English CricketersEngland Cricket Players: Andrew Flintoff | Andrew Strauss | Ashley Giles | Geraint Jones | Ian Bell | James Anderson | Kevin Pieterson | Marcus Trescothic | Mathew Hoggard | Micheal Vaughan | Paul Collingwood | Steve Harmison
- England in India 2006 Cricket Series Home
- Practice Match at Mumbai
- England vs Presidents XI at Baroda
- India vs England Nagpur Cricket Test
- India vs England Mohali Cricket Test
- India vs England Mumbai Cricket Test
- ODI Practice Match at Jaipur
- ODI Home | Delhi | Faridabad | Goa | Cochin | Guwahati | Jamshedpur | Indore
- England Cricket Team
- Indian Cricket Team
- Complete Itinerary - India vs England 2006
- Tickets for the Cricket Series
- Live Telecast & Commentary on Television, Internet and Radio
England in India Cricket Series 2006
- February 18-20 Practice, Mumbai: England bt IndiaCC by 238 runs
- February 23-25 Practice, Baroda: England lost to President's XI by 8 wkts
- March 1-5 1st Test, Nagpur: Draw
- March 9-13 2nd Test, Mohali: England lost to India by 9 wkts
- March 18-22 3rd Test, Mumbai (Bombay): England bt India by 212 runs
- March 25 One-day match, Jaipur: England lost to Rajasthan by 5 runs
- March 28 1st ODI, Delhi: England lost to India by 39 runs
- Macrh 31 2nd ODI, Faridabad: England lost to India by 4 wkts
- April 3 3rd ODI, Goa: England lost to India by 49 runs
- April 6 4th ODI, Cochin: England lost to India by 4 wkts
- April 9 5th ODI, Guwahati: Rained out
- April 12 6th ODI, Jamshedpur: England bt India by 5 wkts
- April 15 7th ODI, Indore: England lost to India by 7 wkts
England vs India Cricket Statistics till Jan 2006
At the start of the Series
India - England Cricket News
England in India
Sreesanth 6/55 & Uthappa 86 make it 5-1 for India
April 15, 2006England finished their tour of India with a seven-wicket defeat in the last one-dayer to lose the series 5-1. Kevin Pietersen (64), Paul Collingwood (64) and Geraint Jones (53) were the mainstays in England's 288 all out. Robin Uthappa's 86 - the best score by an Indian debutant - and captain Rahul Dravid's 69 put the hosts in control. They fell in quick succession but the results was never in doubt once Yuvraj Singh (55*) and Suresh Raina (53) put on 115, as they won with five balls left.
MOM: Sreesanth 10.0 1 55 6; MOS: Yuvraj Singh
India 289-3 (49.1 overs) bt England 288 (50 overs) by 7 wickets
Indore - Another chance for youngsters to shine
April 14, 2006Andrew Flintoff could make his 100th one-day appearance as England play their final game in India on Saturday. But the match will see a new crop of Indian players taking on the English attack. Dinesh Karthik will be behind the wickets for the first time in the series in place of 'superstar' Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Another player who is set to be handed another chance is off-spinning all-rounder Ramesh Powar, who has come in for severe criticism in India for being overweight. Captain Rahul Dravid will be back in the side but he believes, with the series already decided, it is a good opportunity to experiment. India is likely to rest Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif. Munaf Patel may also miss the match by the same yardstick, while Harbhajan Singh, troubled by pain in his forearm, may take a well-deserved break.
India (from): R Dravid (Captain), V Sehwag, AR Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, SK Raina, KD Karthik, IK Pathan, YV Rao, MM Patel, S Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh, RR Powar, RP Singh, VRV Singh.
England (from): A Flintoff (Captain), K Ali, JM Anderson, GJ Batty, IR Bell, ID Blackwell, PD Collingwood, MJ Hoggard, GO Jones, SI Mahmood, KP Pietersen, LE Plunkett, MJ Prior, OA Shah, VS Solanki, AJ Strauss
England beat India by 5 wickets; IND 4-1
April 12, 2006England have defeated India by five wickets in the sixth one-day international against India at Jamshedpur's Keenan stadium.
The visitors have already lost the series, but they have been able to make amends for their 4-0 loss with this win.
Chasing 224 for victory, the visitors achieved their target in 42.5 overs.
The Indian bowlers tried to put pressure on England, picking up wickets at regular intervals but in the end, it was difficult to defend their measly score of 223.
Earlier, India were bowled out for 223 in 48 overs with Munaf Patel remaining unbeaten on one.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the top scorer, hitting a magnificent 96 to rescue India from an inexplicable batting collapse. But India still failed to put up a competitive total.
England 227-5 (42.4 overs) beat India 223 all out (48 overs) by five wickets
England may rest Flintoff for Jamshedpur ODI
April 12, 2006England will bid to end their poor run of form in the penultimate game of their seven-match one-day series against India on Wednesday.
England look set to rest Andrew Flintoff and are 4-0 down in the series after the previous match was abandoned in Guwahati and riots followed.
India are expected to name a young side for the match in Jamshedpur, which itself has a history of crowd violence.
Mohendra Dhoni is set to move up the order in front of his home fans.
The match should also see 20-year-old Robin Uthappa making his one-day debut for the national side, while the uncapped Venungopala Rao is also in contention to start.
Violence follows abandonment of fifth India-England one-dayer
April 9, 2006The spectators in Guwahati, in the northeastern state of Assam, attacked police with water bottles and threw stones at TV cameras as heavy overnight rain and wet ground conditions caused the abandonment of the fifth one-dayer between India and England on Sunday.
Two policemen and one spectator were injured in the violence after umpires Rudi Koertzen and Arani Jayaprakash decided no play would be possible.
India was seeking a 5-0 lead in the seven-game series after winning the four previous four encounters. The sixth match takes place in Jamshedpur in three days.
India beat England to seal series; IND 4-0
April 6, 2006India wrapped up a series victory by cruising to a four-wicket win in the fourth one-day international against England in Cochin. England skipper Andrew Flintoff won the toss and opted to bat first, but the tourists' score of 237 all out never looked likely to be defendable and India reached 238-6 with 16 balls to spare, to take a 4-0 lead in the seven-match series.
Fourth one-day international, Cochin: India 238-6 (47.2 overs) beat England 237 (48.4 overs) by four wickets
England upbeat for must-win match
April 6, 2006England will find themselves in a win or bust situation in Thursday's fourth one-day game against India in Cochin.
Trailing 3-0, they at least have a fully fit squad to pick from with Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Hoggard having recovered from stomach bugs.
And despite the tough assignment facing them, keeper Geraint Jones said England were confident of turning it around.
England have lost eight of their last 10 limited internationals and will have to face heat topping 36C (100F), humidity of 90% and a 90,000-strong partisan crowd at the Nehru Stadium as they attempt to peg back India.
The pitch is said to be good for batting on with a high score expected and the winner of the toss is likely to bat first.
India have played four times in Cochin and been successful in three matches - the last time beating Pakistan by 87 runs.
Four key players - Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Dhoni and Dravid - were rested from the final training session.
And Yuvraj had to go to hospital for a precautionary scan on a sore right leg but was cleared to play. India (from): R Dravid (Captain), V Sehwag, R Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, S Raina, M Dhoni, I Pathan, Y Rao, M Patel, S Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh, R Powar, R Singh.
England (from): A Flintoff (Captain), K Ali, J Anderson, G Batty, I Bell, I Blackwell, P Collingwood, M Hoggard, G Jones, S Mahmood, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, M Prior, O Shah, V Solanki, A Strauss.
Coach Fletcher calls for patience
April 4, 2006England coach Duncan Fletcher says critics of his young one-day team must give them time to develop.
England are 3-0 down in the one-day series in India and facing the task of having to win all four games remaining.
Fletcher stressed the absence of players like Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick was a big factor in the team's erratic form.
England went down by 49 runs on Monday but Fletcher insisted the toss in Goa was a big factor in the result.
And despite the poor results so far, he remains resolute in his belief that the future is promising for England in the one-day arena.
Jones on course to start season
April 4, 2006Glamorgan pace bowler Simon Jones is confident he will be fully fit for the start of the new season and wants his place back in the England side.
The 27-year-old had to withdraw from England's tour to India to have an operation after twisting his left knee.
While he earned most plaudits for his performance in last summer's Ashes series win over Australia, Jones is also determined to win a regular place in the one-day side.
Although England fought back to draw the Test series in India, the tourists have struggled in the one-day series.
But Jones knows that he must first concentrate his efforts on performing for Glamorgan if he is to get the England call for this summer's matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The heavy rain during March has limited preparation time outdoors, but Jones believes that may actually help his county.
Collingwood defends shaky England
April 4, 2006Paul Collingwood insists England are not a bad one-day side despite losing the first three games against India.
There has been concern for some time over the form of the one-day side compared to England's Test XI.
Collingwood said he thought part of the difference was down to the lack of a settled team.
Collingwood insisted that despite the defeats the mood in the camp was upbeat.
Yuvraj ton powers India to a facile win; IND 3-0
April 3, 2006Yuvraj Singh hit a sizzling century as India dented England's morale further with a convincing 49-run victory in the third cricket one-dayer here today, a result which left them needing just one win to clinch the series.
