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England beat India in second Twenty20 – Eoin Morgan scores six off last delivery

Final-ball drama in India as Morgan hammers maximum to hand England Twenty20 victory

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 22 December 2012

Eoin Morgan hit the last ball for a straight six as England pulled off their highest Twenty20 run chase to conclude their 2012 schedule with a thrilling six-wicket victory over India.

It seemed Morgan (49no) had left it too late, with three still needed to win off the final ball from Ashok Dinda.

But the Irishman kept his cool, even after Dinda controversially pulled out of the delivery first time round with Morgan crouched in his stance.

Match winner: Morgan hit six off the final delivery to bring England level in the Twenty20 series

Match winner: Morgan hit six off the final delivery to bring England level in the Twenty20 series

An apparent rethink then worked a treat for England as Morgan stood his ground to strike a perfect blow straight back over the seamer's head to tie the two-match series.

England had earlier struggled to contain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina's late onslaught and appeared to be up against it to better 177 for eight at the Wankhede Stadium.

But on a good batting surface, and with a heavy dew making life difficult for India after Morgan had won an important toss, Michael Lumb (50) and then the captain himself scrambled England home.

Even another three economical wickets from Yuvraj Singh could not quite tip the balance India's way this time.

Lumb shared an opening stand of 80 with Alex Hales – and then after Yuvraj had done his worst, Morgan finished the job in company with Jos Buttler.

Lumb counted four from the very first ball of England's chase, thanks to a hapless Parvinder Awana misfield as he lost his footing at third-man.

The same fielder, at deep square-leg, then let the greasy ball slip out of his hands as he dropped Hales when he had just seven.

Lumb also had some minor early fortune, mishooking Awana three times in his first over – for a six, a four and a two.

There were plenty more authentic shots in his 30-ball half-century, including a second six over an unguarded long-on during the powerplay off Ravichandran Ashwin.

As in the first match in Pune, the introduction of Yuvraj's left-arm spin was soon significant.

First, Lumb went walkabout and was stumped down the leg-side to end an opening stand of 80 in the ninth over; then Luke Wright got in a tangle and was hit in front, and finally Hales picked out deep square-leg with a sweep.

In the wickets: Dernbach took two key scalps

In the wickets: Dernbach took two key scalps

Yuvraj had taken three for 18 two days ago, and this time he improved his career-best with another three for one run fewer.

Samit Patel holed out in the chase off Dinda, but Morgan and Buttler got the target down to nine off the last over and got home right at the wire.

Wright's first over and Stuart Meaker's last earlier both cost 20 runs, and England had no answer during a 60-run sixth-wicket partnership in just 27 balls between Dhoni and Raina.

Jade Dernbach had struck in only the second over when Ajinkya Rahane carved a catch down to debutant Joe Root at third-man. But first-change Meaker began poorly, with five wides somehow hurled almost straight to fine-leg before he was pulled for four twice.

Hitting out: Dhoni was joint top scorer for India with 38 runs

Hitting out: Dhoni was joint top scorer for India with 38 runs

England's outcricket took another turn for the worse when Wright overstepped for a big no-ball, and saw the free-hit slapped wide of mid-on by Virat Kohli for another boundary.

The upshot was a 50 stand for the second wicket in only 25 balls. Meaker redeemed himself with the wicket of Kohli, for the second match running, lbw pushing across the line to a ball which might have beaten leg-stump.

Wright switched ends to make amends too, with another big wicket when Yuvraj pulled to long-on to give Root some more catching practice.

Opener Gautam Gambhir was cast in the sheet-anchor role, but appeared to be taking the brief to extremes – and it was not clear to whose advantage it was when he mis-pulled Wright to be caught at a fine third-man for 17 off 27 balls.

Rohit Sharma missed a slog-sweep at
James Tredwell and was bowled but Raina was dropped on nine, a tough
chance to diving wicketkeeper Buttler off Tim Bresnan.

