Tag Archives: virender

Alastair Cook is just shy of Ken Barrington"s 50 year old record

Top spin at the Test: Captain Cook just shy of 50 year record

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UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 16 December 2012

Cook falls just short

Alastair Cook’s second iffy dismissal
of the Test — given out caught behind off Ashwin when replays showed he
didn’t hit it — meant he finished the series with 562 runs at an
average of 80. He didn’t beat Ken Barrington’s England record for most
runs in a series in India: 594 in 1961-62 (from five Tests to Cook’s
four). But Cook has now scored more Test runs in India in his career
than any other Englishman: 866, beating Mike Gatting’s 862.

Close: The iffy dismissal of Alastair Cook meant the England captain was just out of reach of Ken Barrington's record of must runs in a series against India

Close: The iffy dismissal of Alastair Cook meant the England captain was just out of reach of Ken Barrington's record of must runs in a series against India

One giant leap for Mankad

Ravi
Ashwin said he wouldn't ‘Mankad’ Jonathan Trott if he backed up too far
— a practice immortalised by India’s Vinoo Mankad when he ran out
Australia’s Bill Brown at Sydney in 1947-48. But India’s off-spinner has
previous. In a one-dayer against Sri Lanka at Brisbane in March, Ashwin
ran out Lahiru Thirimanne at the non-striker’s end — but only after
warning him about leaving his crease. It needed Sachin Tendulkar to
persuade then captain Virender Sehwag to withdraw the appeal.

Who bats at the top

What batting line-up will England plump for when they play three Tests in New Zealand in March The performance of Joe Root in the first innings suggested it can’t be long before he is asked to assume the role he fills at Yorkshire at the top of the order. But Nick Compton finished with a creditable 208 runs in the series at an average of nearly 35 — and must now hope for another chance to impress against the Kiwis.

Duel: Nick Compton (left) faces a battle with Joe Root for a spot at the top of the England order

Duel: Nick Compton (left) faces a battle with Joe Root for a spot at the top of the England order

History is against India

India will have to make history of their own if they are to win this Test today and square the series at 2-2. Discounting the 1999-2000 Test at Centurion between South Africa and England (later found to have been fixed by Hansie Cronje), only two teams have ever won a Test after declaring behind on their first innings, as MS Dhoni did here. Both games took place at Bridgetown, and on both occasions West Indies lost — to England in 1934-35, and Australia earlier this year.

Slow play stuns Anderson

India’s tactics in the first hour of play seemed designed to help England in their quest to limit the time they needed to bat in their second innings. In 12.5 overs, the Indians added only 29 runs for the loss of No 10 Pragyan Ojha, before Dhoni’s bold declaration. ‘We were a little bit surprised,’ admitted Jimmy Anderson. ‘We certainly thought Ashwin would come out and be more aggressive than he was. It took time out of the game, which was fine for us.’

Pleased: James Anderson (pictured) was pleasantly surprised by the slow over rate employed by India

Pleased: James Anderson (pictured) was pleasantly surprised by the slow over rate employed by India

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.

Jimmy Anderson puts England in control against India on Day Two of fourth Test

Anderson's three wickets put England on top as Root shines on his debut

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 14 December 2012

Jimmy Anderson put England in control of the fourth Test with three wickets as India struggled on the second day in Nagpur.

England were eventually all out for 330 with debutant Joe Root scoring 73 and Graeme Swann chipping in with an important 56.

But then it was over to Anderson who took the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag but then most importantly that of the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar for just two.

It is the ninth time that Anderson has taken the wicket of Tendulkar and it left the hosts struggling at the close of play on 87-4, 243 runs behind.

More to follow…

Main man: James Anderson celebrates dismissing Sachin Tendulkar (file picture)

Main man: James Anderson celebrates dismissing Sachin Tendulkar (file picture)

In good nick: Joe Root scored 73 in his first international innings

In good nick: Joe Root scored 73 in his first international innings

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.

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.

India beat England by nine wickets, first Test, Ahmedabad

Cook and Prior heroics not enough as India crush England by nine wickets in first Test

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UPDATED:

07:41 GMT, 19 November 2012

Alastair Cook's heroic resistance ended in empty anti-climax as England lost the first Test to India by nine wickets at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

The chances of a brave rearguard being commuted into a famous stalemate in this first match of four centred on Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) on the final day.

But they could augment their combined defiance by only 16 more runs this morning – and with their stand of 157 broken, England lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out.

Long stand: Cook was in the middle for nine hours, but couldn't save his team from defeat

Long stand: Cook was in the middle for nine hours, but couldn't save his team from defeat

India v England

Click here for full scorecard

India's resulting target of 77 was
then treated with near contempt by Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar
Pujara, whose aggression put paid to any fanciful notion that Graeme
Swann's off-spin might yet make life difficult on a worn pitch.

Sehwag was well caught by Kevin Pietersen on the long-on boundary off Swann, with only 20 more runs required.

But India's unbeaten first-innings
double-centurion Pujara – opening in place of the absent Gautam Gambhir –
made no mistake and took his and Sehwag's shared match aggregate to
almost 400 runs to help finish the contest in only 15.3 overs. Cook and
Prior had given England hope where none previously existed, after
following on 330 runs behind two days ago.

But both were gone in the first hour, as Pragyan Ojha (four for 120) took his match haul to nine wickets.

Easy does it: Sehwag helped knock-off the required runs to secure victory in the first Test

Easy does it: Sehwag helped knock-off the required runs to secure victory in the first Test

India v England – Pictures

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

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

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

The hugely admirable sixth-wicket
stand ended, after exactly four hours, when Prior laid back to hit a
short ball but was undone by a lack of pace and looped a simple catch
back to Ojha.

He had occupied 225 balls and given
Cook much-deserved and lasting support, but still England needed more to
prevent India completing a victory which most thought surely theirs
ever since the tourists were bowled out for just 191 on Saturday
afternoon.

Even Cook could not quite provide it. It was fitting too that it should be Ojha who finally got him.

After almost nine and a half hours,
India found a way past the England captain when he went fatally back to
his 374th ball – which turned and kept low to beat his hurried defence
and bowl him off his pad.

Futile effort: Prior was caught in the 90s

Futile effort: Prior was caught in the 90s

In a spin: Ojha took nine wickets in the match

In a spin: Ojha took nine wickets in the match

Stuart Broad poked back the second caught-and-bowled of the day, also off the back foot, to Umesh Yadav (three for 70).

Tim Bresnan and Swann ensured England were not quite done with yet, keeping India at bay for 35 more minutes.

But there was double and terminal disappointment for the tourists just before lunch.

First, Swann aimed a reverse-sweep at R
Ashwin – who had replaced Ojha – and was bowled middle-stump; then
Bresnan was last out, caught at cover off Zaheer Khan.