After setting a stiff target of 295, built around Yuvraj's breathtaking 76-ball 103, Irfan Pathan grabbed three top order batsmen in quick succession to trigger an early collapse before the visitors folded up for 245 in 48.5 overs to give India a commanding 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.
Raina, 19, cracked one six and five fours in his 67-ball knock for his second successive half-century following his match-winning 81 not out in the previous game at Faridabad.
Third one-day international, Goa: India 294-6 beat England 245 by 49 runs
Kevin Pietersen was ruled out from Goa ODI
April 3, 2006Kevin Pietersen was ruled out of England's third one-day international against India through illness.
Pietersen, the top-scorer in both previous matches of this campaign, sat out the match due to a stomach bug.
That meant Vikram Solanki got a recall for the tourists, who are 2-0 down in the seven-match series, while Sajid Mahmood came in for Kabir Ali. India: V Sehwag, R Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, S K Raina, M S Dhoni, I K Pathan, A B Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, R R Powar, M M Patel
England: A J Strauss, M J Prior, O A Shah, V S Solanki, P D Collingwood, A Flintoff, G O Jones, I D Blackwell, L E Plunkett, J M Anderson, S I Mahmood
Coach Fletcher leaves India tour
April 1, 2006Coach Duncan Fletcher has left England's tour of India temporarily to accompany his ill wife Marina back to their home in South Africa.
England's next match is Monday's third one-day international against India in Goa, with Fletcher expected to return to the side hours before the start.
His wife's condition was not immediately clear but the couple flew on Saturday from Delhi to Cape Town.
Assistant coach Matthew Maynard will be in charge for Sunday's practice. Families of the England touring party have been in India for the past fortnight of the nine-week tour, which has been blighted by disruption.
Captain Michael Vaughan, opening batsman Marcus Trescothick, Simon Jones and Steve Harmison have all returned home for differing reasons. England, who fought back to tie the Test series 1-1, are 2-0 down in the seven-match one-day series after the four-wicket defeat in Faridabad on Friday.
Teenage sensation powers India to victory in second ODI; India 2-0
March 31, 2006Teenager Suresh Raina struck a valiant 81 not out on Friday as India overcame an early collapse to beat England by four wickets in the second limited-overs international.
The win, which brought the capacity 25,000 crowd on its feet, was India's 14th win on the trot while chasing which equalled the previous record of West Indies achieved between 1984 and '86.
Raina and Mahendra Dhoni (38) combined for a 118-run, sixth-wicket partnership to help India recover from a 92-5 slump and overhaul a 227-run victory target to lead the series 2-0.
Earlier England, too, suffered a mild collapse and owed their score to half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen (71) and opener Andrew Strauss (61), the only batsmen to defy India offspinners Ramesh Powar (3-34) and Harbhajan Singh (1-43). Kevin Pietersen (71) passed 1,000 career runs in just his 21st innings, to tie Viv Richards' record.
Second one-day international, Faridabad: India 230-6 (49 overs) beat England 226 (49.5 overs) by four wickets
Flintoff aiming for milestone win
March 31, 2006Andrew Flintoff is hoping to mark his 100th one-day international by leading England to victory over India.
But they go into Friday's game 1-0 down after throwing away the chance of winning the series opener in Delhi with a series of rash strokes. And the team will be in unfamiliar surroundings after deciding not to have a practice session in Faridabad.
There is a ray of hope for England in the fact that India have only won once in five previous games at the Nahar Singh Stadium, failing to defend a score of 274-6 against Zimbabwe in their last appearance there four years ago. The home side will make a late decision on the fitness of all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who is suffering from flu.
If Pathan is ruled out, paceman Munaf Patel could make his one-day debut, or they could turn to Ramesh Powar, an off-spinner and useful batsman. Opener Virender Sehwag will definitely play even though he is still receiving treatment for a back problem. India (from): RS Dravid (Captain), V Sehwag, G Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, SK Raina, MS Dhoni, IK Pathan, YV Rao, MM Patel, S Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh, RR Powar, RP Singh.
England (from): A Flintoff (Captain), K Ali, JM Anderson, GJ Batty, IR Bell, ID Blackwell, PD Collingwood, MJ Hoggard, GO Jones, SI Mahmood, KP Pietersen, LE Plunkett, MJ Prior, OA Shah, VS Solanki, AJ Strauss.
Kabir backs England to raise game
March 29, 2006Worcestershire pace bowler Kabir Ali believes England are good enough to come from behind and win the one-day series in India.
They lost the first match in Delhi by 39 runs after appearing to be cruising towards a target of 204 at one stage.
He began the series with figures of 4-45, his best in 10 limited overs international appearances, after only being included in the side when Sajid Mahmood hurt a finger in practice.
The 25-year-old hopes to build on that in Friday's match at Faridabad, but is not taking selection for granted.
He arrived in India match-ready in terms of fitness and recent competitive action, having been a member of the England A squad which toured the West Indies and he was immediately at home in the sub-continent.
Ali said he was surprised that India could not muster more than 203 in the opening game.
Pietersen defends batting style
March 29, 2006Kevin Pietersen denies he should have shown more caution after his dismissal sparked an England collapse to lose the first one-day international in India.
After Pietersen was caught on the boundary off a slog-sweep, England crashed from 117-3 to 164 all out.
Pietersen, in his 26th one-day international, had hit an assured 46 with nine boundaries, seven of which came in similar fashion on the leg side.
England only needed 87 to win with 30 overs remaining but the wicket came straight after India had introduced part-time bowler Yuvraj Singh.
Pietersen was one of five players who got out playing sweep shots, a tactic championed by coach Duncan Fletcher.
Former India batsman and left-arm spinner Ravi Shastri said England need not have played the sweep on a Delhi pitch with pace and bounce.
Pietersen insisted there were positives to be taken from the defeat, especially on the bowling side, with six more one-day games looming in India.
Harbhajan magic propels India to dramatic win
March 26, 2006Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh captured a career-best 5-31 to bowl India to a 39-run victory over England in the first cricket one-day international. The 25-year-old bowler helped dismiss England for 164 in 38.1 overs after top-scoring with 37 in India's 203 in 46.4.
Top order batsmen on both sides struggled on a seam-friendly pitch after England captain Andrew Flintoff won the toss and chose to bowl first. All-rounder Kabir Ali captured a career-best 4-45 to lead England's disciplined seam attack in the morning. The 25-year-old took two top order wickets in three balls before returning to pick up the last two wickets off successive deliveries.
First one-day international, Delhi: India 203 (46.4 overs) beat England 164 (38.1 overs) by 39 runs
England seek one-day consistency
March 26, 2006Andrew Strauss says England will aim to use the one-day series against India to improve their consistency.
While the Test team has continued onwards and upwards, the one-day side has been hit and miss.
They play seven one-day internationals against India, starting in Delhi on Tuesday.
England are officially ranked sixth in the world but with less than a year to go before the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, they still have a lot of preparation to do.
England warmed up for the one-day series with a five-run loss against a Rajasthan President's XI in Jaipur on Saturday.
The team was captained by Vikram Solanki in the absence of Andrew Flintoff but he is on his way back to India after a whirlwind visit back to England to see his new-born son Corey.
Bell backs England to come good
March 25, 2006Batsman Ian Bell insisted valuable lessons had been learned following England's five-run defeat in Jaipur by a Rajasthan President's XI.
It was the team's only warm-up fixture before beginning a best of seven one-day series against India.
The home side totalled 260-6, thanks largely to an unbeaten 119 from Mohammad Kaif, who will face them again in Delhi on Tuesday.
Although England made a positive start in reply with Matt Prior hitting 55, they found scoring more difficult once the home side turned to spin.
His own innings did his chances of playing a significant part in the series against India no harm.
He has been an infrequent member of the one-day side since making his debut in Zimbabwe in November 2004 and has only played 10 games so far, four fewer than his number of Test caps.
Bell opened the batting in the third Test against India after Alastair Cook dropped out because of illness, but is unlikely to fill the same role in the shorter form of the game, having gone in at five in Jaipur.
RCA President's XI beat England XI by 5 runs
March 25, 2006Kaif, who was dropped from India's Test side despite his 91 in Nagpur, hit two sixes and 11 fours in an unbeaten 119 to lead a Rajasthan President's XI to 260-6 in Jaipur. In return England (256) lost their last wicket in the last ball, still needing 5 runs to win. Bell top scored with 71.
Last 4 Overs: 1 2 W . 1 . | . W 1 1 2 2 | 1 6 1 W 1 1 | . 2 1 6 .W One-day match, Jaipur: Rajasthan President's XI 260-6 (50 overs) bt England 255 (all out, 49.5 overs) England: V S Solanki (Captain), M J Prior (Wicket Keeper), O A Shah, K P Pietersen, I R Bell, I D Blackwell, L E Plunkett, G J Batty, Kabir Ali, J M Anderson, S I Mahmood.
RCA President's XI (from): G Gambhir, P A Patel (Wicket Keeper), S K Raina, M Kaif, Y V Rao, A Jadeja (Captain), Jaydev Shah, R R Powar, V R Singh, Piyush Chawla, R P Singh.
Solanki leads England in warm-up
March 24, 2006Vikram Solanki will captain England in Friday's one-day practice match as the tourists rest four of their Test stars.
Solanki, 29, who skippered England A on the recent tour of the West Indies, will be in charge against Rajasthan Cricket Association President's XI.
