India vs England, 1st Test: Pujara and spinners torment England




India picked up from where they left at the end of day 1 and put on a massive total of 521/8 before they declared and decided to force England into batting during the last session of the day’s play. England’s disastrous performance in the sub-continent continued as they struggled to cope with the spinning track and stumbled to 41/3 at the end of the second day’s play.

Cheteshwar Pujara torments England with 200 on Day 2 in 1st Test

Cheteshwar Pujara torments England with 200 on Day 2 in 1st Test

Ashwin took up the new ball for India and Zaheer Khan partnered him. Ashwin made life even more miserable for the English as he dismissed Compton and Trott cheaply. Naman Ojha took the third wicket as he dismissed night batsman James Anderson. Captain and opener Alastair Cook is at the crease with the controversial Kevin Pietersen accompanying him. Zaheer Khan was also good with the new ball as he bowled 5 overs for just 6 runs and 3 maidens. Umesh Yadav wasn’t given a chance to bowl in the 18 overs but Yuvraj Singh was given an over as the pitch was tailor made for spinners.

At the start of play on the day India were 363/4 with Yuvraj and Pujara the crease. Pujara who was two short of another test century reached the milestone quickly but had more plans in his mind as he played a highly commendable innings of 206 not out. Yuvraj who made his return to Test Cricket scored a half century before he was dismissed by Samit Patel for 74. Yuvraj had lofted the ball over the boundary ropes twice in his innings as well.

The only seamer to take a wicket from both sides was James Anderson. Anderson took the wicket of Zaheer Khan in the 158th over of the match. The statistics itself tell how suitable the pitch is for the spinners. Even England’s part time bowler Pietersen picked up a wicket but neither Broad nor Bresnan could do much on the pitch.

Swann finished with decent figures of 5/144. But his figures alone don’t tell the story as England were unable to bowl out India. Swann’s final victim and his only one on the second day was the Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Dhoni like few of the other Swann victims was bowled by Swann.

The highlight of the day was still Pujara’s innings. England might have been happy that Dravid was not playing anymore, but they were left with a task to dismiss a man about whom they knew very little. Pujara was confident in his innings his style and mindset reminded people of how Dravid plays and the former Indian captain who now watches the match from the commentary box must have been happy with what he had seen. Like Dravid, Pujara was silent in his celebration on reaching his century. Upon reaching his double century the crowd were upon their feet applauding the 24 year old.

Yuvraj who made his return played a wonderful innings at number six. He dismissed a Swann over for 15 with two shots straight down the pitch for sixes before he lofted one to Swann off Patel’s bowling.

The English batsmen will have to do a lot of work if they are to keep the Indian spinners at bay. Ashwin found turn easily as he bowled Compton through the gate and then he dismissed Trott for a fourth ball duck.

If India continue the way they bowled in the last session on day 2 then England might even be forced into a follow on.

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