Tag Archives: yorkshire

Minnesota Vikings train with the Yorkshire Vikings

Surely there's more padding than this! NFL stars go into bat with cricketers of Yorkshire

PUBLISHED:

15:15 GMT, 27 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 27 March 2013

Yorkshire welcomed a Viking invasion from Minnesota on Wednesday as cricketers and American footballers swapped kit and technique tips at Headingley.

NFL side Minnesota are in Britain on a promotional tour and touched down in Yorkshire for a day of training with the county, who recently settled upon the name 'Vikings' in one-day cricket.

And the gridiron giants were taught the intricacies of the quintessential English summer sport by White Rose stars Liam Plunkett, Phil Jaques and Jack Brooks.

Invasion: (back row left to right) Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, Phil Jaques and Jack Brooks (all in white) flank Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph while Harrison Smith bats and John Sullivan keeps wicket while two Vikings roar their approval

Invasion: (back row left to right) Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, Phil Jaques and Jack Brooks (all in white) flank Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph while Harrison Smith bats and John Sullivan keeps wicket while two Vikings roar their approval

Yorkshire and Minnesota

Role reversal: Yorkshire bowler Jack Brooks holds the football while Minnesota centre John Sullivan wields the bat

Role reversal: Yorkshire bowler Jack Brooks holds the football while Minnesota centre John Sullivan wields the bat

Minnesota, who reached the NFL play-offs last year, are promoting the Sky Sports series about them, named Inside the Vikings, which will air on April 3. They are playing Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley in September.

Centre John Sullivan, Tight end Kyle Rudolph and safety Harrison Smith put on a different kind of padding to have a net while the Yorkshire lads donned the helmets and shoulder pads ready for some football.

The Americans seemed to enjoy it and Sullivan tweeted: '@Yorkshireccc Thanks so much for the hospitality'.

Defence: Former England man Liam Plunkett teaches Kyle Rudolph how to bat

Defence: Former England man Liam Plunkett teaches Kyle Rudolph how to bat

Kyle Rudolph went for a bat and Plunkett told the Yorkshire website: 'I was very surprised how good Kyle’s batting was.

'Boy he could hit a ball. He creamed a few times through the covers – he could well be a pinch hitter for the Vikings in this year’s Friends Life t20 competition. He could well follow in the footsteps of another famous Yorkshire player Jacques Rudolph.

'I’m a big American Sports fan and love the NFL. This is a great opportunity to expose cricket to a wider marketing and more importantly Yorkshire Vikings.

'To have high-profile NFL players from the Minnesota Vikings come to our club is a great initiative and gives us some great momentum going into the new season.'

Offence: Kyle Rudolph has a swing

Offence: Kyle Rudolph has a swing

Rudolph added: “I didn’t know much about cricket before coming to Headingley today.

'This is a great tie up between two big sports organisations in Minnesota and Yorkshire. I will certainly be following the Yorkshire team this year, via social media, and hope they have a big season.

'We have been made to feel very welcome and love the Yorkshire hospitality.'

England are Ashes favourites for good reason, admits Jason Gillespie

England deserve to be Ashes favourites, admits Aussie great Gillespie

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

10:30 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 2 February 2013

Yorkshire coach and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie believes England will deservedly start as favourites for their defence of the Ashes later this year.

England retained the famous urn with an emphatic 3-1 win in the five-match Test series on Australian soil in 2010/11, and have been tipped to dictate terms again when the famous rivalry resumes in July.

Gillespie, having been installed as Yorkshire's first-team coach in 2011, has been able to assess the hosts' preparations first hand, and believes English optimism is well-placed.

Jason Gillespie thinks England's Ashes victories give them the advantage

Odds on: Jason Gillespie thinks England's will be full of confidence

Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

Pedigree: Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

'They are incredibly confident over here but they deserve to start favourites, England, no doubt about it,' Gillespie told The Australian newspaper.

'I think potentially they could underestimate our bowling. I've been speaking about it quite regularly over here and saying, ''Don't underestimate the strength of Australia's pace bowling attack''.

