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Cricinfo: India v England 2008-09
CricinfoCricinfo: India v England 2008-09
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1st Test: India v England at Chennai, Dec 11-15, 2008

Debutant Swann puts England in command

Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann had a dream debut, taking two wickets in his first over to peg India back after England posted 316 in their first innings. Swann failed with the bat, caught at slip off Harbhajan for 1, but made amends by dismissing Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid in a space of three deliveries. India were immediately under pressure and things stayed that way for the rest of the day as England took three more wickets to leave the home team struggling at 155 for 6 at stumps.

An inauspicious start- Swann was hit for a boundary off his first ball-didn't deter him from continuing to bowl round the wicket to the left-hander. He had Gambhir in a spot of bother the next ball as a close appeal for a bat-pad catch was turned down. However, the umpire had no hesitation giving Gambhir out lbw off the third ball when he offered no stroke to a flighted delivery targeting the off stump. Swann's celebrations were relatively muted when compared to what followed three balls later. Dravid played down the wrong line with a half-stride to a ball that pitched outside off and spun in to strike him on the back pad. The ball seemed to be going on to graze the leg stump and the umpire, after giving it a good thought, upheld the appeal to send the England players in a frenzy.

At stumps, India were still 161 behind, and the visitors, who made frequent inroads into the Indian batting, will hope to prevent a lower-order resistance which Australia failed to do in their recent Test series against India.