India v England – 3rd Test, 1st Day Report (of sorts)

Today is the sort of day that keeps the venerable profession of sports psychologists in business. They could have a field day with this England team and the entourage around it. For example, the importance of a good first impression means that instead of being totally unable to cope with a difficult delivery, you have, in fact been “got out” and it really wasn’t your fault. You have a dismissal like Stokes’ and it’s all out with positive intent rather than a reckless cavalry charge. You have a dismissal like Cook’s, and instead of it being a reprehensible shot in the circumstances, it is just a “soft dismissal”. You want to try to imagine all three of those dismissals if the victim was end of career Jonathan Trott, or Nick Compton, and certainly in the case of the last two, he who can’t be mentioned. Being in credit with our media is certainly of benefit on days like these. Because, on first look, while not dead in this match by any manner of means, it does appear we have tossed the advantage away.

The consensus, despite the fact we haven’t won batting first at Mohali, but never lost batting second (small sample size), was this was another good toss to win, and Cook did. England named a side with three changes – Broad replaced by Woakes, Ansari by Batty and Duckett by Buttler. Now, with the note that I’ve not seen much of the game, and writing this while watching the highlights, the impressions I have is that this could have been the wicket to pick four seamers, which we might have done had Broad been fit, but I have zero problem with three spinners (and I’ll wager Zafar has played his last test for England). India’s fielding is so poor, especially in catching, that they are having to take 14 wickets per innings, and yet England still adopted a frenetic approach to batting. I think it might just be one of those days where the attacking shots went to hand, where the good intention went awry, but saying that we weren’t over positive. After all we managed 268 runs in the day. Us amateur psychologists are trying to work out if this team is mentally shot, not capable of playing in India, but two weeks ago we were piling on 500+ at Rajkot.

The fact is, we aren’t sure what 268 for 8 really is. The ball is reverse swinging which brings our bowlers well and truly into the game. But you also think that the Indian batsmen, when they get in, will not be so profligate. That one of them will make the big innings that is going to decide this game. So while we hope for the best, I fear for the worst. I think we are certain of a result here, and if England’s bowlers do their thing, it could set the match up nicely (a bit like the match in 2006, except for the second innings England subsidence, eh?). This is another test match set up well, just as the Adelaide one is if De Kock and Cook stick together, and although a bit more one-sided, the Hamilton test is in play if the weather behaves.

But still I see people talking down test cricket, as if it is undergoing some sort of crisis. This meddling generation of ours needs to pipe down. TVs won’t show test cricket if there is no interest, and the companies still have it on. Sure, we’d like to see more fans through the gates, but let’s accept that this isn’t going to happen and we’ll all be a lot happier. If we use T20 to kill test cricket, and if we use the God of money to undermine 140 years of history, then we deserve all we get. T20s are fluff. I don’t know who won the last IPL, and I give even less of a shit who did. It’s rebootable cricket – one season, a fleeting moment of glory, and then erase for next season. Gideon Haigh in Death of a Gentleman gets it right – T20 needs to be shorter than something – and by constantly sniping at the top form of the game is to undermine it to the cost of us all. ODI and T20 didn’t bring me to cricket. It was Viv Richards making 291 at the Oval that did a lot (double centuries were a lot less common). Yes, this part was prompted by a Piers Morgan tweet, who was at his attention seeking, clickbaiting best. When the world works out that T20 is here today, gone tomorrow, one night stand cricket, and the world gets bored with itinerant players with no affiliation to anything other than their paycheck, then what will we have.

We will have lost test matches poised like this one. Day two comments below.



52 thoughts on “India v England – 3rd Test, 1st Day Report (of sorts)

  1. SimonH Nov 26, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Play guess the batsman from Newman’s description of their dismissal:

    “got a brute of a delivery…. could do nothing to avoid another unfortunate dismissal”.

    “not looked his usual self here”.

    “the worst shot he has ever played in an England shirt”.


