England prove victory over India was no fluke with impressive display on first day of the third Test

Monty Panesar takes two crucial wickets

England offered irrefutable evidence today that they mean business in India. By reducing their opponents to 273 for 7 on the opening day of the Third Test, the tourists demonstrated that their glorious deeds in the second were no random fluke.

Making light of losing what seemed an important toss — the fifth time that Alastair Cook has called wrongly in his five Tests as captain — they bowled and fielded with a clinical perseverance that broke India’s patience. Pace and spin combined potently to ensure the tourists fashioned an advantage.

Jimmy Anderson was sublime with new ball and old and his mastery of reverse swing was a joy to observe. But Monty Panesar was no less incisive, intelligently reducing the pace of his left-arm spin to take account of a surface slower than that on which he took 11 wickets in Mumbai last week.

There were three wickets for the paceman, two for the spinner. It was Anderson who made the key breakthrough in the innings when he removed Sachin Tendulkar for an innings of 76 from 155 balls, and had the telling final word of the day when he struck with the second new ball in the penultimate over to remove the potentially troublesome Ravichandran Ashwin.

Anderson was admirably skilful throughout and especially so with the old ball in the afternoon session. He persuaded one to move fractionally away which Tendulkar edged and Matt Prior swooped low to his right to pouch an exemplary one-handed catch. If Tendulkar effectively kept India afloat he was hesitant, fretful and anxious by turns for the first two thirds of his innings.

It is barely overstating the case to suggest that he could have been out at any time as he jabbed and prodded his uncertain way to his first half century in 11 Test innings. But the crucial point was that he survived and England were undoubtedly elated to see his departure.

There were perhaps two ways of judging his unfamiliar contribution. Either it was a man who knew that if he saw his way through the bad times the good times would come or it was someone whose best days were behind him and would never be the same again.

Having lost the toss and won the match in Mumbai, Cook would not have been utterly despondent when the coin came down against him again. But it was pretty clear pretty early that the surface was slow and largely unresponsive.

After 45 minutes England were already wondering where their first wicket was coming from. It came courtesy of sloppy calling and running between Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Having cantered two following Sehwag’s dismissive flick to deep midwicket there seemed to be a third which Segwag went for and Gambhir did not.

By the time Sehwag turned back for safety, Steve Finn’s throw from the boundary, having gathered from Samit Patel’s diving save, was on its way in. He was run out by a yard.

Finn, included in the side at the expense of the vice-captain, Stuart Broad, had justified his selection by that timely intervention alone.

Thus was relief provided in unexpected fashion and when Chetashwar Pujara completely misjudged a straight ball from Panesar, which breached his indeterminate defence England were firmly in the game.

Gambhir grew in authority but shortly after reaching his half century he launched into a cut at Panesar which flew to slip where a jubilant Jonathan Trott held the catch. Virat Kohli’s bitterly disappointing series continued apace when he was utterly outsmarted by Anderson.

What he expected cannot be certain, what he got was one that held its own to which he opened the face for Graeme Swann to take a catch by his ankles. Used or not, bowler friendly or not, it was not a pitch on which India expected or ought to have been 126 for 4.

They dug in awhile as Tendulkar gradually seemed to warm to the whole idea of batting again, rather than convey it as a form of torture. Yuvraj Singh, also in need of runs, went after them in style by using his feet adeptly to the spinners, sashaying down the pitch to Panesar and driving over long off for six.

But spin also did for him when he carelessly pushed Swann in the air to cover where Cook did the rest.

Tendulkar followed but England were doubtless thinking they could do with another wicket as MS Dhoni and Ashwin dug in, Anderson provided with a ball that seared its way to the stumps.

Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Peter Moores was criticised for failing to handle top players when he last led the England team
sportFive years after being sacked from the job, Peter Moores to be named a cricket coach
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environment
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit