Ind v Eng 2nd test: Dissappointing batting show by India as Eng sniff victory
A below-average batting display by India has put England in the driver’s seat to win the 2nd test at Lords. On the 4th day, India reached 181/6 and this was only possible due to a hundred run the fourth wicket stand by two of their struggling stalwarts, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
India began the day by losing KL Rahul (5) first who edged a quick delivery from Wood to the keeper. Rohit Sharma was looking in fluent touch and hit a lovely cover drive and straight drive.
However Mark Wood seemed to set up Rohit by bowling quick bouncers. The first one was pull superbly into the stands for a 6. The second was left alone, then a fielder move to deep square leg and then came the 3rd bouncer which was again hook but this time straight to the fielder Moeen Ali who took a great catch & Rohit, just flattering to deceive was out for 21 to put India at 27/2. Ind v Eng 2nd test: Dissappointing batting show by India as Eng sniff victory.
It was an ill-timed stroke and Rohit should have set aside his ego. Played out that over after already having hit a six.
That one shot put India in trouble. Pujara was holding on grimly but Kohli came out with positive intentions trying to get himself in. And also played a couple of his signature cover drives. However, Sam Curran probed outside his off and just before lunch Kohli (20) poke at one away from his body to be caught behind to leave India in tatters at 55/3 !!
The two off form batters Pujara and Rahane buckled out for a long partnership scoring only 49 in the post-lunch session. Carrying the stand deep into the final session. Rahane played with positive intent rotating the strike and scoring off loose balls but Pujara played too static. And did not ever try much to rotate the strike. Only towards the end of his innings, he played a couple of impressive shots and just. When it looked that this stand will carry India through to the day, Mark Wood bowled a nasty delivery to Pujara (45) who fended it to gully to end his 206 ball vigil. At least this innings will keep his spot for the next test.
Soon Rahane was caught behind off Moeen for 61, a well play knock which will also give him some “oxygen” for the remainder of the series.
Moeen soon had Jadeja bowled by a ball spun slightly as Jadeja missed the line leaving India at 181/6. At the close with just a 154 run lead with England right on top.
India needs some more runs to extend the lead to around 200 plus to try and challenge England in the fourth innings. But with balls spinning they will surely miss Ashwin as the second spinner.
As for England, they need to dismiss Pant (14) in quick time to limit the fourth innings target. A result now looks imminent and a massive 5th days play on the cards.
India 364 & 181/6 Rahane 61 , Pujara 45 , Mark Wood 3/40