England – and Notts pair – make India suffer
ON another day dominated largely by England captain Alistair Cook – and his bizarre run-out – Notts batsman Samit Patel must be ruing a missed opportunity to further his claim for a regular Test spot.
He looked well set after hitting a breezy 33 runs off 47 balls yesterday, including five well-worked boundaries, to help England to a healthy 509-6 and a lead of 193.
But Patel's knock was cruelly ended when his stretching cut to a deceptive ball from Pragyan Ojha was edged to Virender Sehwag at slip and flipped into the air before he gratefully hung on to the catch.
You could see Patel's disappointment.
But that brought in his Trent Bridge team-mate Graeme Swann (21no) and together with Matt Prior (40) they kept the runs coming to complete another good day of batting from the tourists.
But after his record-breaking day at Eden Gardens, it was such a shame Cook contributed to his own dismissal, ten short of a double-century.
The opener decided not to ground his bat as an accurate throw came in from midwicket and as he paused to let the ball through, it instead hit his stumps and he was run-out, backing up.
Jonathan Trott (87), who shared a second-wicket stand of 173 with his captain, said they left Cook alone to ponder his dismissal.
"He didn't really say anything. We just let him stew," said Trott.
"He was obviously deeply upset and realised what an opportunity he had out there to still be batting into the fourth day.
"That's the way he is. He'll be very disappointed.
"It was very strange. I'd just put it down as a freak dismissal.
"It's really disappointing for him and the team, to get out that way on 190.
"But he played magnificently well.
"He's not one who will express too much emotion or disgust.
"Deep down I know he'll be very upset, but we're also very happy with the job he did."
England's prospects of bowling India out to go 2-1 up with one to play are improved with signs that the wicket is beginning to deteriorate.
"The second new ball got a bit more bounce from the spinners when they got hold of it," said Trott.
"It was pretty flat for the first couple of days. Now there's maybe a bit more turn, and variable bounce.
"I had a few that I left that kept low. If they'd been straight it would have been quite tricky."
It was hard work for Cook, Trott, Kevin Pietersen (54) and others – but they did enough to ensure England consolidated the advantage they already held.