Now Trott shows rot has spread

SP

In the first over after tea, Pietersen hit Ojha for three successive fours, spoiling his figures some more. Ishant removed Ian Bell in the next over, caught behind off the inside edge.

England had almost reached 400 now. Samit Patel seemed to have a mandate to up the rate. He cut Ojha stylishly, lifted Ashwin for a one-bounce four over midwicket, lifting his back foot behind him, in a manner reminiscent of the man at the other end.

Ashwin soon trapped that man, Pietersen, who unwisely chose to sweep a straight ball. That brought in Matt Prior, who soon slapped him for a brilliant reverse-hit four. Patel smacked Ojha for successive boundaries but fell in the same over, edging a big-spinning long-hop to slip.

Close of play was approaching, but Prior and Graeme Swann didn't let it inhibit their strokeplay, and put on an unbroken 56 in 13 overs. During their late charge, England had targeted Ashwin in particular; his last 10 overs went for 50. A day that had begun promisingly for Ashwin in the end reverted to his series template one wicket and 115 runs in 29 overs, at nearly four runs an over. Ojha, who has leapfrogged him into the lead spinner's role, had figures of 31-6-75-2 for the day, at an economy rate of 2.42.

(Log on to www.indianexpress.com for exclusive live and outrageously entertaining audio commentary of England's tour of India.)

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