England 393 India 322-9: Panesar's unforgettable day upstages brilliance of Hoggard

The late wickets of Anil Kumble and Mohammad Kaif sealed another profitable day for England in the first Test against India here yesterday. The eighth-wicket pair, who had frustrated Andrew Flintoff's combative team for more than four hours, looked as though they were about to negate the brilliance of Matthew Hoggard, who bowled as well as he ever has in an England shirt during India's first-innings total of 322 for 9.

Stephen Harmison and the mightily impressive Monty Panesar claimed the scalps of Kumble and Kaif in the final two overs of an enthralling day, but it was Hoggard, with the outstanding figures of 5 for 57 in 30 overs, who proudly led a tired but satisfied England team from the field.

Hoggard was not the only England player to walk off with a broad smile. He was closely followed by Panesar, who looked every inch a Test bowler during his first full day in the field. Who knows how many Test wickets Panesar will go on to take, but he will never forget the sight of Aleem Dar raising his finger to give Sachin Tendulkar out to give him his first victim at the élite end of the game.

Tendulkar did not appear happy with the lbw decision but the ball hit his pad before coming in to contact with his bat and he was rightly given out. In the wild celebrations that followed, it took the England team about 10 seconds to catch up with Panesar, but he had every reason to celebrate.

India is a country where cricketers are the superstars. It is their images that occupy the gossip pages of newspapers and it is they who advertise products for multinational companies. Yet for the first three days of this Test, it has been the unfashionable, workmanlike members of each team who have shone. The opening two days were dominated by Paul Collingwood's superb hundred and Wasim Jaffer's fine 73, and yesterday it was the Hoggard, Kaif and Kumble show.

That this was the case was largely down to the nature of the pitch. Slow, lifeless surfaces do not encourage rousing cricket but they reward those who are prepared to get their whites dirty and scrap.

And there is no England player who enjoys a scrap more than Hoggard. "I would say this is one of my best performances," Hoggard said after taking his sixth five-wicket haul for England.

"It was a lot easier in Johannesburg a year ago [where Hoggard took 12 for 205 against South Africa] and to concede only 57 runs in 30 overs shows that I put the ball consistently in the right area. Thankfully I got my rewards.

"Our game plan at the start of the day was a simple one. All we wanted to do was put the ball in the right area, dry the runs up and put the Indian batsmen under pressure. It was a bonus that the ball started reverse swinging and thankfully we picked up some wickets. We would have settled for being 71 ahead and having them nine down at the start of the day."

It was reassuring to see these old-fashioned principles work in an era when many coaches are attempting to reinvent the wheel. And it was the combination of line and length, along with the relatively modern phenomenon of reverse swing, which dumbfounded India's batsmen in a morning session which conceded five wickets.

Rahul Dravid was the first to go when an inswinger beat his defensive lunge and wrapped him on the pad. The Indian captain looked disgruntled when Dar gave him out and he probably had every right to be - the ball struck him quite high on the pad and would have missed leg stump.

Yet there could be no doubt about the wickets Hoggard claimed with consecutive deliveries in his next over. Jaffer, on 81, drove loosely at a widish away-swinger and was well caught by Flintoff at second slip, and V V S Laxman was trapped plumb in front by an excellent delivery that was angled in to him.

There are very few similarities between Test cricket and an Under-13 colts game, but the one tactic that always holds true is bringing the field up to a hat-trick ball. With India reeling on 149 for 4, Flintoff positioned a short leg and a silly mid-off as Hoggard attempted to take the second hat-trick of his Test career. The ball was straight and full but Kaif kept it out.

Panesar replaced Hoggard after a six-over spell in which he took 3 for 6. Bowling at Tendulkar is an enormous challenge for any spin bowler but Panesar held his nerve and the little master had no option but to play him with respect. Whether Tendulkar, and India's batsmen, employ the same tactics for the remainder of the series will be fascinating to watch but this was Panesar's day.

The film star looks and swashbuckling batting of Mahendra Singh Dhoni have made him the new heartthrob of Indian cricket, but he will not remain that for long if he continues to play strokes like the one that caused his downfall yesterday. Flintoff could hardly believe the heave he had at him and Geraint Jones took a simple catch behind the stumps.

Irfan Pathan became Hoggard's fifth victim in the third over after lunch when he too edged a wild slash and was caught at slip. With India on 190 for 7 England would have been hoping for a first-innings lead of more than 150 but Kaif and Kumble wrecked the party with a responsible and sensible partnership of 128.

Kumble was dropped by Jones on nine and Flintoff grassed a difficult caught and bowled catch off Kaif on 18 but the pair deserved their luck. Like Collingwood they showed that runs could be accumulated if you were prepared to show patience and wait for the bowlers to tire.

But with their day's work almost complete both fell. Harmison, who bowled poorly, had Kumble well caught at slip by Alastair Cook and Panesar spun a beauty past the outside edge of Kaif's bat. Watch out Ashley Giles.

general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before