Finally, Nick Compton got decent batting practice in the middle. After twin failures since the tour began a week ago, the right-handed Compton, known for immense talent, occupied the crease for three-and-a-half hours, more than making up for the nought and one in his previous two visits to the crease.
The third day’s play of the second warm-up match was of academic interest after Mumbai A were bowled out for 286, 59 short of England’s first innings score. In their second essay, England made 149 for two before the players shook hands.
It was all about spending time in the middle, getting some decent scores and gaining confidence ahead of the first Test. It was particularly crucial for Compton and Ian Bell, who too had two single digit scores after landing in Mumbai. Compton and Bell shared 54 for the third wicket.
By scoring 64* (162b, 6x4), Compton has made the fight for the second opener’s slot more intense. The 29-year-old South African-born right-hander was a little uncomfortable in the beginning. His first boundary of the tour came off an outside edge to the vacant third man when he tried to work Kshemal Waingankar on the on-side. He even survived a loud shout for LBW against the hard-working Shardul Thakur minutes after bringing the team’s 50.
Compton and Root shared the highest opening stand —38 — of the tour. Root (24) looked compact and showed that he has the requisite skills to open at the highest level. He began with a flick to fine leg and a steer to third man for successive boundaries off Javed Khan even as Compton was happy to grind the inexperienced attack.
Root was dismissed LBW by Thakur as he offered no stroke. Compton extended his stay in the middle in the company of Jonathan Trott, who batted for an hour and a half before becoming the second LBW victim for 30, this time to Suryakumar Yadav bowling round the stumps.
Earlier in the day, left-arm spinner Samit Patel took three wickets in 2.4 overs, including No 10 Waingankar and Khan off successive deliveries, to finish with three for 44. Fellow slow bowler Monty Panesar continued to impress, picking up two more after speedster Graham Onions dismissed Hiken Shah for 92.
Shah began confidently, moving from his overnight 84 with two boundaries on the off side. Going in the same vein, the left-hander was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
England 1st innings: 345/9 decl
Mumbai 1st innings (overnight 232/4): H Shah c Bairstow b Onions 92, N Patil (Jr) c Bell b Panesar 17, Shoaib Shaikh 13 not out, Sufiyan Shaikh c Compton b Patel 1, S Thakur c Onions b Panesar 1, K Waingankar c Trott b Patel 14, J Khan b Patel 0
Extras: (6B, 2LB, 1W, 3NB) 12
Total: (all out, 101.4 overs) 286
Fall of wickets: 4-232 (80.4 ov, Yadav), 5-240 (81.1 ov, Shah), 6-264 (94.6 ov, Patil Jr), 7-265 (97.1 ov, Sufiyan), 8-270 (98.2 ov, Thakur), 9-286 (101.3 ov, Waingankar)
Bowling: J Anderson 20-11-40-1, S Broad 10-2-19-0, G Onions
16-2-57-2 (3NB, 1W), M Panesar 28-8-64-3, J Root 13-3-43-1,
S Patel 11.4-1-44-3, J Trott 3-0-11-0
England 2nd innings: J Root lbw b Thakur 24, N Compton 64 not out, J Trott lbw b Yadav 30, I Bell 28 not out
Extras: (1LB, 2NB) 3
Total: (for 2 wkts, 52 overs) 149
Fall of wickets: 1-38 (12.5 ov, Root), 2-95 (37.3 ov, Trott)
Bowling: K Waingankar 6-1-10-0, J Khan 14-2-48-0, S Thakur
10-4-20-1, Shoaib Shaikh 5-2-9-0 (2NB), S Yadav 12-1-38-1,
C Pujara 3-0-13-0, S Dhawan