Against odds, itís even on Day 1
- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
At the end of Day One, with India 273 for seven after winning the toss, both teams seemed pleased enough with the surface the curator had rolled out. Gautam Gambhir said it had had "something for everyone." James Anderson said that the English seamers, for the first time, had had reverse swing to work with. "This pitch is perfect for it," he said. "It's very abrasive." He had swung the new ball as well. "I suppose the early start helps," he said.
Anderson beat Gambhir twice in his second over, getting the ball to dart past both edges. When Virender Sehwag was on strike, England had Kevin Pietersen fielding at an unusually deep gully. Twice, Sehwag streaked airy boundaries wide of this fielder off Anderson's bowling, and once off Steven Finn. A more conventional gully might have cut off the angle and found himself within catching range.
But this didn't cost England too much. Sehwag flicked Anderson into the leg side, where Samit Patel ran from deep square leg to deep midwicket and scrambled the ball back into play an inch off the ropes. By the time Finn sent in a flat relay throw to the keeper's end, Sehwag had hared halfway to the other end, looking for a third. Gambhir was unmoved.
When Anderson returned to the attack, India had just lost their second wicket. Monty Panesar had bowled Cheteshwar Pujara with a quicker one that went with the arm and perhaps kept a touch low. Sachin Tendulkar was on one.
But Gambhir was on strike. He faced all of that over, the last before lunch, and remained on strike over the course of Anderson's next three. In all, that spell consisted of 23 dot balls and one square-driven four. Finn replaced him at that end.
Anderson returned after the drinks interval, halfway through the second session, nearly halfway through the day. India were 120 for three in 44 overs, and Gambhir had departed, top-edging an attempted square cut off Panesar to first slip. The ball was now 10 overs older.
Bowling to Tendulkar for the first time, Anderson bent one into his blockhole ó dug out just in time ó beat his outside edge in his second over and then sent down a bouncer that grazed his chest as he leaned backwards to evade it. The next ball straightened, kissed Tendulkar's outside edge and screamed away low, past second slip for four.
In his next over, Anderson bowled pretty much the same delivery to Virat Kohli, and the ball ricocheted off the edge in the same direction. But this time, it stayed in the air long enough for Graeme Swann to grab it near his ankles. India were 136 for four.
With the ball reversing so much, Alastair Cook could have brought Finn on from the other end and bowled his seamers in tandem. Anderson strengthened the case for this move, striking Yuvraj Singh's pad with one that bent back into the left-hander. But he instead brought on Swann.
The first ball the off spinner sent down at Yuvraj, like the one that bowled him in Mumbai, went on straight. It rapped his front pad, but Swann's elongated appeal failed to move the umpire, who probably reckoned it hit him marginally outside off. Yuvraj thumped the next two balls for four.
When Finn finally came on, it was to replace Anderson, after just a five-over spell. When tea arrived, the fifth-wicket stand had grown to 36. Yuvraj grew more comfortable after the break, skipping down the track to swat Panesar down the ground for four and muscling a short one from Swann to the midwicket boundary. But he finally fell when Swann got one to stop on him, causing him to spoon it to short cover.
Four overs later, Anderson was back. The first ball of his second over, angled into Tendulkar, straightened to take his outside edge and land low in Matt Prior's right glove. This was the eighth time Anderson had dismissed Tendulkar in 13 Test matches. With this, he joined Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 19 Tests to get to that mark, on the top of that table.
With two overs to go, Anderson came back for his final over of the day. The ball in his hands was two overs old. Ravichandran Ashwin flicked his second ball past mid on for four. The next ball was full too, but not as full, and shaped in to sneak between Ashwin's bat and half-cock front foot. India were seven down; Anderson had three.
(Log on to www.indianexpress.com for exclusive live and outrageously entertaining audio commentary of England's tour of India.) Live on star sports: 9 am
- Paddy shortfall blamed for mystery death of procurement officer
- 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chiefís son-in-law: cops
- Net widens, police watching three more players, new set of bookies
- Suspected Islamists behead soldier on London street
- Malegaon 2006 case: NIA names four right wing terror suspects
- BJP invokes 'sarcasm, ridicule' against PM