India Vs England: 2nd Test Review




If India hoped for a revival at Trent Bridge, after being hammered in the first Test at Lord’s, then they knew the needed a plan, commitment from the batting line up and lots of luck. Unfortunately, they got neither.

India vs England: 2nd Test Review

India vs England: 2nd Test Review

India went into this crucial match minus their pace bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan, after he picked up a hamstring strain at Lord’s. Gautam Gambhir was also unfit after he got hit on the fourth day at Lord’s, all of which meant that the mercurial pair of Sreesanth and Yuvraj got a game. England had a fitness concern of their own, with Chris Tremlett going down to be replaced by Tim Bresnan.

India won the toss under overcast skies, and Dhoni had no hesitation in putting the hosts in. The free scoring Cook’s struggles continued and Trott soon joined him back at the pavilion as Ishant and Sreesanth found the right length on this wicket. Strauss and Pietersen weathered the storm briefly and took the side to 69-2 at lunch. After lunch, the three Indian seamers waded into the English batting line up as they reduced the hosts from 73-2 to 124-8. India did not polish off the tail and instead Broad and Swann, counter-attacked, Broad going on to make his second fifty of the series, before England were bowled out for 221. Anderson removed Mukund off the first ball, but Laxman and Dravid batted resolutely to take India to 24-1 at stumps. Round 1 to India.

The second day began with Laxman and Dravid scoring consecutive boundaries and as Laxman batted fluently at one end, Dravid was dogged at the other end. Laxman brought up his second half century of the tour before edging one to Prior,ending a 93 run stand. The attention shifted to Sachin Tendulkar once again, but he was out for 16 , Raina fell for 12 as India were reduced to 139-4. Yuvraj Singh was reprevied by Kevin Pietersen and made the English pay. He cut , drove and timed the ball to perfection. Rahul Dravid attacked an off colour Graeme Swann, and brought up his second century of the tour and it certainly looks like a second wind for his career. The two stitched together a 128 run stand before the second new started to have a say. Yuvraj was out for 62 with the score at 267. The match turned on its head, due an inspired spell by Stuart Broad, as he removed Dhoni, Harbhajan and Praveen to claim a hat-trick.  Dravid was the horror show from the other end before he too fell trying to hoike a Bresnan wide delivery for a crafty 117. India were bowled out for 288, a lead of only 67. Cook fell cheaply again, but Strauss and Bell took England to 24-1 at stumps. Round 2 – India, just shading it.

The definitive third day began with Sreesanth getting Strauss early, but Bell and Pietersen waded into the attack. Too make matters worse, India were reduced to a three man attack once again, this time Harbhajan pulling up with a stomach muscle strain. Bell brought up his half century as they went in to lunch at 130-2. The second session saw Bell reach his century and Pietersen depart after constructing a fluent 63. There was controversy on the last ball before tea, as Morgan played one of his hips to deep square leg, ran three and then put his hand up. Bell thought the umpire signalled a boundary but kept running towards Morgan. Dhoni passed the ball to Mukund, who took off the bails. Bell was ruled out by the third umpire, and the Indians were booed after tea. But Bell made his way back as India withdrew the appeal on ‘Spirit of Cricket’ grounds. He was eventually out for 159. Praveen got the second new ball to swing as he removed Morgan and Trott, but Matt Prior and Bresnan ensured no further damage was done as they took England to a formidable 441-6 at stumps, some 374 runs ahead.

India were hoping and waiting for a declaration as they had given up long back. Broad and Bresnan hit boundaries at will, and scored very quickly. Praveen bowled his heart out, to finish with 4 wickets, as England were bowled out for 544, setting India a monumental 478 for victory. Their contributions from the middle order read – Bell 159, Pietersen 63, Morgan 70, Prior 73, Bresnan 90 and Broad 44.

The Indian chase were in troubled waters when Dravid fell for 6, on the stroke of lunch. Laxman had his off stump knocked back, while Mukund struggled to make a 41-ball 3. Raina, Yuvraj and Dhoni all fell cheaply to leave India tottering at 55-6. Sachin Tendulkar played some delightful shots at the other end, brought up his 60th half century before padding up to Anderson. The last rites were performed as India were bowled out for 158, losing by 319 runs.

It is back to the drawing board for the visitors, as Broad picked up the Man of the Match award. The hosts are one step away from taking over as No.1 in the Test rankings, while India have a two day side game at Northampton. Will Edgbaston be any different?

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