'But England won't underestimate Australia. They're too clever for that and I know the England management has already been doing a lot of research.

'They've been planning and researching for a long time. I've got no doubt they'll be wary.'

Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour to England

Lethal: Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour

Gillespie, who claimed 259 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia between 1996 and 2006, expects England's well-established bowling attack to trouble a relatively inexperienced Australian batting line-up.

'England's bowling is very good at the moment,' he said.

'Coming up against the Australian batting order, they will rightly feel they're in the game. They feel they can put Australia under pressure and can have Michael Clarke coming in consistently very early, at two or three down for not very many.

James Anderson could prove to be the difference

Match-winner: James Anderson could prove to be the difference

'James Anderson is one of the best going around. He'll lead the attack, (Steven) Finn is a very good bowler, (Tim) Bresnan is a very good bowler, (Stuart) Broad has had a bit of an up-and-down time but he's also a very good bowler.

'Graeme Swann is one of the best spin bowlers in the world, if not the number one. Their batting is strong and they've got the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world (Matt Prior) so they're in a good place.'

WHO ARE THE LIKELY BOWLERS IN THE MIX

England: James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, Graeme Onions

Australia: Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, Steven Smith

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Match report

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Hanson header kills off Villans as Bantams secure historic Wembley date

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 22 January 2013

James Hanson was the hero for Bradford City who secured a place in the Capital One Cup final despite defeat on the night, courtesy of an aggregate victory over Aston Villa.

The hosts flew out of the traps and seemed to be overwhelming the npower League Two side in the early stages of the first half and took a deserved lead through Christian Benteke in the 24th minute.

The Bantams held on and Hanson's header in the 55th minute sent the masses from South Yorkshire wild, the first team from the fourth tier in 51 years to reach a major final.

Andreas Weimann scored a late goal, but it was a mere consolation for Villa who now only have a relegation battle to face this season.

Phil Parkinson's side will face either Chelsea or Swansea in the final on February 24.

More to follow…

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

Match facts

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett (Weimann 70), Ireland, Delph, Bannan (Bent 62), N'Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor.

Subs not used: Guzan, Holman, Stevens, Lichaj, Carruthers.

Booked: Clark, N'Zogbia, Delph.

Goals: Benteke 24, Weimann 89.

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good, Hines (Thompson 71), Gary Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells (Turgott 87).

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Connell, Nelson.

Goals: Hanson 55.

Aggregate: (3-4)

Attendance: 40,193

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Twitter reaction

Shaun Teale: I'm embarrassed that these players will walk off the pitch and go home while the fans will be distraught . To many players not good enough

Michael Owen: Villa devoid of ideas. Resorting to knocking it long. No width at all. Bradford fully deserve to be heading to Wembley.

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Barnsley 2 Leeds 0 – match report: Chris Dagnall scores twice

Barnsley 2 Leeds 0: Dagnall double provides dream end to nightmare week

By
Wayne Gardiner, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 12 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 12 January 2013

Barnsley's week to forget ended on a high as Chris Dagnall's brace earned the managerless Tykes a 2-0 derby win over Leeds.

Both Terry Butcher and Sean O'Driscoll have turned the vacant job down in the last seven days, but the man currently holding the fort, Dave Flitcroft, is making a more than fair case for getting it himself.

This was his second win in succession and his side deserved to score more than the two given to them by Dagnall's first league goals of the season and his first since the opening day.

In fact, it was the 38-year-old Flitcroft and not 64-year-old Neil Warnock in the opposition dugout who appeared the shrewder boss. Midway through the second half, in the midst of a third defeat in a row at Oakwell, the Leeds fans sang 'Warnock, time to go'.

Brace: Dagnall celebrates with caretaker manager Flitcroft

Brace: Dagnall celebrates with caretaker manager Flitcroft

MATCH FACTS

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Cranie, McNulty, Kennedy, O'Brien (Mellis 33), Dawson, Perkins, Golbourne, Dagnall (Noble-Lazarus 90), Harewood, Mellis (Rose 88).

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Hassell, Foster, Etuhu.

