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.

News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat