By Shrey Siddharth
India have clearly put themselves at a very commanding position after a comprehensive game of test cricket on Day 2 of Motera test. England made a strong impact in the first 2 sessions, but India made sure to pull things back with some stellar performances from lower order. Here are a few highlights from today’s game:-
England’s dramatic turnaround:-
The English bowlers came with their disciplined attack straight away capitalizing on the pitch condition. Leach got his bunny Pujara out for the fourth time in the series for 17 and Ashwin for 13 caught at mid-wicket. Ben Stokes showed his class with the ball by dismissing Kohli for a duck off a back of length delivery that startled the Indian captain. Stokes also went on to dismiss well set Rohit for 49. Anderson joined the party getting Rahane caught at slip for 27. England looked well under control in first 2 sessions
Rishabh Rampage in Motera:-
When India seemed in trouble, Pant played possibly his best innings in Indian soil. Once he got a move on, he got support from Sundar at the other end and played a responsible innings under pressure. Once he crossed his 50, Pant switched into destructive mode and smashed the English bowlers all around the park. The reverse ramp he played against Anderson will undoubtedly be the shot of the series as it was even appreciated by the legend bowler himself. He reached his 3rd test century in style with a huge six over cow corner and acknowledged the ovation of the crowd with his arms raised and a delightful smile. He was dismissed after a magnificent 101 by Anderson.
Sundar built a valuable partnership of 114 runs with Pant under pressure. Once Pant got out, Sundar showed temperament with his solid defence and played a few delightful strokes against the spinners to reach his 50. He has emerged as a dependable lower order batsman in a very short span.
At the end of the day, India finished with 294- 7, with Sundar and Axar unbeaten at 60 and 11 respectively. With a lead of 89, India have the game well under control. Can India pull off yet another historical series win at home? Only time will tell.