Then
just when it seemed England might be about to restrict India, the
left-hander went into overdrive in Meaker's last over – and Dhoni's
canny placement and power proved telling too.

England, however, had done just enough in the middle overs to give their batsmen the chance they needed.

Picture dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the Twenty 20 match in Mumbai 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.

India v England: Jonathan Trott wondered if breakthrough would come in Nagpur

Trott: Kohli and Dhoni put on a great show, but we stuck to our guns and the pressure told in the end

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UPDATED:

15:05 GMT, 15 December 2012

England began to worry they might take no wickets at all on day three in Nagpur today – before four came along in the last hour to make it 'neck and neck' again in the final Test.

Alastair Cook's tourists drew a blank while Virat Kohli (103) and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (99) relentlessly compiled a fifth-wicket stand of 198.

Once the centurion went lbw to Graeme Swann, though, England seized their chance to redress the balance as day three ended with honours close to even.

Focus: Jonathan Trott praised the bowlers for their perseverance

Focus: Jonathan Trott praised the bowlers for their perseverance

Only the implications of a series score already 2-1 to England means the state of play – India 297 for eight in reply to 330 all out – favours Cook and Co, who need only a draw here to stay in front and wrap up the four-match contest.

They retained that consolation throughout a taxing day. But as Jonathan Trott confirmed, during the 84 overs it took to part Kohli and Dhoni, England did at times wonder if the breakthrough would ever come.

'It's a credit to the guys for sticking
it out for five hours, not getting a wicket, and then coming back into
the game and evening it out'

– Jonathan Trott

Asked whether that thought entered their minds, Trott said: 'Of course. They were playing really well … but then Graeme bowled a great ball to Virat Kohli, and it can change the day like that.'

Trott, among the frontline batsmen England will be hoping can keep India at bay in return, congratulated Kohli and Dhoni on their efforts – and his own team on theirs.

'They played unbelievably well for five hours, and credit to them for that,” he said.

'But we stuck to our guns, kept the pressure on them and eventually we got a breakthrough and were able to push on.

'You've just got to trust yourself and your team-mates that when you get the chance you're able to take it – which happened.

'Five hours without a wicket, then four wickets in an hour – that's what can happen, a fantastic advertisement for the game.'

Top partnership: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli were in sensational form

Top partnership: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli were in sensational form

Trott is taking nothing for granted, but senses Cook's direct-hit run-out of Dhoni might yet tilt the series England's way once and for all.

It was reminiscent of the moment Andrew Flintoff ran out Ricky Ponting as the 2009 Ashes were clinched at The Oval – a fact not lost on Trott, on debut then and a mainstay of England success since.

'It changes things massively, obviously,' he said.

'It's a credit to the guys for sticking it out for five hours, not getting a wicket, and then coming back into the game and evening it out.

'It's pretty neck and neck. It's thanks to the bowlers – and then to get a chance like Alastair did, and to be able to take it, is a game-changer and maybe a series-changer.'

Trott also references Ian Bell's direct-hit run-out to kickstart India's collapse at Eden Gardens last week in England's seven-wicket win there.

Of Dhoni's dismissal, trying to scamper his 100th run, he said: 'It was tight, but he is very quick between the wickets.

'So that makes that bit of fielding by Alastair even better, especially having to go to his left and hit the stumps with his momentum going the other way.

'It's a bit like Fred's run-out in 2009, maybe the catalyst for changing the game.

'We got a run-out like that in Kolkata as well, so we hope it can help to maybe win us this game.'

England do not need to do that, of course, to complete a historic series victory – and they could have had no better demonstration of what is required to make the match safe than the one provided by Kohli and Dhoni, who joined forces yesterday on a perilous 71 for four.

'We saw how they batted today, for two sessions, and didn't lose a wicket,' said Trott.

'Their basics were really good, methodic, and their gameplan worked out. It's a case of us being able to go out there and do that as well.'

The key for England's batsmen will be to get in, and then stay patient.

