The Lord’s Test hangs in the balance with all three results possible after four days of intriguing cricket between England and India in London. Bad light forced the umpires to call off play a bit early on Sunday.
England would be the happier side going into the final day with India 154 runs ahead for the loss of 6 wickets with Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma unbeaten at the crease on 14 and 4, respectively.
Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Cheteshwar Pujara (45) fought back for the visitors with their 100-run partnership but late strikes from Moeen Ali put England in a commanding position with the second new ball due on the final day.
India vs England 2nd Test: Day 4 Highlights
The out-of-form duo did their best to blunt the English attack after Mark Wood’s early strikes had reduced India to 55 for 3 in the first session. Wood removed the openers KL Rahul (5) and Rohit Sharma (21) before delivering an unplayable delivery to Cheteshwar Pujara for 45, which triggered another collapse in the Indian camp.
Wood was the standout bowler for England with 3 wickets for 40 runs while Moeen Ali ended with 2 for 52 to clinch the final session for England after Rahane and Pujara made sure the hosts went wicketless in the second session.
Rishabh Pant will be the key player for India when he joins the fight against on Day 5. He will have to bat with the tail-enders and try to put India in the safe zone on Monday.
ADVANTAGE ENGLAND DESPITE JINKS-CHE STAND
Mark Wood (3-40) drew first blood when he dismissed KL Rahul caught behind for five with a clever change of length. His next over turned out to be an eventful one which ended with Rohit Sharma being dismissed for 21.
Rohit dragged a chest-high ball from outside the off-stump and pulled it for an audacious six, but Wood had the last laugh in this duel. The last ball of that over was a similar one and this time Rohit could not middle the ball and Moeen Ali took a tumbling catch at deep square leg.
India needed skipper Virat Kohli to lead by example, just like his opposite number Joe Root whose unbeaten 180 was the bedrock of England’s first-innings total of 391.
But Sam Curran had other ideas.
Kohli played a couple of gorgeous drives in his 20 before Curran found the edge of the Indian captain’s bat. Pujara went into the match without a fifty in his last 10 innings and vice-captain Rahane has also been short of runs.
Known as accumulators in a line-up full of aggressive batsmen, both demonstrated their grit in a dogged 100-run partnership.
Pujara, who made 45, needed 35 balls to get off the mark but soaked up enough deliveries to blunt the English attack. Rahane soldiered on at the other end, aided by a reprieve on 31 when Jonny Bairstow spill a tough chance at point. They kept England at bay for nearly 50 overs before Wood ended Pujara’s 206-ball vigil with an unplayable delivery that the batsman could only deflect to slip.
Moeen dismissed Rahane for 61 and Ravindra Jadeja for three to expose India’s tail. Wood injured his right shoulder while fielding and had it heavily strapped.
The rain-marred opening match of the five-Test series ended in a draw.