Three other new arrivals will also play - seamers Kabir Ali and Sajid Mahmood and spinner Gareth Batty.
The match in Jaipur is the only warm-up for the seven-match one-day series, which starts in Delhi on Tuesday.
Andrew Flintoff is at home visiting his wife and new baby while Paul Collingwood, Geraint Jones, Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Strauss are rested.
Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja will skipper the Rajasthan side in his first game against international opposition since his match-fixing ban was lifted in January 2003.
Jadeja, 35, represented India in 15 Tests and 196 ODIs before he, along with three others, was handed a five-year ban in 2000.
Alongside him are India one-day squad batsmen Gautam Gambhir and promising left-hander Suresh Raina.
Pace bowler Rudra Pratap Singh and spinner Ramesh Powar are also set to face England in the international series.
England: V Solanki (Captain), K Ali, J Anderson, G Batty, I Bell, I Blackwell, S Mahmood, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, M Prior (Wicket Keeper), O Shah
RCA President's XI (from): Ajay Jadeja (Captain), Gagan Khoda, Gautam Gambhir, Venugopal Rao, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel (Wicket Keeper), Vikram Rajvir Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ramesh Powar, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Pankaj Singh, Sanjay Gill, Dishant Yagnik (Wicket Keeper), Jaidev Shah, Vikrant Yadav.
Aussies impressed by England win
March 23, 2006Justin Langer says Australia's respect for England has soared in the aftermath of their "outstanding" triumph over India in the third Test in Mumbai.
Stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff led the depleted tourists to a 212-run win to tie the three-match series.
Langer admits the Aussies had taken "smug" satisfaction from England's struggles in Pakistan, where they lost the Tests and one-dayers, and after their second-Test loss in Mohali.
But he says their stunning success in Mumbai has further whetted his team-mates' appetite for the Ashes, which take place Down Under later this year.
The teams will face each other in five Tests between November and January 2007 when Australia will be looking for revenge.
The world champions were stunned 2-1 in last summer's series, their first Test series defeat against the English in 18 years.
Ambitious England seek more wins
March 23, 2006All-rounder Paul Collingwood says England want to keep on improving and winning after their third Test triumph against India.
The 212-run win in Mumbai was England's first Test victory on Indian soil for 21 years as they levelled the series.
Collingwood said England's performance in India was all the more remarkable because it was a makeshift team.
Alastair Cook and Owais Shah made impressive debuts and Andrew Flintoff was forced to take over the captaincy in the absence of Michael Vaughan but led his team from the front.
The Durham star was pleased with his own performances, he hit his maiden Test century in Nagpur, and topped the batting averages with 68 but is not resting on his laurels for a regular Test place.
England feat 'close to Ashes win'
March 22, 2006England coach Duncan Fletcher believes tying a Test series in India with five first-choice players missing is almost as big as winning the Ashes.
He said that It's a huge, huge achievement. It's close to that Ashes win.
England's victory kept them just above India in second place in the ICC world rankings behind Australia, who they visit next November.
Captain Andrew Flintoff hit two fifties and took four wickets to be named man of the match and also took the man of the series award.
England beat India to tie series
March 22, 2006England won by 212 runs in Mumbai for their first victory in India for 21 years to tie the Test series.
Shaul Udal took four wickets for 14 runs to bowl the home side out for 100 in mid-afternoon on the final day.
Needing 313 to win, India crashed from 75-3 at lunch, with Udal dismissing Sachin Tendulkar for 34 and having last man Munaf Patel caught in the deep.
Andrew Flintoff triggered the collapse by having captain Rahul Dravid caught behind and finished with 3-14.
THIRD TEST, MUMBAI - MATCH SUMMARY, DAY FIVE: England 400 & 191 bt India 279 & 100 by 212 runs
England set to press for Test win
March 21, 2006England have their sights on a win in Mumbai to tie the series after setting India a massive 313 in the third Test.
Stand-in opener Irfan Pathan fell to James Anderson in an eight-over period before stumps to leave India on 18-1.
Andrew Flintoff hit 50, sharing a stand of 66 with Paul Collingwood (32), as England totalled 191 in their second innings after refusing to declare.
Spinner Anil Kumble bowled 28 overs in the day and had Flintoff stumped on his way to figures of 4-49.
Only four sides have won a Test batting fourth at the Wankhede Stadium, with the 163 attained by South Africa six years ago the highest target achieved.
No team has ever scored more than 276 to win a Test in India and the home side's chances did not look good when Pathan played on to an Anderson full toss.
Third Test, Mumbai, day four (stumps): England 400 & 191 v India 279 & 18-1
Bowlers earn big lead for England
March 20, 2006James Anderson and Geraint Jones combined to give England the upper hand in the third Test against India.
The tourists will take a lead of 152 into the fourth day in Mumbai despite losing Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell cheaply as they closed on 31-2.
Anderson had two chances dropped off his bowling but took 4-40 and produced a direct hit to run out Mahendra Dhoni, who smashed 11 fours in his 64.
Jones supported his bowlers with five catches as India were all out for 279.
It left them 121 in arrears, but could have been far worse but for a ninth-wicket stand of 55 between Anil Kumble and Sri Sreesanth.
Third Test, Mumbai, day three (close): England 400 & 31-2 v India 279
England put India under pressure
March 19, 2006England produced a solid performance in Mumbai (Bombay) to leave India 89-3 chasing the tourists' score of 400.
Owais Shah (88) and Andrew Flintoff (50) both did well with the bat on day two although Flintoff was dropped off successive balls from Munaf Patel.
England's seamers were impressive when India batted and Matthew Hoggard removed both openers in a fiery spell.
James Anderson then trapped Sachin Tendulkar , who edged a wide ball to the keeper and departed for a single.
The one blemish for England was the loss of five wickets either side of lunch, which resulted in a collapse from 326-3 to 356-8.
Young paceman Sri Sreesanth triggered that demise for excellent figures of 4-70 in only his second Test appearance.
But in the final session, England's seamers did what India's had twice failed to do - take wickets with the new ball.
Hoggard was in his element and he first struck when Sehwag, not for the first time in the series, failed to get his gloves out of the way of a short-pitched ball which then looped into Shah's lap at first slip.
Tendulkar was in no frame of mind to end a worrying run of failure in Tests and he was the next man out when Anderson, working up good pace, had him taken by Jones.
At 28-3, India were gasping for a recovery and the dependable Dravid found a partner willing to play a few shots in Yuvraj Singh.
Third Test, Mumbai (day two, stumps) England 400; India 89-3
Strauss ton puts England on top
March 18, 2006Andrew Strauss ended a run of low scores in the sub-continent to hit 128 and guide England to 272-3 on the first day of the third Test against India.
Strauss put on 106 with debutant Owais Shah and 72 with Kevin Pietersen after India captain Rahul Dravid had surprised many by opting to bowl first.
Shah was only playing because of an illness suffered by Alastair Cook.
Third Test, Mumbai (day one, stumps) England 272-3 v India
Harmison ruled out of Mumbai Test
March 16, 2006England will be without fast bowler Steve Harmison for the third Test against India in Mumbai.
He complained of soreness in his right shin following the second match at Mohali and a scan of his leg revealed what has been described as bone stress.
It could mean a reprieve for Harmison's Durham team-mate Liam Plunkett, who was expected to lose his place to veteran spin bowler Shaun Udal.
The only other alternative would see James Anderson thrown in at the deep end without having played a single game on tour, although he recently saw action for England A in the Caribbean. Whichever option England go for, skipper Flintoff is determined they will give it their all to try and win.
Harmison's injury continues a run of bad luck which has dogged England from before the tour began. Ashley Giles did not even make it onto the plane following surgery on his hip and three other heroes of last summer's Ashes-winning side - Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and Simon Jones - had to return home early.
Harmison bowled only four overs on the final day at Mohali, which India won by nine wickets.
At the time, however, both Flintoff and coach Duncan Fletcher both played down talk about a possible injury.
But he missed practice in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, on Thursday and a scan of his leg confirmed he would not be able to play in the Test.
England will now seek further medical advice before deciding whether he will be fit enough for the seven one-day internationals which conclude the tour.
Harmison suffered from shin problems earlier in his career, pulling out of an England A tour to the West Indies in 2000-01 and missing part of an A tour to New Zealand the previous winter.
But a change of footwear appeared to have solved the problem. His recent fitness record has been excellent and he has been an ever present in the side since a bad back put him out of the second match in Bangladesh in October 2003, a run of 28 consecutive Tests.
The 27-year-old is the spearhead of England's attack, having taken 159 wickets in 41 Tests. But he has not been at his best in India, his five wickets in the series so far coming at a cost of almost 39 runs each.
Dravid backs Harbhajan revival
March 15, 2006India captain Rahul Dravid is confident that Harbhajan Singh will return to form and collect wickets in the final Test with England starting on Saturday.
The off-spinner has taken only three wickets at a cost of 85 each in the first two Tests and has been eclipsed by his partner in spin Anil Kumble.
After two five-wicket hauls on England's last tour in 2001, Harbhajan has struggled to trouble the batsmen in this series.
He failed to take a wicket in two Tests against Pakistan at the start of the year, troubled by a finger injury that caused him to miss the final match.
Dravid, set to become only the sixth India player to win 100 Test caps, believes that too much pressure is applied to the spinners in home series.
