India vs England 2014: 3rd Test, Day 1 - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
England 1st Innings
Over 90 || Score 247/2
So the first day of the third Test at Southampton undoubtedly belonged to the home side. English skipper took a brave decision to bat first after winning the toss and against all the odds played a captain's knock. But the highlight of the day was the unbeaten hundred run-knock played by the 24-year-old Gary Ballance. Indian team certainly missed the presence of their star performer of the Lord's Test, Ishant Sharma on opening day of the Test.
Over 85 || Score 246/2
Gary Ballance completes his hundred in style by scoring a boundary off Mohammed Shami towards point region in the 84th over. What a knock by the talented youngster. It's his third hundred in six Tests and second of the series. He is playing a sensible knock at a crucial time for England. In the 85th over Bell smashed two boundaries off Pankaj Singh to collect eight runs from the over.
Over 80 || Score 220/2
Ballance is now just seven runs shy of his hundred. However, Bell who has come in after the fall of Cook's wicket is still to open his account even after facing 11 deliveries. Dhoni is mixing up his bowlers well at the moment. A wicket or two here can help India to make a comeback in the match.
Over 76 || Score 213/2
Cook Out! Finally, Jadeja gives India their second breakthrough of the day in the form of skipper Cook. Cook tried to play the ball down the leg-side but only managed a slight inside edge of his bat and Dhoni took a sharp catch in the end. Cook played a captain's knock on day one at Rose Bowl. First he bravely chose to bat first and then led his side from the front. But the skipper missed his hundred by mere five runs. Ian Bell is the new man in.
AN Cook c Dhoni b Jadeja 95 (231b)
Over 70 || Score 200/1
It seems as if India are missing their most experience bowler in Ishant Sharma, who missed the Test, due to some fitness issues. By the end of 70th over, England have put up 200 runs on the board and have lost just one wicket in the form of opener Robson. English skipper Cook and Ballance are playing sensible cricket in the middle and have reached 91 and 77 respectively. Nothing has worked for Dhoni so far. The home side has tighten their grip on the match.
Over 60 || Score 173/1
Pankaj Singh has been brought back into the attack by the Indian skipper. But Ballance, who is looking dangerous at the moment collected two boundaries off the debutante. Ballance has quickly moved to 64, after completing his fifty. Dhoni has tried almost everything to break this partnership which has added more than hundred runs for the second wicket. England are certainly at the top of the game at the moment.
Over 56 || Score 167/1
After Cook, Gary Ballance has also scored fifty. He took a single off Jadeja in the 56th over to complete his half-century. He has smashed six boundaries so far in his innings. A hard-fought knock by the right hander. In the 53rd over, England have crossed the mark of 150 runs. Rohit Sharma and Ravinder Jadeja are bowing at the moment for the travelling team.
Over 50 || Score 145/1
England are in strong position after the end of fifty overs. The home team has lost just one wicket and added 145 runs on the board. Gary Ballance is quite close to complete his fifty as he is just eight runs shy. On the other hand, opener Cook is playing on 71, with the help of seven boundaries. Dhoni is looking clueless at the moment.
Over 45 || Score 130/1
Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are bowling in tandem for the visitors. But Ballance and Cook are in no mood to throw away their wicket after getting good starts. MS Dhoni should try something new to break this partnership which is getting dangerous with every passing over. The duo has already added 75 for the second wicket.
Over 40 || Score 115/1
Ballance and Cook are now not leaving any single opportunity to score runs. Both the batsmen are looking solid at the crease. Cook, who is playing in sixties, was dropped initially by Jadeja at slip off Pankaj Singh and now he is making full use of the life-line he got. He has scored seven boundaries so far and majority of his runs have come on the off side.
Over 35 || Score 101/1
MS Dhoni started off with debutante Pankaj Singh after the Lunch break. And off the fifth ball, Ballance collected a boundary towards the on -side. In the next over skipper Cook completed his fifty in style by pulling Shami for a boundary towards mid-wicket. The host side has now crossed the hundred run mark. India need to take a couple of wickets here, especially of Cook to put some pressure on England.
