A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

England vs. India, Second Test: Day Three Review

Posted on July 31, 2011 by in Tests

England 221

India 288

England 441/6 (101 overs) (Bell 159, Morgan 70, Kumar 2/93)

In a sentence

England took the Indian bowling attack apart, but their performance will be overshadowed by one of the most controversial incidents of recent times.

Player of the day

It would be a shame if amongst the fall-out from ‘The Run Out that Wasn’t’ the excellence of Ian Bell’s innings is forgotten. If there were any remaining doubters (and it’s hard to believe there were), surely they have now been silenced. Heading into todays play England were under serious pressure to set India a competitive target, yet by the time Ishant Sharma completed the final over they had taken complete control of the test. Bell was responsible for setting the tone for a day in which England scored over 400 for the loss of just five wickets. Having dominated a vital partnership with Kevin Pietersen, he was responsible for demoralising the Indian attack to such an extent that they had no answer to Matt Prior’s assault late on. Whilst his rearguards in South Africa were the making of him, today could well have been his greatest innings.

Moment of the day

There was no chance of getting through this review without discussing the run out, so let’s get it out of the way. There are many conflicting opinions on it and no doubt the argument will run and run. From a purely cricketing point of view though, the decision made little difference. Bell added 22 runs after his reprieve, but in a way the timing of his ‘second’ dismissal was better for India, given that it came just before the second new ball. We won’t go into the rights and wrongs of the whole incident here, suffice to say that it was an admirable gesture from MS Dhoni. We will, however, return to the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ issue after this test match.

In terms of the game situation itself, the last hour or so of play was quite incredible. After Jonathan Trott was surprised by a Praveen Kumar delivery which got big on him, England’s lead was not hugely substantial. At that stage, Kumar having removed two key batsmen with the new ball, India would have fancied their chances of having to chase a target of around 300. Unfortunately for the tourists, Matt Prior was born for situations like that and he attacked from the outset, his half century was as brutal as it was important. Adam Gilchrist is one of the most significant cricketers to ever play the game, but Prior is now as important to England as Gilchrist was to Australia. The Prior/Bresnan combination added 102 in 107 balls, a partnership which has all but taken the game away from India.

Steve Smith is spotted enjoying the Nottingham sun

Outlook for tomorrow

England will probably just bat until they are all out rather than worry about a declaration. The lead already stands at 374, and barring something remarkable taking place in the morning that will go past 400. Twice the home side have been staring down the barrell, but somehow they now are in a position of supreme strength. India will have to bat five sessions to save the game or pull off a world record run chase. Neither seem likely, but in this test match anything could happen.


Post a Comment


Tomas Wright

01 Aug 2011 00:57

Nice review of the day, pretty much perfect day from an England perspective, Pietersen starting to look a bit more like his old self, Ian Bell once again magnificent, and a nice 70 from Morgan, shame he’s so vulnerable against the swinging ball at the moment… As for Prior, what a player he’s been for us in the last 12 months, the way he saw off the new ball today was top class, just as India were thinking they could maybe be chasing sub 300 he starts flaying the ball to all corners of the ground, completely destroyed any momentum gained from the three quick wickets and now they have a massive challenge to avoid going 2 down.

I have to say the depth of the batting line up is fantastic, I know it’s been mentioned a few times but can you imagine any other England team being 124-8 in their first innings getting to 221, then from the opposition being 40 runs ahead with 6 wickets in hand and two batsmen set to 374 runs ahead by stumps next day? Stuart Broad almost single-handedly kept us alive the first two days, and since then the application shown by the team has been that of the best team in the world.



31 Jul 2011 21:53

And don’t be hating too much on Steve Smith, as my Aussie mate tells me all the time, his fielding is outstanding apparently. A bit rubbish otherwise mind…



31 Jul 2011 21:50

Anthony – Purely due to the name of the website. I was trying to find articles about that infamous England innings when it came up on Google. I find the analysis on here a refreshing alternative to most of the stuff on cricinfo etc. Keep up the good work!

