The Telegraph
Saturday , December 8 , 2012
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Big test awaits tired Indian legs: Dexter

Ted Dexter

Calcutta: Former captain Edward ‘Ted’ Dexter wouldn’t like England to contemplate declaring in a hurry, on Saturday, assuming Alastair Cook actually gets to choose the moment.

“England could get bowled out, but if that didn’t happen and I was the captain, I’d bat into the afternoon, ensuring that I’d get at least 120 overs to bowl in India’s second innings,” the regal Dexter told The Telegraph.

Speaking after stumps on Day III, with England 193 ahead on the first innings (four wickets remaining), Dexter said: “India didn’t make the most of winning the toss and, now, the bookmakers would be having England as favourites. Of course, India may play out a draw, but a big test awaits the batsmen... A big test awaits tired Indian legs...

“The ball did turn more today (Friday) and I expect the turn to be more appreciable on the last two days... I’d say a good Test wicket has been prepared at the Eden... I’d be happy to play on such a surface...

“Seven of the Indian batsmen got out after settling down, which shows there’s something both for the batsmen and bowlers... Monty Panesar picked up four wickets, while James Anderson got the ball to reverse... I hardly saw any reverse swing when India bowled, though.”

Not just that, the Indian bowlers were exhausted at stumps. That Pragyan Ojha required an immediate massage on his left arm, the needful done by Ramesh Mane, put things in perspective.

A feature of Day III was, of course, the manner in which England captain Alastair Cook got run out — failing to ground his bat, backing up, in trying to avoid a throw.

“Full marks to Virat Kohli... But I must point out that Cook should have realised Kohli had shied at the stumps on a few occasions... Cook was caught unawares... In over 50 years of playing and watching cricket, I’d never seen anything like his dismissal,” Dexter maintained.

Cook was then on 190, having survived two chances. It wasn’t third time lucky for him and, so, an otherwise superb innings ended dramatically.

Perhaps, that was the only way India could have got Cook out. In five innings, he’s totalled an enviable 547 runs and looks good for many more in the four-Test series.

Dexter didn’t really criticise the India captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but did comment that he found some of the field placements “frenetic.”

It’s rare for Indian captains to be under pressure in a home series, but Dhoni’s being out-run.

But with the bowling resources at his disposal, would Dhoni be able to do much better?