Goals: Dagnall 63 pen, 66.

Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Pearce, Tate, Peltier, Barkley, Austin, Norris (McCormack 46), Tonge, Becchio, Diouf (Green 51).

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Lees, Varney, White, Somma.

Booked: Becchio.

Att: 13,999

Ref: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

There was no obvious sign of the
turbulence to have affected Barnsley this week throughout as they
started well and carried it on until the end.

They tested Paddy Kenny after just 80
seconds when Jim O'Brien's deflected effort sent the goalkeeper flying
away to his left, while Stephen Dawson had legitimate claims for a
penalty turned down when he appeared to be felled by Luciano Becchio.

O'Brien then shot over and Dawson was
denied by Kenny as the Tykes mounted some pressure which nearly
culminated in a goal as Marlon Harewood, almost in slow motion, drifted
in from the left and cracked a shot against the foot of Kenny's
right-hand post.

Flitcroft's anguish at his side's
near misses was evident and his mood did not improve as Jim McNulty's
header was cleared on the line by Rodolph Austin.

Quick: Dagnall struck twice in three minutes to see off Leeds

Quick: Dagnall struck twice in three minutes to see off Leeds

Even the loss of O'Brien to a
nasty-looking injury following a collision with Lee Peltier did not
affect the home side, with Dagnall twice going close at the end of a
first half that was completely one-sided.

Leeds' first effort on 48 minutes
drew ironic cheers from their fans as debutant Ross Barkley dragged a
25-yarder just wide, with the Everton teenager then going closer as he
spun onto Becchio's knockdown and crashed a shot against the bar from
six yards.

United's presence as an attacking
force was a fleeting one, though, and as the clock ticked into the 63rd
minute, Barnsley got the goal they deserved.

Happy: Caretaker boss Flitcroft salutes the fans at Oakwell

Happy: Caretaker boss Flitcroft salutes the fans at Oakwell

Dagnall ran at Sam Byram and turned
inside out on the right-hand side of the area. Byram kicked him and once
Dagnall had wrestled the ball from Dawson and Harewood he sent Kenny
the wrong way.

Even 1-0 was harsh on Barnsley and
they put that right just three minutes later, with Byram again given a
torrid time by Dagnall. The former Rochdale striker stripped down his
inside after Harewood's touch and duly put a shot across Kenny into the
bottom corner.

Barkley offered Leeds' best response
with a cute curling effort which went just over but it was Barnsley's
day and they would have ended it with a third goal had Harewood shown
better accuracy after sprinting past Jason Pearce.

Nick Barmby and Paul Cox favourites to take over at Barnsley

Barmby and Cox front runners for vacant Barnsley job

PUBLISHED:

16:29 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 10 January 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox has emerged as one of the contenders to take over at Barnsley, with former Hull City boss Nick Barmby also in the frame.

The South Yorkshire club are seeking a replacement for Keith Hill, who was sacked on December 29 following a 3-1 home defeat by Blackburn Rovers which left them bottom of the Championship.

In the running: Mansfield manager Paul Cox is a contender for the Barnsley job

In the running: Mansfield manager Paul Cox is a contender for the Barnsley job

Contender: Former Hull boss Nick Barmby is also in the running

Contender: Former Hull boss Nick Barmby is also in the running

Inverness manager Terry Butcher was also linked with the vacant position but has said he will be remaining in Scotland, while recently fired Nottingham Forest boss Sean O'Driscoll also turned it down.

Cox, 41, is contracted at Mansfield until 2014 having joined the club in 2011. He guided the Stags to the third round of the FA Cup, where they were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Liverpool last weekend.

Sacked! Barnsley manager Keith Hill was fired after the defeat by Blackburn

Sacked! Barnsley manager Keith Hill was fired after the defeat by Blackburn

Former England midfielder Barmby, 38, was last at the helm of Hull City last season but was sacked in May last year after making comments about the owners and his transfer budget.

