Regardless of which team they represent, Indian spinners have made Alastair Cook think. Haryana’s Jayant Yadav and skipper Amit Mishra shared eight wickets in the final warm-up game as England were dismissed for 521. Haryana were 172 for four at close. Bear in mind that Mishra did not bring himself on until the 50th over on Day One.
“They were not comfortable against spin. There was nothing in the track for the spinners. Yet, eight England batsmen fell to spinners revealing their shortcomings. It will not be easy for them to face Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha,” said Yadav, as though initiating the verbals for the national team.
Resuming at 408 for three, England were on the backfoot in the first 30 minutes. Sachin Rana dismissed half-centurion Bell (62), the only wicket taken by a seamer. Matt Prior (41) and Samit Patel (67) did prop up the innings before the visitors lost their way.
Off-spinner Yadav gave marching orders to Prior, Tim Bresnan and Patel, while Mishra snared Stuart Meaker and Graham Onions. England lost their last five wickets for 14 runs. None of the English batsmen used their feet effectively against the spinners like Kevin Pietersen did on the first day.
Monty Panesar and Patel too posed some questions in the Haryana innings. However, Rahul Dewan (unbeaten on 77) was precise in footwork and looked largely untroubled. Sunny Singh impressed as well with a gutsy knock. The two came together when Nitin Saini was caught by Nick Compton off Tim Bresnan for 13.
Their 97-run stand for the second wicket was the best phase of the Haryana innings. Singh was uninhibited in strokeplay as he twice upper cut Bresnan.
Soon after completing his half century, Sunny became Panesar’s victim — Jonathan Trott taking the chance at slip. Although Patel had a wicket as well, he never quite threatened Haryana.
Prior was down with a stomach bug, which kept him away from the third session. Johnny Bairstow kept wickets. However, an England media official confirmed that it wasn’t a scare.
England (1st innings overnight 408/3): I Bell c Nitin Saini b Rana 62, S Patel c Saini b Yadav 67, M Prior st Sandeep Singh b Yadav 41, T Bresnan c R Dewan b Yadav 3, S Meaker c&b Mishra 0, G Onions b Mishra 2, M Panesar 0 not out
Extras: (B11, LB1, W4, NB3) 19
Total: (All out; 118.1 overs; 481 mins) 521
Bowling: S Badhwar 18-3-83-0 (W2), A Vashisht 26-3-129-0 (NB1, W2), S Rana 24-8-56-1 (NB1), CB Saini 10-2-64-0, J Yadav 23-3-110-4, A Mishra 17.1-1-64-4 (NB1)
Haryana (1st innings): N Saini c Compton b Bresnan 13; R Dewan batting 77; S Singh c Trott b Patel 55; A Khod c Trott b Bresnan 3; S Rana lbw Panesar 6; Sandeep Singh batting 2
Extras: (B12, LB2, W1, NB1) 16
Total: (4 wickets; 61 overs) 172
Bowling: G Onions 10-2-32-0 (NB1), T Bresnan 13-2-47-2, S Meaker 11-1-31-0 (W1), M Panesar 18-6-32-1, S Patel 8-2-15-1, K Pietersen 1-0-1-0