England skipper Joe Root won his fifth toss in a row and elected to bat. Day 1 wasn’t so much in favor of the hosts as they were reduced to 198 for the loss of 7 wickets. But Day 2 had England dominance in store with Jos Buttler at it again.
Birthday boy, Jos Buttler made his inclusion in the squad count again. His 133-ball 89 put England on top and the bowlers took over next. England had 198/7 on the board in 90.0 overs (JC Buttler 11, AU Rashid 4) at Stumps Day 1. After Alastair Cook’s 71, which counts as his penultimate innings, only Moeen Ali managed to score a fifty while others fell cheaply. India had their chance at the beginning of the 2nd day but the same story was rewritten from India’s side.
This wasn’t a digression but the lack of tactical planning from Virat Kohli which let off England. The next thing we know Buttler had added another 114 runs with Adil Rashid and Stuart Broad. The latter scored 38 runs off 59 deliveries and his partnership with Jos Buttler reduced the dot balls and doubled the run rate.
With Broad’s dismissal, England were 9 down but was on top with 312 on board. Buttler went on to bat for another 5 overs adding 20 runs and his partner James Anderson adding zero runs off five balls. A length delivery from Jadeja tricked Buttler into edging the ball to the first slip- Ajinkya Rahane. Jadeja ended up with bowling figures of 30-0-79-4.
By the end of the 4th Test, it was apparent where England weighed India out. The difference in performance of the last four(Nos 8-11) of both teams- not with the ball, but with the bat.
Aggregate batting averages of both teams according to batting positions in the first four Tests:
|Openers and middle order 1-7||England 27.58||India 28.00|
|Lower order and Tail-enders 8-11||England 21.63||India 9.13|
The End of Day 2 saw India at 174/6 in 51.0 overs with debutant Hanuma Vihari at 25* and Ravindra Jadeja at 8*. Virat Kohli was the top scorer for India with 49 while Pujara and Rahul scoring 37 each.
The real test for India lies right where they’re standing- the lower order needs to take charge to save face at the Oval. Day 3 will entirely depend on how India’s tail tackles England seam challenge. India would want to put a total of 300, if not a lead, to be in the game. If England could climb right up from being seven down, India could use their reputation of ‘batting deep’ to practicality.