Lord's Test: England bowl out India for 107 on rain-hit Day 2

Aug 11, 2018, 07:40 IST | Gaurav Joshi

Led by Jimmy Anderson, England pacers torment India as Virat Kohli and fellow batsmen find wet conditions at Lord's Cricket Ground too tough to handle; visitors bundled out for 107 on Day 2

Lord's Test: England bowl out India for 107 on rain-hit Day 2
England's Ollie Pope (centre) celebrates the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

India found themselves in the throes of adversity on Day Two of the second Test against England at the Lord’s Cricket Ground here yesterday. After losing the entire first day to rain, England won the toss and Joe Root had no hesitation in inviting India to bat.

A delayed start was no surprise to the spectators and James Anderson was quick to make an impression by reducing India to 11 for two at lunch. The Lancastrian sent back openers Murali Vijay (0) and KL Rahul (8) in the space of 15 balls from him, before the heavens opened. Then came the talking point of the day — the run out of Cheteshwar Pujara — with Virat Kohli at the other end. More of that later.

At stumps, India were all out for 107. Virat Kohli (23), Hardik Pandya (11), Dinesh Karthik (1), Ajinkya Rahane (18), Kuldeep Yadav (0), Ravichandran Ashwin (29), Ishant Sharma (0). Mohammed Shami remained unbeaten on 10. Anderson (5 for 20) and Chris Woakes (2-19) were the pick of the English bowlers while Edgbaston hero Sam Curran and Stuart Broad claimed one wicket apiece.

Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun (right) helps the groundstaff at Lord’s during the rain-effected Day Two yesterday. Pic/Bipin Patel
Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun (right) helps the groundstaff at Lord’s during the rain-effected Day Two yesterday. Pic/Bipin Patel

Poor day for Pujara
Back to Pujara. One of the greatest aspects of his game is the price he puts on his wicket. Right through his cricketing life, be it an under-age carnival in Rajkot or a Ranji Trophy match for Saurashtra or a Test match for India, Pujara always ensured the opposition earned his wicket. A run out is just not justified in his batting philosophy.

But in recent times, this mode of dismissal that has crept into Pujara’s game. His mix-up with Kohli on Day Two at Lord’s was his third run out in six Test innings. The skipper committed himself to the run and then turned back while seeing debutant Ollie Pope rush to the ball. Pujara’s run out rate seems to have increased alarmingly since 2016 — short of his crease seven times out of India’s last 10 run outs in Test cricket.

Not a natural
It is fair to say that Pujara is not a hare between the wickets. His knees and natural athleticism is certainly at the lower end as compared to his peers. But a fast runner is not exactly the best judge of a run; nor is a slow runner a poor judge of a run. Interestingly, he has only been run out only three times in 78 Ranji-Trophy matches.

This latest rise in the run out rate also seems to have come under Kohli’s regime as skipper. Is it the internal pressure of trying to run every single on offer that is making Pujara attempt risky singles or is it the fact that he cannot find a way to rotate the strike in overseas conditions? Clearly, Pujara is trying to show intent to score in a manner that he is not suited to or has not done with great efficiency in his cricketing life. Pujara has to realise that he simply cannot keep gifting his wicket to the opposition.

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