James – I can see both sides of the argument but how many times have players been given out lbw (pre DRS) by balls that that have been anything but lbw balls (not so much anymore now Daryl Harper has gotten the heave ho!). Dodgy decisions are just a part of the game and the general acceptance of them without too much complaint is one of the great things about cricket. I realise that this is a pretty unique incident but I do feel England should have accepted it and moved on.

On England’s MVP, I’d be tempted to agree with Matt on Prior. Not only has he become a top class gloveman, with Morgan (or any other alternative) being unproven in tests, without Prior’s quality batting the lower middle order would be very uncertain. His presence also seems to inspire some quality hitting from our tail.

Anderson’s importance his been lessened slightly imo by the emergence of Tremlett. He’s still be no.2 on the importance rankings for me.


Matthew L

31 Jul 2011 21:30

I hope I never live to see the day that Steve Smith is no longer a laughing stock


James Knight

31 Jul 2011 21:27

We’re glad to have you!

You make a fair point, but I still think the right decision was reached in the end. Kumar & a number of other Indian fielders reacted as if the ball was dead, and whilst I agree Bell was ‘dopey’ to have just wandered down the wicket I don’t think that qualifies as anything close to a genuine attempt at a run.

The best thing for England would probably be to get bowled out about half an hour before lunch and try to nip one out in the morning. I’m always wary of this Indian batting line up, especially since it’s due a big score. You’d think if England get 50 more then that’s pretty much any chance of defeat gone, but you never know.

Matt – It’s difficult to pick a most important player at the moment, they’re all playing so well! I think Anderson just pips it for me at the moment for the way he’s led the bowling attack over the past 18 months or so. We keep wondering if we’ll be able to take 20 wickets, first in Australia and now against India, and they keep passing those tests with flying colours.



31 Jul 2011 21:27

Good to hear from you and you make an interesting point.
How, if I may ask, did you find out about the site?



31 Jul 2011 21:23

1 : The picture comment about steve smith , The hatred you guys have for him is hilarious

2 : Bell was technically out and Indians already think the world is against them so now they will go on about this but I think Dhoni had no choice but to withdraw the appeal for the sake of relations between 2 countries

3 : I am a bit uncomfortable about the fact that Strauss/Flowers took it upon them selves to visit the indian dressing room and ask Dhoni to reconsider. Surely the match ref should have done that.It just created a precedent imo.

4 : England are really unbelievable its their tail that is outstanding something like 400 plus runs have come from the last 4wickets for england this series, I think India really lost their way and conceded tooo many runs .

Broad turned this game for England they are now odds on to win this test..



31 Jul 2011 20:58

Hi guys

Been reading the website over the last few days, great to see an independent cricket website producing quality articles, good job all!

On the “run out” issue, I think that Bell has got to hold his hand up and admit a monumental foul up on his part. I’m a huge fan of his batting and his 150 today was a joy to watch. However, watching the interview I think he knew deep down that the blame lay with him (in fact I think he realised when he was halfway down the pitch towards Morgan that he was in trouble!). A lot has been made of the “Spirit of Cricket” today and questioning Dhoni’s actions in this regard. Surely, if my impressions of Bell’s interview are correct, then in accepting the reprieve he wasn’t really acting in the Spirit of the game. Something to ponder anyway…

I hope we can bat until we have a lead of at least 500 tomorrow and declare in and around lunchtime. That will make for a very interesting final day and a half but an England win should be well attainable from this position especially considering Broad’s outstanding form.


Matthew L

31 Jul 2011 20:29

It’s well documented that I am a huge Matt Prior fan but I just want to state again how impressive he was today and has been for the past 18 months or so. I would go as far as to say that he is England’s most important player at the moment with the way he can either rescue England after a wobbly batting performance or blow any chance the opposition have away with his destructive batting from number 7. A class act and long may his run of form continue