Caught napping in Broad daylight
With a fine exhibition of swing bowling, Stuart Broad wrecked India on the third day of the first Test at Lord's. Having lost eight wickets for 281, the visitors were facing a tough task to save the game.
The Indians have themselves to blame for the position they find themselves in. As Rahul Dravid showed, it was a good wicket to bat on but it needed application. Majority of the Indian batsmen did not show the spunk for a fight to leave their team under pressure.
The day's honours were shared by Dravid and England pacer Broad. The contest between the two was the highlight for the full house as Dravid hit an unbeaten 100 to keep India in the game after Broad claimed three wickets to rip through the Indian top-order.
It was an important game for Broad. He was under pressure to keep his place and the pacer responded in the best way possible. After the Indian openers, Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund, had put on 63, Broad produced a little bit of shape on the ball to get through Gambhir's gate. Then he was rewarded with Abhinav's scalp for pitching it up and making the batsman play a loose shot.
Earlier in the morning, the buzz around the hallowed arena was to be seen to be believed. The day everyone was waiting for in the series had arrived - the famous Indian batting line-up against the incisive home team pace battery.
The third day's tickets were being sold for as much as 900 pounds and people were buying it. There was a huge gathering around the practice area to watch the Indian batsmen do their warm-ups.
However, there was disappointment in store for those who had thronged the venue to watch Sachin Tendulkar complete his ton of tons. His Lord's jinx continued but Dravid more than compensated with a masterful exhibition of batting.
Tendulkar played a few strokes of authority before succumbing to a loose drive off Broad. Laxman too was guilty of playing a loose shot when he helped a Tremlett bouncer into the fine-leg fielder's hand.
Skipper MS Dhoni provided some support and helped add 57 runs for the sixth wicket. Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh made ducks and when Praveen Kumar fell, Dravid, on 94, was in danger of missing out on a hundred.
He punched the next ball through the covers to move to 98. A ball later, he reached the landmark with a double. The point now is, can his century act as a catalyst and inspire India to save the game.
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