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3 players who flopped in the 2nd Test between India and England

England captain Joe Root
England captain Joe Root's golden run came to an end in the 2nd Test
Sai Krishna
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
Feature
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The 2nd Test between India and England in Chennai ended on Day 4 in a comprehensive 317-run for the hosts.

A number of players put in standout performances. Rohit Sharma was class personified with his first-innings hundred, while Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Ajinkya Rahane chipped in with crucial fifties. The star of the show was local lad Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked up 8 wickets and scored a hundred of his own.

For England, Ben Foakes was solid behind the stumps and played a handy knock in the first innings, while Moeen Ali scalped 8 wickets and an 18-ball 43. Olly Stone bowled his heart out whenever called upon, and Jack Leach was accurate throughout the match.

A few players didn't have big roles to play, such as Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Stuart Broad. They have been removed from consideration for this article. Here, we take a look at 3 players who had the opportunity to shine but flopped.


#3 Ben Stokes (ENG)

Handstand aside, Ben Stokes didn
Handstand aside, Ben Stokes didn't entertain in the 2nd Test

Ben Stokes bowled 2 overs in the first innings, before a suspected niggle ensured that he didn't have any further say on the game with the ball. He had a chance to impress in the batting department, though.

Stokes is a good player of the sweep, and he was expected to be proactive against India's accurate spinners. However, he went for an ultra-defensive approach that was easily trumped by Ashwin's smarts.

Ashwin deceived Stokes in flight in the first innings, before finding the inside edge of his bat in the second with an arm ball. Stokes did connect with a few sweeps, but India had set fields for the shot and he ended up making only 26 runs over the course of the Test.

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To make matters worse, Stokes dropped a catch at first slip when Ashwin was on 28 off the bowling of Stuart Broad. The Indian all-rounder went on to register his first Test hundred in over 4 years, leaving Stokes to wallow in his own misery.


#2 Shubman Gill (IND)

Shubman Gill was caught in front of the stumps in both innings
Shubman Gill was caught in front of the stumps in both innings

After impressive performances in the Test series against Australia Down Under, Shubman Gill was expected to make a mark in the familiar home conditions. After scoring 79 runs in the 1st Test at the same venue, he came into this encounter primed to make the first big score of his fledgling career.

However, Gill shouldered arms against Olly Stone off his third ball to be caught in front for a blob. In the second innings, he chanced his luck, and played a number of streaky shots en route to just 14 runs.

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To compund his woes, he was struck on the forearm while fielding close-in, and is currently awaiting the results of scans. Thankfully, the team management has openly claimed that both Gill and Rohit will be handed a long rope. If he is fit, Gill will be keen on impressing in the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad.


#1 Joe Root (ENG)

Root fell to Indian Test debutant Axar Patel in both innings
Root fell to Indian Test debutant Axar Patel in both innings

Captain Joe Root had scored daddy hundred after daddy hundred coming into this Test, and was the catalyst behind his team's impressive form in the longest format of the game.

However, Root was caught out by the Indian team's latest spin weapon - Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner's speed through the air and extra bounce made his most potent weapon - the sweep - a dangerous proposition, and after that, he was a sitting duck.

Root top-edged a sweep in the first innings to be caught at short fine-leg, and he was clearly reluctant to employ the shot in the second. A ball spun and bounced to catch the glove, handing Rahane at slip a simple catch.

Root sent down a few overs as England's fifth bowler as well, but scalped only 1 wicket against the solid Indian batsmen. The skipper will need to lead from the front again in Ahmedabad if his team is to pull off a historic series win and make the final of the World Test Championship.


Published 16 Feb 2021, 18:05 IST
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