Freddie Flintoff wants to open chip shop in London

From battering boxers to battering fish: Flintoff intends to open a chippy in London

By
Sunni Upal

PUBLISHED:

10:37 GMT, 3 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 3 January 2013

Freddie Flintoff is so unhappy with the quality of fish and chips shops in London that he wants to open his own.

The former England cricketer is in talks with TV producers about a news series, potentially on Sky One, where he runs a chippy in London with wife Rachael.

A source said: 'Freddie isn’t impressed with the quality of fish and chips shops down south and wants to open his own up in London selling market-fresh fish.

What's this garbage Flintoff is said to be unhappy with the quality of chippys down south

Enlarge

Fishy Flintoff

What's this garbage Flintoff is said to be unhappy with the quality of chippys down south

'He would be front of house but the business would be run by his wife Rachael, who has a background in catering and events.'

The move would be the latest in Flintoff's post-cricket career after he won on his professional boxing debut in Manchester last year.

Flintoff has been a regular on Sky's A League of Their Own as well as starring in ITV4 series Freddie Flintoff Versus The World.

Enlarge

King of the ring: Flintoff celebrates beating Richard Dawson

King of the ring: Flintoff celebrates beating Richard Dawson

Experience: Rachael has worked in the catering industry

Experience: Rachael has worked in the catering industry

Ex-England and Yorkshire cricketer Chris Old opened a fish and chip restaurant in Cornwall

Ex-England and Yorkshire cricketer Chris Old opened a fish and chip restaurant in Cornwall

Bolton 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Mamady Sidibe strike keeps Wednesday out of relegation zone

Bolton 0 Sheffield Wed 1: Sidibe strike keeps Wednesday out of relegation zone

|

UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 26 December 2012

Mamady Sidibe scored his first goal in almost three years to present Sheffield Wednesday with their third victory on the run and keep them out of the relegation places.

The Malian striker nearly retired after suffering a string of serious knee injuries but found the net with a classy header, two days after extending his loan from Stoke to cover the Christmas period.

In a game which lacked the punch of a typical Boxing Day fixture, the 33-year-old’s goal was a moment to cheer, not least for the 3,852 Wednesday fans who had made the trip from Yorkshire to Lancashire without the aid of public transport.

Winner: Sidibe scored the only goal at Reebok Stadium

Winner: Sidibe scored the only goal at Reebok Stadium

Match facts

Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Ream, Knight, Ricketts (Alonso 73), Eagles (Sordell 73), Andrews, Spearing, Petrov (Lee 66), Ngog, Afobe.

Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Butterfield, Pratley, Riley.

Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera,
Reda Johnson (Mattock 76), Antonio (Jermaine Johnson 90),McCabe, Prutton, Helan, Sidibe (O'Grady 76), Lee.

Subs Not Used: /12/26/article-2253412-16A8843B000005DC-967_468x318.jpg” width=”468″ height=”318″ alt=”Trouble: Wednesday are fourth from bottom and two points ahead of the relegation zone” class=”blkBorder” />

Trouble: Wednesday are fourth from bottom and two points ahead of the relegation zone

And in a first quarter of misplaced passes and dud attacks, Ngog’s strike on 14 minutes was the only time either goalkeeper was tested. The former Liverpool striker ran at the backtracking Wednesday defence before firing a left-foot strike across goal which Chris Kirkland did well to palm away.

On 25 minutes, the Yorkshire side scored from their first chance of merit. Right-back Lewis Buxton was given far too much space by the corner of the box and his flat cross invited Mamady Sidibe, who had stolen in front of Tim Ream, to power a header past Adam Bogdan.

It was the 6ft 4in Malian’s first goal since February 2010, when he netted in Stoke’s 3-0 rout of Blackburn. The 33-year-old has endured a torrid time with knee injuries, missing the entirety of last season, and considered giving up football.

But on Christmas Eve, he extended his loan with the club until January 19 and this Boxing Day goal, after all his troubles, was a rather festive way to celebrate. Indeed, his merriment was such that he lost a glove, which he had to run 20 yards to retrieve.

