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India vs. England Live: Bell's century fuels English revival

31 Jul 2011, 20:38 IST
Ian Bell

Ian Bell

Ian Bell’s century helped England to dominate proceedings at Trent Bridge on Day 3. The early wicket of Andrew Strauss was a trivial setback for the English as they inflicted wound after wound to India’s hopes. The pitch at Nottingham seems to have been turned upside down in the past two days. There is not much swing to be seen and with the sun out in all its naked glory, England has the opportunity to post a huge total. Their only handicap is that Jonathan Trott remains uncertain to bat in this innings due to an injury he sustained in the first innings.

Ian Bell was promoted up the order to one-down inspite of a bad run in this series so far and in difficult conditions yesterday. He called upon his old-school technique to negotiate the swing on Day 2 and is now reaping rich rewards on a track that has definitely flattened out. He is very similar to a veteran Indian batsman who is incidentally in the opposite camp. Both Ian Bell and VVS Laxman rely upon timing for their runs and score heavily in boundaries. Bell’s century came with a strike rate of near 70 and England have coherently scored at 4 runs per over on Day 3.

India’s bowling line-up struggled in the absence of swing. Their pace is not express enough to derive that bit extra from the pitch. Ishant Sharma can use his height to good effect but the slowness of the pitch cancelled it out. Sreesanth was used very miserly by MS Dhoni for some mysterious reasons inspite of the fact that he looked the best in the morning session. He is never short of eyeballs on the cricket field whether bowling or not and was seen bantering with English fans at fine-leg. Dhoni ultimately called upon him in the post lunch session and he delivered with the crucial wicket of Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen’s knock of 63 was well structured. He was cautious in the beginning but flared up suddenly post the mark of 30 runs. He was ruthless and extravagant as he mauled Ishant Sharma with an explicit straight drive to a ball that he fetched from wide of off stump. Sreesanth paid him an equally dramatic farewell after getting s faint edge of his bat by bowing with showmanship.

In a dramatic end to the 2nd session on Day 4, MS Dhoni removed the bails when Ian Bell was out of his crease probably attempting a half-hearted 4th run. Since it was the last ball before tea, he made no attempt to backtrack into his crease but simply kept walking in the direction of his teammate on the other end. This might be one of the most controversial decisions in this series.

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