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Stats Highlights: Eng vs India, 3rd Test - Day 1

Pankaj Singh becomes the 282nd player to represent India in Test cricket

This is the first Test to start on a Sunday in England. The break-up of starting days of Test matches: Friday-669, Thursday-660, Saturday-340, Wednesday-200, Monday-100, Tuesday-95 and Sunday-68.

Pankaj Singh became 282nd player to represent India in Test matches. He is the first Rajasthan player to play for India since Parthasarathy Sharma who played five Tests between 1974 and 1977.

Jos Butler became 665th player to represent England in Test matches. He is set to become 66th player to don wicketkeeping gloves for England.

MS Dhoni was leading India for the seventh time in a Test in England- most by an India. He went ahead of Ajit Wadekar and Mohammad Azharuddin’s tally of six Tests.

Alastair Cook was also leading England for the seventh time against India, equalling Nasser Hussain’s record.

Only four players made their Test debut for India with more first-class wickets under their belt than Pankaj Singh’s 300. They are: Dilip Doshi (494), Amir Elahi (449), Shute Banerjee (305) and Amit Mishra (303).

When he reached 26, Cook completed 1500 runs against India. He became third Englishman to do so after Graham Gooch (1725) and Kevin Pietersen (1581).

It was after 9 innings that an England opening pair put on a fifty-run partnership in Test cricket!

On 51, Cook became ninth player to complete 2000 runs as England captain, joining the ranks with Mike Atherton (3815), Graham Gooch (3582), Andrew Strauss (3343), Michael Vaughan (3170), Peter May (3080), Nasser Hussain (2487), Ted Dexter (2427) and David Gower (2267).

Alastair Cook has now aggregated 8257 runs for England, which puts him at the third place among England’s leading run-scorers. He surpassed Kevin Pietersen (8181) and David Gower (8231). Now only Graham Gooch (8900) and Alec Stewart (8463) are ahead of Cook.

Alastair Cook was dismissed in nineties for the sixth time in his Test career. He now holds the English record of most dismissals in nineties, moving ahead of Ken Barrington, Geoff Boycott and Kevin Pietersen (5 each).

Cook’s catch gave MS Dhoni his 400th dismissals in first-class cricket. The Indian record of most first-class dismissals as a keeper is held by Farokh Engineer (817).

Gary Ballance scored his second hundred of the series and third of his career. He is only the fifth England batsman to score three hundreds in first 6 Tests, after Jack Russell (not the wicketkeeper!), Les Ames, Len Hutton and Ravi Bopara.

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Report: England vs India, 3rd Test - Day 1

England on top after Ballance and Cook shine bright on first day

England were comfortably placed on 247/2 at stumps on Day 1 of the third Test against India in Southampton. Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance had put the hosts in a position of advantage with a 158-run stand for the second wicket at the end of day’s play.

While Ballance posted a watchful hundred, Cook capitalised on the reprieve he had received when he was batting on 15 and made 95 to end his poor run with the bat. When play ended on Sunday evening, Ballance was batting on 104 with Ian Bell on 16.

Earlier, on a sunny morning at The Rose Bowl, Cook opted to bat and came out to kick off the day’s proceedings with Robson. India were without the services of Ishant Sharma owing to an injury and his replacement Pankaj Singh created the first opportunity for a breakthrough for the tourists. The debutant, coming in first change after a short and expensive spell by Mohammed Shami, bent his back to keep the batsmen on their toes. He would have had the wicket of the England captain had Ravindra Jadeja at third slip held on to the edge offered by Cook.

The debutant hit the deck hard and swung the ball as he toiled to create more opportunities. Getting the ball to come in to Cook, Singh tied down the left-handed batsman. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled full and kept the flow of runs in check with an economical first spell.

The England openers garnered runs after a watchful start until Shami ended the opening stand for 55. In his second spell from the opposite end, he got the outside edge of Robson’s bat with a delivery swerving away from the opener and this time Jadeja held on to the catch at slips. The England skipper was also beaten on a couple of occasions by Shami even as he continued to add on to the tally with Gary Ballance.

Post Lunch, Cook pulled Shami through mid-wicket in the second over to reach his half century. As the innings progressed, the opener looked in good nick while he kept the Indian bowlers at bay. Ballance played the perfect foil to his captain as the pair maintained a good hold on the game.

While the bowlers had kept the flow of runs in check, they weren’t able to trouble the English batsmen. The Indian seamers’ efforts didn’t yield the intended results as the Cook-Ballance partnership took the home team past the three-figure mark and began to take shape. They left the probing deliveries on the off-stump, ran the ones and twos, and found the odd boundary as they carried the innings forward.

As the bowlers toiled on a track which had little to offer for them, MS Dhoni had Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan bowl while Ravindra Jadeja bowled his slow left-arm spin as India looked for a breakthrough.

Ballance then brought up a carefully crafted half-century as the session neared its end as England stayed in the driver’s seat. Having added 108 runs in the second session, the left-handed batting pair’s partnership was worth 131 at the end of the afternoon session.

Resuming in the last session, Cook and Ballance batting on 82 and 72 respectively continued from where they had left. Having blunted the Indian attack, both batsmen looked set for their respective tons. However, while on 95, a Jadeja delivery going down the leg side took the edge off Cook’s bat and Dhoni took the catch to give India a key wicket.

Bell then joined Ballance in the middle who was inching towards his century. The top-order batsman brought up the three-figure mark with a boundary off Shami. The seamers ran in hard with the second new ball without much result as the England batsmen continued to pile on the runs.

Dhoni had used as many as six bowling options through the day in an effort to break the rhythm of the England batsmen and create a breakthrough.

Debut: Pankaj Singh for India; came in for Ishant Sharma and Jos Buttler replaced Matt Prior in the England team.

Other changes in playing eleven: Rohit Sharma in place of Stuart Binny for India, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordon for Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes for England.

Brief scores:

Day 1:
England 1st inn 247/2 in 90 overs (G Ballance 104*, A Cook 95, I Bell 16*)