Swann's in particular was a
frustrating departure, just as he and Bresnan were beginning to revive
hope of at least setting India a three-figure target.

But the real damage, of course, was
done long ago – in a first innings Prior neatly summed up as a
“shocker”, and by a middle order who in their eight collective attempts
to make the substantial runs for which they were picked could mustered
only 68 between them.

England must come up with some
effective solutions to that problem – and several others, such as the
balance and personnel of their bowling attack – if they are to be
competitive in the second Test, starting in Mumbai on Friday.

LIVE: India v England, day four, first Test, Ahmedabad

LIVE: India v England – the action on day four of the first Test in Ahmedabad

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UPDATED:

09:46 GMT, 18 November 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day four of the first Test between England and India with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds in Ahmedabad while our brilliant team of writers update
with their insights from the ground. Contact me on Twitter via: @Chris_Cutmore or e-mail your thoughts to [email protected]

India v England: Essentials

India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (capt & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Samit Patel, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Tony Hill (New Zealand).

Referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka).

India first innings: 521-8 dec

England first innings: 198

Click here for a full scorecard

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PICTURE DISPUTE:

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations. The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies. MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

LUNCH ON DAY ONE: INDIA 120-0 (Sehwag 79 Gambhir 37)

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

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-2232857/LIVE-India-v-England-day-Test-Ahmedabad.html#ixzz2CSP9h3DH

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LUNCH ON DAY ONE: INDIA 120-0 (Sehwag 79 Gambhir 37)

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

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-2232857/LIVE-India-v-England-day-Test-Ahmedabad.html#ixzz2CSP9h3DH

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109th over: England 302-5 (Cook 158 Prior 58)

100 partnership and 300 up for England. Which begs the question: why couldn't they have done this earlier Top class batting from Cook and Prior, and it continues as the No 7 punishes an Ojha long-hop and pulls for FOUR.

109th over: England 296-5 (Cook 157 Prior 53)

Zaheer comes back into the attack as Dhoni changes things up again. But he is sent to the boundary for FOUR with a nice pull shot to the long leg boundary.

108th over: England 292-5 (Cook 153 Prior 53)

A quick single for Cook as he places a shot from Yuvraj down the leg side and then Prior picks up two with a shot behind square.

107th over: England 289-5 (Cook 152 Prior 51)

Cook retains the strike with a single off the final ball of Khan's over. India may start to get frustrated having not taken a wicket for some time.

106th over: England 288-5 (Cook 151 Prior 51)

And there it is

150 FOR ALASTAIR COOK

Cook off the back foot places a shot through point for two, although today is not really about personal milestones, as good as they are, it is about digging in, and that is what these two are doing at the moment. The extra half an hour is available to India should they feel they can finish England off today, but Cook and Prior will be looking to take the game into a fifth and final day.

105th over: England 285-5 (Cook 148 Prior 51)

Cook edges closer to his next significant landmark with a nice drive through cover-point for FOUR. The England captain really is leading by example.

104th over: England 274-5 (Cook 143 Prior 51)

50 FOR MATT PRIOR

Top knock from England's No 7 – surely the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world. Just what the doctor ordered for England but his work is far from over. His half-century came from 109 balls and contained five fours. It's his 23rd in Test cricket.

103rd over: England 274-5 (Cook 140 Prior 48)

Someone should tell Zaheer that he needs the ball to bowl. The left-armer steams in but somehow drops the ball before his delivery stride to leave Cook nonplussed. Perhaps it's part of a devilish plan, but then maybe not. England's skipper carves another easy single as his marvellous innings continues. His team-mates must look and learn: this is how to bat on the Subcontinent.

102nd over: England 271-5 (Cook 139 Prior 46)

Is that pastry I can smell It must be because it's everyone's favourite pie-chucker, Yuvraj, coming on for a trundle. Sadly KP's already back in the hutch so those two can't resume their rivalry, but this could get tasty. Prior clips through point for two then picks up two more with a mis-hit drive.

101st over: England 266-5 (Cook 139 Prior 41)

We're back, Zaheer with ball in hand, Cook on strike…

… and it's a fine start for Cook as he clips into the leg side for a single. Prior follows suit and cracks away a single of his own on the opposite side of the wicket.

AT TEA ON DAY FOUR ENGLAND TRAIL INDIA BY 66 RUNS WITH FIVE SECOND INNINGS WICKETS IN HAND

Lawrence Booth, Sportsmail's cricket writer and editor of Wisden, reports from Ahmedabad:

Let’s hear it, while this game is still going on, for Alastair Cook. While many of his team-mates have unwittingly complicated the task of batting against spin in India, England’s new captain has simply got on with the job. He has worked the singles, clattered the bad ball, and exuded a calm that – if his colleagues have been paying attention – can still serve them well in the three Tests that remain.

Cook now has 21 Test hundreds, and five of them have been in Asia: at Nagpur (on debut), Galle, Dhaka, Chittagong and now Ahmedabad. He is not generally chalked down as one of England’s better players of spin, but perhaps it’s because ostentation does not form part of his game. His Test average in Asia is now 54; Kevin Pietersen’s is 36.

Quietly, he has put together one of England’s great Test hundreds, and he has enjoyed the company of Matt Prior, who survived some skittish moments shortly before tea to remind everyone why Pietersen once declared him this team’s best player of spin.

Ironically, then, the two wickets England have lost in this session were in successive balls to late-dipping yorkers from Umesh Yadav. It’s hard to blame Ian Bell or Samit Patel for their demise, although both will leave this game with thoughts to mull over.

Bell flies home at the end of it to attend the birth of his first child and will miss Mumbai, which leaves open the possibility that we will not see him again in this series. And Patel, after looking positively regal during the warm-ups, has now been sawn off cheaply twice – even if he should have been given out in the first innings before he eventually was. Any calls to drop him from the second Test must be resisted.

100th over: England 264-5 (Cook 138 Prior 40)

Last over before tea, Prior on strike, three men around the bat on the off side. Ojha over the wicket now. Prior survives by the skin of his teeth. Maiden.

99th over: England 264-5 (Cook 138 Prior 40)

Cook – yes, he is still batting – edges short of slip. This pitch is d-e-a-d. But England's captain gets two more with a drive through the covers.

Lone furrow: England captain Cook remained unbeaten at tea

Lone furrow: England captain Cook remained unbeaten at tea

98th over: England 262-5 (Cook 136 Prior 40)

Ojha is really probing here, flight and guile – and the pace taken right off giving the ball every chance of spinning. Prior keeps trying to have a go but a combination of good close Indian fielding and over-ambition keeps England's wicketkeeper under the pump.

