India v England, 2nd Test, Day 1 – 5 Talking Points

India v England, 2nd Test, Day 1 – 5 Talking Points

James Anderson
James Anderson. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Centuries from Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara put India in a dominating position, sitting comfortably at 317/4 at stumps on day one of the second test at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium, Vishakhapatnam. After a tensely fought contest at Rajkot, England perhaps were high on confidence, especially the spin trio of Adil Rashid, Zafar Ansari and Moeen Ali.

The visitors began on a great note with the wicket of openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay. But, Kohli and Pujara were in complete control of the action and frustrated England throughout the day. It was a special day for the venue as it marked its entry into the prestigious list of Test venues in the country. Also, there were few other moments which marked the occasion and were the talking points today.

1.Kohli and Root reach 50 Tests:

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Joe Root today entered the 50th Test match of their career. It happens on very rare occasions that two cricketers reach 50 Test matches on the same day. Both the cricketers, already termed as modern day legends, are currently at the peak of their career and many experts often draw comparisons between them. Statistically speaking Root has done well so far despite making his debut bit later than Kohli.

Kohli had made his Test debut in 2011 against West Indies and Root in 2012 against India. Since then the Indian batting mainstay has made 3643 runs in 49 Tests with the help of 13 hundreds and 12 fifties while averaging 46.11. Root, on the other hand, has fared better than Kohli statistically hitting 4231 runs at an average of 53.55 including 11 centuries and 23 fifties.

2. India gets another Test match venue

After Rajkot’s SCA Stadium, the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, situated in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, made its debut as India’s 24th Test venue today. The entry at the venue today was free and it saw a healthy spectator turnout today.

The auspicious occasion was marked by the presence of some of the biggest names belonging to the state’s political and sports fraternity. Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu, Chief of Selectors MSK Prasad, VVS Laxman and many others appeared as guests before the start of the play.

Established in 2003, the stadium has a capacity of 38,000. It has hosted six ODIs between 2005 and 2016, all of which featured India. Of those, India won five and lost one, the most recent being the deciding fifth match with New Zealand which MS Dhoni’s team clinched to take the series 3-2.

3. Canine break:

While Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were frustrating the English players with their sturdy batting, an unexpected guest arrived at the venue and barged into the ground to halt the play, forcing the umpires to call an early tea break.

Canine lovers would love the news as they got to see a dog come in running and take the authorities take for a run. Stuart Broad tried helping the groundsman trying to shoo away the dog but could not do it. It caused a bit lengthy interruption and eventually the umpires thought that the of taking the break.

4. Pujara and Kohli frustrate the Brits:

A high on confidence England began the day in a pretty fantastic manner, snapping both the openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay inside the first six overs. India found themselves at a poor 22/2 straightway. The Indian fans perhaps thought this to be a cautionary sin and a bit of worry crept into their minds.

But, Kohli and Pujara looked unfazed by the early setback and looked in great rhythm. The duo combined together and piled on 226 runs for the third wicket to completely push the English side to the corner. The Brits found themselves completely tired by the tea session. Kohli (151*) and Pujara (119) looked immovable during their stand which spanned over two sessions and 61.4 overs. The partnership put India in full control of the match.

The partnership put India in full control of the match. Both scored at healthy rates and entertained the crowd. There were a few moments initially were both could not co-ordinate properly, especially while running between the wicket. However, once they spent some time together, there was a very good understanding between the pair.

5. James Anderson’s dose of relief:

James Anderson made his presence felt in his comeback game. Forced to miss a considerable amount of cricketing action due to injury, Anderson made his much talked about return by taking 3/44 at the end of day one’s play. He was the only effective bowler by a far margin today and all his three scalps were of great importance to the team.

Anderson’s first scalp of the day was Murali Vijay whom he took by surprise by a bouncer and got him caught at gully. Later on, after toiling a bit, Anderson brought the much need relief to his side by breaking the Virat – Pujara stand with the wicket of the latter.

His last wicket was perhaps the most spectacular one. Bowling with the new ball and into the penultimate over of the day, the swing king lured Rahane into nicking one behind with a beautiful away swinger.