England 118 for 3 (Burns 49, Root 48*, Siraj 2-34) trail India 364 (Rahul 129, Anderson 5-62) by 246 runs
Going into Day 2 of the Lord’s Test, India sat comfortably ahead at 276/3. After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, the tourists made a statement adding 126 runs off 263 balls for the first wicket, credit to Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who batted through overcast conditions and intentful bowling spells, building a platform for the team and stirring away the dangers of the new ball.
England make strong counter-attack; India lose 7 wickets adding just 88 to yesterday’s tally
After being dominated over on Day 1, England started off counter-punching India’s advantage to take the important wickets of centurion KL Rahul and vice–captain Ajinkya Rahane. Rahul, in trying to drive the ball early into the second day found a fielder at extra-cover adding only 2 runs to his overnight score. Ajinkya, once again contributing to India’s questionable middle-order form edged the first ball faced from James Anderson returning to the pavilion for his 1 off 23 balls.
Rishabh Pant stands tall again with a well-made 37
Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant came onto the crease in a slightly tense position as India’s preferred choice of playing four seam bowlers meant a long tail to follow. Understandably, an important partnership in the context of the game, both batsmen took contrasting approaches with Jadeja showing good judgment and leaving most of the balls faced while Rishabh went for a “judicious attacking” game plan, trying to upset the rhythm of the bowler by playing selective shots through his innings.
Unfortunately, misjudging a delivery, Pant cut a good length ball edging it to the keeper returning after making 37 off 58. A disappointing dismissal if one looks back; he got out playing an unnecessary shot to expose India’s tail along with the hope to score in excess of 400.
Jadeja once again batted with the tail, playing smart cricket by giving them a few deliveries to face each over. Ishant Sharma partnered up playing 80 balls along with Jadeja, and adding 26 crucial runs through the partnership. While the rest of the tail failed to make any impact on the scoreboard.
Anderson takes 5/62
James Anderson bowled beautifully throughout the innings showing his different variations to outsmart the batsmen and kindled an ever-burning desire to add more wickets to his long tally of accolades. Ending the innings with a fifer, Anderson helped restrict India to 364 runs, adding only 88 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. James Anderson has taken 30 wickets against India in Lord's in 9 innings at an average of 15.72. It includes four 5-fers.
England make slow start; Siraj struck with two quick wickets
England started their innings batting out 14 overs to tea with no loss of wickets and comfortably winning the two sessions with vengeful play.
Good Test match cricket is about close contests between sides, each battling the other for every inch of advantage. India who needed to bounce back took two wickets in the very first over post tea. Mohamad Siraj, had bowled well getting something off the wicket and making the batsmen play.
Dom Sibley, the first to go, was once again dismissed playing a shot straight to the square leg fielder. Hameed who replaced Zak Crawley after his dipping form, also failed to contribute, getting out first ball playing down the wrong line.
Joe Root shines again with 48*
Joe Root, in his usual steady role, batted along with Rory Burns, putting up 85 runs for the third wicket. The third session of play, although resulting in three wickets went for plenty of runs at an economy of 3.10 with pacers struggling to stick to a tight line and boundaries/runs coming off relatively easily.
Joe Root has surpassed the Graham Gooch's Test run tally for England and with 8,906* runs, he stands at number two position overall.
What didn’t help for India were the two failed Decision Review System (DRS) calls and balls constantly falling short to slip catchers, mounting on the frustrations. Out of the last 27 DRS calls, India have an ignonimous 24 unsuccessful ones. It is something Virat Kohli will do well to ponder about.
With Root looking good for another half-century and the wicket not offering much to the pacers, England will look to consolidate and bat long while India will be hoping to take few quick wickets on the third morning, nudging the otherwise open game in their favor.