97th over: England 261-5 (Cook 135 Prior 40)

Blimey, it's getting jumpy out there! The Indian spinners fancy their chances of getting Prior here, they're hopping about, appealing like mad, the crowd are getting worked up and England are clinging on.

96th over: England 261-5 (Cook 135 Prior 40)

Howzat! No, nothing doing, Prior survives again. Inside edge. tea can't come soon enough right now.

95th over: England 260-5 (Cook 135 Prior 39)

Ouch! Prior sweeps hard at Ashwin and the ball clatters straight into short leg's ankle – I think that's Pujara under the helmet there. He's made of strong stuff though and just gets on with things – no magic sponge for this hard nut!

94th over: England 258-5 (Cook 134 Prior 38)

And again Ojha has Prior in trouble! Ojha tosses one up again and finds big turn, the batsman prods forward and edges to first slip, but just short! Nervy times for Prior.

93rd over: England 256-5 (Cook 133 Prior 37)

Now it's Ashwin's turn to make Prior sweat, beating his bat outside off. India throwing a two-pronged spin attack at this pair now.

92nd over: England 254-5 (Cook 132 Prior 36)

But Prior can't rest on his laurels – the dangerman, Ojha, is back on and very nearly gets his man. The right-hander steps back and looks to cut but Ojha finds some extra bounce to deceive his man.

91st over: England 253-5 (Cook 131 Prior 36)

Prior really is a top player of spin, using his feet this time to Ashwin and clipping two through square leg. England trail by 76. Another hour of Prior and that'll be all but gone.

90th over: England 250-5 (Cook 130 Prior 34)

Oh dear! More Indian misfielding gifts Prior four as Zaheer tumbles but can't stop a cut at backward point. 50 partnership between Prior and Cook, off 75 balls too, a good lick.

89th over: England 244-5 (Cook 129 Prior 29)

Decent innings from Prior, this – but it must be just the start of something as far as England are concerned. Both Trott and Bell made promising starts but ultimately failed. The Sussex man collects another couple of singles, and Cook follows suit, off Zaheer.

88th over: England 240-5 (Cook 127 Prior 27)

Ashwin, arms whirling above his head like an exotic dancer (one that keeps their clothes on, mind) nearly prises Cook from the crease with a lovely flighted delivery. But this is better from Prior, who skips down the track and lofts the off-spinner over midwicket for four. Great shot.

87th over: England 234-5 (Cook 126 Prior 22)

It's a double change in the attack as Zaheer is brought back in. He looks as grumpy as ever after Prior swishes wildly outside off and misses, before the batsman crunches a cover drive that is cut off by the sweeper for two. The wily old left-armer's using all of his tricks here though, and a slower ball nearly has Prior punching to mid off. And now Zaheer's leaping around, imploring for leg-before after a beauty of an inswinger from around the wicket. Umpire Hill says no – inside edge on that one.

86th over: England 230-5 (Cook 125 Prior 19)

Cook cracks a single off Ashwin to backward point and England now trail by 100 runs. Right then, quickly knock those off, build a lead of 200 or so then skittle India in the final session for a 1-0 series lead – simple, right Anyone No

85th over: England 229-5 (Cook 124 Prior 19)

Yadav steams in again, Prior clipping a single to square leg as the bowler pitches it up again. He's taken his two wickets with full, swinging deliveries. If the pitch is dead then the way to beat batsmen is in the air – and he's done just that, in complete contrast to England's one-dimensional, line and length seamers. Four singles from the over.

84th over: England 225-5 (Cook 122 Prior 17)

Ojha gets a dart at Prior, men all around the bat, and rips a big turner past Priors flashing blade. They run a bye as Dhoni fails to collect, not for the first time. Maiden.

83rd over: England 224-5 (Cook 122 Prior 17)

Four for Prior, Yadav spearing it into his pads and watching as the ball is clipped fine to the fence. That forces India to take the new ball and Prior licks his lips at the extra bounce on the ball as he lashes through the covers for four more.

82nd over: England 212-5 (Cook 122 Prior 8)

A gift from Yuvraj at midwicket as a misfield hands Prior two more. No sign of that new nut just yet.

81st over: England 212-5 (Cook 122 Prior 5)

Now Prior's up and running, that cut shot bringing four through point after Yadav drifts wide of off stump. Finally Cook is forced into an edge as the bowler fires the ball down from wide on the crease, over the wicket. But Cook's hands are soft and the ball drops short of a diving slip.

Hopes fading: Can Matt Prior rescue England in the first Test

Hopes fading: Can Matt Prior rescue England in the first Test

80th over: England 206-5 (Cook 122 Prior 0)

Captain Cook plunders four more off Ojha with a razor-sharp cut. But Prior nearly hands the left-armer another wicket as he backs off and aims a cut at a ball perhaps not wide enough for the shot, and misses. still not yet off the mark, is England's wicketkeeper. New ball now available.

79th over: England 201-5 (Cook 117 Prior 0)

Cook faces Yadav's hat-trick ball… and survives! It was a decent ball though, full of grunt outside off and finding some extra bounce. England's captain thinks about fencing at it, but wisely leaves well alone.

78th over: England 200-5 (Cook 115 Prior 0)

Cook must be wondering what on earth is going on down the other end – it's more serene progress from him with a single off Ojha. 200 up for the visitors but they still trail by 130 runs.

77th over: England 199-5 (Cook 114 Prior 0)

Yadav's back. Sweet timing from Bell whose forward defensive manages to penetrate the gap between bowler and mid on, and he runs two.

WICKET!!! Bell lbw Yadav 22

Well, what can you say about that The new ball is just around the corner but, just when it looked like he as starting to settle down, Bell departs. Yadav can consider himself fortunate to get the decision – the ball was just clipping leg stump – but Bell was beaten all ends up. That completes a miserable Test for the man who will miss the match in Mumbai.

WICKET!!! Patel lbw Yadav 0

He's gone first ball! England in ruins here, staring at a crushing defeat now. Patel is not impressed at all – and with good reason – he got an inside edge on that. This is what the technology is for. But the frankly ridiculous Indian board won't have any of that. Imagine if Sachin had got that decision Yadav on a hat-trick!

76th over: England 196-3 (Cook 114 Bell 20)

Bell starting to build an innings here, his hard work in defence paying off as the returning Ojha offers some filth, which the batsman cracks away through point for four easy runs.

75th over: England 191-3 (Cook 113 Bell 16)

Zaheer continues from round the wicket to Bell, who survives a half-hearted leg before shout before pushing two through the covers.

Bell must play this innings like the croc in Neverland (bear with me here). But, unlike his namesake, hearing that scoreboard keep tick, tick, ticking along will be music to captain Cook's ears.

