India vs. England Live: Sreesanth, Praveen Kumar make early inroads
India’s loss at Lords was heavily criticized by many but a positive start on Day 1 would silence them for the mean time. India need to win the Test at Nottingham in order to make a comeback in this 4 match Test series. They took a big step in that direction today.
MS Dhoni made a brave decision by putting England in on a difficult wicket at Nottingham. Inspite of being criticized for making the decision at Lords, he had the courage required to trust his instincts under the circumstances. India’s revamped bowling line-up began the day positively. Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar shared the new ball and made early inroads. Sharma’s neat look brought good fortune for him as Alastair Cook was adjudged leg before wicket. The decision might have gone either way as the hawk-eye indicated. The ball might have gone just an inch over the stumps.
The replacement for Zaheer Khan in the side is Sreesanth and he repaid the trust invested in him by the team management. Sreesanth bowled with impeccable control and probed the zone of uncertainty just outside the off stump. He was rewarded soon with the wicket of Jonathan Trott as he was caught at second slip by VVS Laxman. He looks a force to be reckoned with when he constraints his antics and channelizes his emotion.
Sreesanth returned with another fine spell on the other side of lunch to give India the key breakthrough. Kevin Pietersen was the man of the match at Lords for his double century but his stay at the crease was brief today. He looked to counter-attack and scored two consecutive boundaries against Sreesanth but failed to do it for the requisite time period. Suresh Raina took a brilliant catch standing at fourth slip to end his adventurous innings of 29.
Praveen Kumar continued to trouble the English middle order and pitched in to claim his share of wickets. In a spell reminiscent of the one he bowled at Lords, he dismissed Andrew Strauss and Eoin Morgan in a single over. The conditions at Trent Bridge have constantly supported swing and it should be encourage James Anderson who would be watching keenly. However, England would need a competitive score for him to do some damage and that seems unlikely at this stage.
Matt Prior’s dismissal marks the fall of the last recognized pair in this English side. However, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan have all showed the ability to stick it out in the middle. Thus, the job is not done till it’s done for India.