2nd Test, Day 4: Bowlers put India in total command in second Test
by Andy Jalil

Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Scorecard:England v India
Player:I Sharma
Event:India in England 2014

DateLine: 20th July 2014


y Andy Jalil at Lord's In association with INVESTEC


Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC,
© Andy Jalil


London Ė There is almost inevitability about Englandís defeat in the second Test as they go into the final day trailing by 213 with just six wickets remaining. The game appeared to be slipping away from England after they lost three wickets for two in a space of 20 balls to be reduced to 72 for four. By stumps they were 105 for four, placing India in complete control.


Englandís batting woes began with an early bowling change which brought on Ravendra Jadeja after just six overs and the left-arm spinner struck straightaway trapping Sam Robson lbw for 7. Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance watchfully added 58 taking the total to 70 when Mohammad Shami, returning for a second spell, had Ballance held behind for 27.


Ishant Sharma then produced a brilliant spell to claim the next two wickets in successive overs. With a superb ball which moved away with Ian Bell stranded on the crease, he hit the off stump and then added to the worries of Alastair Cook, who is under intense pressure because of poor form and wide criticism of his captaincy, having him held behind with a ball that seamed away from the left-hander.


Earlier, the mode of Indiaís second innings was set from the first over of the day bowled by Stuart Broad which went for 12 runs as Murali Vijay, on 59 overnight, edged to third man. Having resumed their second innings on 169 for four and leading by 145 runs, Vijay and MS Dhoni extended the partnership from 46 to 79 before England had their first success of the day. Dhoni, on 19, failed to get forward enough to a ball from Liam Plunkett and edged to second slip.


A run later, on 203, Moeen Ali, having been brought on, had Stuart Binny held in his first over. It was a rash shot from Binny, he mistimed it for Alastair Cook to run back and take a good catch over his shoulder. Vijay, meanwhile, had added 23 to his score from the previous evening to reach 82. He had played some beautiful strokes including a straight drive which took him to75 and then a glorious cover drive to reach 80.


Just when it seemed a second century beckoned in consecutive Tests, Anderson, coming back for a second spell, ended his four-and-a-quarter hour effort just five short of it. It was another wonderful innings from the opening batsman who has been in excellent form in the series with score of 146, 52, 24 and 95.


Having faced 247 balls, eleven of which were despatched to the boundary, Vijay was held behind with the ball going off the face of the bat with no feet movement and the seventh wicket was down on 235. Indiaís overall lead at that point was 211 and any hope that England may have had of restricting the lead and mopping up the last three was quickly dispelled by Jadeja.


Along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he brought on an onslaught on the England bowling particularly after lunch when he was on 37 having taken two fours off consecutive balls from Stuart Broad. On reaching his maiden Test fifty he promptly whacked a straight four off Anderson and in the same over took another boundary to get to 58. With Kumar also swinging his bat, England conceded 35 in the first five overs after lunch.


Jadejaís 68 runs (he had been dropped on 67 at square leg) came at better than a-run-a-ball and his stand with Kumar fell just one short of a century from 100 balls. Kumar went on to hit two fours in an over off Broad to get to 48 and his third half century in four innings came from 65 balls when he hit his eighth four, a lofted shot to long-on. With the last two wickets falling for eight runs, Kumarís being the last for 52, the innings ended on 342.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2014 Andy Jalil)


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