BIRMINGHAM: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made a fine fifty as the tourists fought back to be 205 for eight against England at tea on the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston.
Dhoni, 61 not out at the break, rescued India from the depths of 111 for seven and found a useful ally in Praveen Kumar (26) during an eighth-wicket run-a-ball stand of 84.
England, already 2-0 up, were though still on top in a match where victory would see them win the four-match series and also replace India at the top of the ICC’s Test Championship table.
But India, yet to make 300 this series, were at least showing some fight.
Dhoni, whose previous best score this series was 28 in the opener at Lord’s, did what he does best when launching James Anderson for a straight six and also clubbed Tim Bresnan high over long-on.
Kumar was no ‘silent’ partner, driving and cover-driving Graeme Swann for two fours in successive balls before hitting a fine straight six off the off-spinner.
But his innings came to an end when, trying to hook Bresnan, he was caught by Matt Prior.
Bresnan led England’s attack with four wickets for 62 runs in 20 overs.
Earlier, India endured another top-order failure as they slumped to 75 for four at lunch with Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar managing just one run between them. Rahul Dravid was out for 22 to what turned out to be the last ball before lunch.
India then lost their next three wickets for just 19 runs in 39 balls with Suresh Raina being sent back by Anderson before Venkatsai Laxman was dismissed by Bresnan. Amit Mishra became Broad’s victim as India were reduced to 111 for seven.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.