The attack on the English: Day 2
206 off 389 balls, not out. The words epic, legendary, massive, mammoth, monumental and excellent don’t even try to begin to describe Cheteshwara Pujara’s innings against England. He started off really well on day one – his innings was eclipsed by Sehwag’s century, but the spotlight shone on him and only him on Day 2. Picked as a replacement for Rahul Dravid, who was by the way, watching the match with Sourav Ganguly from the commentary box, Pujara had pretty big shoes to fill in and he did a mighty good job. He cut and drove the ball all over the field with adroitness. He tactfully continued the attack on the English bowlers, his predecessor being Virender Sehwag. Swann was the best bowler even today, and it is something of great pride for me to say that even though Graeme Swann played extremely well, the Indian batsmen were just too good for him.
Yuvraj contributed to Alastair Cook’s pain scoring 74 off 151 but was beaten by an embarrassing full toss bowled by Samit Patel. Patel’s expression showed guilt, but he was overjoyed to have gotten such a key wicket.
Even after India’s innings, the fun wasn’t over. England could bat only for eighteen overs before Stumps and by the time it was called a day, three wickets had already fallen and England were at 41 for the loss of 3.
In order to sum it up – Pujara, Sehwag and Yuvraj tormented England’s bowlers and the spin attack (Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin) ruined their batting. What might happen tomorrow is unforeseeable; people say India will win, but anything can happen. But there’s a possibility that at this rate, it might be an innings victory for the Boys in Blue.
Moment of the day: Pujara’s double century. India’s first double century against England after Rahul Dravid’s 217 at the Oval in 2002.