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

India vs. England, Second Test: Day Two Review

Posted on November 24, 2012 by in Tests

India 327ao (Pujara 135 OUT, Panesar 5/129,  Swann 4/70)

England 178/2 (Cook 87*, Pietersen 62*, Ojha 2/65)

England trail by 149 runs with eight first innings wickets remaining.

In a sentence

It was a day of interest rather than excitement, as England managed not to bugger up any session of the day.

Player of the day

We might as well save this section as a template and paste it in the daily review every time England bat: once again Alastair Cook held off the opposition and batted through to close for an unbeaten 87. His typical captain’s innings wasn’t entirely without error – he should have been given out LBW when he missed a paddle sweep off Harbhajan Singh on 84*, but luckily Aleem Dar also made a misjudgement – but generally he batted calmly and gave India few opportunities despite variable bounce and turn. He even found the inspiration to strike Pragyan Ojha for six early in his innings. The supporting role came from Kevin Pietersen, playing in a much more composed manner than in the first Test; nonetheless he still managed to reach 50 from just 63 balls. The unbroken partnership followed a brief spell in which England threatened to undo their solid start. Firstly Nick Compton (an odd 29, combining a solid forward defence, bizarre shot-making and a backward defence from almost on top of the stumps) was caught at slip and then, two overs later, Jonathan Trott was trapped in front of middle stump for possibly the plumbest LBW ever seen in Test cricket. His shortage of runs is becoming a worry. But whereas England could easily have panicked and found themselves several down for not many, Cook and Pietersen steered them to a comfortable position.

Kevin Pietersen: just happy to be back in 51allout’s good books.

Moment of the day

Before the start of play, the general feeling was that England would need four quick and cheap wickets if they were to harbour any hopes of victory. Luckily, thanks to some tight lines from Monty Panesar and probing ones from Graeme Swann, India’s overnight pair failed to drive home their advantage. The wicket for Panesar and three wickets for Swann were all well-deserved and India’s total of 327 wasn’t as psychologically daunting as it could have been, although it was certainly challenging. The most pleasing moment of this tense morning session from an English perspective came when the gin-affected and caffeine-addicted watchers realised that Cheteshwar Pujara’s defence was not, after all, impregnable.  It took a clever ball from Swann to beat Pujara in the air; he misjudged the line slightly and was out of his crease when Matt Prior collected the ball and completed the stumping. Including the first Test, Pujara had been batting for 16 hours and 17 minutes without being dismissed – roughly equivalent to a very long time indeed.

The scene outside our local following Pujara’s dismissal. Editor Steve is the one with a Reebok cap.

Outlook for tomorrow

Whisper it, but England are in a decent position in this game. The telling minutes will follow the breaking of the extant partnership, but if the young middle order and Matt Prior can bat in a similar manner to Cook and Pietersen, i.e. playing each ball on its merits rather than having a predetermined plan of action, then a lead is on the cards (and arguably the three Indian spinners have been outbowled by Swann and Panesar so far).

So the team crumbling in a heap of discarded kit and salty tears it is then.


No Comments

Post a Comment