India vs England, 1st Test: England fight back after being forced to follow on




It was as if the Indian spinners found something on the pitch that the English ones failed to spot as Ashwin and Ojha shared 8 wickets between them as England crumbled to 191 all out in their first innings.

Five-wicket hero Pragyan Ojha treasures Kevin Pietersen dismissal

Five-wicket hero Pragyan Ojha treasures Kevin Pietersen dismissal

Ojha took 5 wickets and Ashwin took 3 for India. India bowled out the English before tea before Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to send the English batsmen into bat again.

England came out again with a need for desperate change in fortunes. Openers Alastair Cook and Compton played cautiously and took the visitors to 111/0 at the end of the third days play.

India still lead by 219 with 2 days of play left. India are still in the driving seat and are bound to win the match unless the England team can come up with something magical.

India took the last seven first inning wickets by tea and England could not even manage the total Pujara individually scored for the hosts.

During the second Innings debutant Compton was very watchful in his gameplay as he scored just 34 of 104 balls. Alastair cook though led by example and scored 74 of 124. Ojha came close to dismissing both the batsmen. Kohli dropped Compton when he was on 23 and umpire Aleem Dar turned down a LBW appeal against Cook. BCCI are against the DRS system at present and that cost India the wicket. Cook and Compton – two openers who are bound to have trouble playing spin; adapted well in the second innings to frustrate the Indian players for the first time in the entire match.

Earlier in the first innings Matt Prior delayed the inevitable follow on by scoring 48 runs before he was eventually removed by Ojha. Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Bresnan were Ojha’s other victims on the day. Ashwin picked up the wicket of Cook on the third day and pace bowler Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav picked up the wickets of Broad and Patel respectively.

The lack of the referral system proved a bit costly for India as the normally precise Aleem Dar made some errors in his judgments and decisions. Umpire Tony Hill was also on the receiving end when he turned down an appeal against Kevin Pietersen.

Ojha was impressive for India on the third day he was on a hat-trick when he removed the dangerous Pietersen and Ian Bell on consecutive balls. England were playing very cautiously right from the start of the day’s play as they were happy enough to go without scoring for continuous overs.

India will be hoping that they can finish of the match on day 4 without even having to go out to bat again. If India throws the match away from this spot they have just themselves to blame. Considering the turn the pitch has offered and the way Ashwin and Ojha are making life tough for the English batsmen – victory is just around the corner for India.

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