India v England, 1st Test, Day 2 Review: Stokes’ ton gets England going

Team India
Team India. (Photo Source: BCCI)

England enjoyed the sloppy fielding display from India and amassed 537 runs. The heap of runs mainly came thanks to the three dropped catches, one from skipper Virat Kohli himself, sluggish fielding that led to misfield and extra runs apart from the strokeful century hit by England’s most valuable cricketer in recent times – Ben Stokes.

It appears England have successfully learnt to neuter Indian bowling attack. No other team made 500 plus total against India in India except the vistors themselves who achieved the feat four years ago at Kolkata. It was back in 1985 that England made a bigger total in India that the 537 they raked today. But, after the tiring effort in the field, the day ended on a steady note for India as Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay added 63 without any loss.


Moeen Ali, who must have felt a tinge of nervousness before going to sleep last night, completed his century shortly into the fresh day’s play but was also the first wicket to fall after Mohammad Shami sent his off-stump cartwheeling off the fourth ball of the 99th over. From thereon it was Stokes mania. The all-rounder has cemented his reputation of being an evergreen cricketer capable of performing for his team whether at home or away in the sub-continent.

Stokes wiped off the sour record of three successive ducks (two at Lord’s and one at Nottingham in the 2014 home series) which he had against India. For the ones who follow his playing style, there was nothing different. He went on an all out attacking mode in the morning session. Jonny Bairstow batted in somewhat same manner and played his part, scoring 46 at a strike rate of around 80 before departing just before lunch. The aggressive approach brought 45 runs in the first 10 overs with the help of 8 overs and added 139 runs in the first session, taking the total well over 400 runs.

Shortly after the lunch session Stokes joined Root and Ali and reached the 100 runs mark. Pitch showed signs of deterioration. The ball gripped the surface a bit and Jadeja took the benefit to pocket the wicket of Woakes and Rashid in short successions. The two dismissals slowed down the scoring rate but eventually not enough to stop from England passing the 500 run mark as Zafar Ansari and Stokes carried forward the innings and added 55 for the 10 wickets before England finished batting by tea.

England batted well but India’s contribution cannot be neglected, Umesh Yadav can describe perfectly. Wicket keeper dropping catches is a rare sight but Wriddhiman Saha gave the viewers two such moments of sloppy glove work. Both, unfortunately, came off Umesh Yadav’s bowling (that too in successive overs) with the Stokes at the other end on both the occasions. Stokes got third time lucky when his mistimed hit was misjudged by Kohli.

Brief Score:

England: 537 (Ben Stokes 128; Ravindra Jadeja 3/86)

India: 63/0 (Gautam Gambhir 28)