Ind vs Eng 2nd test: Mark Wood destroys the Indian top order with his pace. It was a pure bowling class from England. England looked as they have done their homework and India have skipped theirs. England with 27 runs lead at the end of day 3.
Ind vs Eng 2nd test, Day 4: England way ahead in the 1st session.
India started well with both the openers looking in touch. Especially Rohit Sharma was batting where he left off in the first innings. The pitch was not doing much but we saw a variable in bounce. Overall it was a batter’s day. KL Rahul was seen leaving the balls quite well.
It was looking like a drawish game was quickly turned when Mark Wood was introduced into the attack. KL Rahul ( 5 runs from 30 balls ) was his first victim from 151 km/h delivery. The ball just moved away from Rahul but the length was superb. It was the reason Rahul had to play the ball and found himself caught behind. India 18-1.
England had plans for Rohit Sharma, to test him with some short deliveries. Deep fine-leg and deep square-leg were placed to get him caught. The first short ball went into the stands for six. What a shot!
Joe Root immediately placed an extra fielder on the deep mid-wicket boundary. However, the third bouncer was miss-hit from Rohit ( 21 runs from 36 balls, 2(4) 1(6) ) and straight to Moeen Ali for an easy catch. India 27-2.
Cheteswar Pujara and Virat Kohli were at the crease. It was a dream watching Virat Kohli play with such confidence. Long stride towards the ball and playing the ball late. Just superb. Joe Root’s 180 was a masterclass.
I think I have overreacted because Sam Curran’s outswinger took Virat’s ( 20 runs from 31 balls, 4(4) ) edge to Jos Buttler. Virat Kohli was again lazy with his footwork and lack of focus was the issue. A good ball not extra-ordinary. Virat should have left it. India 55-3. Huge wicket for India.
Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara made sure to not let any more wickets fall and they succeeded with it.
1st session stats: [ 25 overs ] [ 56 runs ] [ 3 wickets ] [ 2.24 run rate ].
Post lunch session: India fighting back hard.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were now set to play their part. Finding boundaries on every loose ball they can find. What happened on day 2?
They replied positively against every strategy England threw. They brought 50 runs partnership between them facing 175 deliveries. It was what India needed.
Good session for India and especially for the 2 batters. They have been out of form for quite a time. Spending some quality time in the middle is exactly what they wanted.
Session 2 stats: [ 28 overs ] [ 49 runs ] [ 0 wicket ] [ 1.75 run rate ].
3rd test, day 4: Ind vs Eng, England back again.
Both batters using their feet well against Moeen Ali. It opened the game somewhat. In between, Rahane had a lifeline from Jonny Bairstow at point. Moeen Ali’s just short and wide ball was cut to the point region. Although Bairstow’s effort was pretty good, he could not hold the catch.
The partnership was looking solid with both batters opening up their game. However, England never really let it loose. In the meantime, Rahane reached the 50 runs milestone from 125 balls.
Pujara ( 45 runs from 206 balls, 4(4) ) was seen pulling the ball to the boundary against Mark Wood. A rare view for the fans. But on the very next ball, he was dismissed by a spongy bounce from the pitch. Good length ball and bouncing at the chest height touching the gloves and an easy catch for Joe Root at gully. An unlucky dismissal for Pujara. India 155-4.
Rahane ( 61 runs from 146 balls, 5(4) ) was also gone not long after. He was caught behind in Moeen Ali’s ball. He could have left it or played on the front foot but decided to play on the back while following the ball. He played nicely though.
Moeen Ali picked up another one in the form of Ravindra Jadeja ( 3 runs from 5 balls ). What a gem of a delivery from Moeen. The ball pitching on the middle stump spinning to hit the off stump. As an off-spinner, he was bowling round the wicket too. India is in trouble. They need Pant to replicate Gabba.
Bowling Figures: James Anderson: [ 18-6-23-0 ], Ollie Robinson: [ 10-6-20-0 ], Mark Wood: [ 14-3-40-3 ], Sam Curran: [ 15-3-30-1 ], Moeen Ali: [ 20-1-52-2 ], Joe Root: [ 5-0-9-0 ].