Problems at home: Bolton have lost their last two Championship matches at Reebok Stadium

Problems at home: Bolton have lost their last two Championship matches at Reebok Stadium

Not long after, Miguel Llera flashed Keiran Lee’s corner past the post and four minutes before the interval Kieran Lee twisted and turned in the area and tested Bogdan with a low shot.

Bolton’s only other chance came in added time, when Martin Petrov’s free-kick was punched clear by Kirkland.

The half-time whistle brought not-so pantomime boos from the home crowd. Bolton emerged with more effectiveness, if not the goal craved.

On 52 minutes Afobe roasted Anthony Gardner with pace and pulled back for Ngog, who could only chest goalwards. As the ball spun wide unmarked Petrov was unable to touch it in. In the 71st minute a deep cross from the left from Chris Eagles was met by Afobe but his shot was bundled away by Kirkland. The 19-year-old did not deserve to be on the losing side.

Freedman rolled the dice and brought on Chung-Yong Lee for Petrov and Marvin Srodell for Eagles to move into a more attacking formation. But despite the switch clear-cut chances remained at a premium.

With 13 minutes remaining Sidibe, doubtless tiring after only his fourth start of the season, was replaced by Chris O’Grady. He soaked up the applause from the away section as he made way.

The final 10 minutes saw pressure without real purpose from the hosts. Ngog’s soft header wide was the best of the chances but the day belonged to Sidibe.

Leeds and Chelsea fans warned by police

Behave, or else! Leeds and Chelsea fans issued warning before bitter cup clash

|

UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 18 December 2012

Leeds and Chelsea supporters have been warned not to add another chapter to football’s season of shame on Wednesday night.

The clubs go head to head in a potentially explosive Capital One Cup quarter-final at Elland Road.

The two sets of fans have a long-running feud that stems back to the 1960s and, in a season already blighted by numerous off-the-field flashpoints, supporters have been told to behave themselves or face serious action.

No repeats: This Leeds fan ran onto the pitch and attacked visiting goalkeeper Chris Kirkland - and police have warned fans not to cause any trouble on Wednesday

No repeats: This Leeds fan ran onto the pitch and attacked visiting goalkeeper Chris Kirkland – and police have warned fans not to cause any trouble on Wednesday

West Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Paul Money said: ‘We want the focus of the day to be the action on the pitch and for it not to be overshadowed by violence or disorder.

'I would ask responsible fans, who make up the vast majority of all supporters, not to allow the minority element of unruly fans to spoil the game.

‘I will also ask the managers of both teams to speak to the players and ask them to avoid doing anything which may antagonise supporters of the opposition team.

‘Experienced football intelligence officers from the Metropolitan Police will be working alongside West Yorkshire officers to identify any troublemakers. We will not hesitate to take firm action against any fans who cause disorder or use violence.’

Leeds manager Neil Warnock said: ‘While I want the fans to be loud, we don’t want any of the bad behaviour we have seen from different sets of fans around the country this season and I ask both sets of fans to get behind their side without any of the unwanted problems.’

West Yorkshire Police will bolster their resources while Chelsea’s ticket allocation has been slashed from 5,000 to 3,000 in a bid to forestall potential problems.

Already this season, Rio Ferdinand has been hit by a coin, Chris Kirkland was attacked by an opposing fan and several players have issued complaints that racial slurs have been made against them by spectators.

Football's shame: Rio Ferdinand was hit by a coin during the Manchester Derby

Football's shame: Rio Ferdinand was hit by a coin during the Manchester Derby

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez tried to play down the potential for trouble when he said he will offer to shake Warnock’s hand despite bad blood between the pair. The Leeds boss says he is undecided over a handshake as he holds him partly responsible for his Sheffield United team’s Premier League relegation in 2007.

Benitez, then manager of Liverpool, fielded a weakened side against struggling Fulham in the final weeks of the season.

He said: ‘Will I shake his hand I’m a professional so I will do my job. I’m a professional and have to behave.’

Benitez will hold talks with technical director Michael Emenalo about the club’s January transfer plans. Daniel Sturridge is set to join Liverpool next month so Chelsea will want a new striker, with Radamel Falcao a top target.

