India left bruised by Strauss century
He was the man under most pressure coming into the opening game of India's tour. In the end, it proved to be a dream outing for Andrew Strauss. The left-handed opener capped a perfect game with an unbeaten hundred.cricket Updated: Jul 18, 2011 00:22 IST
He was the man under most pressure coming into the opening game of India's tour. In the end, it proved to be a dream outing for Andrew Strauss. The left-handed opener capped a perfect game with an unbeaten hundred.
Importantly, the England captain inspired the Somerset County Club players to raise their game and put the seeds of doubt in the Indian players' mind ahead of the Test series opener at Lord's on Thursday.
If the first two days were difficult for India, the third day proved equally difficult as the home team plundered runs at 6.34 runs per over. The Indian pacers went wicketless as the visitors' dismal performance continued on the final day of the game on Sunday.
Suresh Raina provided the only cheer with a counterattacking unbeaten century.
Zaheer Khan and Sachin Tendulkar didn't take the field on the final day. The team management said they were rested. Zaheer's was especially a surprising decision as he will be bowling in a Test match at Lord's after nearly a gap of six months. His last Test was against South Africa in January.
Sreesanth and Munaf Patel were listless in the second inning too. His confidence restored with the first innings half-century, Strauss made the Indian bowlers pay with strokes all around the wicket.
Somerset's plan on the final day was simple: help their national team's cause by causing as much psychological damage as possible.
The batsmen came out with the clear brief of taking on the bowlers. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra was the most affected, conceding 123 runs in 14 overs. He was targeted for special treatment by Peter Trego. Batting at No 4, Trego repeatedly hit Mishra out of the park in his 57-ball 85.
Sreesanth failed to get the swing or length right and conceded 53 runs in eight overs, while Patel focused on bowling within himself.