74th over: England 187-3 (Cook 112 Bell 13)

Bell is tempted to throw the bat outside off and is lucky to survive an injudicious swipe. Ashwin sinks to his knees in frustration. The right-hander gets himself out of the firing line unconvincingly, misreading the flicked carrom ball but nicking to point.

73rd over: England 185-3 (Cook 111 Bell 12)

Bell grabs his first run after luncheon with a single off Zaheer before Cook nudges and runs a terrific single to mid on, the fieldsman was on his heels there and England's captain took full advantage.

72nd over: England 183-3 (Cook 110 Bell 11)

Dhoni continues to mix things up by throwing the ball to Ashwin again. England will be breathing a sigh of relief that Ojha's out of the attack. Another maiden. Pressure building.

71st over: England 183-3 (Cook 110 Bell 11)

The new ball's just 10 overs away but Zaheer is brought back to have a dart with the old nut. His seven overs so far have gone for just nine runs. Cook nicks a single but Zaheer's keeping the scoring drier than Jack Dee in an airing cupboard.

70th over: England 182-3 (Cook 109 Bell 11)

Not the most encouraging start from Bell as he misses out twice, hitting short balls straight to the fieldsmen in the ring on the offside, and then prodding forward and missing a slow turner from Ojha, the dangerman. Maiden.

Just waking up Well, you probably won't be surprised to hear that England are right up against it after losing three wickets this morning. The good news is that captain Cook is still going strong. But he needs support or this Test match could be done and dusted by the end of play today.

The Indian team and two batsmen are back on the field. Let's play!

AT LUNCH ON DAY FOUR, ENGLAND TRAIL INDIA BY 148 RUNS WITH SEVEN SECOND-INNINGS WICKETS IN HAND

Lawrence Booth, Sportsmail's cricket writer and editor of Wisden, reports from Ahmedabad:

When England resumed their second innings this morning on 111 without loss, still 219 behind India, they knew they could not afford to lose more than three wickets in the entire day, maybe four. In the event, they have lost three before lunch, a session in which only the outstanding Alastair Cook showed the nous necessary to survive.

Nick Compton looked nervous before – an accident waiting to happen – he was trapped in the seventh over by Zaheer Khan, while Jonathan Trott got a good one from Pragyan Ojha that turned and kissed the outside edge. These things happen.

But Kevin Pietersen was left to reflect on the fact that reintegration may be a trickier business than he imagined. For the second time in the game, he was bowled by Ojha essaying something extravagant, which means he has now lost his wicket to a slow left-armer in Tests on 25 occasions. Sorry, Kev: facts are facts.

Pietersen boasted in his autobiography that Shane Warne would never bowl him round his legs. Then came Adelaide 2006-07. This felt similar, but in one sense it was more remarkable: Ojha was bowling round the wicket, and from wide of the crease. The degree of turn was eye-popping, even if Pietersen opened himself up to the possibility by moving across his stumps.

Regardless, England are now left hoping that Cook and Ian Bell, who has survived some hairy moments of his own against Ojha, can bat until tea and beyond. Realistically, we’re looking at 1-0 to India.

69th over: England 182-3 (Cook 109 Bell 11)

Ashwin to bowl the final over before the break, and Cook helps himself to three more through midwicket, he's so strong in that area. Bell trots a single and Cook blocks out the final ball. Time for a well-earned break, Alastair. But England remain well adrift of their hosts.

68th over: England 178-3 (Cook 106 Bell 10)

Oooooh, Bell's in trouble here! Ojha spins one past his groping bat and the ball flicks the back pad in front of middle stump and the Indians scream an appeal… but it's not out! Umpire Dar says no, but why That looked plumb Dhoni took the catch behind the wicket but bat did not graze ball. Did it pitch outside leg Great decision if so. Maiden.

67th over: England 178-3 (Cook 106 Bell 10)

It's spin, spin, sugar as Ashwin returns. But that's not sweet news for England's battle-scarred batsmen. Cook's got one eye on the lunch break – just five minutes to go. Maiden.

66th over: England 178-3 (Cook 106 Bell 10)

Ojha certainly looks the dangerman for England again, but Bell smothers his latest efforts. Maiden.

65th over: England 178-3 (Cook 106 Bell 10)

Cook, in contrast to his hapless team-mates, is making this all look like a doddle. Another sweetly-timed clip into the leg side finds the gap at midwicket and rolls away for four. Whoops, have i spoken too soon Cook pads up outside off stump as Yadav spears it in from round the wicket – this is the angle from which Cook, like so many left-handers, can look uncomfortable. Umpire Hill isn't having it, however.

64th over: England 174-3 (Cook 102 Bell 10)

Cook, by the way, now has three centuries in five innings spread over this Test match (his first as permanent skipper) and the series in Bangladesh in 2010.

63rd over: England 173-3 (Cook 101 Bell 10)

Short, wide, four. Bell cashes in on Yadav's rubbish, cutting with ease to the third man rope. But that's much better from the bowler, nipping one back into Bell's thigh pad and there's a muted shout for a catch at slip. And now there's hands on heads as Bell misses and the ball shaves the off stump. And finally he offers up a half-volley, which Bell misses out on. Rather a mixed bag, that.

62nd over: England 168-3 (Cook 100 Bell 6)

Watchful from Bell, ignoring the tempter floated up outside off stump from Ojha. Maiden.

Captain marvel: Cook hit his 21st Test ton

Captain marvel: Cook hit his 21st Test ton

61st over: England 168-3 (Cook 100 Bell 6)

HUNDRED FOR COOK!

That's the spirit, Cookie! A nudged two to leg seals a terrific knock from England's captain – it's his 21st Test ton and fifth on the Subcontinent – that's the most by any England batsman.

Cooks milestone comes up in 181 balls, with 16 fours.

Right, can anyone hang around with Cook long enough to rescue this for England

60th over: England 166-3 (Cook 98 Bell 6)

WICKET!!! Pietersen b Ojha 2

Why can't one of the greatest batsmen in world cricket play left-arm spin This is Dr Who stuff – watch it from behind your sofa or between your fingers or something – just shield your eyes. KP tries to sweep and is bowled round his legs. Awful, abysmal stuff. England now deep in the mire. Effectively they're minus 170 for three.

Ian Bell at the crease now, on a king pair. His first ball squirts off the edge. But that's a beautiful way to get off the mark – a trademark cover drive for four. And he gets two more, again driven through cover.

59th over: England 160-2 (Cook 98 Pietersen 1)

Muffled shout from Yadav against KP as the ball reverses into the pads. Horrible swipe to a short ball brings the batsman a single to square leg. KP's arrival seems to have woken the crowd up at last, pantomime build-up and oooohs following each ball, great stuff.