    “he showed enough to prove the selectors have erred in leaving him out for so long before he too got out to a careless shot”.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Even when he is raging, he’s making excuses for them. Wonder if he tut-tutted over this line by his colleague…

      But No 4 – a position filled so thrillingly by Kevin Pietersen on England’s last tour of India in 2012-13 – stubbornly refuses to provide a home to all those who have knocked at its door.


    • Tom Nov 26, 2016 / 1:12 pm

      I still feel a little excited by managing to watch a whole day of test cricket for the first time in god knows how many years, so let me try and guess:

      1) Hameed;

      2) Cook;

      3) Root;

      4) Moeen;

      5) Stokes.

      Am I close?


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2016 / 1:13 pm

        4 out of 5.

        If I told you that Newman has been crying out for Jos to play, may that help you with the last one?


      • Tom Nov 26, 2016 / 1:26 pm

        Actually, I really did mean to say Butler when I started my response, but since I said Stokes I have to stay with it, so my bad. I knew it really wasn’t Stokes as the article said “leaving him out”, not something we can do with Stokes.

        Hey, it’s 3:20 AM here, and it’s cold, about 67F. I can’t be expected to get everything right in these conditions. 😉

        Time for bed, and hopefully can comment tomorrow as I should be able to watch day 2.


      • Rooto Nov 26, 2016 / 6:05 pm

        3:20? Bloody hell, Tom. Where are you? Hawaii?


      • Tom Nov 27, 2016 / 5:18 am

        Rooto – yes, Big Island of Hawaii, have been for twenty years now. I remember the first year here the BBC were still broadcasting TMS on the world service (shortwave radio). I ended up having to climb a tree with a long piece of antenna wire so we could listen to a very faint and hissy broadcast of NZ vs. England!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Escort Nov 27, 2016 / 10:25 am

        1 Moxon
        2 Slack
        3 Afzaal
        4 Wells
        5 Ward
        Am I closer?


  2. Mark Nov 26, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    It’s an indication of how far Test cricket ( and in particular this England set up) have drifted away from me, that I didn’t even know the test match started this morning. I came on here to see how mint gate was going, and found a test match has started.

    Can’t comment on the action because I haven’t seen any of it. But looking at the scorecard it looks like the same old movie. Early England top order failure, bailed out by middle order (Bairstow again) and then hoping Anderson and the bowlers can bail out the captain for the umpteenth time.

    And all the usual suspects protected by a biased in house media. YAWN! The series is already over as far as the media is concerned. They told us anything other than a 5-0 loss is just fine. So it doesn’t really matter what the result is or the one after that. I don’t think there has ever been an England captain who has ever captained under so little pressure or expectation. The England captaincy is currently the easiest job in English sport.


  3. mdpayne87 Nov 26, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    The poor attendance for the first day was more down to ticket problems than a lack of interest. Saw some pictures online showing huge queues waiting, then being told they had to go elsewhere to purchase Thierry tickets! A shambles by the sound of it.


    • mdpayne87 Nov 26, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      ‘Their’ obviously, not Thierry. And I don’t even support Arsenal…


    • d'Arthez Nov 26, 2016 / 2:06 pm

      Yeah, pretty common problem in India. The last place you should be expecting to buy your tickets is at the venue itself. Often you have to go downtown to the relevant office (and depending on the city, you may have to deal with insane traffic, both directions), and then leave the middle of town for the middle of nowhere, albeit a middle of nowhere with a cricket stadium.

      What may also have hindered is the currency shenanigans that are going on in India at the moment.


  4. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 26, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    What a schizophrenic team this England team is! I don’t mean that from a psychological point of view but that there are a number of players that are always going to be somewhat unreliable, in the likes of Mo, Stokes, Rashid. Couple that with the carelessness of Cook and Root, it is fair to say that the advantage of the toss has been somewhat squandered. However all may be not lost with the presence of reverse swing. If Umesh and Shami can do it, then Anderson and Stokes should be able to.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 26, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      The headline I expect tomorrow evening :- “England bowlers toil for little reward” it seems to be inevitable following the opposition who got it nipping around a bit?


