Related Link : India’s tour of England
Indians had a good first day against Sussex compiling a solid 281 for 3 with Dinesh Karthik, Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid cracking half centuries. On their first outing in England, the Indians started off extremely cautiously but the top order spent valuable time out in the middle trying to adapt to the conditions at the County Ground in Hove.
The big guns Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly have been rested for this four-day match. Same was the case with Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan who were missing the match. Rahul Dravid won the toss and decided to bat first. After a steady start, Wasim Jaffer couldn’t stretch his start to a bigger one as he fell in the 17th over getting caught behind. He made 12 as the Indians lost their first wicket at a total of 37. Gautam Gambhir, the number three joined Dinesh Karthik to put on a second consecutive but a watchful partnership. It was slow going for the Indians as they ended the first session at 69 for 1 in 30 overs. After lunch, the rate picked up with both batsmen playing shots with the ball getting old.
The second wicket partnership between Karthik and Gambhir was broken by the good old Saqlain Mushtaq which also signaled the end of the second session. Karthik was cleaned up by a sharp turning off break that sneaked through his bat pad gap. Karthik made 76 from 177 balls with 10 fours, a solid innings of about four hours. India added 97 runs in the post lunch session in 27.4 overs. The last session saw the smoothness of Rahul Dravid who knocked off a half century in the final session. He remained unbeaten on 57 from 92 which also had a dropped chance early on. Like Dinesh Karthik, Gautam Gambhir too missed out in completing a century. His downfall was more because of his rush of blood trying to hit the spinner out of the ground. Gambhir made 81 from 167 with 7 fours. Supporting Rahul Dravid to the close of the day’s play was VVS Laxman with 37 which had six fours. The pair of Dravid and Laxman had to negotiate the second new ball at the fag end of the day’s play which they did comfortably.
Indians 281 for 3 in 90 Overs (Gautam Gambhir 81 Dinesh Karthik 76 Rahul Dravid 57* VVS Laxman 37*) Vs Sussex