England hint at return for Udal
March 15, 2006England coach Duncan Fletcher has given a strong indication that spinner Shaun Udal will replace seamer Liam Plunkett for Saturday's final Test with India.
The tourists need a win to level the series and Mumbai (Bombay) surface is likely to be the most spin-friendly.
Udal, who will be 37 on day one of the Test, took only three wickets in his first three Tests in Pakistan.
The prospect of Udal batting as high as eight is a concern for Fletcher, who said: "We have always maintained we need a balanced side. Fletcher is still lamenting the loss of Ashley Giles, who contributed four fifties at an average of 20.72 in addition to his 140 wickets from 52 Tests.
There was praise for Monty Panesar, who has impressed with some sharply turning deliveries, but has confirmed himself to be a number 11 batsman. An extra batsman was ruled out because of the workload it would place on the three seamers and left-arm slow bowler Ian Blackwell appeared out of his depth in the first Test.
India's Anil Kumble is expected to play a key role again but batsman Paul Collingwood said England must not allow the spinner to take a psychological advantage over them.
Dravid set to reach Test landmark
March 14, 2006Rahul Dravid is planning to mark his 100th Test by captaining India to a series victory against England.
Dravid will become the sixth Indian to play a century of Tests when he leads the side out at Mumbai on Friday.
One of those appearances was for a World XI in an ICC Super Test against Australia last year, but he is still proud of reaching the milestone.
India only need a draw to take the series after winning the second Test at Mohali by nine wickets, a match in which Dravid contributed scores of 95 and 42 not out. It was a performance which has lifted him three places to third behind Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis in the LG ICC Test batting rankings.
The make-up of India's side will depend on the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium. Playing an extra batsman, either VVS Laxman or Mohammad Kaif, at the expense of teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla would be the safety-first option.
And they only needed four bowlers to beat Australia by 13 runs in November 2004, the last time they played a Test in Mumbai. India only need a draw to take the series after winning the second Test at Mohali by nine wickets, a match in which Dravid contributed scores of 95 and 42 not out.
It was a performance which has lifted him three places to third behind Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis in the LG ICC Test batting rankings. The make-up of India's side will depend on the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium.
Playing an extra batsman, either VVS Laxman or Mohammad Kaif, at the expense of teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla would be the safety-first option. And they only needed four bowlers to beat Australia by 13 runs in November 2004, the last time they played a Test in Mumbai.
Patel puts fire into India attack
March 14, 2006India paceman Munaf Patel hopes his impressive Test debut is just the start of an illustrious career.
After his seven wickets in the second Test win, the next step is the third match in Mumbai, starting on Saturday.
Apart from his pace, Patel's control of line and length and his ability to reverse swing the ball were particularly impressive.
But England should not have been surprised by his performance, as he took 10 wickets against them for a Board President's XI earlier in the tour.
Surprisingly, that did not earn him a place in India's Test squad and it was Sri Sreesanth who took the new ball with Irfan Pathan at Nagpur.
Sreesanth showed plenty of potential in that match, but a flu virus put him out of the Mohali match and gave Patel his chance.
With Patel, Pathan, Sreesanth and RP Singh all aged 23 or under, India have a quartet of seam bowlers who should serve them well for several years to come.
Fletcher backs Flintoff captaincy
March 14, 2006England coach Duncan Fletcher says Andrew Flintoff is doing a "great job" as captain on the tour to India.
Flintoff's second Test as stand-in for Michael Vaughan saw England lose in Mohali to go 1-0 down in the series.
England must now win the final game, which starts in Mumbai (Bombay) on Saturday, to avoid a second successive series defeat, having been beaten 2-0 in Pakistan before Christmas.
Fletcher is looking for more patience from the batsmen in the third Test after England's hopes were again undermined by some loose strokes - and some bad luck.
Former England opener Geoff Boycott agreed that improved batting is the key to England's chances in Mumbai.
Flintoff wants more from batsmen
March 13, 2006Andrew Flintoff was critical of the England batting in both innings after his team were beaten in the Mohali Test by an excellent Indian outfit.
Flintoff, stand-in captain in place of Michael Vaughan, said: "In the first innings we would have liked more than 300 but Sunday was the killer.
"Losing five wickets in the final session meant it was always going to be tough for us on the final day.
He hinted that England might play two spinners there, with Liam Plunkett likely to be dropped.
ICC fines Pietersen for outburst
March 13, 2006Kevin Pietersen has been fined 30% of his match fee for dissent after showing frustration following his dismissal in the second innings of the second Test.
On Sunday, with England attempting to survive an examination by spin, Pietersen was given out caught.
Replays showed the ball from Harbhajan Singh hit his forearam rather than his glove, and Pietersen left the field cursing after making just four runs.
The Hampshire man will be 1,650 poorer after his misdemeanour in Mohali.
The fine was imposed by the match referee appointed by the International Cricket Council, Ranjan Madugalle
India - too many good players to select from!
March 13, 2006India captain Rahul Dravid admitted that it would be difficult to decide who to leave out after his team sealed an emphatic nine-wicket win in Mohali.
Meanwhile, the India selectors were quick to announce an unchanged squad of 15 for the final Test in Mumbai beginning on Saturday, with batsmen VVS Laxman and Mohammad Kaif, plus pace bowler Sri Sreesanth hoping for a return to the side.
Veteran spinner Anil Kumble was named Man of the Match after taking nine wickets and he is hoping his impressive display will earn him a recall to the one-day squad. India (from): R Dravid (Captain), V Sehwag, W Jaffer, S Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, M Kaif, Yuvraj S, M Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), I Pathan, S Sreesanth, A Kumble, Harbhajan S, RP Singh, M Patel, P Chawla.
Sehwag powers India to win; India 1-0
March 13, 2006Virender Sehwag (76*) and Rahul Dravid (42*) took India to victory, stitching together an unbeaten partnership for the second wicket, taking India to 144 for 1 and a 9 wicket victory over England.
Earlier England were all out for 181 in 76.1 overs
Munaf Patel was the hero in the morning with three quick wickets which sent the tourists tumbling to 181 all out from an overnight position of 112-5.
Patel and Kumble took 4 wickets each, while Piyush Chawla took his maiden Test wicket, catching Flintoff of his own bowling for 51
Set 144 to win, India lost one wicket with the score on 39, but Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag guided them home.
Second Test, Mohali, day five: India 338 & 144-1 beat England 300 & 181 by nine wickets
India on the up as England crumble in Mohali
March 12, 2006Anil Kumble took 3 wickets as England faltered to 112-5 on day four of the second Test against India in Mohali. The tourists currently lead by just 74 runs after they bowled India out for 338 in their first innings. Now they will need a big performance from their remaining batsmen if they are to have any chance of saving the match. Mahendra Dhoni fell early on but Rahul Dravid (95) and Irfan Pathan (52) shared 76 in India's total of 338. Flintoff (4-76) ousted both but Harbhajan Singh (36) and Anil Kumble (32) made useful runs to help build a lead of 38. Second Test, Mohali, day four (close): England 300 & 112-5 v India 338
England recover after Kumble feat
March 11, 2006Andrew Flintoff took the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh fell late on as India finished day three 151 behind at 149-4 in the second Test. Earlier, Anil Kumble became the first Indian to claim 500 wickets but the hosts' celebrations were cut short as they lost four of their top order batsmen to some spirited fast bowling by England in the second cricket Test today.
The Kumble-inspired Indians did well to bowl out the visitors for 300 in their first innings before wobbling to 149 for four at the end of the third day, leaving the match delicately poised. Kumble took three wickets in four balls to wrap the English innings.
At close, skipper Rahul Dravid was batting on 60 with four fours during a 147-ball effort while Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on 12 with two fours on the only day of the match when weather did not cause an interruption.
Second Test, Mohali, day three (close): India 149-4 v England 300
Rain leaves Test heading for draw
March 10, 2006A draw between England and India looked likely after rain ended day two of the second Test with just 87 balls bowled.
In the first hour, England moved from their overnight 163-4 to 200-5, with Andrew Flintoff reaching 26 not out. India spinner Anil Kumble took his 498th Test wicket when he dismissed Paul Collingwood for the first time in the series, bowling him for 25.
Geraint Jones had 20 deliveries to make an unbeaten seven with a boundary off the veteran spinner. But with more rain forecast over the next two days, the sides look set to go into the final Test deadlocked at 0-0 in the series.
Flintoff and Collingwood both got off the mark for the day to the first ball they faced.
But they added just 13 runs in the first half-hour of play, attempting to lay firmer foundations than the side had established on the opening day. Three boundaries came off paceman Munaf Patel, Flintoff driving one particularly fine shot down the ground.
Kumble, though, offered a tough examination, beating Collingwood's forward defensive with a delivery that turned slightly and bounced, hitting the top of middle stump. Only when joined by Jones did Flintoff take any risks, and he was lucky when a chip off Kumble landed just fine of the mid-on fielder.
Second Test, Mohali, day two (stumps): England 200-5 v India
England struggle on rain-hit day
March 9, 2006England failed to build on some good foundations against India on a disrupted first day in the second Test.
More than two hours were lost to the weather as the tourists limped to 163-4 after winning the toss in Mohali, with Kevin Pietersen's 64 the highlight. He and Ian Bell (38) put on 81 before Bell fell to Anil Kumble and debutant Munaf Patel snagged Pietersen late on.
