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England Cook India's goose

Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen highlighted that it's all about team effort as at the end of second day's play, England were cruising along at 456 for three, a lead of 232. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Scorecard | Are we the best batting line-up?

cricket Updated: Aug 12, 2011 01:18 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
England-s-Alastair-Cook-celebrates-his-century-during-the-second-day-of-the-third-Test-against-India-at-the-Edgbaston-cricket-ground-in-Birmingham-central-England
England-s-Alastair-Cook-celebrates-his-century-during-the-second-day-of-the-third-Test-against-India-at-the-Edgbaston-cricket-ground-in-Birmingham-central-England

The Indian pacers too made the ball to wobble; many times they generated more swing than Anderson & Co did on the first day and they too were beating the bat regularly. But the end result couldn't have been any more contrasting. India bowled out for 224, England 456 for three.

Most successful teams had bowling combinations which hunted in pairs like Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson for Australia; Imran Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz for Pakistan. And the truly great teams hunted in packs like Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne for Australia and Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Andy Roberts for the West Indies.

Individual brilliance can only take you some distance, to win matches you have to bowl in a unit. That has been one major difference between the Indian and English bowling performance in this series. Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and S Sreesanth bowled their heart out on Thursday, but failed to get the desired results as they simply couldn't work in tandem.

For India to stay in the Test, the second day's morning session was crucial. Praveen was brilliant as he started with four maiden overs on the trot, but lacked support from the other end. The key was to build pressure from both sides. It did not happen with Ishant and Sreesanth being inconsistent.

The England openers started tentatively, getting 17 runs off 10 overs, but steadily went on to dismantle the Indian attack. The batsmen made up for the sedate start by picking up the scoring pace after the lunch break as they scored 370 plus runs in a day.

The Indian pacers didn’t need to look beyond their counterparts for an example of working in a pack. After the first innings at Lord’s, Anderson’s army has given a brilliant exhibition of hunting together. While India have all along complained of missing Zaheer, England have taken the loss of Tremlett in their stride, lifting their performance with a team effort.

Contrary to its appearance and as proved by the England batsmen, there was no devil in the Edgbaston wicket. The Indian batting line-up was dismantled with a superb exhibition of bowling as a team. Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan reaped the rewards of building pressure.

Praveen bowled his heart out, claiming two wickets, but the individual effort of the Indian bowlers was never going to be enough. Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen highlighted again that it's all about a team effort. At the end of second day's play, England were cruising along nicely at 456 for three, a lead of 232.

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