58th over: England 158-2 (Cook 97 Pietersen 1)

WICKET!!! Trott c Dhoni b Ojha 17

Another one bites the dust! Trott has looked in fine touch but his horrible run continues with a regulation dismissal for the left-arm spinner. Ojha gets one to grip and turn and Trott can only edge behind. Easy as pie. After a decent start this morning, England are in trouble now. And, guess what, here comes KP against left-arm spin…

Boy, do England need a big innings from Pietersen now. He's off the mark with a trademark Red Bull run to mid on.

Apologies everyone, we've had gremlins in the system for the last few overs. But here's how the action unfolded while we were away…

57th over: England 156-1 (Cook 96 Trott 17)

Dhoni has turned back to pace in his search for the breakthrough as Umesh Yadav gets his first trundle of the day. Impeccable stuff from Cook as he hops back into his crease and flicks to the midwicket boundary for four more. His hundred is just one hit away now…

56th over: England 152-1 (Cook 92 Trott 17)

One more for Cook before Trott unfurls the sweep to Ashwin – but of a Tom Cruise shot that (risky business) with leg before brought into play – but he times this one well. Whoa, where's that one come from Cook misses a big turner that beats bat and keeper and nips away for two byes.

55th over: England 147-1 (Cook 90 Trott 16)

Ojha resumes after the drinks break and Trott looks suitably refreshed by his beverage. A perfectly-timed drive beats the man at cover and zips away for four.

54th over: England 143-1 (Cook 90 Trott 12)

There's no time for fussing and fighting for Cook as he calmly blocks out another over from Ashwin. England's captain leading from the front in this rearguard. That's the first hour out of the way with England having lost just the wicket of Compton to Zaheer.

53rd over: England 143-1 (Cook 90 Trott 12)

Cook resists hammering a juicy full toss from Ojha but picks up another single to jog into the 90s. Four more for Trott as the left-armer drops one short and wide, England's No 3 rocks back and cuts hard to the boundary.

52nd over: England 137-1 (Cook 88 Trott 8)

It's spin from both ends now as Ashwin twirls away again. One more for Captain Cook. The real test starts now for Trott, with silly mid off, leg slip and short leg all in around the bat.

51st over: England 137-1 (Cook 88 Trott 8)

Zaheer takes a well-earned rest as Pragyan Ojha is thrown the ball. The left-arm spinner was the main threat in the first innings, taking five wickets. Trott reads his arm ball and runs two.

50th over: England 135-1 (Cook 88 Trott 6)

Four singles help England keep the scoreboard ticking over nicely, and Trott appears to be settling down nicely.

49th over: England 131-1 (Cook 86 Trott 4)

Oh ho! A bouncer! Not much value in that ball from Zaheer, I fancy. Maiden. Cricinfo are reporting that Gautam Gambhir's grandmother has died and India's opener has flown off to Delhi. His team may not need to bat again in this match but if they do his position in the order will be affected depening on how long he is off the field.

48th over: England 131-1 (Cook 86 Trott 4)

One more for Trott, England trail by less than 200 now. Which is something… But effectively they are minus 199 for one.

Rearguard: Alastair Cook offered some resistance to India on day four in Ahmedabad

Rearguard: Alastair Cook offered some resistance to India on day four in Ahmedabad

47th over: England 130-1 (Cook 86 Trott 3)

Relief for Trott as he escapes the pair with a clip into the leg side for two as Zaheer strays onto the pads. Meat and drink for a batsman of his class. Frankly, India would be mad to persist with Zaheer for too long at Trott, as well as he might be bowling. The Warwickshire right-hander looks princely against the medium pacers. Against spin in the first innings he looked more like Prince might with a bat in his tiny hands.

46th over: England 127-1 (Cook 86 Trott 0)

The mood's changed out in the middle now, there's little yelps of tension and expectation after each ball from the close fielders right in under the batsman's helmet. Cook's not having any of it though and sweeps hard for four.

45th over: England 123-1 (Cook 82 Trott 0)

Life's looking pretty uncomfortable for Compton out there. The Somerset opener is digging in and fighting for his life but I'm not quite sure where his scoring areas are. Zaheer, going round the wicket and wide on the crease, has him in a right tizz with another beauty that nips back in off the seam, and the batsman misses completely. Fortunately for him, so do the ball and the stumps.

WICKET!!! Compton lbw Khan 37

But there's the breakthrough! Zaheer gets his man this time after changing the angle of attack to over the wicket. Compton's looked ill at ease all morning and he plays round a ball that straightens up a touch. Umpire Hill raises the finger. Was that ball pitching outside leg though Nope, good decision and Compton's troubled stay is over.

Jonathan Trott is the new man in – and he's on a pair. Tough times for England, these.

44th over: England 123-0 (Cook 82 Compton 37)

Missed stumping! Oh, that's a shocker from MS Dhoni behind the stumps. As if to back up the point about Indian fielding, their captain lets Compton off with an absolute howler. Ashwin had him dancing down the track but beat the batsman in the flight. Compton was miles out of his ground but Dhoni didn't even get the gloves anyway near the cherry and Compton breathes again. Cook nicks two off his pads.

43rd over: England 120-0 (Cook 80 Compton 36)

Plenty of oohs and aahs in the field as Compton scampers through for a very tight single. Yuvraj Singh gathered the ball at point and shied at the stumps where Cook was hurtling through, and had he hit that would have been squeaky bum time. England's captain would have been gone had that hit, I fancy. But, talented and highly-skilled as this Indian side is, their fielding is not a strong suit.

42nd over: England 119-0 (Cook 80 Compton 35)

Howzat! Ashwin screams for lbw against the right-handed Compton after a big offbreak beats the defensive prod, but that was doing too much and umpire Dar shakes the head. Compton pushes to cover and sets off on a quick single to trouble the scorer for the first time today.

41st over: England 116-0 (Cook 79 Compton 34)

Shot! Cook's up and running now, leaning back to cut past point for four precious runs. Zaheer threatens to hit back as he finds some sharp movement off the seam from over the wicket, the ball jagging back into Cook, but the batsman leaves it on length and is not troubled. This pitch is deader than a Victorian undertaker for the seamers.

40th over: England 112-0 (Cook 75 Compton 34)

Ravi Ashwin's off-breaks will resume the attack from the opposite end. Cook nudges a single into the leg side for the first run of the day.

39th over: England 111-0 (Cook 74 Compton 34)

And it's a maiden to kick things off as Compton remains watchful. Hint of reverse swing for the left-armer Zaheer.

3.55am: Now, you may not know this, but India actually DO have a fast bowler playing in this match. You wouldn't know it by watching most of England's dismal first innings collapse to spin, but the hosts do in fact have two quicks in their side. Yes, hard to believe, I know.

One of them, Zaheer Khan, is about to get us underway, Compton on strike, 34 not out…

3.50am: Morning, evening, night… whatever time of the day it is for you (and I'm not sure what on earth the time is here), welcome to day four of the first Test.