Irfan Pathan dismissed openers Andrew Strauss (18) and Alastair Cook (17) in successive overs before lunch. Once stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff called the toss of the coin correctly for the second time in this series, England knew they must build a big total.
Kumble was one of three spinners in the India side, including debutant Piyush Chawla, at 17 the second-youngest debutant ever for India. With Sri Sreesanth suffering from a virus, they handed pace bowler Patel his first cap and brought batsman Yuvraj Singh back from injury, replacing Mohammad Kaif and VVS Laxman.
Meanwhile England replaced one of their slow bowlers, Ian Blackwell, with an extra seamer in Liam Plunkett.
Second Test, Mohali, day one (stumps): England 163-4 v India
England kept guessing over pitch
March 8, 2006India have prepared two wickets for Thursday's second Test in Mohali and are keeping England guessing as to which one they will choose.
One is a lush green and would suit seam bowling whereas the other is cracked and dry and would be conducive to spin.
India captain Rahul Dravid has not let the cat out of the bag and said he was considering playing a fifth bowler. Mohali only became a Test ground in 1994 and in the past has been batting-friendly with high scores.
England have played there only once, in 2001, and were thrashed by 10 wickets. Hoggard will win his 50th Test cap at Mohali and said: "It means a lot to me...I only ever look to the next game, so it is a big honour for me to be selected for 50.
India have named a 12-man squad and left out batsmen Mohammad Kaif and VVS Laxman and young pace bowler Sri Seethanth is unfit to play because he is suffering from a flu virus. India look set to hand a Test debut to fast bowler Munaf Patel. The 22-year-old took 10 wickets against England in a three-day tour match last month.
Yuvraj Singh returns to the line-up after missing the first Test with a hamstring strain and the final spot will go to either fast bowler RP Singh or spinner Piyush Chawla.
England will have to decide whether to play two spinners or bring in a seam bowler, with Liam Plunkett favourite to land his second Test start.
India (from): Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar , Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Rudra Pratap Singh, Piyush Chawla.
England (from): Andrew Flintoff (Captain), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, Geraint Jones, Ian Blackwell, Shaun Udal, Matthew Hoggard, Stephen Harmison, Monty Panesar, Liam Plunkett, Matthew Prior, Owais Shah and James Anderson.
Laxman and Kaif left out by India
March 8, 2006India have dropped batsmen VVS Laxman and Mohammad Kaif for the second Test against England, starting on Thursday.
They have been left out to accommodate Yuvraj Singh's return after injury and the need to include an extra bowler.
Laxman was out for a first ball duck in the first Test in Nagpur, but Kaif can consider himself very unlucky after an innings of 91.
India have named a 12-man squad with the final choice appearing to lie between RP Singh and Piyush Chawla. The main talking point among supporters, however, is bound to be the decision to leave out Laxman and Kaif, a move which means they will go into the game with only five specialist batsmen.
Laxman has been one of the mainstays of the Test side in recent years and has scored almost 4,500 runs at an average of 43. But the 31-year-old has only made one score of over fifty in his last four appearance.
Kaif, meanwhile, has yet to establish a regular place in India's Test team despite making more than 100 one-day appearances.
He played a crucial innings to rescue his side from a precarious position at 190-7 in Nagpur, but was denied a hundred by a superb ball from England's new left-arm spinner Monty Panesar.
Jones targeting speedy comeback
March 8, 2006Glamorgan and England paceman Simon Jones says he hopes to be back in the nets by the end of the month.
The 27-year-old has had an operation on the twisted left knee that cut short his tour of India and will start his rehab work next Monday.
Jones was attempting to prove his recovery from the ankle problem that kept him out of England's series in Pakistan when the latest setback hit him.
The injury-prone Welshman missed more than a year after a horrendous injury to his right knee, suffered at the start of the 2002/3 Ashes tour.
And after becoming one of the heroes of the 2005 Ashes series he missed the last Test that summer at The Oval and has played no serious cricket since.
Mohali wicket set to favour seam
March 7, 2006The groundsman preparing the wicket for Thursday's second Test between India and England in Mohali has predicted a result pitch favouring the seamers.
After a slow surface at Nagpur resulted in a drawn first Test, attention turns to Mohali, furthest point north in the series, which has seen recent rain. "Moisture and humidity have risen. It will help seamers on days one and two," Stadium curator Daljit Singh said.
England captain Andrew Flintoff said: "We have a decent chance of winning."
Flintoff is keen for his young side to build on the success of the opening Test, in which debutant Alastair Cook scored a fifty and a century and Monty Panesar, also playing his first Test, impressed with accurate left-arm spin. Two pitches have been worked on for the Test, one notably greener than the other, but Singh insisted: "Both have been prepared to produce a result."
Heavy rain in the Chandigarh area meant that the decision over which one to use will not now be made until the day before the match. Some slight cracks have been detected on the wickets but Singh played down their importance.
Four of the six Tests played at the Mohali ground have been drawn, with England defeated on their last tour in 2001.
On that occasion it was India spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble, both still involved in the current series, that wreaked havoc.
Harbhajan captured five wickets in the first innings and Kumble claimed 6-81 in the second as India won by 10 wickets. However, with swing likely to play a more prominent part, it may be that Munaf Patel, who took 10 wickets in the match when the President's XI beat England earlier in the tour, replaces Harbhajan. The spinner failed to take a wicket in two Tests in Pakistan earlier this year and had modest figures of 2-93 and 0-79 in Nagpur.
"That performance against England was a turning point for me," said Munaf. "If I get the chance I am confident of doing well again." The most recent Test at the ground, between India and Pakistan in March 2005, produced a feast of runs, with Virender Sehwag and Kamran Akmal both scoring centuries and eight others adding fifties.
Fletcher lauds England character
March 7, 2006England coach Duncan Fletcher has praised his makeshift side for the way they raised their game in the drawn first Test against India in Nagpur.
Fletcher, whose team are in Chandigarh for the second Test starting in Mohali on Thursday, said the team led by Andrew Flintoff had shown character. He said: "This was a young side which went out there and scrapped. It was a very good performance all round."
Four of the Ashes-winning side remain unavailable for the next two Tests.
Michael Vaughan, Ashley Giles and Simon Jones are all injured, with Marcus Trescothick at home in Taunton for undisclosed personal reasons.
In Nagpur, debutant Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood filled the batting berths vacated by Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick in style by hitting hundreds. Monty Panesar impressed as the side's premier spinner - a role usually taken up by Ashley Giles.
Buoyant England move on to Mohali
March 6, 2006England arrived in Chandigarh on Monday morning with a buzz around the side ahead of the second Test against India.
Because of its early help for seamers, the Mohali ground offers the tourists' best chance of victory after a morale-boosting opening draw in Nagpur. Batsman Kevin Pietersen, the only injury worry after his collision with boundary hoardings in Nagpur, was cleared after a precautionary X-ray on his left elbow.
With captain Michael Vaughan and Simon Jones both nursing knee injuries and Marcus Trescothick at home for personal reasons, England fielded three debutants in Nagpur. But they withstood the pressure well, with Alastair Cook hitting 164 runs in both innings and spinner Monty Panesar taking three wickets.
England also witnessed the coming of age of Paul Collingwood, with his maiden Test century in his sixth appearance, and Matthew Hoggards's return to form with seven wickets. England's last visit to Mohali, in December 2001, saw them defeated by 10 wickets with spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble sharing 15 victims.
The ground has a reputation for favouring seam-bowlers on the first day, which could appeal to Hoggard, man of the match in the first Test. But the pitch is generally flat, with an average team score of 475 in completed innings since England's visit.
If off-spinner Shaun Udal has recovered from a side strain, he may replace Ian Blackwell, who struggled for consistency on his Test debut. England barely used the second spinner during the first innings and may opt instead to bolster their batting further, with emergency call-up Owais Shah the next in line.
Trescothick, Jones both ruled out
March 6, 2006Simon Jones has officially been ruled out of the rest of England's Test series in India after knee surgery.
And coach Duncan Fletcher believes Marcus Trescothick will not return after leaving for personal reasons. However, batsman Kevin Pietersen has been cleared to play in the second Test after an X-ray on his left elbow.
Fletcher confirmed that Andrew Flintoff will remain as captain barring unforeseen circumstances. England, who completed a draw in Nagpur on Sunday, have two more Tests in Mohali - beginning on Thursday - and Mumbai (Bombay). They are followed by seven one-day internationals from 28 March to 15 April.
Jones, who flew home after twisting his left knee in the nets last week, underwent an arthroscopy on Friday. Pace bowler Jones was attempting to prove his recovery from an ankle problem when the latest injury hit. He missed more than a year after an horrendous injury to his right knee, suffered at the start of the 2002/03 Ashes tour.
And after becoming one of the heroes of the 2005 Ashes series he missed the last Test that summer at The Oval and has played no serious cricket since then. Along with captain Michael Vaughan (knee) and spinner Ashley Giles (hip), Jones is one of three leading players missing the series through injury.
England were forced to field three debutants in the first Test in Nagpur, but late call-up Alastair Cook hit a maiden century. And spinner Monty Panesar dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in an impressive display of control.
Yuvraj return boosts India squad
March 5, 2006India have recalled batsman Yuvraj Singh for the second Test against England in Mohali.