Simmer down: Rafael Benitez will try to keep a lid on any potential trouble by shaking Neil Warnock's hand

Simmer down: Rafael Benitez will try to keep a lid on any potential trouble by shaking Neil Warnock's hand

Manchester City want to trial standing area

Champions City plan standing trial as campaign for terracing return gathers momentum

|

UPDATED:

13:29 GMT, 17 December 2012

Manchester City want to spearhead the campaign to bring safe standing to the Premier League.

The champions are planning to trial a return to terracing but need the backing of the Football Association.

Aston Villa and West Ham are the only other top-flight clubs to openly back the initiative.

Plans: Manchester City want to introduce safe standing to the Etihad Stadium

Plans: Manchester City want to introduce safe standing to the Etihad Stadium

'Manchester City Football Club is supportive of
initiatives to enhance safely, our fans’ matchday experience if
supported by the appropriate football authorities,' a spokesman told the Manchester Evening News.

Standing was banned in the top two divisions following the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Disaster.

A total of 96 Liverpool fans were killed in 1989 but the Hillsborough Independent Panel recently placed the blame for the tragedy at the door of South Yorkshire Police.

That was a boost to the campaign to bring safe standing back to the Premier League.

Campaign: Support is growing for standing areas like those in Germany (below)

Campaign: Support is growing for standing areas like those in Germany (below)

Campaign: Support is growing for standing areas like those in Germany (below)

National fans group the Football Supporters Federation believe the introduction of 'rail seat' zones, which are present in Germany's Bundesliga, would improve the atmosphere in English grounds.

They took their campaign to Parliament earlier this month and were backed by 13 clubs, including Villa.

But City's bitter rivals Manchester United oppose the idea.

A source told the MEN that OId Trafford would be 'incapable' of supporting standing sections.

England fail to punish India"s MS Dhoni and leave the door ajar after first day in Nagpur: Nasser Hussain

Careless England fail to punish defensive Dhoni and leave the door ajar

|

UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 13 December 2012

Negative outlook: MS Dhoni opted for caution in Nagpur (FILE PHOTO)

Negative outlook: MS Dhoni opted for caution in Nagpur (FILE IMAGE)

England went into the fourth Test promising they would be ruthless but they were not as clinical as they might have been on the first day and ended it having left the door slightly open for India.

India picked the wrong side —they really needed two seamers on that pitch — and lost the toss but England failed to take full advantage and will have been just the unhappier of the two sides going into the second day.

Yes, that was a very difficult pitch to score on and MS Dhoni immediately went on the defensive, which didn’t exactly help, but was it a hard pitch to survive on Was it a difficult pitch to play spin on Not really.

If the tourists had lost three or four
wickets to reverse swing I would have understood but the truth was that
they gifted India three and Alastair Cook will be thinking that the
close score could easily have been 200 for three.

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell will both be disappointed with the way they got out and, while Kevin Pietersen batted well and I could understand him wanting to be assertive, he got out in the end to nothing more than a soft chip.

Cheap dismissal: Jonathan Trott will be angered with the loss of his wicket (FILE IMAGE)

Cheap dismissal: Jonathan Trott will be angered with the loss of his wicket (FILE IMAGE)

In the end the 21-year-old debutant in Joe Root showed, with a bit of that over-my-dead-body Yorkshire spirit, that you could survive and also play a few shots.

Graham Thorpe rates Root highly and you could see why here in the calm, composed and organised way he went about his business.

I have often said that you should pick on character and Root’s character immediately looks right.

Keeping his head: Joe Root made an impressive start to his Test career in tough circumstances (FILE IMAGE)

Keeping his head: Joe Root made an impressive start to his Test career in tough circumstances (FILE IMAGE)

I wasn’t surprised that England chose to replace Samit Patel — if he is not going to bowl then you can’t consider him one of England’s six best batsmen — but I was surprised they chose Root over Jonny Bairstow.

It is a brave call, and one that probably reflects England’s reservations about Bairstow’s playing of spin at this stage of his career, but so far it is one that you have to say they got right.