First they escape with a very fortunate draw in the first test a match they would easily have lost, had the umpires remained consistent. The light they offered on the final day was no worse than the light that England batted in during the final session of the first day, a session that crucially saw England’s captain fall to RP Singh when looking set for a hundred, and Collingwood dismissed by Kumble for his first ever duck in Test cricket. It possibly changed the match.
And then, not only do they win the toss on favourable conditions, but they got at least two poor decisions in their favour. Firstly Pietersen was adjudged LBW to a ball that hit him on the knee roll. On most batsmen the knee roll is already debatable (although it was the back foot…), on a man of Pietersen’s height, it’s simply not out. Hawk-Eye suggested it might have made the tiniest contact with the bails on the way through, but if it is that close with technology, the umpire cannot possibly be certain in real-time, and benefit of the doubt should go the batsmen. I have to say, the standard of the umpiring has been woeful in this series, stark contrast to the Windies series where it was excellent.
As if to prove this point, for the second time in three innings Alistair Cook was unlucky to be LBW to Ganguly when the ball looked to be missing the stumps, although I have to give credit to the Indian batsman (dare I say all-rounder?) who bowled quite superbly. To be fair, the entire Indian outfit did bowl pretty well, Zaheer Kahn in particular, who was much improved on his abysmal Lords performance. Could be an interesting four days in prospect.