- Rishabh Pant hit first and third centuries of Test career at home
- He and Washington Sundar (not out 60) added 113 runs for the seventh wicket
- By the end of the second day’s play, India scored 294 for seven and gained an 89-run lead
Ahmadabad: Rishabh Pant’s striking century and Washington Sundar’s half-century gave India an lead on basis of first innings in the fourth Test match against England. The century partnership of 113 runs for the seventh wicket between these batsmen gave India a great comeback in the third session of the second day. Pant bowled out 101 while Sundar returned unbeaten with 60 runs. India scored 294 for seven wickets till the end of the day’s play on Friday. Prior to this partnership of these two, India was also struggling to reach 205 runs of England’s first inning score at one time, but now the hosts have a strong position by taking a lead of 89 runs on the pitch of the spinners of the Narendra Modi Stadium of Motera.
Pant and Sundar made this partnership in such an adverse situation, when India lost the wickets of their top three batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara (17), captain Virat Kohli (zero) and Ajinkya Rahane (27) in the morning session while Rohit Sharma (49) Had missed the half-century. The first two seasons were named for England but Pant and Sundar gave advantage India not only for the third day but also on the second day. In the third session, India added 141 runs and lost only one wicket.
Pant faced 118 balls in his innings and hit 13 fours and two sixes. He initially played with vigilance and meanwhile got his attacking style by hitting six over the Root. Pant had earlier completed 50 runs in 82 balls but after that he played only 33 balls to reach a century.
England took the new ball as soon as 80 overs and it seemed that Pant was waiting for it. He celebrated it by hitting two consecutive fours over James Anderson. The same bowler’s fours off the reverse sweep in the next over showed that he is not afraid to take risks. This young wicketkeeper-batsman reached his third Test century in a spectacular manner. He achieved this feat by hitting a six on the Root, but was caught at midwicket soon after by Anderson.
Sundar supported him from the beginning. After the new ball came, he too participated in the celebrations with two fours on Ben Stokes and then soon completed his third Test half-century. After this, he kept his wicket intact and on Saturday he would try to give India a maximum run lead with Akshar Patel (11 not out).
India started from 24 runs without any loss in the morning and added 56 runs in the first session and lost three wickets. In the second season, Rohit and Ravichandran Ashwin returned to the pavilion but meanwhile added 73 runs to India’s account.
Rohit took a very cautious approach and faced 144 balls with seven fours. He showed his attitude only on a few occasions. The ball taking Stokes’ swing surprised him and hit the pad and it was clear in DRS that the ball was hitting the wicket. Ashwin made a catch to Ollie Pope standing at short midwicket off Jack Leach.
Both England fast bowlers Anderson (three for 40) and Ben Stokes (two for 73) impressed in the first two seasons despite not being helped off the pitch. Spinner Jack Leach has taken two wickets for 66 runs.
In the first hour of the morning, Rohit and Pujara took a cautious attitude. Both of them shared a 40-run partnership in 24 overs for the second wicket. Meanwhile, both of them adopted the strategy of exhausting the bowlers and played only a few shots on bad balls.
Pujara spent enough time at the crease but Jack Leach (one for 36) has made him his favorite victim. He tried to play the direct ball of the leach forward but the bat remained behind his pads and Nitin Menon gave another good decision.
The audience got a shock when the Indian captain caught a wicketkeeper Ben Fox caught off Stokes’ extra bounce ball. Kohli failed to open the account for the second time in the series.
Rahane hit some attractive fours as soon as he arrived, but just before lunch, Anderson’s beautiful ball, swinging, took the edge of his bat and went into the safe hands of Ben Stokes at slip.
Brief score (Day 2):-
England 1st inning: All-out for 205 runs in 75.5 overs (Ben Stokes 55, Dan Lawrence 46, Ollie Pope 29, Jonny Bairstow 28, Axar Patel 4/68, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/47, Mohammed Siraj 2/45, Washington Sunder 1/14)
India: 1st inning: 294 runs for 7 wickets in 94 overs (Rishabh Pant 101, Washington Sunder 60 not out, Rohit Sharma 49, Ajinkya Rahane 27, Cheteshwar Pujara 17, Axar Patel 11 not out, James Anderson 3/40, Jack Leach 2/66, Ben Stokes 2/73)