'It can be quite tricky to get started,' he continued. 'It's not as if it's completely flat, and you can come in and be guaranteed runs.

'Nothing is guaranteed. We're going to have to apply ourselves, but the example of the “Dhoni and Kohli Show” is that it is certainly very battable out there.'

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.

Do MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and India still have hunger for Tests? – Nasser Hussain

Do Dhoni, Gambhir, Sachin and India legends still have Test hunger

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 9 December 2012

India have big questions to answer in the aftermath of the Kolkata Test and the biggest surrounds the attitude of their near god-like top names.

When the likes of MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and the rest went back to their hotel rooms after that defeat in the third Test, how much were they hurting How much hunger for the long-haul form of the game — with its mental and physical demands — have these multi-millionaire players still got

Are they thinking, deep down, ‘Never mind’, and prioritising instead the fun, glamour and huge financial rewards that come from the Indian Premier League

Plenty to ponder: MS Dhoni

Hungry for more Gautam Gambhir

Plenty to ponder: India captain MS Dhoni (left) and Gautam Gambhir (right)

That is the crux of the issue now for India. The last thing their cricket needs, really, is a win in Nagpur and a share of this series because all that would do is paper over the cracks. They would believe everything is OK.

India left Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh out of their squad for the final Test but it is attitudes as much as personnel that need to change. India will always have some good young players but what kind of cricket will they want to play Will they still dedicate themselves to Test cricket or will they look to that lucrative six-week world of IPL Twenty20 instead

We had the sight, just before England completed their famous victory, of India’s chief selector, Sandeep Patil, being caught on TV having what looked like an animated conversation with their coach Duncan Fletcher.

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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

They could have been talking about what they were going to have for lunch for all we know, but it didn’t look like that. It looked like pretty serious stuff, with some finger-jabbing going on from Patil. And Fletcher would have hated that.

When I worked with Duncan for England he hated anything like that being done in public. He even hated us talking team business in the dressing room because he felt any player watching us might think we were talking about them. He liked to conduct his business in private.

Fletcher has a very different job now. When he was England coach he could take people on for the good of the team. He would incur the wrath of many a county chairman because he knew what was best for England and he wasn’t afraid to upset people along the way. And he turned English cricket around with the help of central contracts and the sort of support for the England team that poor David Lloyd could only dream about when he was coach.

Can Fletcher do that now Perhaps if India lose this series 3-1 the public will realise that there needs to be a shake-up and support Duncan’s attempts to do that, for what is happening in Indian cricket is not Fletcher’s fault. Remember, they have lost two great players in Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, while the greatest of them all, Sachin Tendulkar, is not what he was.

Fletcher will want to look into the eyes of Dhoni, Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and even Tendulkar to see how much hunger they have.

The day that hunger goes is the day they will have to step down and Fletcher will know what needs to be done. It is whether he will be allowed to do it and whether the players take responsibility for what has happened that will be key.

The turnaround in this series has been incredible. For England to have lost three tosses and to have been defeated in the first Test so heavily but to be 2-1 up with one to play is little short of phenomenal.

When they were 2-1 up in the last Ashes series they went to Sydney and produced their best performance and that is what they want to do now.

There have been echoes in this series of how they came back in Australia after a slightly shaky start in Brisbane and England will not want to share the series.

If they complete the job in Nagpur it will be right up there with the Ashes.

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 third Test – Top Spin at the Test

Top Spin at the Test: Skipper makes it a gang of four after bizarre run out

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 7 December 2012

Alastair Cook’s bizarre dismissal, when he failed to ground his bat while trying to avoid being hit by a throw from Virat Kohli, at least allowed him access to an exclusive club.

Only three other Test batsmen have been run out in the 190s: Australia’s Arthur Morris made 196 in Don Bradman’s final Test, at The Oval in 1948. Garry Sobers fell for 198 at Kanpur in 1957-58.

