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IND v ENG, 2nd Test, Day 2 Review: Spinners put India in a dominant position

Ravi Ashwin India
Ravi Ashwin. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Despite a few quick wickets in the morning session from Moeen Ali, the hosts India are well and truly on top following some impressive showing with the bat. Once again, it was Virat Kohli who came up trumps and shouldered the burden of captaincy on his shoulders with a ton. Ravi Ashwin however, was the star of the morning with the bat with an impressive string of runs.

Initially, the morning session saw the two-overs old ball being used by the seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad. However, this proved to be rather seamless for India as the fact of the matter remained that this was one wicket that supported spin.

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It was rather shocking on the previous day when Moeen Ali was given hardly a few overs compared to Zafar Ansari and Adil Rashid. However, today, the lion’s share of overs was given to Moeen Ali and his brand of off spin was something that was going to trouble the Indian batsmen yet again.

Virat Kohli was clearly troubled by this. Ben Stokes had dropped the Indian skipper a few seconds earlier when a cut from Kohli simply did not stick in his hands. However, the 28-year old Indian skipper was not to be let off the hook in the second calling when he was snapped up by Ben Stokes in what was an extremely dramatic couple of deliveries at first slip for Stokes.

Four overs later, Wriddhiman Saha was the next to depart when he was trapped leg-before by Moeen Ali. The decision to review it came after a long chat between Saha and Ashwin and also ensured that the decision came following the consideration that the ball had turned in excess of a country mile.

However, in spire of all this, the ball went on to clip the stumps meaning that it was the umpire’s decision all the way. What was worse was Saha’s teasing and disgruntled face as he strode off into the haven of the pavilion to join the rest of his India teammates.

Things were to go from bad to worse for the Indians a few short minutes later. Moeen Ali had trapped Ravindra Jadeja just two deliveries after he had dismissed the uncanny Saha. Moreover, this was the way New Zealand had been undone with Mitchell Santner losing his wicket to a similar delivery from Ravindra Jadeja. It was ironic to say the least.

However, the few overs left before the lunch interval saw the Indians make amends for their wickets lost to Moeen Ali. Jayant Yadav, the debutant on the day was quite impressive with his batting efforts as he smashed the ball to different parts, something that added to the evidence that he did indeed have a few centuries to his name in the domestic level.

In spite of the burst of wickets from Moeen Ali, it was the Indians that went into the lunch break the happier of the two with some impressive batsmanship. Moreover, with the ball turning as much as it did, it was clear that a good first innings lead was essential to say the least.

The post-lunch sessions saw the Britons take the pitch to ply their batting. However, with the likes of Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav steaming into bowl, it was clear that the Brits were simply not able to do much so to speak. Moreover, the Indian seamers were making the ball do the talking, something that helped the Indians pick wickets at will.

Sure enough, Mohammad Shami added to his wickets tally with the first wicket of the England innings when England skipper Alastair Cook’s defences were breached by the uncanny Shami. Joe Root made his way into the scheme of things to stabilise the innings, something that he would resume following the end of the tea break.

The last session of the day completely belonged to the Indians. The spin pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav claimed three more English wickets to put India in a dominating position. There wasn’t any sort of resilience from the English side in the last session and they threw wickets haplessly much to the delight of the bowling side.

Haseeb Hameed ran himself out and was the first wicket to fall after the break. Duckett also was incompetent and could not survive for long, and was cleaned up by Ashwin. Root’s wicket after the tea was perhaps the biggest damage the batting side inflicted today. The right-hander, who was batting with great command, lost his wicket to Ashwin just after having reached his fifty.

It was a horrid moment for the visitors when Root tried clear the off-spinner but failed and eventually gave Umesh Yadav a simple catch at long-off. Moeen Ali was the last wicket to fall after he was trapped LBW by Yadav. Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow somehow played out the final overs of the day and ensure no further damage and help England finish at 103/5 at stumps.

Brief Scores:

India, 1st innings: 455 all out (V Kohli 167; J Anderson 3/62)

England, 1st innings: 103/5 (J Root 53*; R Ashwin 2/20)

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