ENG vs IND:1st Test – Talking points from a topsy-turvy day two

Rain spoiled most of the day two of the opening Test match between England and India in Trent Bridge, Nottingham. India started the day on 21 for 0 and found themselves at a strong position on 97 for 0 at the stroke of tea. But Rohit Sharma’s miscue caused a collapse which pushed India to 112 for four. The rain came in soon after that and didn’t allow India to add to their score of 125 for 4. Going into the third day, India still trail by 58 runs.

Here are a few talking points of the second day’s play:

4) Rohit’s struggle to convert 30s

Throughout the morning session, Rohit Sharma looked in complete control of things. He batted for close to three hours in tough conditions and managed to look secure. He was leaving the ball outside off, he was planting his foot perfectly and he was playing with soft hands, trying to play as late as possible. Everything was perfect but yielded only 36 runs from 107 balls. A great start but not converted into a big one. This is the third time in a row that Sharma has been dismissed in the 30s after getting set.

3) KL Rahul’s return to Test cricket

KL Rahul might have felt bittersweet after being selected as an opener after confirming that he was more comfortable in the middle order. But, he took the opportunity with both hands during his comeback knock in Test cricket. This was his first match in the whites after 2019 and boy, did he look in the right mindset. His 57 from 151 balls was a big positive moving forward in this series. He would be looking to convert this into a big hundred, as he had done during his last innings in England in 2018.

2) Indian collapse

The Indian team would not have hoped for the start which they got after bowling out England for 183 on day one. Considering the history of Indian openers struggling in overseas Tests, this tour seemed automatically different when Rahul and Rohit were batting. But once Rohit was gone, India quickly slipped from 97 for 0 to 112 for 4. There were the flashes of horrors which India have faced on previous overseas tours. Once again, there are questions on the Indian middle order in the very first match of the series.

1) Jimmy Anderson’s spell

For much of the opening stand, James Anderson seemed like chipping away with maidens without really troubling the Indian batters. However, for someone like Anderson, it was all about getting in the right rhythm. After lunch, with a new batter in, with a few clouds lingering over the head and the ball doing just that extra bit, Anderson, the warhorse, was lethal. He got Pujara out and then Kohli, for the first time in Tests since 2014.

He also equalled Anil Kumble’s record of 619 Test wickets. He almost had his third when Rahul edged one to the slips, but a dropped catch denied him his third scalp. He ended the day figures of 2 for 15 from 13.4 overs, the last of which was spread across 2 and a half hours but couldn’t be concluded.

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