2nd Test: Ton-up Woakes more than just Stokes stand

Aubrey Yates
August 12, 2018

Having been bowled out for 107 on day two, India will have harboured hopes of at least limiting England's lead when they reduced the hosts to 89-4 at lunch.

But Woakes, who had scored nine previous first-class hundreds, and Jonny Bairstow (93) turned the tide during a stand of 189. It took the Surrey right-hander just two balls to score his first Test runs when he flicked a Sharma inswinger behind square-leg for four.

With Woakes, the first of England's three bowling all-rounders, at the crease alongside Bairstow, India could sense an opportunity to expose the tail. While England are still favourites to get the first-innings lead, a cracking game would be set up if India can keep the lead to somewhere below 50.

Kohli, who was looking all at sea against Woakes, finally fell to the right-armer in his third over, with Jos Buttler making no mistake this time at second slip.

By contrast, England's innings commenced under sunny blue skies that promised to make life easier for the batsmen.

England were then forced to wait more than three hours before getting a third crack at India at 5.10pm.

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With the sun shining it looked like ideal batting conditions, but the rare rainfall of the previous two days in London still gave the India attack hope they could bowl their side back into he match.

Hosts England lost Keaton Jennings for 11 runs after a quick start, as Mohammed Shami provided the breakthrough for India. As so often happens they did not have to wait long fir the second wicket, Alastair Cook caught behind for 21 off Ishant Sharma (one for 26) to leave England on 32 for two.

That brought in new cap Ollie Pope.

Pope made a promising 28 before he was lbw to Pandya. Virat is now the top-ranked batsman in Test and ODI cricket. The Indian batsmen have themselves to blame as much as the top-class bowling from the English fast-bowlers led by James Anderson. Just before lunch, however, India struck with the vital wicket of the skipper.

Put in to bat after incessant rain completely washed out the opening day, India failed to recover from the early jolts of openers Murali Vijay (0) and Lokesh Rahul (8) before the showers disrupted the proceedings in the morning session.

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