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India vs. England Day 1 Live: Swann and Broad stretch the score over 200

Stuart Broad made a richly deserving half-century

Stuart Broad is on the verge of a richly deserving half-century

Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann smashed India’s dreams of dismissing the English side below the score of 200 by constituting a critical tenth wicket partnership. England were in tatters going into tea but positive intent from the lower order baffled the Indian bowlers. Sreesanth had a great day with the ball but sprayed it around once he was ferociously attacked by Broad. MS Dhoni withdrew his close-in fielders into defensive positions giving the pair easy singles. Harbhajan Singh was employed but even he failed to cause any lasting damage.

Stuart Broad boasts of high-score of 169 and opened the batting in the initial part of his cricketing career. His uninhibited stroke-play has driven England to a position from where they can afford to push India’s batting line-up given the hostile conditions. Graeme Swann on the other hand plied his usual trade on the other end. He tried to unsettle the bowlers initially but played the ball on its merit later. He did his best to give Stuart Broad a large portion of the strike.

India need to get the rest of the English side out as soon as possible. They will have to work hard for each and every run once they come out to bat. Hence every run saved here will count as a run scored. India are without the services of Gautam Gambhir and thus Rahul Dravid will come out to open the innings with Abhinav Mukund. The pair took to the field in the second innings at Lords as well and looked like-minded. The right-hand, left-hand combination is likely to work in India’s favour as controlling the exaggerated swing can be a problem in these conditions.

Earlier in the day, England were reduced to tatters by some exceptional swing-bowling. Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth all contributed to England’s collapse. The credit of this performance goes to the perseverance of the bowlers and the courage of India’s leadership. Duncan Fletcher must have played a crucial role in making the ducious decision of bowling first inspite of the failure at Lords. Zaheer Khan’s absence was not felt unlike what was predicted by most critics prior to the match.

India’s performance at Nottingham is indicative of the unexhausted hunger in this team. They were harshly treated post the loss at Lords but their immediate counter-punch exhibits the firm character. They have justified the number.1 position they hold in the world rankings, not that they needed to.

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