Cricinfo: India in England 2007

England v India, 1st Test, London, 2nd day

Rising to the occasion

Rahul Dravid had given Wasim Jaffer a vote of confidence prior to the Lord.s Test stating, "in his last three Test matches he has got two hundreds." But Jaffer.s place in the team was not a certainty, as those centuries sandwiched a pair against Bangladesh and were followed by unconvincing performances in the warm-up matches. On a day of typically fickle English weather, Jaffer answered the doubters with a classic opener.s knock: wisely shouldering arms to deliveries outside off, cashing in on the early luck all openers need and dispatching the wayward offerings to notch up a gritty half-century.

Initially, with the England bowlers getting the ball to move menacingly, Jaffer looked anything but secure. Jaffer has had trouble with the inswinging delivery all tour and he survived a vociferous leg-before appeal off the fourth delivery he faced. A couple of overs later, an outside-edge was grassed by wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Having survived two close calls before he had even opened his account, Jaffer started to get his feet moving and leaning nicely into his drives. Despite losing Dinesh Karthik and Dravid early, he forged a stabilizing 79-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar. He brought up his seventh half-century with an all-run four of Monty Panesar and was looking good to get his name etched on the Lord.s honours board. However, with just six overs remaining in the day.s play, he became Chris Tremlett.s first Test victim - being caught out by a bouncer. Nonetheless, the team management will be gladdened by this knock given the appalling record of most Indian openers abroad.