Match report: Ind vs Eng – 4th Test, Day 2
James Anderson put England in the driver’s seat after Joe Root and co set up the platform with a challenging first innings total. With the wickets of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir, Anderson dealt early blows to leave India on 87 for four at the end of day’s play, after England were bowled out for 330 earlier in the afternoon. At stumps, India were trailing by 243 runs with Virat Kohli (11) and MS Dhoni (8) at the crease.
Earlier, resuming on the overnight total of 199 for the loss of five wickets, Joe Root and Matt Prior continued to build on their partnership. The duo salvaged the England innings after they lost the top five batsmen for 139 runs. Prior scoring at a quicker pace, cut Ojha to collect four runs and reach his half-century off 124 balls. And a while later, Root swept Ravichandran Ashwin for a single to bring up his maiden Test 50 in trying conditions. But a couple of overs later, Ashwin rattled Prior’s stumps to dismiss the batsman for 57 and end the 103-run stand. Ishant Sharma who had been pegging at the batsmen then followed up with the wicket of Tim Bresnan for naught. However, Graeme Swann, who then joined Root in the middle, helped England post 277 for seven at lunch.
Root played a mature knock to anchor the innings, while Swann looked to accelerate at the other end. The No.9 bat smashed Ravindra Jadeja for a six and an over later Root swept Chawla to the square-leg region to take England across the 300-run mark. But in his next over, the Indian leg-spinner spinner brought Root’s determined knock to an end. Root (730 departed handing a return catch to Chawla.
Swann, however, continued his attack on the Indian bowlers and brought up his fifth Test fifty off 87 balls with a single off Ashwin. But after hitting Chawla over the head for a six, he was out leg-before off the next ball. Anderson and Monty Panesar then added five runs to the total, before Chawla dismissed the former to claim his fourth wicket and wrap up the England innings. Cheteshwar Pujara pouched the catch at short-leg to send back Anderson for four. Chawla who last played a Test in 2008, claimed his maiden four-wicket haul.
Anderson then returned to strike a vital blow in the first over of the Indian innings. The pacer knocked back Virender Sehwag’s middle-stump to leave the hosts on one for the loss of one wicket off the third delivery of the innings. With a key wicket lost, Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara looked to build the innings and were cruising along in the final session when Swann ended the partnership for 58. A low catch diving to his right by Ian Bell at short-leg saw Pujara return to the dressing room for 26.
On 59 for the loss of two wickets, Sachin Tendulkar walked in to bat. But five runs later, he was castled by Anderson. The ball nipped back and snuck between bat and pad to uproot India’s No.4 bat’s middle stump. The pacer then followed up with the wicket of Gambhir. The Indian opener edged the pacer to Prior to be dismissed for 37 bringing the Indian captain in to bat with Kohli. The duo took India through the last session of the day with an unbroken 16-run stand.
At the end of Day 2: England 1st innings 330 all out in 145.5 overs (J Root 73, M Prior 57, G Swann 56, P Chawla 4/69, I Sharma 3/49); India 1st innings 87/4 in 41 overs (G Gambhir 37, J Anderson 3/24)
At the end of Day 1: England 1st innings 199/5 in 97 overs (K Pietersen 73, M Prior 34*, J Root 31*, 2/32, I Sharma R Jadeja 2/34)