      • d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 7:57 am

        At the rate Cook is bowling the quicks, Batty will be lucky to get 10 balls this innings …


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 27, 2016 / 9:31 am

        Silly me. I failed to factor in the fragile marked card!


  5. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 26, 2016 / 11:24 pm

    For anyone who loves lower order unorthodox buffing and raising blood pressure for fats bowler I’d suggest tuning in to the Kiwi-Pak game. Tremendous stuff.


  6. d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 7:28 am

    32 overs in, and Batty still has not bowled. Anderson, Woakes, have had two spells, Moeen, Rashid and Stokes have had one spell.

    I doubt he was picked as a specialist fielder …


    • d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 8:32 am

      47th over was the first bowled by Batty.


      • Rooto Nov 27, 2016 / 8:43 am

        And the 51st probably the last.


  7. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 27, 2016 / 7:34 am

    Cook whipping bowlers on and off like it’s a T20. Don’t know how I feel about this. I don’t like batsmen feeling settled but I thought Rashid in particular started with a good rhythm and would have benefitted from a long spell.

    I suspect that they feel that reverse swing will deice this innings, which is why the seamers keep coming back on.

    Another drop this morning. Not easy but should have been taken. You feel great fielding is what this England team should excel at…

    One serious and applied innings by an Indian batsman will settle this game. For now, it is still up for grabs.


  8. BoredInAustria Nov 27, 2016 / 7:45 am

    Spirit of Cricket – Obstruction

    Vic Marks TMS: “Surely that can’t be given out. Common sense must prevail. You would think this is one where the captain could withdraw the appeal. There was nothing there, Vijay just stood still.


    • d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 8:01 am

      Wonder if anyone will complain that Marais Erasmus overturned the third umpire’s (Dharmasena) verdict (5.3 overs in) …


      • BoredInAustria Nov 27, 2016 / 8:31 am

        Does a review system exist to eliminate howlers from the 3rd umpire?

        4th over Batty on


      • BoredInAustria Nov 27, 2016 / 8:32 am

        47th I meant


  9. Tom Nov 27, 2016 / 9:08 am

    What a superb catch by Woakes to get Pujara out. That was difficult.


    • d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 9:18 am

      Rashid takes out Rahane as well. 152/4, and suddenly England have the advantage.


      • Tom Nov 27, 2016 / 9:22 am

        And now a run out. Which team is batting again?


  10. SimonH Nov 27, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Fearlessly calling out cricketing governing bodies and their wrong-doing –

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Nov 27, 2016 / 9:48 am

      And has he reviewed his opinion of Rashid’s unsuitabilty for red ball cricket yet (19-4-54-3 as I type)


  11. d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 9:22 am

    Another wicket. 156/5, with Nair gone after a runout. Silly, silly cricket from India since the resumption.


    • SimonH Nov 27, 2016 / 9:26 am

      You wait a lifetime to see a debutant run out by a direct hit from a reserve keeper fielding at backward point……

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Nov 27, 2016 / 10:18 am

        Hopefully Nair will have more of a subsequent career than it looks like Callum Ferguson will enjoy!

        By the way, have any of the high priests of continuity noticed that Australia have won?


  12. SimonH Nov 27, 2016 / 9:41 am

    “an expensive luxury that England cannot afford”.

    3/48. Everyone else 1/121.

    “Only dismisses the tail”.

    Dismissed Nos. 2, 3 and 5.


    Doing it in the crucial Third Test.

    Anything else?


    • Tom Nov 27, 2016 / 10:35 am

      Just curious, but does anyone remember England having a leg spinner as good as Rashid? I can’t think of one since I started following cricket which goes back about 40 years now.


  13. d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 10:04 am

    204/6, with Kohli just gone off the bowling of Stokes.

    India struggle to reach even 283 – just showing again that winning the toss in India helps a lot – and I truly wonder how other sides (New Zealand, South Africa) would have fared if they had won a few tosses early in the tour.


