Wednesday, 5 December 2012

India Vs England: Kolkata Day One

James Anderson at last had something to smile about in India today as he was rewarded for his toil with three Indian wickets in helping restrict the home side to 273/7 after winning to toss.
The biggest celebration came when taking the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar who issued a timely reminder to his critics that there is life in him yet with a hard earned 76 which was only ended by a brilliant one-handed diving catch behind the stumps by Matt Prior.
With most of the pre-match chatter focussed on the pitch and selection the answers  were given when England announced that Stuart Broad was being replaced by the fit again Steven Finn and that Ian Bell was reclaiming his place at the expense of Jonny Bairstow.
The pitch meanwhile, looks like it has plenty of runs in it and several of India’s batsmen were complicit in their own demise. Virender Sehwag ran himself out in rather comical fashion while Gautam Gambhir cut one that was too close to him after a well made 60.
The worst offender was Yuvraj Singh however, losing the patience that is so important in Test cricket and chipping Graeme Swann straight to short-extra cover.
Although Finn, who was just four years old when England last played a Test at Eden Gardens, bowled without reward he looked infinitely more threatening than Broad, dropped for the first time since 2008.
It is hard to judge what a good score is going to be on this wicket until both sides have batted on it, but certainly the England dressing room will be the happier or the two, but with MS Dhoni still there, and averaging more than 180 on this ground, India will still believe they can post a total in excess of 350 and put England under some pressure.

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