Impressive Broad takes two wickets but stage is set for Tendulkar
Lunch: First Test, day three, Lord’s
Match score: India 102-2 (Dravid 15*, Tendulkar 10*, Mukund 49; Broad 2-25) trail England 474-8 dec (Pietersen 202*, Prior 71, Trott 70; Kumar 5-106) by 355 runs Full scorecard
Session score: India 85-2 Draw
Only in the pavilion at Lord’s could Sachin Tendulkar pass unnoticed as he did this morning as he returned to the dressing room after his pre-match warm-up. With the Long Room filling up and congestion approaching tube station proportions, Tendulkar had to find his own way through the pockets of elderly MCC members.
It was somewhat different when he came out to bat at 12.28pm with India 77 for 2. The applause started and did not stop until he had reached the crease. As if trying to create a Mexican wave, the spectators rose to their feet, firstly in the pavilion and then all around the ground until Tendulkar, who has scored 99 international hundreds, had received a full ovation. Was this how it was for Bradman at The Oval in ’48?
It was another tense session that had started in bright sunshine with the Indian openers batting freely but ended under thick cloud with Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid defending studiously against the swinging ball of Chris Tremlett and Jonathan Trott.
The most fluent batting came from Abhinav Mukund, the 21-year-old left-hander from Chennai who made his Test debut on the recent tour of West Indies. He looks a very solid player with great balance and a still head.
He seemed to get a little carried away, though, and was out one run short of his second Test fifty, reaching for a drive against Stuart Broad and inside-edging on to his stumps.
Broad was England’s best bowler, an accolade he has not been able to claim prebviously this summer. Bowling much fuller, and swinging it into the left-handers, he bowled Gautam Gambhir through the gate.
There was only one sign of Broad’s Mr Hyde when Kevin Pietersen threw wildly at the stumps and caused overthrows. Broad, inevitably, was aggressively vocal in his disapproval.
Chris Tremlett was out of sorts initially, struggling with his line as he had done last night and here against Sri Lanka in June. But his second spell was much improved and he tested Tendulkar fully just before lunch.
England’s early tactics were questionable with Jimmy Anderson pushing the ball across the left-handers from wide of the crease as a stock delivery and only very occasionally bringing it back in.
One way or another it’s going to be a memorable afternoon. If England get early wickets, they are right on top in this Test. If they don’t, history beckons.
John Stern is a former editor of The Cricketer
Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_John