England were leading by 85 runs with four wickets in hand at stumps on the second day at Old Trafford. After a slow start to the day with the loss of three wickets, Joe Root (48*) dropped anchor to help England stay on course. The middle-order batsman was supported by Jos Buttler (22*) in helping the team surpass India's first innings total and build a lead until rain interrupted play and couldn’t be resumed. In an unbroken 67-run partnership the duo had taken the team to 237/6 when play was called off on Friday.
Earlier, the hosts, who were cruising along in the final session of Day 1, were slowed down in the first hour of Day 2 by the Bhuvneshwar Kumar-led attack. The wiry pacer removed both the overnight batsmen – Ian Bell and Chris Jordon upfront and plugged the flow of runs.
With the hosts still 12 short of India’s 152-run first innings score, Ali joined Root in helping the team overcome the deficit.
Ali who had been troubled by the short ball earlier in the series was then peppered by the Indians with the short stuff. Although he sent a couple of them sailing to the fence it also kept him on his toes. A while later Aaron who had been hitting the deck hard since the morning, disrupted Ali’s woodwork with a fuller one to leave England on 170/6.
With the pace duo of Bhuvneshwar and Aaron turning things around for India, the India captain rotated and kept them in the mix to maintain pressure on the opposition. However, Root and Buttler held their ground and watchfully took the team to lunch at 201/6.
Resuming the innings post-Lunch, the Root-Buttler pair had added 36 runs to the total when rain interrupted play. Root who is turning out to be a vital cog in the England line-up once again displayed the ability to hold up one end as he garnered runs. With only nine overs bowled in the second session showers halted play.
Day 1: India 1st inn 152 all out in 46.4 overs (MS Dhoni 71, R Ashwin 40, S Broad 6/25, J Anderson 3/46); England 1st inn 113/3 in 35 overs (I Bell 45*, G Ballance 37, V Aaron 2/26)
Day 2: England 1st inn 237/6 in 71 overs (I Bell 58, J Root 48*, B Kumar 3/47)