Advertisement
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

ENG vs IND, 1st Test, Day 2: KL Rahul Shines But 'Ageless' James Anderson Swings It Back In Favour Of England

Rahul kept India in the hunt even as Anderson, 39, brought England back in the match with wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara (4) and Virat Kohli (0)

ENG vs IND, 1st Test, Day 2: KL Rahul Shines But 'Ageless' James Anderson Swings It Back In Favour Of England
Players leave the field due to bad light during the second day of first test cricket match between England and India, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. | AP Photo/Rui Vieira
ENG vs IND, 1st Test, Day 2: KL Rahul Shines But 'Ageless' James Anderson Swings It Back In Favour Of England
outlookindia.com
2021-08-05T22:59:30+05:30

The wily old James Anderson once again got his "bunny" Virat Kohli in a mesmerising spell that undid India's solid opening stand to leave them tottering at 125 for four against England on a rain-curtailed day two of the opening Test. HIGHLIGHTS | NEWS

The 39-year-old Anderson (13.4-7-15-2) swung it in England's favour with successive precision deliveries that got Cheteshwar Pujara (4) and Virat Kohli (0) as India from 97 for no loss slumped to 112 for four in a space of less than six overs.

The in-from KL Rahul (57 batting off 151 balls) is still standing tall amid ruins alongside Rishabh Pant (7 batting) but the advantage that India got in the opening session was neutralised by Anderson's spell and the pressure also led to an unfortunate run-out of Ajinkya Rahane (5).

Rahul's classy Test match batting would surely be a relief for the Indian team management after the talented Karnataka batsman lost his place in the longest formats due to a prolonged bad patch.

He could have also been Anderson's third victim but was dropped in the slips, his only batting glitch on the day.

The nine fours, mostly drives, were majestic and the control over his own mind while selecting the bad balls under overcast conditions was exemplary.

But Anderson did take the cake on the day the pacer with the highest number of Test matches under his belt (163rd game) equalled Anil Kumble's record of 619 scalps. He matched Kumble's record after fooling the Indian captain once again in the corridor of uncertainty.

It was a fuller delivery that Kohli played for the inswinger but it held its line to take a healthy edge into Jos Buttler's gloves. Both Kohli and Anderson would have a sense of deja vu thinking about what happened in 2014.

A ball before, the artist was at work as he got Pujara forward with one that was shaping into him in the air but deviated away when he pressed forward for Buttler to take a low catch.

The manner of dismissal is sure to increase the cobwebs in Pujara's mind as this series is certainly going to have a bearing on his international future.

The delivery could have got any batter out but Pujara's 16-ball, 17-minute brief stay did indicate that he is under tremendous pressure.

He could have been dismissed earlier by Ollie Robinson (15-5-32-1) when he shouldered arms to a straight delivery but the height factor came to his rescue.

However, Indian team had one of its best opening stands in recent tours of England before Rohit Sharma's (36 off 107 balls) now familiar propensity to pull brought about his downfall at the stroke of lunch.

The opening duo did well enough to keep the four-pronged home team attack at bay but Rohit's attempt to dispatch Robinson's short ball behind the square leg boundary didn't quite work out as he threw it away after doing all the hard work.

The partnership certainly put England on the back-foot with a deep point being stationed at times to stop the flow of boundaries.

They patiently waited for the loose deliveries and played some delightful drives, keeping the scoreboard ticking with Rahul blending his caution and aggression in equal measure to remain undefeated.

Their gameplan was simple and that was to see off the first hour with minimum risks. Rohit, in particular, showed his technical prowess getting right behind the moving deliveries.

He was ready to play the waiting game, something that's not exactly his characteristic, showing how badly he wants to get a significant score in overseas conditions.

But when the opportunity presented itself, he did show Robinson as to why he is rated so highly amongst his peers with a superb back-drive and when required opened his bat face to glide it between point and gully or flick one off his hips.
 
Rahul, who came into the match with runs behind his back, was on 11 in his first 60 balls but then hit some exquisite square and cover drives when the ball stopped moving around after 30-over mark.

He understood that he had the game to accelerate and did just that during the last 45 minutes. Once Sam Curran came into bowl, the lack of express pace helped them as both lunged forward with pronounced front-press to beat the off-side cordon.

However on the third day, he would perhaps need to start from scratch after multiple interruptions in play and get a big one.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

UNGA: Joe Biden Says US Not Seeking 'New Cold War' With China

UNGA: Joe Biden Says US Not Seeking 'New Cold War' With China

Without mentioning China directly, Biden acknowledged increasing concerns about rising tensions, even as he has been out of sync with allies on the chaotic exit from Afghanistan.

Air Marshal VR Chaudhari Appointed New IAF Chief

Air Marshal VR Chaudhari Appointed New IAF Chief

Air Marshal V R Chaudhari will take the reins as the chief of the Indian Air Force after the incumbent, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, retires on September 30.

Tyagi Snatches Thrilling IPL Win For RR As PBKS Commit Harakiri

Tyagi Snatches Thrilling IPL Win For RR As PBKS Commit Harakiri

With 3 needed off 4 balls in the final over, Kartik Tyagi took 2 wickets to help RR win by 2 runs.

Munna Bhais Still Flying High In High-Profile Entrance Examinations

Munna Bhais Still Flying High In High-Profile Entrance Examinations

Experts believe the swindlers have taken control of the entire system and they are doing so without any fear. They suspect one can get 99.5% only if one gets the question paper in advance.

Advertisement