Over 29 || Score 78/1
Just before going for lunch MS Dhoni tried his spinners, Rohit Sharma (who is playing his first Test of the series) and Ravindra Jadeja. It was a good ploy by the Indian skipper but it didn't work for India. Cook is just two runs short of his fifty. Slowly and steadily, the English skipper is gaining his lost confidence back. One can say that the first session belongs to the host side as they have added 78 runs on the score board and have lost just one wicket.
Over 25 || Score 64/1
Indian seamers are trying hard and more importantly bowling on right areas. But English skipper Cook is showing lot of patience and playing the balls according to their merit. The new man for England, Ballance, too is playing cautiously. A wicket or two here and Indian will be right at the top of the match on day one.
Over 21 || Score 55/1
Out! Finally in the 22nd over, Mohammed Shami provided India their first breakthrough in the form of Sam Robson. A slightly back of length delivery by the speedster with a hint of swing proved enough to get the outside edge of the right-handed opener. And this time at third slip, Jadeja did no mistake. Gary Ballance in the new man in after the fall of first English wicket.
SD Robson c Jadeja b Mohammed Shami 26 (59b)
Over 15 || Score 41/0
In the 12th over Pankaj Singh came round the wicket and he managed to produce an edge from the bat of Cook but at slips, Ravindra Jadeja dropped a straight catch. On one end where skipper Cook is still looked a bit rusty, Robson is playing with confidence. In the 13th over he played a perfect cover drive off Bhuvneshar Kumar to collect his second boundary of the innings. But débutante Pankaj is bowling at a good pace. In the 15th over Mohammed Shami has been brought back into the attack, let's whether this change will work for the visitors or not.
Over 10 || Score 25/0
First bowling change for India in the eighth over when MSD introduced the tall bowler, Pankaj Singh, who is making his Test debut. The Uttar Pradesh bowler has taken five-wicket haul 21 times in domestic cricket. Cook and Robson are now looking comfortable in the middle. India desperately need a wicket here to put some pressure on the home side. After ten overs, Cook is batting on 15, whereas, Robson is on 10.
Over 5 || Score 13/0
Cautious start by England openers – Alastair Cook and Sam Robson. Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are bowling in tandem for India. Both the seamers are getting a hint of swing but they are still searching for the first breakthrough. Under-fire English skipper took a brave decision to bat first after winning the toss.
Toss: Alastair Cook has won the toss and opted to bat first.
Ishant Sharma has been replaced by Pankaj Singh as he picked up a minor injury in training. Stuart Binny makes way for Rohit Sharma as India pick up a batsman heavy team for this Test.
Southampton: After India`s historic win at Lord`s, England's cricket team plunged into crisis mode. As both teams prepare to battle it out in the 3rd Test, pressure is clearly on the hosts.
Another side-story that has developed since the first test seems to be reaching boiling point now and has set the tone for this match. Ravindra Jadeja and James Anderson`s scuffle in Nottingham has turned into a full-blown controversy.
ICC has reprimanded Jadeja for his role in the burst up with a 50% deduction from his match fees, while Anderson`s hearing is schedules for August 1. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni again came out in support of his all-rounder and said he was “hurt” by ICC's decision decision.
England have also given Anderson their full support as Ben Stokes and Matt Prior will testify against Jadeja during the hearing. These recent turn of events will have a bearing on the minds of players when they take to the field and this test will throw up plenty of side battles.
Several important voices in England cricket have been calling for Alastair Cook`s resignation. The left-hander, who has struggled with the bat would not want his premier fast bowler to be charged under a Level 3 offense that could see him miss the 4th Test.
Team India will be brimming with confidence after taking a 1-0 lead in the five match series. England cannot afford another bad performance as they look to make a comeback in the series.