umpire Rod Tucker ball had hit pad in line, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni was within inches of holing out at midwicket off Graeme Swann first ball.

Instead, Nos 6 and 7 each went on to frustrate England – the former in a stand of 79 with Tendulkar – in this pivotal match of a four-Test series level at 1-1.

The signs were ominous for England after Alastair Cook lost his third successive toss of the series at a ground where India have declared with more than 600 on the board in the first innings of their last three Tests.

Cook's opposite number Dhoni had predicted a modicum of help for the pace bowlers in the first hour, and so it proved for Anderson and Steven Finn.

Rearguard: Sachin Tendulkar was not at his best but still hit 76 in Kolkata

Rearguard: Sachin Tendulkar was not at his best but still hit 76 in Kolkata

It came to nothing, though, as Gambhir and Virender Sehwag approached a 50 stand – until their running between the wickets failed them.

Sehwag clipped the first ball of the 11th over to midwicket. But Samit Patel saved the boundary with a diving stop, and Finn's race from mid-on in support paid off handsomely when he threw in over the stumps to comfortably run out Sehwag after he was sent back for a third.

It was hardly the way England might have envisaged taking the first wicket, but proved the value of all their attention to detail and painstaking training.

Monty Panesar's first success came in more conventional, indeed classical, fashion.

He had worked hard to draw Cheteshwar Pujara forward several times, and then surprised him on the back foot with an arm ball which snaked through the defence to hit middle-stump.

Masterclass: James Anderson took two wickets despite unhelpful conditions

Masterclass: James Anderson took two wickets despite unhelpful conditions

Gambhir, joined by Tendulkar to the obligatory raucous crowd reception at this cavernous stadium, appeared unperturbed by a failure from India's prolific new No 3.

The left-handed opener had hit 10 fours and duly completed his 81-ball half-century with a scampered single before lunch.

But he was first to go in the afternoon, laying back to cut after losing the strike against Panesar and edging a sharp chance to slip which Jonathan Trott just about clung on to.

Tendulkar scratched his way to his first 20, regularly playing and missing at Finn and then Anderson as Cook operated the two seamers in tandem with Panesar.

Finn's fine spell was in vain, but Anderson got a deserved breakthrough when Virat Kohli edged low to Swann at second slip.

Swann had bowled only three overs at that stage, but was called into the attack to give Panesar a rest after 21 unchanged.

Jump for joy: Monty Panesar dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Gautam Gambhir

Jump for joy: Monty Panesar dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Gautam Gambhir

Yuvraj began tentatively, but two driven fours off Swann gave him confidence – and after tea, he immediately went up the wicket to Panesar and struck him for a straight six.

England were toiling by the time Yuvraj lost concentration and poked a catch to cover off Swann, and it might have been two in two next ball when Dhoni's attempt to dominate from the outset brought only a thick inside-edge just short of Patel at midwicket.

Tendulkar began to live up to his billing, increasingly fluent in a 155-ball innings which contained 13 fours but ended in anti-climax – and no 101st international hundred – when he followed some Anderson outswing and was well-caught behind by Matt Prior, diving low to his right.

England then had an obvious chance to run out Ravichandran Ashwin for just a single, he and Dhoni contriving another India mix-up only for Finn to fumble at mid-on when another accurate return to the striker's end would have done the trick.

Anderson, however, ensured it was unarguably England's day when he broke another handy stand by getting through Ashwin's defences with the new ball in the penultimate over.

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.