Pandya shines with the ball as visitors tighten their grip on the match

 

Day 2 review

In the modern day and age of T20, there is a reason why Test Cricket holds a special place. As the
name suggests, it is an ultimate test of the players’ skill, technique, and temperament. It provides
such thrill and exhilaration which sometimes even the shortest format fails to offer. Day 2 at Trent
Bridge provided us with all of it.

With much anticipation, the proceedings began on day 2 as the debutant Pant and Ravi Ashwin
walked in the middle. Pant, unbeaten on 22 last night had looked very impressive. However, he was
the first one to fall as he managed to drag the ball onto the stumps while playing a drive off Stuart
Broad. Ashwin was the next to go as Broad castled him with a big late inswinger. Jimmy Anderson
finished the Indian innings by picking up the last 2 wickets as India were bundled out quickly in the
morning on 329. It was a decent score on this wicket but the visitors needed to bowl well.

India started off poorly with the ball as England raced to 46/0 in 9 overs at Lunch. While Shami
looked off-rhythm, Bumrah bowled inconsistent line and length which allowed the English openers
to get off to a flyer. It was a disappointing first session for India as the hosts began to fight back.

Just when the match looked like moving towards England, India sent back both the openers in quick
succession. Ishant Sharma and Bumrah sent back Cook and Jennings respectively to rock the hosts
early in the session. Ishant then dismissed Ollie Pope as well leaving the hosts at 75/3. India had
made up for a scratchy start with the ball. The pressure shifted back to England as they looked to
build a partnership with Captain Root and Jonny Bairstow.

After impressive bowling spells from Ishant and Bumrah, Virat threw the ball to the all-rounder
Pandya. There has been a debate about his role in the test side and question marks about his recent
performances. However on an overcast, windy Sunday afternoon, Pandya produced a magical
bowling spell. While Shami at the other end was bowling beautifully as he dismissed Ben Stokes,
Hardik, on his very first ball sent back The English captain edging the ball in the slips with a beautiful
outswinger. He bowled with a disciplined line and length to dismiss Bairstow, Woakes and Rashid in
quick succession – all edging the ball behind. The all-rounder then trapped Stuart Broad in front to
clinch his first Test five-for. It was a magnificent exhibition of swing bowling which put India firmly in
the driver’s seat. Jos Buttler added quickfire 33 run-stand for the last wicket with James Anderson as
England were bowled out for a paltry 161. The visitors got a handsome lead of 168 runs, but in the
conditions conducive to swing, they had to bat well.

Dhawan and Rahul provided another good start for India as they put on 60 for the first wicket,
identical to the first innings. Ben Stokes made the breakthrough as Rahul was cleaned up while
trying a booming off drive. Cheteshwar Pujara then joined Dhawan in the middle to put on a 51 run
stand before Dhawan was foxed by the leggie, Adil Rashid. Dhawan came down the track to a wrong
’un from Rashid as he was stumped by Bairstow. It was an enterprising 44 from the southpaw which
put the visitors in a comfortable state in the game. India ended the day on 124/2 with an impressive
lead of 292 runs.

It was another fantastic day’s Cricket as for the first time the visitors had their noses ahead in a day
this series. It was a fabulous bowling display from all the Indian bowlers after letting the hosts get
away with a start. Hardik Pandya was quite sensational. One didn’t expect him to do the amount of
damage he did to the English batting, but he showed that he certainly has plenty of potential in him.
If he persists with such performances, he could become a real star for India, but there is still a long

way to go. At the end of the day, India would be overjoyed leaving the hosts plenty to think about. It
was cloud covers the whole day, but the end was all bright for the visitors.

 

 

 

– Prasad Palkar