Right, hands strapped, gloves on, walk to the ring accompanied by dodgy music done… it's time for a scrap, England.

Alastair Cook and Nick Compton have battled their way to 111 for no loss in their second innings following on but remain a whopping 219 runs behind India.

And the trial by spin will continue relentless.


Digging in: England openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton made 111 in the second innings at the end of day three

Digging in: England openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton made 111 in the second innings at the end of day three

Sachin Tendulkar can bow out on his own terms – Martin Samuel

Little Master can bow out on his own terms

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 15 November 2012

Sir Don Bradman was out for a duck in his final Test innings. Nijinsky lost his last two races. Bobby Moore was eventually dropped by Sir Alf Ramsey. Brian Clough was relegated with Nottingham Forest.

It comes for them all in the end. Brigitte Bardot stopped making films before she turned 40. She said it was the only elegant way to end her career. The greats of sport rarely possess such insight. As Sachin Tendulkar holed out to Samit Patel on the leg-side boundary yesterday, opinion instantly divided as to whether this was just an uncommonly bad trot that would soon be rectified, or the continued betrayal of the talent of the greatest batsman of modern times.

A professional controversialist could achieve easy notoriety in these parts by rubbishing the latter career of the Little Master. Tendulkar provokes such devotion in his homeland that his cheap dismissal by England here was being rewritten as a small triumph in some quarters, because it made him the only Indian batsman not to be clean bowled by Graeme Swann. It is doubtful he saw it that way.

Little Master: Tendulkar failed to make big runs in the first innings against England

Little Master: Tendulkar failed to make big runs in the first innings against England

Tendulkar tucked Swann away to the boundary to take his score to 13 and, from the next ball, played a simply woeful shot, snaffled by Patel, who had been placed there for precisely that purpose.

The silence that befell the arena in the dusty Motera district echoed the shock of a death in the family. All day, locals had been arriving at the gates of the Sardar Patel Stadium, inspired by the news that India had won the toss and would bat.

They were delighted by the return to form of Virender Sehwag and Gujarat’s Chetesh-war Pujara, but there was one man above all they had come to see. It was 23 years to the day since he made his debut for India and this was his 315th Test innings, but India will never tire of the flashing blade of Tendulkar.

India v England – pictures

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

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

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

‘There is something special about bowling to him in India,’ said Swann. ‘Just the noise as he is about to come out to bat. You know who it is before he has left the changing room. You can tell this is the greatest batsman to still be playing the game. So getting him out means a lot; and not just getting him out, but getting him out early.’

Twenty-five minutes and 18 balls of early, to be precise. This on a track that saw Sehwag hit his first Test century in two years and Pujara close the day on 98 not out in only his sixth Test.

The roar as Tendulkar emerged made the 54,000-capacity stadium sound as if his devotees were hanging from the rafters — the estimated 10,000 crowd was better than expected but still a small disappointment in a country so in love with the game — but on his return to the pavilion it felt more like Mudville, the setting for the famous baseball poem, Casey At The Bat: ‘Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.’

That is what India’s Casey does a lot
these days, too. His Test scores this year read: 41, 80, 15, 8, 25, 13,
19, 17, 27 and now 13. His last Test century was in Cape Town against
South Africa in January 2011.

He has scored two centuries since
October 2010 and he has been bowled in five of his Test dismissals in
the last 12 months. At the start of his career it took bowlers four
years — and 42 innings — to find his stumps five times.

Day of toil: England were made to work hard for their wickets - of which Swann (below) duly obliged four

Day of toil: England were made to work hard for their wickets – of which Swann (below) duly obliged four

Day of toil: England were made to work hard for their wickets - of which Swann (below) duly obliged four

And there is the problem. Plainly, Tendulkar — the only batsman whose name can be mentioned in the same breath as Bradman — has earned the right to take leave of the stage on his terms. Plainly, there is nobody within Indian cricket, not even strong-willed coach Duncan Fletcher, who would presume to usher him away a moment before he was ready.

Yet great sportsmen are notoriously poor judges of when to leave the crowd wanting more. Tendulkar lives for cricket; in India it is not unreasonable to conclude that cricket lives for him. He plainly believes he has more to give, and perhaps he does.

So how does this end When the time comes, as it did for the others that made India the greatest Test team in the world, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who will be brave enough to call time on the career of the great Tendulkar Will he; will they How does a man with 15,546 Test runs know when, or where, to stop At the end of this series It is hardly likely.

The presumption has always been that, when it is right, Tendulkar will bow out in fitting surroundings, such as his home town of Mumbai, India’s cricket capital. Yet the next Test is to be played in Mumbai.

The final Test of England’s tour is in Nagpur, at a stadium that has only been open for Test matches four years. It does not have the feel of a venue at which India should say farewell to its greatest sporting hero.

Penny for 'em: Mionty was on the sidelines when he should have been out in the middle

Penny for 'em: Mionty was on the sidelines when he should have been out in the middle

Indeed, who would even have the temerity to raise such a dreadful subject It may have been another day to forget for Tendulkar here but, closing at 323 for four, how much of India’s imposing performance was inspired by his presence The young players idolise him, contemporaries revere him, England’s delight at claiming his wicket did not suggest a hollow triumph over some weak link. No player could bring to the team spirit what Tendulkar does and maybe that alone is enough.

On Wednesday, the day before the game, as the majority of his team-mates retired to the shade of their air-conditioned changing room, one batsman continued to toil in the sweltering nets. Maybe, deep down, the Little Master knows times are changing, but who can blame him for trying with every last sinew of his strength to resist, or change them back To the days when those who trekked to Motera would not have merely glimpsed greatness, but gloried in it, ball by ball, over by over, run by run, hour by hour.

‘Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell; It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell; It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat, For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.’ As heroes do. Until there really is nothing more to give.

LIVE: India v England, day two, first Test, Ahmedabad

LIVE: India v England – the action on day two of the first Test in Ahmedabad

|

UPDATED:

04:09 GMT, 16 November 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day two of the first Test between England and India with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds in Ahmedabad while our brilliant team of writers update
with their insights from the ground. Contact me on Twitter via: JamesAndrew_ or e-mail your thoughts to [email protected]

India v England: Essentials

India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (capt & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Samit Patel, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Tony Hill (New Zealand).

Referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka).

Click here for a full scorecard

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PICTURE DISPUTE:

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations. The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies. MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

92nd over: India 328-4 (Singh 24 Pujara 99)

Stuart Broad bowls at the other end and it is Cheteshwar Pujara at the other end. A single off the second ball takes him to 99 runs and off strike. Broad has a big appeal for LBW but the ball was pitching way out side leg stump and it goes away for four byes.