And, most agonisingly, Pakistan’s Younis Khan was run out for 199 by a direct hit from India’s Harbhajan Singh at Lahore in 2005-06.

In good company: Sobers (pictured) was also run out in the 190s

In good company: Sobers (pictured) was also run out in the 190s

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.

…but one record eluded him

Astonishingly, this was the first time Cook has been run out in his entire first-class career – and it took him until his 312th innings.

It meant he fell short of a record belonging to England selector James Whitaker, who has been in Kolkata for this Test.

Whitaker was not run out until his 393rd first-class innings. And it proved to be the only run-out of a career which ultimately extended to 497 innings.

More records ahead for Cook

The demise of the England captain meant he has now scored 547 runs in five innings in this series in more than 26 hours at the crease.

But he has a potential three more knocks in which to break yet another record: the most number of runs by an England batsman in a series in India.

Ahead of him stand Ken Barrington, who made 594 in 1961-62 and Mike Gatting, with 575 in 1984-85. But both men were playing in five-Test series.

Long handle: Gatting on his way to a double century in Madras in January 1985

Long handle: Gatting on his way to a double century in Madras in January 1985

Welcome relief for Ashwin

No wonder Ravichandran Ashwin let out a roar of relief when he removed Kevin Pietersen lbw for a lively 54: it was the Indian off-spinner’s first wicket of the innings after conceding 150 runs.

The demise of Ashwin in this series has been central to the plot after he took three wickets in England’s first innings at Ahmedabad. But his record since then has been dreadful: by stumps on day three in Kolkata, he had managed a further four wickets at 115 apiece.

Bell's barren spell goes on

It wasn't a great day for Ian Bell either, returning to the side after missing the second Test in Mumbai to spend time with his new baby son.

Bell wafted carelessly at Ishant Sharma in the second over after tea to depart for just five, and extend a mediocre record in India that now reads 207 runs at an average of just 17.

Overall, Bell averages 45 – but he is yet to make an impression in this part of the world.

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

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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.

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

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

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 27 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India v England: Cheteshwar Pujara denies Monty Panesar on day one of second Test in Mumbai

Pujara denies Monty a Bollywood ending… but Panesar is in desperate need of help from rest of England's attack

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 23 November 2012

India v England: second Test, day one

Monty Panesar

Monty Panesar marked his Test return with four wickets but could find no way past Cheteshwar Pujara as the tireless India number three once again confounded England.

Click here to read the full report.

How do you solve a problem like Pujara If the question is an obvious one, the answer remains elusive. And that elusiveness could well cost England this series.

For about two-thirds of today’s play in Mumbai, the story belonged to Monty Panesar. Mistakenly overlooked for the first Test, he was bowling with his old verve and accuracy, and when he removed MS Dhoni in the second over after tea to leave India 169 for 6, Panesar had four of India’s wickets.

Impenetrable defence: Cheteshwar Pujara

Impenetrable defence: Cheteshwar Pujara

But Cheteshwar Pujara had 77 of those runs, which – as we learned at Ahmedabad – is the kind of score he regards merely as a basis for negotiation. And while he was still there, on a Wankhede pitch already offering the spinners assistance, India refused to panic.

/11/23/article-2237321-142802FF000005DC-478_468x311.jpg” width=”468″ height=”311″ alt=”Tough day: Graeme Swann could only take the wicket of Yuvraj on day one” class=”blkBorder” />

Tough day: Graeme Swann could only take the wicket of Yuvraj on day one

Yet where was Panesar’s support Graeme Swann cleaned up Yuvraj Singh with his first ball to him, but otherwise offered little more than thrift. Jimmy Anderson went wicketless after curling the second ball of the day into Gautam Gambhir’s pads. And Stuart Broad looked, well, mundane.

Of course, England are not out of this, so long as they conjure up the spirit of their second innings at Ahmedabad rather than their first. But India have chosen to bat first in 13 Tests here and lost only two, one of them when Ian Botham produced one of his tours de force in the Golden Jubilee Test in 1979-80.

