England tour of India, 3rd Test: India v England at Kolkata, Dec 5-9' 2012
Dhoni won yet another important toss on day 1 of the third test at the Eden Gardens and as expected had no hesitation in deciding to bat first. The ball was moving a bit but the first wicket was gifted to England on a platter when Virender Sehwag was left stranded as he steamed down for a comfortable 3rd run. Gambhir was the culprit as it was an easy three. This, while he himself has not scored a century for India in tests for almost 3 years now!! Yes, 3 long years!! How and why the Indian selectors are still persisting with him is beyond me. And when they replace either Sehwag/ Gambhir (due to injury) they pick the useless M Vijay. When will guys like Rahane and Mukund get a chance??
Pujara had a rare failure as Sachin strode out amidst huge pressure. He was keen on defense and looked resolute to turn the corner. Gambhir fell after a scratchy fifty (hope it does not guarantee him a place as the opening batsmen for another 10 tests!!) and Kohli failed yet again in the series. Sachin opened up a bit after tea and eventually fell for 76, his first fifty in the last 10 months!!!
Yuvraj, after surviving a lbw shout that would have uprooted the middle stump while he was still on duck and another when he had a solitary run made 32. Dhoni, playing as ungainly as he does against the spinners, barely survived until stumps were called for with India at 273/7.
India were all out for 316 even as MSD eked out a painful fifty.
England openers Cook and Compton began extremely cautiously as England made just 20 odd runs off the first 11 overs. That was only the calm before the storm that was to follow. After lunch both Compton and Cook began to look out for runs, and runs they got!!
The Indian spinners looked as far away from picking up a wicket as a tourist is far away from water in the arid Sahara!! The fielding looked school boyish and the captaincy bereft of any new ideas. Cook reached yet another fifty, the hundred stand was raised, Compton got his fifty too, the one fifty stand soon ensued before Cook completed the annihilation his customary hundred!!! Compton finally departed with the English score reading 165.
Cook and Trott then rubbed it in further and were involved in an unbeaten 50 run stand of their own when stumps were finally called, much to India's relief!! England ended the day on 216/1, just 100 behind India.
India needs a miracle at the Eden in the next couple of days or else the scoreline will be 2-1 to England after 3 tests.