The left-hander missed the drawn first Test because of a hamstring strain suffered during India's recent one-day series in Pakistan. He replaces Suresh Raina in the squad for the game, starting on Thursday.
The other change sees paceman Munaf Patel given a chance after taking 10 wickets for an Indian Board President's side against England last month. Patel, reputed to be one of the fastest bowlers in Indian cricket, is preferred to Vikram Rajvir Singh, who did not make the final XI at Nagpur.
Meanwhile, More reaffirmed that veteran and former captain Sourav Ganguly would no longer be considered for selection.
India squad: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar , VVS Laxman, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Irfan Pathan, Sri Sreesanth, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla.
England survive India run charge
March 5, 2006Wasim Jaffer completed a maiden century as the first Test between England and India ended in a thrilling draw.
The teams shook hands when the umpires offered the light to the Indian batsmen with their score on 260-6, still 108 short of their target. There had been little sign of what was to come as Jaffer and Rahul Dravid (71) put on 167 in orthodox fashion.
But the game burst into life after tea as India produced a charge before accepting the task was beyond them. Irfan Pathan smashed 35 off 25 balls and Sachin Tendulkar took three fours off an over from Ian Blackwell with some audacious strokeplay. But the dangerous Mahendra Dhoni failed to sparkle and when he and Harbhajan Singh were dismissed in successive overs from Steve Harmison, India sent out VVS Laxman to shut up shop.
Matthew Hoggard (30.5 13 57 6 and 16.0 7 29 1) was declared the man of the match.
Scores: England 393 (P.Collingwood 134 not out, A.Cook 60; S.Sreesanth 4-95) and 297-3 declared (A.Cook 104 not out, K.Pietersen 87); India 323 (M.Kaif 91, W.Jaffer 81; M.Hoggard 6-57) and 260 for six (W.Jaffer 100, R.Dravid 71)
England take firm control of first Test on day four
March 4, 2006On a flat, slow-paced batting pitch that had lost all its spongy state from day three, owing to incandescent sun, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook shoved India into the depths of nothingness, giving England a remote yet possible shot at victory. The duo put on a rollicking 128-run partnership, building on a promising start to post a score of 297, but more importantly - taking a lead of almost unsurmountable lead of 367 runs.
Cook reached his hundred off 236 balls and was 104 not out at the close after he and Kevin Pietersen (87) made India pay for their fielding lapses. Three catches were dropped during the day as England reached 297-3 after bowling out the home side for 323.
Matthew Hoggard ended India's innings by having Sri Sreesanth lbw to finish with figures of 6-57.
First Test, Nagpur, day four (close): England 393 & 297-3; India 323
England 393 India 322-9: Five-star Hoggard leads England fightback
March 3, 2006Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar took vital late wickets on day three as England revived their hopes of winning the first Test against India in Nagpur.
Matthew Hoggard claimed a five-wicket haul as England prospered at both ends of the third day in the Nagpur Test. Yorkshire swing bowler Hoggard, so often England's unsung hero, struck three times in his opening three overs to unhinge the Indian top order and struck again early in the middle session to reduce the home team took to 190 for seven. Although they had not reached the follow-on target at that juncture, a 128-run stand, equalling the highest for an Indian eighth-wicket pair against England, between Mohammad Kaif and Anil Kumble redressed the situation.
With England still leading by 71 runs, they are the team with the advantage.
First Test, Nagpur: England 393; India 322-9 (day three, stumps)
England fight back to check India
March 2, 2006England's Paul Collingwood hit a fine maiden Test century before Indian pair Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid put the hosts back on top in Nagpur. Jaffer (73 not out) and Dravid (40, also unbeaten) led the hosts to a solid score of 136-1 at stumps on day two after England had finished on 393.
Earlier, Collingwood, who started the day on 53 in a score of 246-7, had rescued a dire situation for England. The Durham ace helped put on 126 for the last two wickets with Steve Harmison (39) and Monty Panesar (9).
Panesar then bowled two overs before tea and gave opening batsman Wasim Jaffer (28 not out) a torrid time. After lunch Collingwood hit his fourth and final six when smashing Irfan Pathan back over his head.
His 66-run partnership with Panesar finally ended when Sreesanth had England's numer 11 lbw with a yorker.
The tourists only had to wait until the third over for their first wicket when a flat-footed Sehwag drove a slower delivery to an elated Kevin Pietersen at cover.
First Test, Nagpur: England 393; India 136-1 (day two, stumps)
England toss away Test initiative
March 1, 2006England squandered the chance to seize the initiative after winning the toss in Nagpur as they stumbled to 246-7 at the end of the first day's play.
Debutant Alastair Cook (60) and Paul Collingwood each hit half-centuries but a number of promising partnerships were nipped in the bud by India. The most valuable stand was one worth 67 between Collingwood (53 not out) and stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff (43). Left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan took three wickets for the hosts.
Early on, England were impressive. Flintoff, taking over as captain in the absence of Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, looked visibly relieved to have called correctly after the toss. Openers Cook and Andrew Strauss were into their stride quickly.
India broke through just after the hour mark with the total on 56 when Sreesanth, with the seventh ball of his second spell, ended Strauss' innings on 28. The Middlesex man drove at a wide ball which flew at pace towards VVS Laxman's throat. The fielder reacted swiftly to take the catch.
Pathan, bowling with the second new ball, got one to straighten a little but although it may have flicked pad before bat, it seemed to be missing off stump. As the shadows lengthened, Collingwood hit the day's only six by mowing Kumble over mid-wicket.
But India went into the dressing-room by far the happier of the two sides - particularly after Blackwell had inside-edged Pathan onto his stumps via a flat-footed drive.
First Test, Nagpur: England 246-7 (day one, stumps)
England elect to bat first
March 1, 2006England captain Andrew Flintoff won the toss and elected to bat against India in the first cricket Test in Nagpur.
Kerala pace bowler S Sreesanth was awarded his first Test cap and he will share the new ball with Irfan Pathan. Mohammad Kaif made a comeback to the Test team.
England named three debutants in their playing eleven, including left-arm spinners Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar, and left-hand batsman Alastair Cook. The 23-year-old Panesar, who plays for Northamptonshire, is the first Sikh to play for England. Blackwell has played 28 one-dayers, while the 21-year-old Cook was called back from his duties with the England 'A' team in the West Indies as cover up for a few injured players.
It is the first time that Andrew Flintoff is leading England in a Test. He was handed the responsibility after regular captain Michael Vaughan had to return home due to injury. India: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar , Mohammad Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Sreesanth. England: Andrew Flintoff (Captain), Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Geraint Jones, Ian Blackwell, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar.
England facing tough India opener
February 28, 2006Injury-hit England are set for their toughest task yet as they open their three-match Test series against India on Wednesday.
England head into the opening match in Nagpur, aiming to win their first Test series in India in 21 years. The team's last victory came in 1985 when David Gower's side triumphed 2-1.
But all-rounder Andrew Flintoff makes debut as captain, with skipper Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and Simon Jones all missing from the squad. The tourists certainly face a daunting challenge as they struggle to overcome a series of injury setbacks and get to grips with the conditions in India. Vaughan was ruled out with a knee injury two days after vice captain Trescothick withdrew for personal reasons, while fast bowler Jones became the latest casualty when he twisted his left knee in the nets on Monday.
Vaughan facing long-term lay-off England' two tours of the country since the 1985 win have resulted in 3-0 and 1-0 defeats. And last weekend's eight-wicket loss to a Cricket Board President's XI gave an early indication of the bowling onslaught the batsmen can expect in Nagpur.
The deliberate heavy watering of the outfield at Nagpur will reduce the chances of England's seamers finding reverse swing, while the grassless, dry pitch will take spin from the start.
India's selectors have opted for youth in their line-up, which includes uncapped seamers Vikram Rajvir Singh and Sri Sreesanth and one-day batsman Suresh Raina. Teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, seen as a successor to Kumble, has also added to a side which has axed former captain Saurav Ganguly. Kumble, 35, needs just six wickets to become only the fifth bowler in Test history to achieve 500 wickets.
England will play seven one-dayers after the three back-to-back Test matches. The second Test will be played in Mohali on 9-13 March and the third in Mumbai (Bombay) on 18-22 March. India (from): R Dravid (Captain), V Sehwag, W Jaffer, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), M Kaif, SK Raina, IK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, A Kumble, P Chawla, S Sreesanth, RP Singh, VR Singh England (from): A Flintoff (Captain), AJ Strauss, AN Cook, IR Bell, PD Collingwood, KP Pietersen, MJ Prior, GO Jones (wicketkeeper), ID Blackwell, MJ Hoggard, SJ Harmison, MS Panesar, SD Udal, LE Plunkett, JM Anderson
Dravid wary of depleted England
February 28, 2006India captain Rahul Dravid has warned that injuries and withdrawals will not make England any less hard to beat when the first Test starts on Wednesday.
Spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh could play a key role but Dravid said relying on England's supposed weakness against spin was wrong. The pitch in Nagpur is expected to take some spin, so India could even pick a triple-pronged spin attack also featuring 17-year-old Piyush Chawla.
Dravid said the teenager might have to wait for his chance, but he had no doubt it would come eventually. "It's not always easy to play three spinners but he's very exciting and we're looking at him as a long term prospect who will gain a lot from being around Anil and Harbhajan in the dressing room," he said.