Anything less than a first-innings lead of approaching three figures will probably leave England with too much to do. Stuff it up tomorrow, and the dream of a first series win in India for nearly three decades will evaporate into the Mumbai evening air.

Yuvraj Singh in India squad to face England

Yuvraj included in India squad to face England as comeback from cancer continues

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UPDATED:

10:15 GMT, 5 November 2012

Yuvraj Singh is on course for a possible Test comeback for India against England after being included in a 15-man squad.

Yuvraj continued his return, after recovering from lung cancer, when he made a half-century and took five wickets against the tourists for India A in Mumbai last week.

His was the most notable inclusion in a squad also containing Harbhajan Singh as a third frontline spin option for the first two Tests – in Ahmedabad on November 15 and then Mumbai on November 23.

Called up: Yuvraj Singh is in India's squad to face England

Called up: Yuvraj Singh is in India's squad to face England

India squad

MS Dhoni
(captain), V Sehwag, G Gambhir, S Tendulkar, V Kohli, Y Singh, C Pujara,
R Ashwin, U Yadav, P Ojha, A Rahane, H Singh, I Sharma, M Vijay, Z
Khan.

Yuvraj, 30, last played a Test almost exactly a year ago – against West Indies in Kolkata – but returned to international cricket in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and last month made a first-class double-century.

He looks favourite to replace Suresh Raina, dropped after two failures in the recent series against New Zealand. Ajinkya Rahane, more suited to a place in the top three, and Murali Vijay are the other options if India opt for another specialist batsman as a direct replacement for Raina.

Off-spinner Harbhajan has not played a Test since August last year, at Nottingham during England's 4-0 whitewash of India to go to the top of the world rankings.

Return: Harbhajan Singh is also in the squad for the opening Tests

Return: Harbhajan Singh is also in the squad for the opening Tests

The 32-year-old may have to bide his time, however, with Ravichandran Ashwin and slow left-armer Pragyan Ojha the men in possession of India's spin-bowling berths.

The great Sachin Tendulkar is also in the squad which will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and contains opener Virender Sehwag and seamer Zaheer Khan – despite their respective recent injury scares and indifferent form.

Samit Patel scores hundred in Mumbai warm-up

Patel stakes strong claim for No 6 spot with century in Mumbai warm-up

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UPDATED:

08:23 GMT, 1 November 2012

Samit Patel cemented his claims to a Test return by completing his maiden England century against India A at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday morning.

As this first tour match moved towards a near inevitable draw by lunch on the final day, England's priorities were exclusively to ensure best preparation for the four-match Test series ahead.

They have two more opportunities to do so, here in Mumbai in another three-day fixture and then in Ahmedabad against Haryana before the first Test starts there on November 15.

Fine knock: Patel scored a century on day three of the warm-up match in Mumbai

Fine knock: Patel scored a century on day three of the warm-up match in Mumbai

SCORECARD

Click here for a full scorecard from Mumbai

Patel (104) for one will move forward with confidence and hopes high, as will Yuvraj Singh – who took his wicket tally to four, after snaring his old adversary Kevin Pietersen on Wednesday, as England reached 396 for eight in reply to 369 all out.

Yuvraj, continuing his comeback to the world game after his recovery from lung cancer, added the wickets of Matt Prior (51) and then Patel himself on the way to figures of four wickets for 74 runs.

Staking a claim: Patel is now the favourite for the No 6 spot in the Test side

Staking a claim: Patel is now the favourite for the No 6 spot in the Test side

Staking a claim: Patel is now the favourite for the No 6 spot in the Test side

Cameo: Prior was at his swashbuckling best

Cameo: Prior was at his swashbuckling best

Much was made of the home selectors' decision to pick no specialist spinner for this match, thus depriving England of the opportunity to attune themselves to the challenge which will await them courtesy of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the Tests.

