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England vs India 2018: India's shocking first-innings collapse is SK Turning Point of 2nd Test

Ram Kumar
FEATURED WRITER
Feature
256   //    12 Aug 2018, 22:56 IST

Murali Vijay Dinesh Karthik
Indian batsmen had no clue whatsoever on how to handle the moving ball

For the entire duration of the second Test at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground, the fickle London weather offered more challenge to England than the utterly spineless Indian lineup. Although overhead conditions were particularly treacherous, the visitors' shambolic batting techniques lay exposed by some high-quality swing bowling.

Despite seeing the first day completely washed out due to persistent rain, skipper Virat Kohli somehow deemed fit to play only two specialist seamers even as conditions suggested otherwise. However, the debatable team selection turned out to be the least of their worries.

In a manic second day's play involving all of 35.2 overs, India virtually surrendered their fortunes by putting on a shockingly inept batting performance. The tourists' first innings collapse effectively saw England trample all over them from thereon.

Having been bowled out for a mere 107 runs in their first innings, there was no way back for India. Although they themselves were in a spot of bother at 89/4, England rode on a decisive partnership between Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow to amass 396 before declaring. Another majestic bowling effort saw the hosts rout their hapless opponents for just 130.

Inept India roll over in 35.2 overs

James Anderson
James Anderson set up England's dominant victory with an astounding first-innings spell

England skipper Joe Root won another handy toss and had no hesitation in inserting India into bat under cloudy skies on the second day. James Anderson set the tone by removing both openers cheaply. While Murali Vijay paid the price for his late foot work, KL Rahul did not do himself any good by blindly thrusting his front foot forward.

With conditions menacing for batting, the last thing India needed was a run-out. Coming into the playing eleven at the expense of Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara was sold down the river by his own captain. Kohli called for a risky single before pulling out at the last second. By then, Pujara was way down the track and the damage had already been done.

Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane resumed the challenge after yet another rain break. Although the sun came out, the humidity factor and heavy air made the ball move extravagantly. Chris Woakes broke the back of India's middle-order by getting rid of the skipper and then Hardik Pandya. Both right-handers had no clue on how to tackle the canny seamer's late swing.

Dinesh Karthik's faulty defence was laid bare by the young Sam Curran. Anderson returned to finish off India's slim hopes. In a rousing spell, the master craftsman made a complete mockery of the lower-order batsmen. In the latter's defence, the top-order batsmen had fared no better.

England cruise to an emphatic innings victory

India's seamers found themselves with an extraordinary amount of work to do. Mohammed Shami briefly flickered as England's top-order crumbled under lavish sunshine. When Jos Buttler departed, the hosts' lead stood at just 24 runs and only five wickets were left at their disposal.

Woakes combined brilliantly with Bairstow to maintain England's supremacy on India. The duo pounced on the visitors' lack of bowling depth and swelled the lead to gargantuan proportions. The momentum-shifting sixth-wicket partnership yielded 189 runs.

After another late flourish, Root finally declared and left India staring at a deficit of 289 runs. With the clouds lurking ominously above them, the visitors folded meekly yet again. England completed a crushing innings and 159-run triumph under three days' play to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. A maiden Test century, as well as four wickets, earned a well-deserved Player of the Match award for comeback man Woakes.

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Ram Kumar
FEATURED WRITER
Someone who views sport as a metaphor for life.
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