Trent Bridge, Day 1: Spiteful Pitch Makes For An Enthralling Contest

Posted: July 30, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in England 2011
Tags: , , , ,

 Goutham Chakravarthi

 30 July 2011

A green pitch and an overcast day covered with wet clouds greeted the two sides at the toss which both captains didn’t want to lose for it wasn’t the pitch even Dr. W.G. Grace would stick his thumb into and say, ‘A hundred for me lads’. With injuries plaguing his team and with an unsettled batting order, Dhoni was relieved to win his second toss in a row and insert England.

Sreesanth made a fine come back by picking three English top-order wickets

It can be difficult to assess bowling performances in helpful conditions. Largely, Praveen Kumar settled into a good line and swung it both ways with magical control. Ishant, buoyed by his performance in the second innings of the Lord’s test, galloped to the wickets and hurled tough questions at the English openers. Between Praveen Kumar, Kevin Pietersen and Marias Erasmus, they ensured the news channels got enough fodder for the evening bulletin. Tantalizing cricket was played where fortunes oscillated between bat and ball when stumps were drawn for lunch.

The afternoon session warmed many Indian hearts as their bowlers ripped through the English middle order with great skill and discipline. They could have got more as the bowling had the batsmen in a fix: batsmen were drawn to play away from the body with the bat aslant from the swing of the ball. The pitch offered the ball more than what the bowler offered the ball when hurled to the pitch, and as a result, a tough and fine middle order was left to lick its wounds for the second time in successive innings. Sreesanth, his omission from the first test and his late swing, was debated at length in the Sky commentary box.

The test erupted into life in the final session with two free spirited locals deciding to take the attack to the enemy camp. A dumbstruck opposition recoiled and let the game drift. In a most entertaining hour post tea, Swann and Broad smashed a hitherto impressive Indian attack to smithereens. And till the maverick Praveen Kumar got one to spit on Swann and almost broke his left hand, the show looked impressive to carry on for a while longer. Broad continued in his merry way in producing a sparkling half-century in front of his home crowd, an innings that could prove to be vital in the final analysis of the match if England manage to sneak ahead with a lead after the completion of the Indian first innings.

Dravid and Laxman, key to India overhauling England’s 221, survived a testing spell of skillful bowling from Broad and Anderson. They showed their skill in encountering a difficult pitch with movement and unpredictable bounce. They took body blows and survived close shaves. Lucky as they were, they showed how to survive on this wicket. They, with Tendulkar, will be crucial for India’s chances now in this Test.

England will fancy their chances on the second morning.

  1. Boss, super changed the background.

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