Persistent Pujara remains in England’s path
Cheteshwar Pujara continued to defy England in this series with a resolute unbeaten hundred that steered India out of choppy waters at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on day one of the second Test.
The 24-year-old right-hander, playing in just his seventh five-day game, took his tally in three innings versus the tourists to 361 without dismissal thanks to 114 more today in a burgeoning total of 266 for six. The only chance he offered here was a tough slip catch off Monty Panesar when he had 60.
Like on the first day of the series, Pujara was England’s principle obstacle. Whereas he did not bat until after lunch on the opening day at Ahmedabad, today he faced the third ball once James Anderson trapped Gautam Gambhir lbw.
A major task was to resist the recalled Panesar, who took three wickets in a magnificent spell of 23 consecutive overs. The left-arm spinner exacted sharp turn to bowl Virender Sehwag for 30 and Sachin Tendulkar. He then had Virat Kohli held at extra-cover before Graeme Swann bowled Yuvraj Singh.
When Panesar had Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught at gully for 29 to leave the hosts 169 for six, India appeared to be in peril. However, Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin shared a restorative stand worth 97 with Ashwin ending unbeaten on 60. Panesar returned creditable figures of 4-91 from 34 overs.
Dhoni opted to include three specialist spinners on a pitch that began to break up and is expected to deteriorate significantly - with Harbhajan Singh replacing injured seamer Umesh Yadav for India’s only change to the nine-wicket win at Ahmedabad.
Alastair Cook’s side showed two alterations: Jonny Bairstow and Panesar came in for Ian Bell, who is on paternity leave, and Tim Bresnan. Stuart Broad recovered from feeling “under the weather” yesterday to play.
Live Text Commentary
11:04am - STUMPS; Ind 266/6; Pujara 114, Ashwin 60 - The seventh-wicket duo comfortably play out the last three overs from Swann and Panesar and leave the field to warm applause.
10:51am - Pujara cuts Panesar to the rope and Ashwin elegantly drives Broad through cover for four more. England are looking a little tired now.
10:42am - FIFTY! Ashwin (67b, 8x4, 0x6) - The right-hander top-edges Broad for four to herald his half-century in a painful end to play for the tourists.
10:33am - Ashwin exhibits his batting talent with three fours in an Anderson over through backward point, fine-leg and square-leg.
10:24am - CENTURY! Pujara (248b, 9x4, 0x6) - The second new ball is available to England who take it straight away with James Anderson back into the attack. Ashwin takes a single and Pujara pulls four to fine-leg to reach three figures.
10:09am - Pujara and Ashwin are moving along steadily to cause concerns for Cook. Samit Patel is into the attack and Pujara is four short of a century. Two more singles to the established batsman herald the half-century alliance.
9:56am - Pujara plays Swann to leg and the ball appears to hit Alastair Cook’s foot at short-leg before flying for midwicket to take. The umpires refer the decision and replays show the ball landed just short of Cook so the batsman survives on 94. Drinks are taken at the end of the over.
9:51am - Panesar sees an lbw appeal against Ashwin rejected by umpire Aleem Dar. It seemed to be sliding down at first, but replays showed it was a very good shout. Ashwin responds by skipping down the track and easing England’s left-arm spinner to the midwicket fence.
9:45am - India move past 200 and Pujara edges ever closer to three figures. Ashwin is holding firm too, although he was fortunate to see the ball land short of Nick Compton at short midwicket after he had mis-judged a defensive stroke against Swann.
9:30am - Panesar continues to threaten in a maiden to Pujara and Swann replaces Broad only to see the number three sweep him for four more.
9:26am - Pujara whips Broad for four through square-leg and new batsman Ravichandran Ashwin responds with three boundaries in two overs, the last couple drives off Broad who looks down on pace.
9:08am - WICKET! Dhoni c Swann b Panesar 29; Ind 169/6 - Stuart Broad begins today’s last session with a maiden to Cheteshwar Pujara and Monty Panesar then makes a vital breakthrough. Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes two through cover to bring up the fifty stand but next ball gloves a rising delivery to gully. Graeme Swann gets his right hand underneath it and Dhoni walks only to change his mind. However, replays show a clean catch.
8:41am - TEA - India 167/5; Pujara 77, Dhoni 27 - Pujara cuts Anderson for four and Panesar returns for a single over prior to the end of an intriguing second session. The sixth-wicket stand is worth 48.
8:25am - Pujara, on 71, begins to advance to Swann and loops a half-chance over Alastair Cook at short-leg. Anderson then has a caught-behind appeal against Dhoni turned down during a maiden. There was a noise but replays show it was bat brushing pad as he played off the back foot. More frustration for the tourists.
8:15am - Swann gets one to rear at Dhoni, hitting him on the armpit after possibly brushing his bat and falling safely in the leg side. This partnership is beginning to frustrate England.
8:03am - Dhoni, batting in a hat, unconvincingly sweeps Swann fine for four and capitalises on a rare loose Panesar ball to cut another boundary. The right-hander then lives dangerously by advancing to Swann and getting a back-pad deflection past wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
7:48am - DROPPED CHANCE - Panesar finds Pujara’s outside edge but Anderson cannot hold a left-handed opportunity at second slip as he succeeds only in deflecting the ball past Jonathan Trott at first slip. Pujara benefits by two to move to 62.
7:41am - Dhoni drives Panesar and cuts Swann for off-side fours, the second boundary coming just before the afternoon drinks break. If England are not careful India’s captain could quickly change the complexion of the game.