  14. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 27, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Surely it is time, with 6 wickets down to see if Anderson can come back with a bit of reverse swing


  15. BoredInAustria Nov 27, 2016 / 10:39 am

    Is the pitch starting to play up? Sounds as a few are staying low?


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 27, 2016 / 10:45 am

      Still looks reasonably good to me. By the way it looks as though England may not bowl the full number of overs today. With the amount of mucking around going on between overs, will ICC call Cook to account after he was pretty lucky to get away with it in the summer versus Pakistan when Misbah is currently serving a ban for similar?


      • Escort Nov 27, 2016 / 10:56 am

        My guess would be no. England are persistent offenders but always seem to avoid punishment for some reason.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 27, 2016 / 11:02 am

        I don’t think so either

        As I typee, Jadeja has decided to smack Rashid down the ground and the lead is whittling away quite quickly.


      • d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 11:06 am

        When is the last time the ICC made any ruling against England for overrates?

        I vaguely recall the Sri Lanka ODI series in 2014 – when Cook deliberately wanted to get the suspension, so as to start the World Cup with a clean slate? But in Tests? I am not too sure.


    • d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 10:55 am

      As I type this Jadeja (8) and Ashwin (39) are still batting.

      Out of top 8 batsmen (both sides), only Root, Rahane and Nair lasted less than 20 balls. And only Hameed, Rahane and Nair scored less than 10 runs (assuming Jadeja gets to the run mark). Yet there have only been 3 half centuries (Bairstow, Pujara and Kohli) thus far.

      So it seems like a pitch where you’re never really set. Lots of soft dismissals in this match thus far. And quite a few simple dropped chances as well.

      Some balls have behaved unpredictably, but it is not an unplayable wicket by any stretch of the imagination.


      • amit garg Nov 27, 2016 / 1:46 pm

        And hence, the toss is not going to prove to be of major importance. Playing good cricket will trump the condition of wicket most days.


    • Tom Nov 27, 2016 / 11:12 am

      The pitch is still good. It’s taking spin but not fast turn and the bounce has been low since the start of the game. The first session saw significant variable bounce but the pitch settled down after lunch. The infield is quite abrasive so there has been reverse swing, but nothing too outrageous. I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts breaking down quickly, though. As long as the 1st innings scores are close, I think England have the advantage right now – as long as they aren’t stupid in their second inning and actually bowl India out soon…


      • Tom Nov 27, 2016 / 11:28 am

        When I started writing my comment India were about 40 runs behind. When I ended it they were less than 20 behind after England took the new ball. I’m not a good typist but I’m not that bad…


  16. d'Arthez Nov 27, 2016 / 11:33 am

    Ashwin becomes just the fourth man to make a fifty this match. And he is well supported by Jadeja. 204/6 has become 271/6 at stumps, with Ashwin to resume on 57, and Jadeja on 31. Suddenly India look good for a reasonable lead. The value of this partnership can hardly be overstated.

    As often is the case, the first session tomorrow is going to be crucial


    • amit garg Nov 27, 2016 / 1:53 pm

      Ashwin’s batting form has proven to be such a blessing for India in the absence of Rahane contributing runs. Rahane got a big one 3 games ago and scored decently against the kiwis but has been in horrible touch against England.
      Jadeja, if he can apply himself (or if he is allowed to), is as capable as anyone in that slot. He does have the experience of batting on these wickets in first class cricket and he needs to make this start count to really prove his value as an allrounder. Just hope that the lower order can make enough runs to exert pressure on england in the second innings. The wicket hasn’t had any demons yet and if players are prepared to knuckle down and fight it out, the game could still be a fantastic one.


  17. SimonH Nov 27, 2016 / 11:38 am

    India’s opening bowlers: 5/121 (+ 2 dropped chances)

    England’s opening bowlers: 0/83 (+ 0 dropped chances)


    Liked by 2 people

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