India vs England, 2nd Test: England in driver’s seat




England have learned well from their mistake after the first test. The decision to include another specialist spinner to the side proved wise for them as the ancestrally Indian Monty Panesar picked up five to cut short the Indian innings. Graeme Swann was also impressive who picked up four wickets.

India vs England, 2nd Test: England in driver's seat

India vs England, 2nd Test: England in driver’s seat

Cheteshwar Pujara who once again proved himself an able successor for Rahul Dravid was the only Indian “batsman” who troubled the English. If it wasn’t for the lower order support by R Ashwin the Indian innings would have been over by Day 1 itself.

Pietersen was once again back to torment the Indian bowlers. The ECB’s decision to include the star but controversial batsman might prove worthwhile if he can continue the way he played before the close of play. Captain Alaistar cook was just 13 short of another test century. Cook who scored a brilliant century in a lost cause last match was well supported by the one person he has issues to deal with. Cook and Pietersen seemed to have put the controversies behind them for now as the coped easily with the Indian spinners.

Cook was confident in his approach and even dispatched Ojha over the fence. Pietersen was wary about his shots a bit more unlike Ahemedabad and his playing style forced the Indian spinners to err in their line.

The sweep shot was the villain for the Indian players though as two Indian players left the field after being hit. The first was Cheteshwar Pujara and the second was Rahane who came on as a replacement for Pujara.

India who ambitiously decided to drop Umesh Yadav to pick Harbhajan Singh are yet to justify their selection. Harbhajan who made his return to test cricket after 15 months found the going tough. The performance of the other two spinners though suggested why they were in the team ahead of the experienced Harbhajan. Ashwin trouble Cook in an over with some of his shots being edged and a couple being played at and missed. Ojha meanwhile picked up the wickets of Compton and Trott to give the only two breakthroughs for India. Trott was dismissed for a duck which further worries England as the mostly reliable batsman has failed for the third time now. Compton who made his debut against India at Ahmedabad was once again cautious while playing and score his 29 of 90 balls.

Dhoni decided the gamble on the spinning track and gave the new ball to the Spinning duo of Ashwin and Ojha, a tactic that would have been baffling after all Zaheer Khan is a world class bowler.

England finally dismissed Pujara after Swann tricked the determined batsman to come out of his crease by bowling one wide. Prior stumped Pujara and that was the end of Pujara. It did not take the English spinner much time to take the remaining wickets. Panesar ended Ashwin’s stay at the crease to get his first of the day and his final wicket of the innings.

Aswhin and Ojha produced some magic with their deliveries before the close of play. If the two and Harbhajan can do some hard work then we might have a real test match on hand one that won’t be as one sided as the first one.

Score:

India: First Innings – 327 (Pujara – 135, Ashwin – 68; Panesar – 5/129, Swann – 4/70)

England: First Innings – 178/2 ( Cook – 87*, Pietersen – 62*; Ojha – 2/65)

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