7:33am - Panesar, who has now bowled 19 consecutive overs, sends down two back-to-back maidens to Pujara between which Dhoni gets off the mark with a single off Swann. Both batsmen are looking vulnerable.
7:21am - WICKET! Yuvraj b Swann 0; Ind 119/5 - Pujara gets away with inside-edging Swann as the ball evades short-leg but next ball Yuvraj plays down the wrong line to Swann, bowling round the wicket to the left-hander, and has his off stump clipped. England are on top as Mahendra Singh Dhoni makes his way to the middle.
7:14am - WICKET! Kohli c Compton b Panesar 19; Ind 118/4 - A lapse in concentration from Kohli, who drives Panesar on the up, and Nick Compton takes a smart catch to his left at extra-cover. Yuvraj Singh is the new batsman.
7:06am - Kohli cover-drives Swann and Panesar each for four in back-to-back overs, prompting James Anderson’s return to the attack in place of Swann.
7am - FIFTY! Pujara (110b 5x4 0x6) - The number three sends Panesar’s full-toss to the midwicket boundary to bring up his half-century and India’s hundred.
6:52am - Panesar and Swann’s second afternoon session overs are maidens, keeping the pressure on Pujara and Virat Kohli.
6:46am - Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann continue in tandem immediately after lunch with tidy overs. Cheteshwar Pujara, a double-centurion at Ahmedabad, is the key wicket for England here.
6:01am - LUNCH - India 87/3; Pujara 38, Kohli 6 - Swann bowls the last over before the interval, which Panesar reaches with excellent figures of 2-29 from 11 overs. England will be delighted with that morning session after losing the toss.
5:47am - Remember Swann? England’s outstanding bowler at Ahmedabad enters the attack and Kohli cover-drives a half-volley for four. England’s spinners are now bowling in tandem.
5:42am - Pujara drives Broad down the ground for four and, after another tight Panesar over, picks up two consecutive boundaries off Broad - first guiding a short ball over the wicketkeeper and then clipping through square-leg.
5:28am - WICKET! Tendulkar b Panesar 8; Ind 60/3 - Tendulkar gets his first four by clipping a Panesar full-toss to the midwicket rope but the bowler responds with a stunning delivery that draws the right-hander forward, pitches on middle, beats the bat and clips off stump. The Little Master is on his way and Virat Kohli is in.
5:14am - WICKET! Sehwag b Panesar 30; Ind 52/2 - Panesar gives one more flight and Sehwag attempts to play to leg but misses and sees his off stump uprooted. A crucial breakthrough brings Tendulkar to the crease. Tendulkar drives the spinner down the ground and Anderson’s brilliant dive saves a boundary.
5:12am - Pujara cuts Anderson on the up and it falls narrowly short of Nick Compton at point in a maiden
5:02am - A series of singles brings up India’s fifty shortly before the day’s first drinks break.
4:52am - Anderson indeed returns, in place of Broad, and forces Sehwag to inside-edge off the back foot narrowly past his stumps for four. Later in the over Sehwag outside-edges four more through a vacant third slip, just beyond Graeme Swann’s despairing dive from second slip.
4:48am - Panesar, into his third over, is doing a fine job and gets one to turn and bounce at Pujara but wicket-taker Anderson will surely be wanting another go with the new ball?
4:35am - Broad has a leg before shout against Sehwag, who got a thick inside edge, turned down. Panesar continues with the game’s first maiden.
4:29am - Aside from the odd single it is tense in the middle with England’s seamers giving little quarter, but Alastair Cook brings Monty Panesar on in place of Anderson. Panesar starts with a full-toss that Sehwag heaves through midwicket for four. Later in the over Pujara cover-drives a half-volley to the rope.
4:20am - Anderson and Broad keep it tight in their second overs. The crowd, which is sparse at present, is slowly building in the Mumbai sun. Fans will surely surge in when local hero Sachin Tendulkar bats?
4:10am - Pujara takes his second single to put Virender Sehwag, playing his 100th Test, on strike and the opening batsman drives Stuart Broad on the up for four.
4:01am - WICKET! Gambhir lbw Anderson 4; Ind 4/1 - Gautam Gambhir begins impressively, clipping the first ball of the game from James Anderson to the square-leg rope, but attempts a similar shot next delivery and is trapped in front with replays showing the ball pitching in line and going on to hit leg stump. Cheteshwar Pujara plays out the rest of the over.
3:53am - England could not make a breakthrough in the first session at Ahmedabad but here their seamers, James Anderson and Broad, have the advantage of Mumbai being on the coast and therefore perhaps conditions offering some early movement. We will find out shortly.
3:40am - Here are the two teams.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Jonny Bairstow, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.
India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha.
3:33am - INDIA WIN THE TOSS AND BAT - Stuart Broad has recovered from being “under the weather” yesterday to play and spinner Monty Panesar is recalled in place of seamer Tim Bresnan. In the middle order Jonny Bairstow replaces Ian Bell, who is on paternity leave. India make one change with spinner Harbhajan Singh coming in for paceman Umesh Yadav, who has a sore back.
3:10am - The tourists can take heart from their rousing second-innings fightback at Ahmedabad, where Cook’s 176 blunted India’s attack, and also their victory last time they played a Test at Mumbai which Shaun Udal spoke about last month.
3am - Good morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of the second Test between India and England at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. The hosts won the first game of four by nine wickets on Monday so Alastair Cook’s side will be out to level the series here.