The Overview: Day 2
Pujara's profligacy, a spot of pie-chucking and an eye-catching collapse were on the menu for Nass, Athers, Nick, Bumble and Gower...
Last Updated: 16/11/12 5:01pm
Nass and Beefy: England's remaining batsmen have it all to do on day three
India have found another star.
That's the verdict from the Sky Sports commentary box after Cheteshwar Pujara's maiden Test double-hundred eased India to 521-8 declared on day two of the first Test in Ahmedabad, before England crashed to 41-3 in reply.
Despite some disturbed day one kip, David 'Bumble' Lloyd (who erroneously set his alarm clock for 2.45pm yesterday) was bright-eyed ahead of day two - and with India resuming on 323-4 he predicted another tiring day for England's bowlers...
Lessons to be learnt
Bumble: "It's a very placid surface - I know I sound like a dog with a bone but I'll say it again, it will get much, much harder to bat on this surface and when it's England turn to bat it won't be easy. It will change and start to spin - India will use a lot more spin than England have."
Nick Knight: "By tea time yesterday the pitch had really scuffed up quite dramatically and it really looks like a day three, day three-and-a-half pitch - so you'd say that deterioration should continue and make life tougher and tougher for the batsmen..."
England don't seem to be morning people right now... and India cruised to 410-4 at lunch as Pujara and Yuvraj Singh held sway...
Mike Atherton: "It was a very difficult morning. I suppose Alastair Cook gave his own eloquent answer to the bowlers they've picked by ignoring Tim Bresnan for all but three overs; I calculated that there were 68 overs between Bresnan spells. That's four-and-a-half hours or about four bottles-worth in Beefy language! So basically Cook is saying they've picked the wrong team. Samit Patel continues to look short of Test class as a spinner so you've got three bowlers effectively."
Perhaps not a bad time to point out that Beefy's on the wagon... anyway, back to Pujara - Rahul Dravid's successor at No 3...
Bumble: "He looks a terrific player; he's well-organised, he's an accumulator rather than an accelerator; there's a lot of Dravid in the way that he plays. Sometimes it can be tricky to find your next number three after you lose one who has been there forever. This is the second century that he's scored in six Tests so India have selected well; he looks to be a level-headed player and a lad that enjoys Test match cricket."
Athers' Blog - 1st Test, day 2
Athers: "Yuvraj is a good man to have alongside you because with his high backlift and big bat he's a very aggressive player, so very capable of hitting spinners over the top. He fancies Samit Patel - he really tucked into Samit Patel in one of the warm-up games here. With the pitch the way that it is an orthodox player like Pujara - and England's first three are in that mode - it's quite hard work once the ball gets soft to pierce the field and score at any rate."
A couple of wickets lifted England's spirits - Yuvraj swatting Samit Patel to Swann, who then bowled Mahendra Singh Dhoni for five... but did England get their tactics right?
Athers: "The problem without that second specialist spinner is it's putting a lot of work on Swann - and remember this is a guy with bits of bone floating around in his elbow. But Pujara has played superbly. This is a guy who likes to score big runs. He scored a triple hundred as a 14year-old; he got three triple hundreds in a month, once - only one of them in first-class cricket. Nine of his 16 first-class hundreds have been of 150 or more so he likes to bat and that's a great lesson for England's batsmen."
England lacking ideas?
Nasser Hussain: "I can't fault England's effort - it's an absolute featherbed of a pitch - but they haven't quite thought out of the box enough for me. I read Simon Barnes this morning in the paper talking about driving in India in a car; if you drive like an Englishman you'll crash and burn, you have to drive like an Indian. That's what I think about cricket in India - you can't bowl like an Englishman. You can't run up and bowl line-and-length for two days because it's doing nothing.
"I'd just like to see a bit more variation in length Look at how many yorkers England have bowled (four per cent). If the pitch is doing nothing, take it out of the equation. In a game in Galle quite a few years ago we had Craig White coming up and bowling cutters - proper cutters; not little things where you run your fingers down the side but Tony Greig cutters with the keeper standing up. Broad went to it a little bit towards the end of the session with Prior standing up...
"For me, England have been a little bit nice, a little bit English and a little bit length. And I know Nick disagrees..."
Nick: "Were you not watching yesterday? Stuart Broad was bowling leg-cutters yesterday. They are trying. Pujara has played fantastically well in these conditions; India totally took the game away from England in the first session and that's where England need to look at themselves - the way they started that game yesterday."
Over to Athers on his 'roof terrace'...
Athers: "I enjoyed listening to the bickering between those two Essex boys!"
Pujara continued to dine out regardless, reaching his 200 off 374 balls...
Athers: "Rahul is here watching on in admiration. You'd probably say that Pujara's been a bit more fluent actually, than Rahul Dravid, who was a great, great player but you can imagine on this kind of a surface Rahul getting a little bit stuck at times. This lad has knocked the scoring around quite nicely and I think he's been helped by Samit Patel, who is in the Yuvraj-mode of 'pie-chucking' - half-trackers and full tosses, one of which got Yuvraj out. But he's played beautifully and he's obviously got a lovely technique; a slightly closed-faced technique and very, very good through the leg-side."
Sir Ian Botham: "Hasn't he played well? Composure, patience but more importantly skill: impressive - he's been out of Test cricket for 18 months."
Tough debut for Compton
India's declaration (with Pujara on 206no) ushered in a new era, with England skipper Alastair Cook opening up alongside debutant Nick Compton... but Ravichandran Ashwin took the ball for India...
Bumble: "Great thinking, opening with a spinner - it's exciting! It's a wonderful challenge as well for these England batsmen, to see four round the bat. You think about English conditions - a big fast bowler with a new ball and some grass on the pitch. It's nothing like it. You've got to think so differently here. It will be so natural for Dhoni to say 'ok, Ashwin, you have a bowl'.
Nass: "Yep, and unnatural for Cook and Compton who have opened against pace all their career and not seen any quality spin on this tour."
Bumble: "If Compton's a fitness freak, I'm just thinking of his granddad - there are some great stories about Dennis Compton turning up to cricket matches with his dancing shoes on, [wearing] a bow tie and a tuxedo, having a snooze on the couches at Lord's, and picking his bat up and going out to play."
But Ashwin had England dancing to his tune, bowling Compton then having Trott caught at bad-pad after Pragyan Ojha removed nightwatchman James Anderson...
Nick: "England have done a lot of talking about how they are going to play the spin but they are going to have to sit down tonight and have another re-think, another chat. They'll be led tomorrow by Pietersen but today has not been a good day for England."
As Bumble says it's "Freddie Mercury time" for England: "Under pressure".
Don't miss day three of the first Test - live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Saturday from 3.55am.