About the Match
Along with the ongoing South Africa's tour of Australia, this England tour of India is one of the most awaited battles of the year for the cricket fans. Beginning on November 9, with the first test to be played at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, this series is seen as a revenge series for Indian fans. England, on the other hand, will like to continue from where they left on the last tour. This cricket rivalry dates back to 2011 when England thrashed the visiting Indian team 4-0. In 2012 as well, the series' result was no different as touring English side defeated India 3-1 despite losing the first test. The Indian team is riding high on confidence after beating West Indies and the Kiwis. England, on the contrary, failed to beat Bangladesh and Pakistan on their previous two tours. However, India must be wary of England who has the history of bouncing back strongly, especially in India. We are still a couple of days away from the match-day and things are already beginning to build up to what promises to be a mouth-watering encounter.
Right from the beginning of the test match, when three catches were dropped in the first five overs, Indians looked messy while fielding. Indian batting, however, did not disappoint as much as got pretty close of a colossal total of 537.
Murali Vijay looked solid and got scored a brilliant century and so did Pujara though he scored at a much quicker pace that Murali Vijay. Indian coach Anil Kumble has already hinted that KL Rahul will come in place of Gautam Gambhir who got out for a duck in second innings. Rahul is coming after a hundred in Ranji while playing for Karnataka and will be looking to continue his form with the national team as well.
Although the bowlers bowled with a lot of heart, they did not get much in output. Indian fielders dropped as many as six catches which helped three English batsmen to get to their hundreds. This Indian side has been a good fielding side in the recent times and the manner in which the catches were put down was unexpected to say the least. Indians will be looking to improve in all three departments and if they can do that, they can offer the tourists a run for their money.
Arguably, England would have been the happier of the two sides after conclusion of the first test. They were under the pump after their performance in Bangladesh. Alastair Cook’s fairytale continued on Indian pitches as he slammed yet another century in the second innings of the test. Haseeb Hameed, the 19-year old batsmen, looked solid before he was taken by Mishra on his own bowling.
English bowlers looked as if they were bowling on a different wicket as they got spin and turn which troubled Indian batsmen, especially during the second innings. Leg spinner Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers as he picked seven wickets in the match.
England scored mammoth totals in both the innings, thanks to their batting couple with ordinary display from India in the field. Toss played a crucial role and it will be interesting to see if England can continue their dominance should they lose the toss and play second.
Draw is nowadays a rarity in Test cricket with teams looking to score quickly and get the result. Rajkot was a batting paradise where all three results were possible even on last day of the match. Vizag’s track is expected to be a lot different and spinners will have a huge role to play. Comapring man-to-man coupled with home advantage, Indians look slightly ahead. However, the way England performed in the first match would have raised some eyebrows. With pitch set to offer turn, KL Rahul to return back to the squad and fielding likely to improve, Indians will have an edge going into the second test.