Is India heading for 4-1 debacle?

 Eng vs India Test 5 Day 2 review

After getting a stranglehold on the English batting on day 1, India had a great opportunity to restrict the hosts to a low total and pile on the runs with the bat. However what unfolded was pretty disappointing for the visitors. It was a day completely dominated by the home team as India find themselves in trouble yet again at the end of day 2 at The Oval.

Jasprit Bumrah struck early as India removed Adil Rashid on 15. Stuart Broad then joined Jos Buttler in the middle to resume proceedings. Buttler has been in terrific form in this series as he took the attack to India and scored quick runs. Both batsmen added 98 runs for the ninth wicket as England went past 300. Ravindra Jadeja finally ended Broad’s crucial innings of 38 after the partnership had put India on the backfoot. Jadeja then dismissed Buttler who missed out on a well-deserved hundred to wrap up the innings on 332. It was a comeback of great proportion from the home side after being 198/7 on day 1.

India needed a good start to lay a strong foundation. However, Broad sent back Shikhar Dhawan quickly as England drew first blood. KL Rahul along with Pujara added 64 runs for the second wicket before the former was cleaned up by Sam Curran on a good looking 37. Pujara was batting in his typical fashion as the Captain joined him in the middle. They both added another 41 before Jimmy Anderson found the outside edge of Pujara’s bat with his stock delivery. Rahane departed soon edging one in the slips leaving India at 103/4.

The debutante Hanuma Vihari walked into a challenging situation to join his captain. Virat Kohli continued his good form with the bat as he played some delightful shots. Just when he was set to bring up yet another half-century, England struck gold. A widish delivery from Ben Stokes took the edge of Virat’s bat as he walked back on 49 with India well behind England’s total. Young Rishabh Pant followed suit as he too edged one behind. At the end of day 2, India were left reeling at 174/6 with the debutante Vihari joined by Ravindra Jadeja.

 

After a really good day with the ball, India had a realistic opportunity to get their noses in front on day 2. However, Jos Buttler along with Stuart Broad denied India with any opportunity to get back in the game with their defiant partnership. The English bowlers then did the damage as Indian batsmen let the team down yet again. This was another instance where the opportunity was created by the Indian bowlers and the batsmen could not capitalize. This might just be the reason why India are 1-3 behind in this series. While it turned out to be a disappointing day for India, it was a delightful one for the hosts. The tail wagged along with Buttler to get them past 300 and the bowlers did their job to a nicety. Now, England would be looking to get a substantial first innings lead to put the pressure on the tourists. India, on the other hand, have their backs to the wall. If they want to get back in the game, they will have to be at their very best with both bat and ball. Things look tough for the visitors as they have a mountain to climb. If they show the mettle with the bat and continue their good form with the ball, we will have a match on our hands.

 

  • Prasad Palkar