Another emerging talent who may get his first chance is England's Alistair Cook, who is set to replace Marcus Trescothick. Dravid said he had heard good things about the Essex player, but warned that the step up to Test level was a big challenge.
"It won't be easy but Test cricket never is," he said.
"You might as well face the challenge up front, and the confidence you gain from that really helps you. "In Chawla and Suresh Raina, we've also got two young kids who I think you'll hear a lot about in years to come."
Flintoff to stay for whole series
February 27, 2006Andrew Flintoff is to stay in India for the rest of England's tour.
The Lancashire all-rounder was due to head home before the third Test to attend the birth of his second child.
But he has been appointed captain because Michael Vaughan is returning home for further investigation into a knee injury. England will have at least one and possibly as many as four uncapped players in the side for Wednesday's first Test in Nagpur.
They have lost Vaughan and deputy Marcus Trescothick, who has flown home for family reasons, and fast bowler Simon Jones is unlikely to play after twisting his knee in training.
Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, meanwhile, are still trying to shake off back problems. Flintoff is the first batting/bowling all-rounder to captain England since Chris Cowdrey, who did the job in one Test against West Indies in 1988.
Comparisons are more likely to be made, however, with Ian Botham.
The former Somerset all-rounder led the team in 12 Tests, but failed to win any of them and stood down in the middle of the 1981 Ashes series, which he famously went on to dominate as England beat Australia 3-1.
Vaughan and Jones returning home
February 27, 2006England skipper Michael Vaughan and pace bowler Simon Jones have been ruled out of the first Test against India, which starts in Nagpur on Wednesday.
Both will fly home to see specialists about knee problems and are doubts for the remaining Tests and one-dayers.
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff will lead England in a Test for the first time. Vaughan is struggling with the right knee problem he had surgery for in December, while Jones twisted his left knee in a practice session on Monday.
The Welshman had been trying to prove his fitness following an ankle problem but crumpled to the ground after pulling up in his delivery stride and a hospital scan revealed minor cartilage damage.
The only crumb of comfort for Jones is it is not the same knee in which he suffered severe ligament damage during the first Test of the last Ashes tour to Australia in 2002. His absence could mean another chance for seamer Liam Plunkett but he is also doubtful with a bruised heel. Former England Under-19 captain Alastair Cook is almost certain to win his first cap as Andrew Strauss's new opening partner.
Cook was summoned from the England A tour in the West Indies along with fast bowler James Anderson, while batsman Owais Shah is due to arrive later on Monday.
Vaughan missed the end of the tour to Pakistan to undergo surgery before Christmas.
But Graveney disputed suggestions players were rushed back into the side too soon.
Cook excited by Test opportunity
February 27, 2006Essex opener Alastair Cook is relishing the prospect of his first Test cap after joining England's squad in India.
Cook flew to the sub-continent from the West Indies where he had been playing for the England A team.
Cook has spent a lot of time on planes this winter, having being summoned to join England's pre-Christmas tour to Pakistan as cover for Vaughan.
He did not play a Test during that trip but following Vaughan's abortive net session on Monday and Trescothick's return home for family reasons, he looks certain to partner Andrew Strauss in Nagpur on Wednesday. Spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh are likely to post the main threat to England's chances.
And Cook is grateful that he spent time in India last year honing his technique during a trip arranged by his county. Cook is a former England Under-19 captain and underlined his potential with a superb double century for Essex against Australia last summer.
Gavaskar tells Ganguly to play on
February 26, 2006Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar has urged Sourav Ganguly not to retire from playing despite being overlooked for the first Test against England.
The 33-year-old has been in and out of the team and the centre of a public row with India coach Greg Chappell. But Gavaskar, who made 10,122 runs in a Test career that he ended at the age of 38, says Ganguly should keep playing. "Thirty-three is no age to quit. I'd only remind Sourav to let his bat do the talking," the former opener said.
Ganguly says he will continue to play in domestic cricket for West Bengal for the immediate future, but there have been suggestions he might quit if he fails to make an international return soon. Ganguly was India's most successful skipper until he was sacked and then left out of the one-day side after a dispute with Chappell last August.
The left-hander was also eased out of the Test squad but returned against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, where he enjoyed moderate success. Another former Test player, Vivek Razdan, believes the situation has been handled badly by the Indian hierarchy.
"He should not have been treated like this, especially after a not bad performance against Pakistan," he said. "There should be some kind of communication between the selectors and Ganguly regarding the omission."
England slump to crushing defeat
February 25, 2006England's worries ahead of Wednesday's first Test against India increased after an eight-wicket hammering by an Indian Board President's XI in Baroda.
Nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard (42) made the top score as the tourists folded for 158 to pace bowler Munaf Patel, who took 5-32 for a match haul of 10-91. Andrew Flintoff failed with the bat for the second match running, while Kevin Pietersen did not risk his sore back. The hosts had few problems getting the 55 needed to seal England's misery.
Tour Match, Baroda: President's XI 342-8d & 58-2 bt England 238 & 158 by eight wickets
Team announced, Ganguly out!
February 23, 2006It is official. With the selection committee looking towards the future, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly's illustrious career in international cricket is as good as over, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah hinted on Thursday.
Former national selectors Sambaran Banerjee and Pranab Roy expressed surprise over the exclusion of Ganguly, reports UNI from Kolkata. I do not know what kind of a decision this is. Sourav's inclusion would have meant a healthier mix of young and old. He would have consolidated the middle-order, which is much needed against a team like England. I think the selectors have made a mistake by excluding Sourav, he said.
Promising Moradabad leggie Piyush Chawla said he would justify the selectors faith in him by exploiting the inherent weakness of English batsmen against leg-spinners, reports UNI. With the selection committee picking Mohammmad Kaif, medium-pacer R P Singh, Suresh Raina and Chawla, it will be the first time that four players from UP will feature in the senior side. Indian team for first test: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar , VVS Laxman, Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, S Sreesanth, R P Singh, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, VRV Singh, Piyush Chawla.
England struggle in Test warm-up
February 23, 2006Hampered by illness and injury, England saw the Indian Board President's XI race to 93-1 in reply to their 238 after day one of their warm-up match.
Wasim Jaffer hit seven fours in his 48 before spinner Ian Blackwell trapped him with the day's final ball.
England captain Michael Vaughan was ruled out before the start and Simon Jones and Shaun Udal were both ill.
Kevin Pietersen retired hurt with back trouble after hitting 47 and the rest of the batsmen struggled.
Geraint Jones (46) led some useful lower order resistance with Blackwell (33) and Liam Plunkett (36).
Munaf Patel, reputedly one of the fastest bowlers in India, took 5-59.
Tour Match, Baroda, day one of three (stumps): England 238 v President's XI 93-1
England squad rocked by injuries
February 23, 2006Captain Michael Vaughan is just one of England's injury concerns with six days to go before first Test in India.
Vaughan was ruled out of the final warm-up game, which began on Thursday, with a recurrence of knee trouble. Fast bowler Simon Jones suffered a stomach bug, Paul Collingwood was unfit and Kevin Pietersen retired hurt in the middle of the day with back trouble.
Vaughan had surgery in December for a problem in his right knee, which forced an early return from Pakistan. A stomach bug, which has swept through the tour party, also kept Jones and Shaun Udal out of the game against an Indian Board President's XI.
Pace bowler Jones missed a chance to proved his recovery from ankle surgery after he was ruled out with a stomach bug. Bowling coach Troy Cooley is working on assimilating match conditions as a fitness test for Jones.
England squad hampered by illness
February 22, 2006England's spin bowling dilemma has been further complicated by news that Ian Blackwell, Monty Panesar and Shaun Udal are all struggling with stomach bugs.
Key fast bowler Simon Jones was also suffering on Wednesday, on the eve of a three-day warm-up match against a Board President's XI in Baroda. The tourists hoped to use the game to finalise plans for the first Test.
All-rounder Paul Collingwood is set to miss the game with back trouble, with the team to be named in the morning.
Unlike the opening match, England will only be able to field 11 players from start to finish, as the game counts towards first-class statistics. Panesar and Blackwell were at least able to travel to Wednesday's net practice with their team-mates but Udal and Jones were absent. However the line-up is affected in this three-day game, Steve Harmison believes England's pace attack are now well-equipped for whatever conditions they face in India.
Seamers SS Paul and Sri Sreesanth, who took part in India's 4-1 one-day series victory in Pakistan this month, are also included. Test squad members Wasim Jaffer and Gautam Gambhir are set to open the batting ahead of captain Venugopal Rao and promising left-hander Suresh Riana. The selection indicates England could face markedly different conditions in the two matches. The wicket for the first Test, which begins in Nagpur a week later, is expected to be prepared with spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in mind.
Board President's XI (from): Venugopal Rao (Captain), Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, S. Badrinath, Dinesh Karthik, Dheeraj Jadhav, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Ramesh Powar, SS Paul, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, VRV Singh.
England (from): M Vaughan (Captain), M Trescothick, A Strauss, I Bell, K Pietersen, A Flintoff, G Jones (Wicket Keeper), S Jones, M Hoggard, S Harmison, P Collingwood, S Udal, L Plunkett, M Prior, M Panesar, I Blackwell.
Sehwag passed fit to face England
February 22, 2006India have been lifted by news that key batsman Virender Sehwag will be available for the first Test against England in Nagpur on 1 March.
