November 23, 2012
Unlike the run fest currently taking place in Adelaide, spectators enjoyed an evenly balanced contest between bat and ball on Day 1 of the second test between India and England at Mumbai on Friday. Honours were shared as India ended the day on 266 – 6 after winning the toss on another hot dusty turner.
India went into the match with a three spinner, one seamer attack (Harbhajan Singh coming in for his first test for 18 months). England made the two changes expected, replacing Tim Bresnan with Monty Panesar with Jonny Bairstow coming in for the absent Ian Bell.
Heads in the England dressing room may have dropped as Alastair Cook once again lost the toss, but England started well. England had the best of it in the first two sessions, reducing India to 169 – 6 at one stage, but India finished strongly with an unbeaten partnership of 97 between Cheteshwara Pujara (114 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (60 not out).
The ball was spinning and Panesar took full advantage. Monty’s quality scalps were Virenda Sehwag (bowled off a full delivery), Sachin Tendulkar (also bowled by a ripper that Shane Warne would have been proud of), Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. He finished with figures of 4 – 91 off 34 overs. In addition, noble support was provided by James Anderson (1 – 49) and Graeme Swann (1 – 59). Sadly, Stuart Broad (0 – 60) was ineffectual, raising further doubts about his place in the team. Watch out for further developments in his spat with Ian Botham.
Pujara, continuing his prolific form, was once again the start of the show. So far in this series he has scored over 400 hundred runs spread over 900 hundred minutes without being dismissed. England are currently bereft of ideas on how to get him out. He looks perfectly capable of converting this ton to a double tomorrow. As for England, it will soon be time for their major batsmen to deliver.
The Scoop 23/11/12