Trent Bridge, July 30: On the first day of the crucial second Test against England, India had the hosts against the ropes at 124/8. But after tea, the visitors frittered away the advantage as the English tail mustered up the guts and gumption to add a valuable 97 more runs. Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann launched a counter-offensive of 73 relatively quick runs before Broad and Anderson put on another 24.
Broad's heroic 66 off 64 balls wasn't altogether surprising considering that this lanky fast-bowler began his cricket career as an opening batsman! So he was bound to be the ace up England's sleeve. His ability with the bat attained validation last summer when he and Jonathan Trott put on a record stand for the 7th wicket against a beleagured Pakistan side, with Broad even registering his maiden century in that match.
At Trent Bridge yesterday, Swann and he managed to blunt the Indian attack with a flurry of hits to the boundary which not only took England past 150, but also unsettled the opposition's bowlers who had been making merry till then. The batting pair offset the pressure and created doubt in the minds of Praveen, Ishant and Sreesanth while partially dismantling off-break Harbhajan as well. Suddenly, accuracy gave way to waywardness as the Indian pace trio struggled to second guess the batmen.
An interesting statistic by ESPN elucidated India's propensity of letting the opposition's tail wag as one of the highest in the world. Since 2005, there have been over a score of occasions when India has allowed a fifty or hundred-run stand after the fall of the eighth wicket. This does not auger well for the team's morale, especially when they have removed the premier batsmen. Hopefully, India won't repeat this trend again in the current series.