Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

India Learn the Right Lines as They Fight Back at Last

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

India Learn the Right Lines as They Fight Back at Last

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse at The Oval Cricket brought to you in association with

[bar] NDREW STRAUSS and Alastair Cook were both dismissed in the morning session as India showed the fighting spirit they have lacked for most of the series before lunch here today.

India produced one of their most consistent bowling performances of the summer during the first two hours' play to remove both England openers and restrict the home side to only 51 runs in 25 overs.

Even Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen struggled to improve the scoring rate as the home side crawled to 126 for two at the interval and they would have been seeking to push on after lunch.

England resumed on 75 without loss after yesterday's afternoon and evening sessions were washed out.

In conditions that appeared ideal for batting, England would have been confident of putting India to the sword again and establishing the foundations for a 4-0 whitewash in the series to crown their rise to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

India were listless yesterday but much brighter in the opening session today. Ishant Sharma served notice of their rediscovered purpose by claiming the wicket of Cook with the fifth ball of the morning.

Cook made 294 at in England's seriesclinching victory at Edgbaston but failed to add to his overnight 34 here. Sharma quickly located a challenging line and length and when he tempted Cook to drive away from his body, the opener could only edge the ball to Virender Sehwag at first slip.

It was the highlight of an outstanding six-over opening spell from Sharma, in which he bowled three maidens and conceded only seven runs. Sharma was well supported by Sree Sreesanth from the Pavilion End and Sreesanth earned his reward by dismissing Strauss.

The England captain has managed only one half-century this summer and he was growing frustrated at his inability to bat smoothly. Strauss added only two runs to his overnight score of 38 in nearly an hour's play and his resistance broke when he drove loosely at a full, wide delivery and Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a simple catch behind the stumps. …

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