England vs India, Day 2, Session 1 : Pujara-Kohli steady the ship after Broad's double strike
The fourth test of the England vs India tour continues at Rose Bowl where India are 100/2 at Lunch with Pujara and Kohli both batting in 20s.
Another sunny day in Southampton would have pleased the Indian openers, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as they came out to bat on Day 2 of the 4th Test of the Specsavers Series 2018. India were 19/0 (4) overnight after an impressive bowling performance from the Indian seam attack meant that England were bowled out for 246.
The conditions looked ripe for batting and India must have been determined to build on the advantage from yesterday. But a few balls in, Rose Bowl stamped the fact that the red ball was still swinging merrily and that the English bowlers were very much in the game. England who would have drawn some confidence from the fight Sam Curran and Co. showed late yesterday, must have fancied their chances against a shaky Indian top order.
That is exactly what unfolded. Stuart Broad who had been overshadowed by Anderson and even Sam Curran throughout the tour so far bowled one of his better spells of the tournament.
KL Rahul was Broad's and England's first prey of the day as his Achilles Heel - the one that swings in late - had him in trouble once again. The ball nipped back just enough to trap KL right in front of his stumps. The opener reviewed straightaway but it was a simple case of the ball pitching in line and crashing into middle and leg.
In walked Pujara at No.3 and did what he does best - toiled. Pujara looked tottery at the start of the innings edging a lot more balls than any batsman would have liked but he started finding the middle of the bat once he had played 30 odd balls and settled in. His strike-rate also improved as his innings progressed.
Shikhar Dhawan kept Pujara company while Pujara looked tentative at the crease. Dhawan played a couple of graceful cover drives and was looking good until Broad removed him for 23 (53). This time the English pacer pitched the ball further up and reaped the reward as the ball nicked off Dhawan's bat through to Jos Buttler.
Now, the onus was on Kohli and Pujara to play out Anderson, Broad and Curran till lunch as the English pace battery kept on hitting the right lines. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli added another feather to his cap as he became the second fastest Indian after Sunil Gavaskar to reach 6000 Test runs. Kohli reached the milestone in 119 innings averaging 54 and bettering the likes of Sachin, Dravid, Viv Richards amongst many.
At lunch on Day 2, there is no one team which is running away with the game. India will hope they bat the entire day and pile on a significant amount of runs while England would be hoping to give little to no lead to India.