India vs. England Live: Stuart Broad's hat-trick curtails India's lead
The conditions at Nottingham look dissimilar from Day 1 with a bright sun baking the pitch. India batted with diligence in the morning session and were duly rewarded for it. Inspite of a brief period post lunch when wickets fell periodically, India have pushed their lead to over 50 runs. Rahul Dravid passed another milestone on way to his second consecutive century in this series as he equaled the 34 centuries of Sunil Gavaskar. It was a pleasant coincidence that Gavaskar had tipped Dravid to play the lead role in this innings before play started on Day 2. Dravid justified the faith invested him by the legend and played a characteristic gritty innings.
He was given worthy assistance by VVS Laxman who played assertively for his 54 runs. The innings was especially useful because the aggression scattered England’s fielders and allowed some easy runs. The bowlers continued to probe right line and length but became all the more difficult with fielders out of catching positions. We saw a few shots fly past that gully area but Strauss was helpless. The breakthrough was given by Tim Bresnan and it brought the relief that England wanted desperately by now. Laxman would be disappointed at not having been able to capitalize upon his innings but he had already done a fair bit of damage.
Suresh Raina and Sachin Tendulkar failed to accompany Dravid for the requiste period of time and flittered away their starts. Sachin Tendulkar’s dry run in England continues inspite of the extra effort he has been putting in. India looked in a fair bit of trouble at that stage at 139/4. Yuvraj Singh has never made it large in his Test career and this innings marked yet another comeback for him. Fortunately, he delivered with a valuable innings this time. His 62 runs came off just 115 balls.
As soon as Yuvraj was dismissed by Broad, it triggered a panic attack in the Indian batting line-up. Dhoni played a careless shot to become the first victim of what would eventually be a Stuart Broad hat-trick. Harbhajan Singh got a bad decision from the umpire as he was adjudged leg-before wicket inspite off having put some bad on the ball. The hat-trick ball was simply too good for Praveen Kumar to handle. Stuart Broad has been England’s go-to man in this series with the bat and the ball.
Dravid’s dismissal in the next over was clearly a consequence of the collapse on the other side. He was playing with a nagging hamstring and was forced into a rash shot. His innings was applauded by one and all at Trent Bridge deservingly.