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Lord's Test: Only a miracle can save England on testing pitch

London: Post the second day's play at Lord's, Liam Plunkett thought England did not need to deviate from their conservative grind of batting.

Joe Root (left) and Moeen Ali hold the keys for England
Joe Root (left) and Moeen Ali hold the keys for England 

He had scored his maiden Test fifty by taking the attack to the Indian bowlers. As he and number 11, James Anderson added 39 runs for the last wicket in an aggressive manner, it was the only time they managed to drag Dhoni out of his comfort zone.

On Day 4 at Lord's, it was yet another counter-attacking partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar that left Cook clueless.

At the time Kumar came to the wicket, Cook tried to be pro-active. He stopped the bowler in his approach and introduced another slip. Five overs later, India added 22 runs against the new ball, and the field was spread out in no time.

Clever batting
While Cook persisted with three slips, the square leg, mid on and point went scampering from 20 to about 30 yards from the bat.

It prompted Jadeja to switch to one-day mode: the short balls that Cook directed his bowlers to deliver were nudged cleverly at their feet and scoring was accelerated through some intelligent running between wickets.

From a distance it looked like Cook was attacking but every time Jadeja looked up, he saw vast open spaces. Jadeja sensed the opportunity that England were on the back foot and cashed in.

Uphill task
Coming to England's batting, they are fighting with their backs to the wall and desperately require an enforcer if they are to save the game.

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