The 27-year-old, who has scored 11 Test centuries, has been sidelined since the second game of the one-day series in Pakistan with a sore shoulder. Chief selector Kiran More said both Sehwag and spinner Harbhajan Singh, who had finger trouble, would be fit.
Batsman Yuvraj Singh had already been ruled out by a hamstring problem. The left-hander suffered a the injury while scoring a match-winning 107 not out in the final one-day international against Pakistan last Friday.
Sehwag has established himself as one of the game's most destructive openers in the past and scored 254 against Pakistan in Lahore before succumbing to injury. Yuvraj, meanwhile, made a hundred in the final Test and was named Man of the Series after scoring 344 runs with a strike rate of 97 during the one-dayers, which India won 4-1.
"I guess after being on the scene for five years I am getting more consistent now," the 24-year-old said. "You learn these things with experience - the more you play the better you become. Mentally I am much stronger." The selectors are expected to announce a squad on Thursday.
Jones happy with comeback effort
February 21, 2006England pace bowler Simon Jones is ready to make up for lost time in the Test series against India.
He missed the pre-Christmas tour to Pakistan after suffering an ankle injury during the summer Ashes series. But he was back to something like full pace as England beat a Cricket Clubs of India XI by 238-runs.
Jones took 2-9 during an impressive five-over spell with the new ball on the final day in Mumbai. But he is aware of the need to stick to short bursts to avoid any possibility of further injury.
"The management were looking after me and told me to bowl off a short run in the first innings. "You have to ease yourself back in sometimes. I felt a little bit tender a couple of days ago, so you have to be careful. "With any injury you have to keep an eye on things, have the physio on it. "We are used to regular rubs every day, it is part of the job now, and with our medical team we are looked after really well," said Jones.
England now move on to Baroda where they will begin a three-day game against an Indian Board President's XI on Thursday. The debate over which spinner they will pick for the first Test continues after Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar were both among the wickets in Mumbai.
Blackwell also made useful runs, which may have given him a slight edge. But coach Duncan Fletcher was impressed by Panesar's first bowl of the tour.
Bowlers complete England victory
February 20, 2006England's bowlers warmed up for the first Test against India on 1 March by closing out a 238-run win over Cricket Club of India in Mumbai (Bombay).
The tourists only had a single session to bowl at the home side at the end of the three-day match, but needed just 27 overs to dismiss them for 75.
The wickets were shared around - Simon Jones, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar and Ian Blackwell all taking two.
England hit 265 in the second innings, with Blackwell (59) in the runs.
Tour match, Mumbai, Brabourne Stadium, final day: England 299 & 265 beat CC of India 251 & 75 by 238 runs
England take control in tour game
February 19, 2006Ian Blackwell took 4-57 and England's fielders made three run outs to bowl Cricket Club of India out for 251 on day two of the warm-up match.
England lost Andrew Strauss for a duck but the lead had grown to 78 by stumps, with the score 30-1 in Mumbai (Bombay).
Marcus Trescothick overcame a bout of flu to hit a sprightly 23 not out, with four boundaries in a single over.
Earlier there was a wicket each for pace bowlers Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard and spinner Monty Panesar.
And Kevin Pietersen, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff all made dismissals with direct hits from the field.
Promoted to three in the second innings, Pietersen was unbeaten on four going into the final day.
Yuvraj doubtful for England Test
Feb 19 2006India coach Greg Chappell fears in-form batsman Yuvraj Singh will miss the first Test against England.
Yuvraj tore a muscle in his left leg on the way to a match-winning one-day century against Pakistan in Karachi. "We won't really know for another couple of days but I'd say he's going to miss a few games," said Chappell.
"Only after 24 or 48 hours will the medical team be able to give any indication but I would think he must be in serious doubt for the first Test."
After six weeks in Pakistan, India have just 10 days between series, with the first Test starting in Nagpur on 1 March.
Yuvraj, who was named man of the series as well as man of the match in Karachi, believes he is in the most consistent form of his career.
Still only 24, the left-hander reached three figures for the sixth time in his 142nd one-day international.
Blackwell out to make Test case
Feb 19 2006Ian Blackwell went into England's tour opener knowing he had to do something to impress ahead of the first Test.
The spinner boosted his claims for a spot in Nagpur by taking 4-57 on day two of the tour-opener in Mumbai. With the full 16-man squad allowed to take part in the match against the Cricket Club of India, all three slow bowlers were given an opportunity on Sunday.
Panesar responded with his first wicket in an England shirt while Udal bowled seven tight overs without success.
But Blackwell showed discipline and variation to put his name in the mix to replace injured left-armer Ashley Giles.
Blackwell hoping to make his mark
Feb 14 2006Ian Blackwell believes his superior batting could earn him a place in the England team for the first Test with India on 1 March.
Blackwell will fight it out with Shaun Udal and Monty Panesar, if England opt to field a solitary spinner in Nagpur. With Ashley Giles absent through injury and India expected to prepare turning wickets, Blackwell knows England's inexperienced spinners are under scrutiny.
Like Panesar the Somerset all-rounder is uncapped, but has one-day experience and the kind of all-round game that coach Duncan Fletcher favours.
And with Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones all but assured of starting places Blackwell feels the trio of spinners are chasing one berth.
England trusting Jones to deliver
Feb 13 2006England coach Duncan Fletcher hopes Simon Jones can inspire England to success in the Test matches in India.
The squad arrived in the country on Monday and England were quick to be positive about their bowling options, despite worries over the spinners. Fletcher said of Glamorgan paceman Jones, fit after missing the Pakistan tour: "You have got to assume his absence was very important for us."
Jones is fresh and raring to go after recovering from ankle surgery. He was a vital part of the Test team last summer, when he took 18 wickets in four matches against Australia.
Vaughan plays down knee concerns
Feb 12 2006England captain Michael Vaughan insists he is fully fit after knee surgery and ready for the team's tour of India.
Vaughan came home early from Pakistan to undergo a second operation on his right knee in three years but was in upbeat mood before the team departed. "It's fine. Until you've played a game of cricket it's hard to tell but I'm very positive about the knee. "It feels as good as it's done for a long time so I don't see it being a problem. I feel strong," Vaughan said.
Coach Duncan Fletcher expressed fears earlier that the rest of the 31-year-old's career could be blighted by the problem which also required surgery in 2002.
England switching focus to India
Dec 22 2005England's cricketers have flown home from Pakistan with plenty to think about following defeats in the Test and one-day series. They will not have much time to rest as they head to India in mid-February. Michael Vaughan (knee), Ashley Giles (hip) and Kevin Pietersen (rib) all had to return home early from Pakistan. Batsman Andrew Strauss missed a Test in Pakistan to fly home for the birth of his son and England face a similar scenario in India with star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's wife expecting a baby on 20 March. Vaughan backs the policy of allowing players home leave in such circumstances. Vaughan admitted England, who have slipped below India in the ICC Test rankings, had under-performed in Pakistan.
Jones to head off to India early
Dec 21 2005Fast bowler Simon Jones will head to India before his England team-mates in an attempt to be fit for the Test and one-day series in March.
Jones is recovering from ankle surgery and is currently able to bowl at 80% of his normal speed. He has been attending the England Academy at Loughborough to get himself fit after missing the Pakistan series. He said he was raring to go in India, where he enjoyed bowling for the England A team in 2004. "We played against some good players but not as good as Tendulkar etc but I did enjoy bowling and I bowled reverse swing early doors and it suited me," Jones added. He admitted to feeling "gutted" at the news Cooley will be leaving the England camp when his contract runs out in May to join Australia. "Not only is he a great bowling coach he is also one of my good friends as well in the England squad," Jones commented. "It's not a nice thing to happen but I agree he wants to move on with his life and I will support everything he does. "He is the best bowling coach I have ever worked with but we will give the next person our best support."
Gough interested in England role
Dec 19 2005Darren Gough says he is interested in taking a coaching role with the England team but admits he is a long way from having the right qualifications. Gough is one of the names linked with England's vacant bowling coach job following the departure of Troy Cooley. England coach Duncan Fletcher says he would welcome any application while paceman Steve Harmison is keen for Gough to take the job. Gough, who has taken 235 wickets in 157 one-day internationals, has retired from the England Test side and was overlooked for the one-day series in Pakistan because he wanted to spend more time with his family. And despite his success on the dance floor, the 35-year-old has not given up on returning to the one-day line-up for the series with India next March.
Chappell expects England revival
Dec 19 2005India coach Greg Chappell believes England will have learnt from their failures in Pakistan and provide a sterner test for his side next March.
And he is also worried that Pakistan's confidence will be high for India's visit early in 2006. Former Australia captain Chappell put England's 2-0 Test series defeat down to the batting collapse that saw them losing the opening match in Multan. "I wouldn't read too much into it. I still think they're a good side - they showed that against Australia," he continued. "But for a poor session or two on the final day of the first Test the Pakistan tour could have been very different." Chappell refused to criticise England's policy of only playing two warm-up matches before the Test series began, a policy similar to his own on tour. "Three weeks of preparation wouldn't necessarily be any better. In the modern era you've got to adjust pretty quickly," he added. "I'm sure there are better ways to do it but I'm not sure you can lay the blame anywhere. "Australia struggled in the subcontinent until they had been here four or five times in quick succession and finally learnt what it took to be successful."