But part-timers Yuvraj and Suresh Raina – both better-known as batsmen – nonetheless shared England wickets in an innings underpinned by a stand of 169 between captain Alastair Cook (119) and Patel.

That fifth-wicket partnership finally ended on Thursday morning when the captain succumbed at last, caught behind pushing forward at Ashok Dinda.

Cook batted for almost six-and-a-half hours, faced 269 balls and hit 14 fours.

There were the same number of boundaries in Patel's century, from 161 deliveries, a career milestone acknowledged by an understated raise of the bat in the direction of his team-mates.

Patel was by then joined by a typically fluent Prior, who produced a series of trademark cuts on his way to a run-a-ball half-century before edging an attempted drive at Yuvraj to Raina at slip.

Patel fell in the same over, nowhere near the pitch but going through with an attempted drive nonetheless and simply chipping a catch to cover.

Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann therefore had a handy chance for some batting practice, until the latter was yorked by R Vinay Kumar.

Blackburn 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Blackburn 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0: Hanley earns Black first win in charge

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 24 October 2012

Eric Black celebrated his first win as caretaker boss but it may be his last as Blackburn close in on a new manager.

The club confirmed that interviews will begin before the end of the week, and global advisor Shebby Singh is understood to have lined up a big name with an extensive Premier League track record after fans threatened to rebel if he continued his pursuit of inexperienced former Blackburn players like Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay.

'We understand that many fans are feeling frustrated,' said Singh. 'But we said from the outset that we would not be rushed into an appointment. This is too big a decision for that. All we ask for is a little patience.'

Winner: Grant Hanley scores Blackburn's goal against Sheffield Wednesday

Winner: Grant Hanley scores Blackburn's goal against Sheffield Wednesday

Match facts

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson (Pedersen 74), Lowe, Dunn (Rochina 34), Etuhu, Grant Hanley, Rhodes,
Kazim-Richards (Murphy 83).

Subs Not Used: Kean, Formica, Nuno Gomes, Rosado.

Booked: Lowe, Kazim-Richards.

Goal: Grant Hanley 5.

Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Jones (O'Grady 89),
Antonio, Semedo, Barkley, Corry (Rodri 76), Jermaine Johnson, Madine.

Subs Not Used: Davies, Maguire, Mattock, Pecnik, Mayor.

Booked: Llera.

Att: 13,782

Ref: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands).

Black had urged owners Venky’s to install the new man as soon as possible after overseeing a disappointing run of three draws and a defeat since Steve Kean quit last month.

But at least Black had something to smile about on Wednesday night after an early goal from unlikely scorer Grant Hanley lifted Blackburn back into the top-six.

Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, returning to action five days after he was attacked in the Yorkshire derby against Leeds, was beaten in the fifth minute when David Dunn swept past Ross Barkley on the left and pulled the ball back for central defender Hanley to stab home from close-range.

Ruben Rochina impressed after coming on as a first-half substitute for Dunn and was twice denied by five saves from Kirkland, while Morten Gamst Pedersen saw a deflected free-kick cleared off the line by Miguel Llera late on.

Happy days: Blackburn celebrate scoring against Wednesday

Happy days: Blackburn celebrate scoring against Wednesday

Wednesday, who are now without a win in 10 games, forced Blackburn to defend for long periods without troubling Paul Robinson nearly enough and should have equalised in the first half when Michail Antonio raced clear on goal only to skew his effort wide of the far post under pressure from Scott Dann.

Lewis Buxton and Jermaine Johnson also went close but defeat left Dave Jones’s side in the bottom three.

‘We fell asleep for the first 10 minutes but apart from that I thought we absolutely pulverised them,’ Jones said. ‘We did everything but put the ball in the net.’

Black admitted that his side looked nervous, saying: ‘We have to resolve this feeling of anxiety which invites pressure, but hopefully this will make a difference.’

Meanwhile, Blackburn are close to signing Stoke striker Cameron Jerome on loan after he became surplus to requirements following the arrival of Michael Owen.