Match Report: Eng v Ind, 3rd Test - Day 1
Birmingham, Aug 10: The England bowlers backed their skipper’s decision to bowl first by cheaply dismissing India’s top-order in the first session of the day at Edgbaston. But a brilliant effort by the Indian skipper MS Dhoni saw India cross the 200-run mark; the visitors were, at one stage, struggling at 111 for seven
Dhoni’s superbly compiled 77 runs (10X 4, 3X6) saved India the blushes as their famous batting line-up folded pitiably once again. Stuart Broad, the thorn in India’s side this series, claimed a four-for, and so did the terrific Tim Bresnan.
After bowling India out in 62.2 overs in the last session, England scored 84 runs in 25 overs with all wickets intact. Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook put on their highest opening partnership of the series so far and remained unbeaten on 52 and 27 runs respectively at stumps on Day 1.
Earlier, with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir back in the side, India were looking to get off to respectable start. But that was not to be as they lost Sehwag to the first ball he faced in the series, bowled by Stuart Broad. The umpire’s decision was reviewed, a nick of the glove discovered and the much-awaited batsman was sent off ignominiously.
Rahul Dravid went out to join Gambhir in the middle in just the second over of the day. The duo put together a 51-run partnership before Tim Bresnan struck to claim Gambhir’s leg-stump bringing Sachin Tendulkar to the crease. With Tendulkar in at No. 4, Strauss brought Jimmy Anderson into the attack. The pacer was immediately back to business troubling Tendulkar; an Anderson delivery even missed the stumps by a whisker. In the following over, Stuart Broad reaped the rewards of Anderson’s work as Tendulkar edged the ball straight into the hands of the latter at third slip. A few overs later, Bresnan bowled Dravid to leave India wobbling at four for 75 runs at lunch.
India’s poor run continued into the second session as the new man in, Suresh Raina, was bowled by Anderson. A couple of overs later, VVS Laxman became Bresnan’s third scalp of the day and India were in deep trouble with six wickets down. Laxman was soon followed back by Amit Mishra, giving Broad his third wicket in the innings.
Praveen Kumar, who joined Dhoni at the fall of Mishra’s wicket, was involved in a crucial 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket. After contributing a useful 26 runs, Kumar edged a Bresnan delivery to Matt Prior and was given out to the second review of the day. At the end of the second session, India had lost four more wickets, but the Indian skipper was batting resolutely on 61 runs with Ishant Sharma for company.
A few overs after tea, the solid Dhoni was out on 77, caught by Andrew Strauss in the slips off Broad. In the very next over, Anderson removed Sharma to wind up the Indian innings for a paltry 224 runs.
Brief Scores (at the end of Day 1): India 1st innings 224 all out in 62.2 overs (MS Dhoni 77, G Gambhir 38, S Broad 4/53, T Bresnan 4/62), England 2nd innings 84/0 in 25 overs (A Strauss 52*, A Cook 27*)