91st over: India 323-4 (Singh 24 Pujara 98)

Graeme Swann opens the bowling on day two and it is Yuvraj Singh at the other end. Appeal from the second ball, but the ball looks too high, maiden to start with for Swann.

3.52: Here is Paul Newman's report on day one: Captain Cook suffers nightmare first day as India build on Sehwag blitz… and Monty omission threatens to haunt England

While Lawrence Booth writes: Swann bags himself a new rabbit on day of toil for Bresnan

And Chief sports writer Martin Samuel says: Little Master can bow out on his own terms

Former England captain Nasser Hussain says: Missing Monty is England's achilles in Ahmedabad

Finally Sky commentator and former England coach David Lloyd, says: England have picked the wrong team… but why I'm in a tizz over Chas

Swann bags himself a new rabbit on day of toil for Bresnan

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-2233594/Graeme-Swann-excels-England–Top-Spin-Test.html#ixzz2CM24VRUK

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3.50am: Before play starts, don't forget to read some of the brilliant pieces from Sportsmail's top team in Ahmedabad, Paul Newman, Lawrence Booth, Martin Samuel, Nasser Hussain and of course Bumble.

3.45am: Good morning and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of day two of the first Test between India and England.

It is fair to say that the hosts had the better of the first day, but England did manage to keep the runs down and take some wickets as the day went on. Today, they will be looking to take some early wickets and try and dismiss India before setting about of chasing down their total.

Graeme Swann was England's main success story yesterday with all four of the wickets for the tourists, while Virender Sehwag was India's star with the bat.

Caught in a spin: Graeme Swann took all four of England's wickets on day one of the first Test

Caught in a spin: Graeme Swann took all four of England's wickets on day one of the first Test

India v England: Virender Sehwag hit hard but dropped catches are biggest blow

Lawrence Booth: Hurricane Sehwag hit England hard… but dropped catches are the biggest blow of all

|

UPDATED:

12:45 GMT, 15 November 2012

India v England pictures

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

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

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

It could have been a lot worse for England on the opening day of their long-awaited Test series in India. But it could also have been a lot better.

To be hit by Hurricane Sehwag in the high-pressure zone of north-west India might be considered unfortunate. Yet England know that, to stand any chance of ending their 28-year drought here, they need – wherever possible – to take luck out of the equation.

/11/15/article-2233331-160A9355000005DC-658_468x348.jpg” width=”468″ height=”348″ alt=”Whirlwind: Virender Sehwag hit a run-a-ball 117 on day one at Ahmedabad” class=”blkBorder” />

Whirlwind: Virender Sehwag hit a run-a-ball 117 on day one at Ahmedabad

Of the misses, a misjudgement by Jimmy Anderson, who moved forward at mid-on rather than back, and watched Cheteshwar Pujara’s leading edge plop agonisingly over his head, proved the most costly.

At the time Pujara, Rahul Dravid’s spiritual heir at No 3, was only eight runs into his eventual 98 not out. (Still, at least we had the subsequent pleasure of watching a genuine Test-match talent go about his unruffled business. Look out for more of the same as the series progresses.)

First Test: India v England

Click here to read the report on day one's play

Throw in Matt Prior’s leg-side miss when Sehwag had 80, a fluffed stumping off Gautam Gambhir (though it cost no runs), and Jonathan Trott’s drop at slip off Kohli, and the collateral adds up to 142. It is no way to start a series in India, let alone win it.

In the event, England got better as the day progressed, although they set the bar fairly low. With Sehwag encouraged to drive square and often by the absence of a third man, Alastair Cook’s first session in the field as full-time captain was the dictionary definition of chastening.

At 224 for 1 with seven overs to go before tea, there had been no need to browse for other adjectives, but Sehwag and Tendulkar obligingly produced a leg-side howler apiece. And when Kohli offered a crooked bat to an off-break, India were 283 for 4. Swann had the lot.

One of a kind: India's swashbuckling opener hits out on his way to a ton

One of a kind: India's swashbuckling opener hits out on his way to a ton

All the while, a question hung in the air: what if Monty Panesar had played instead of Tim Bresnan This was not just a matter of hindsight, for England knew well in advance what sort of pitch would be presented to them by the Gujarat Cricket Association. And it wouldn’t be one with a lot of grass.

Though Anderson dragged things back
in a tight burst after tea, England’s three seamers – Stuart Broad was
the other – finished with combined figures of 44-4-193-0. Swann, on the
other hand, was making the ball turn, with footmarks visible outside the
left-hander’s off-stump from as early as the third over.

At
the very least, Panesar might have been expected to have kept it tight,
which was what England craved while Sehwag was battering his 90-ball
century.

First day in the job: England captain Alastair Cook enjoys a rare breakthrough

First day in the job: England captain Alastair Cook enjoys a rare breakthrough

The arguments are well-rehearsed now. Bresnan offers runs at No 8, a safeish pair of hands in the ring, a bullet arm from the outfield, a willingness to bowl the donkey overs, and an ability to find reverse-swing. But on an Ahmedabad square recently relaid with the home spinners in mind

England may have looked at the stats, and concluded that Swann + Panesar = no wins. That has been the formula in their seven Tests together. Yet two of those games, in the UAE earlier in the year against Pakistan, should have been won. It was hardly the spinners’ fault that they were not.

Cook and Co may yet be vindicated if Bresnan saves the game with the bat on the final afternoon. But on the first game of this series, it felt as if they had missed a trick.

India v England: Graeme Swann hits back after Virender Sehwag century

Swann haul keeps England clinging on to India's coat-tails after Sehwag blasts run-a-ball century to get hosts off to a flyer

|

UPDATED:

11:37 GMT, 15 November 2012

India v England pictures

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

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

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

Graeme Swann claimed a coveted piece of cricket history as he helped to claw England back into the reckoning after Virender Sehwag's destructive hundred in the first Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

Sehwag (117) began the four-match series with a memorable statement of intent for India, only for Swann to hit back with four wickets – the second of which took him past the great Jim Laker as England's most successful off-spinner.

Thanks to Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara (98 not out), India nonetheless finished in the ascendancy on 323 for four after a day when England did not always help themselves – putting down two catches and missing two other obvious opportunities to effect dismissals.

Spin king: Graeme Swann celebrates one of his four wickets on day one of the first Test at Ahmedabad

Spin king: Graeme Swann celebrates one of his four wickets on day one of the first Test at Ahmedabad

Sehwag dominated a century opening stand with Gautam Gambhir, and was then joined by Pujara for another partnership of 90 for the second wicket.

There was little cheer at that point for the tourists, after losing the toss on a pitch likely to increasingly favour spin.

India v England

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Sehwag wasted no time in grasping an ominous initiative at the very start of the series.

