Three warm-up games, three draws, but one just specialist spinner!
England skipper Alastair Cook admitted he would have loved to play a few quality spinners ahead of the first Test on November 15. The prolific opener, however, said his boys had faced enough spin-bowling and are geared up for the real Test.
England’s third and final practice game, against Haryana, ended in a draw at Motera B on Sunday. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s mates were set an impossible target of 442, in one-and-a-half sessions, and they reached 133/6 when the skippers decided enough is enough.
“Everyone’s played. We’ve got some really good practice,” said Cook. In fact, each of England’s top six batsmen found form during the course of the warm-ups. And England’s second innings was no different from their first. Mishra continued to employ his pacers. Out of the 75.2 overs the visitors faced, only 11.2 were bowled by tweakers. Mishra, who bowled 17.2 overs in the first essay, didn’t roll his arm in the second.
“We can’t control the opposition plan. If you’ve been watching our training sessions while the matches have been going on we’ve played some good spinners in the nets. We would have rather played them out in the middle but we have had to make do with playing against turn in the nets,” Cook said.
England, who resumed on 118/0, scored 254/6 before letting Haryana bat again. Nick Compton (79) added 25 runs to his kitty before getting caught behind off Sachin Rana. Jonathan Trott, who had opened the innings, completed his century before retiring. Trott scored 101, including 13 boundaries. The right-hander even hit a six, something he has yet to do in 34 Tests!
Ian Bell contributed 48 before falling to Sanjay Budhwar. Matt Prior (2), Samit Patel (0) and Tim Bresnan departed in quick succession. First innings centurion Kevin Pietersen left without troubling the scorers. Budhwar finished with figures of 3/51. Wicketkeeper-opener Nitin Saini was the Haryana player to score a half century in the second innings.
England 1st innings: 521
Haryana 1st innings: 334
England 2nd innings (overnight 118/0): N Compton 79, J Trott retd hurt 101, I Bell c Rana b Budhwar 48, M Prior run out (Yadav) 2, T Bresnan c Mishra b Budhwar 14, S Patel c Singh b Budhwar 0, A Cook not out 2,
K Pietersen c Saini b Yadav 0; Extras: (B4, LB2, W2) 8; Total: (six wickets decl; 75.2 overs) 254 (3.37 runs per over)
FoW: 1-162 (Compton, 51.3 ov), 1-213* (Trott, retired not out), 2-220 (Prior, 63.3 ov), 3-242 (Bell, 70.1 ov), 4-242 (Patel, 70.3 ov), 5-253 (Bresnan, 74.5 ov), 6-254 (Pietersen, 75.2 ov)
Bowling: S Budhwar 20-4-51-3 (W2), A Vashisht 17-3-64-0,
S Rana 14-1-42-1, C Saini
13-2-46-0, A Khod 3-0-24-0,
J Yadav 8.2-2-21-1
Haryana 2nd innings: N Saini c Prior b Panesar 50, R Dewan lbw b Meaker 13, S Rana lbw b Patel 5, S Singh c Prior b Bresnan 25,
A Khod c Prior b Bresnan 1,
S Singh c Prior b Onions 7,
A Mishra not out 19, J Yadav not out 3; Extras: (B5, LB5) 10; Total: (six wickets; 42 overs) 133 (3.16 runs per over)
FoW: 1-36 (Dewan, 9.1 ov),
2-45 (Rana, 10.5 ov), 3-88
(Sunny Singh, 21.6 ov), 4-94 (Khod, 25.1 ov), 5-96 (N Saini, 28.4 ov), 6-110 (Sandeep Singh, 37.1 ov) Bowling: G Onions
9-2-34-1, T Bresnan 7-2-13-2,
S Meaker 7-2-19-1, S Patel
6-0-26-1, M Panesar 10-5-18-1,
K Pietersen 3-1-13-0