On an especially slow surface, he made a nonsense of his last experience against England – two golden ducks at Edgbaston, in India's 4-0 defeat last year.

As if to encapsulate the difference 4,000 miles can make, back on home ground he seized mercilessly on any off-side width and angled runs expertly into gaps in a run-a-ball innings. The first hour gave England precious little encouragement; the second surely a chastening sense already of their undertaking as new captain Alastair Cook tries to lead his country to a first series win in India since the winter he was born.

What a start: Indian opener Virender Sehwag celebrates his hundred in Ahmedabad

What a start: Indian opener Virender Sehwag celebrates his hundred in Ahmedabad

On the attack: Sehwag blasts the ball to the boundary during his blistering innings

On the attack: Sehwag blasts the ball to the boundary during his blistering innings

The Indian openers were quickly in
cruise control, before Sehwag upped the ante – and by the first ball of
the 20th over, the total was already in three figures.

Sehwag
dispatched Tim Bresnan, on for James Anderson after eight overs, for
four, four and six in successive balls – past cover, wide of mid on and
back over his head – forcing Cook into more changes.

Early afternoon brought three let-offs for India, two of them costly.

Matt Prior dropped Sehwag on 80, down the leg side off Anderson, and in the next over missed a stumping chance when Gambhir overbalanced against Swann (four for 85).

The left-handed opener did not add to his score before Swann got one to skid on and bowl him on the back foot to end a stand of 134.

Big wicket: Indian hero Sachin Tendulkar reacts after holing out in the deep to Samit Patel (below)

Big wicket: Indian hero Sachin Tendulkar reacts after holing out in the deep to Samit Patel (below)

Big wicket: Indian hero Sachin Tendulkar reacts after holing out in the deep to Samit Patel (below)

But Sehwag soon reached three figures,
from 90 balls, with a 15th four lofted over mid on off Swann to go with
his six – his first hundred for almost exactly two years, against New
Zealand on this same ground.

Pujara was not dropped but nonetheless had fortune, and an England slip, on his side on eight when Anderson overcommitted himself at mid on and could not then reach a leading edge off Bresnan.

The No 3, who had given England a preview of his capabilities with an innings of 87 against them for Mumbai A two weeks ago, is not prone to making a second mistake on the same day.

So it was that he soon had a look of risk-free permanence.

/11/15/article-2233267-1609BF2C000005DC-818_634x419.jpg” width=”634″ height=”419″ alt=”Unbeaten: A half-century from Cheteshwar Pujara helped India edge toward a strong first innings total ” class=”blkBorder” />

Unbeaten: A half-century from Cheteshwar Pujara helped India edge toward a strong first innings total

First it brought Sachin Tendulkar to the crease, to the obligatory delight of the crowd.

But the veteran master batsman did not last long, holing out in the leg-side deep off Swann – who took two wickets for 11 runs in a four-over spell just before tea.

Afterwards, he continued to make progress slow for the hosts, Virat Kohli needing 30 balls to get off the mark – with a straight-driven four off Stuart Broad – and then dropped at slip on five by Jonathan Trott via a faulty cut at Swann.

After just four runs had come from seven overs immediately after tea, Kohli was undone by Swann anyway – bowled through the gate by a perfectly-pitched off break.

Pujara, meanwhile, was going nowhere fast.

After a 67-ball half-century, he ground to a near halt in the 80s – and the final session brought only 73 runs.

His longevity continued, however, and persuaded England to give Swann a break and their pace attack a second chance with a new ball – to no avail by stumps.

Kevin Pietersen returns to the crease as Delhi Daredevils beat Kolkata Knight Riders

Tepid Pietersen returns to the crease as Delhi Daredevils beat Kolkata Knight Riders

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UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 13 October 2012

Kevin Pietersen endured a lukewarm return to competitive action but his Delhi Daredevils side still trounced Kolkata Knight Riders by 52 runs in the Champions League Twenty20.

The controversial batsman struck a modest 14 off 18 balls in his first meaningful innings since the England and Wales Cricket Board announced he would be subject to a 'reintegration process' back into the national set-up.

It did not matter, however, with Unmukt Chand plundering 40 off 27 balls as the Daredevils made 160 for eight before early wickets undermined Kolkata's chase in Centurion.

Back at the crease: Kevin Pietersen hit 14 off 18 balls

Back at the crease: Kevin Pietersen hit 14 off 18 balls

Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel each took two wickets as the Knight Riders finished on 108 for seven – having been three for three at one stage.

There was further concern for Kolkata when Jacques Kallis retired injured and it fell to Manoj Tiwary to top score for the Knight Riders with 33 from 38 balls.

Mahela Jayawardene and Virender Sehwag had put on 36 for the first wicket for Delhi, who were put into bat, before the former was bowled for 21 by West Indies' spinner Sunil Narine, allowing Pietersen to make his long-awaited entrance.

Sehwag was then caught behind off Pradeep Sangwan for 22 and Pietersen could not take advantage of being dropped twice when he perished after pulling Brett Lee to Narine at deep midwicket.

That's out: Brett Lee is congratulated after removing Pietersen

That's out: Brett Lee is congratulated after removing Pietersen

Chand and Ross Taylor boosted Delhi with a partnership of 63 for the fourth wicket, but the latter was unlucky to be caught by Rajat Bhatia at deep square leg for 36 off Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Narine returned to stifle Delhi's innings, first skittling Chand before Naman Ojha holed out to Yusuf Pathan at long-off two balls later.

Pawan Negi then top-edged a Kallis bouncer to deep square leg while Ajit Agarkar clipped Balaji – who conceded 61 runs from his four overs – to short third man having made eight.

The Knight Riders needed a strong start in their chase but they lost three wickets in the first seven deliveries.

On the front foot: Pietersen in action in Centurion

On the front foot: Pietersen in action in Centurion

Captain Gautam Gambhir lamely chipped
to Pietersen at mid-on off the bowling of Irfan, who also trapped
Manvinder Bisla for one with an inswinging delivery, before Brendon
McCullum cut straight to point off Morkel.

Matters
worsened for the Knight Riders as Kallis had to retire in the same over
after a Morkel delivery cannoned into the veteran batsman's right hand,
while Yadav clean-bowled Yusuf Pathan in the fifth over.

Bhatia
and Tiwary steadied the ship with a partnership of 47 but the run rate
was still steadily climbing before Tiwary was caught and bowled by
Agarkar for 33.

Bhatia
was caught behind while looking to cut off Morkel and Lee missed a full
toss off Yadav to be bowled for 13 as Kolkata came up well short of the
mark.

Cheap wicket: Irfan Pathan celebrates the dismissal of Gautam Gambhir

Cheap wicket: Irfan Pathan celebrates the dismissal of Gautam Gambhir