Ollie Pope’s 81 offers England the lead however India keep within the hunt

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Laxman: Pope regarded assured proper from the primary ball


India 191 and 43 for 0 (Rahul 22*, Rohit 20*) path England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Yadav 3-76) by 56 runs

Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes made their first Take a look at fifties in a yr to offer England a 99-run first-innings lead at The Oval earlier than India’s openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, nearly halved the deficit by seeing out the second day.

England had been teetering at 53 for 3 in a single day, and misplaced two wickets for 9 runs at the beginning of the day, however Pope’s fluency in partnerships with Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali dragged them into the lead, after which Woakes – batting at No. 9 after England had used a nightwatchman – constructed on it by attacking the previous ball.

Rohit and Rahul had been tasked with dealing with the final 16 overs of the day within the late-afternoon haze and regardless of the occasional play-and-miss, and an out of doors edge from Rohit that flew previous Rory Burns at second slip, they noticed India by means of to stumps, solely 56 runs behind their hosts.

Umesh Yadav had produced one of many balls of the collection to bowl Joe Root late on the primary night and picked up the place he left off with a probing spell on the second morning. He eliminated Craig Overton, the nightwatchman, along with his fourth supply of the day because of an ill-judged minimize shot which flew straight to Virat Kohli at first slip, then had Dawid Malan edging to Rohit at second to depart England reeling at 62 for five.

Bairstow and Pope shortly launched a counterattack as India’s change bowlers, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, struggled for consistency. Thakur leaked 4 consecutive boundaries (one by way of the pad) to Pope, and Siraj conceded three in a row with each batters scoring on both facet of the wicket, including 77 earlier than lunch.




Ollie Pope performed his pictures on the second morning © Getty Pictures


Bairstow’s technical adjustments heading into this collection – he’s batting considerably additional throughout his stumps than he did two years in the past – might have resulted in him avoiding being bowled up to now however he has developed a vulnerability in opposition to the nip-backer, and was trapped lbw for the third time within the collection: Siraj angled one in from a size which struck him on the pad, and the DRS confirmed the ball would have gone on to hit the highest of leg stump.

Bairstow remonstrated with a steward after his dismissal, seemingly distracted by some motion within the stands, however Pope continued to attain freely. He labored Siraj away for 4 to deliver up a 92-ball fifty and made solely a low proportion of runs by means of boundaries, as an alternative rotating the strike and clipping and punching twos and threes.

Pope was extensively hailed as England’s most promising younger batter when he made a superb maiden hundred in Port Elizabeth in early 2020 however has struggled within the 18 months since; he began this collection out of the facet following an damage however his poor type meant that he was not rushed again in when match.

This was his first Take a look at on his residence floor, the place he averages a shade over 100 in first-class cricket for Surrey, and his change again to a middle-stump guard appeared to pay dividends after spending many of the summer season batting on off.




KL Rahul was watchful on the second night © Getty Pictures


Moeen struggled for a similar fluency however his innings was scattered with boundaries, the choose of them a punch by means of the covers off Umesh. He was given an uncommon life early on, digging out a Jasprit Bumrah yorker which replays confirmed had struck his boot first and would have crashed into leg stump – India didn’t even enchantment.

He gave his wicket away cheaply, aiming a hoick down the bottom off Ravindra Jadeja which ballooned out to offer Rohit a easy catch at cowl. Pope fell for 81 shortly after tea, dragging a large outswinger from Thakur onto his personal stumps, and Jadeja bowled the slog-sweeping Ollie Robinson for five to depart England 9 down.

However Woakes pissed off India, including 35 with Anderson for the final wicket. He performed with uncharacteristic attacking intent, flashing drives away by means of cowl and pulling by means of the leg facet, earlier than working himself out whereas making an attempt to marshal the strike.

England struggled to create probabilities with the brand new ball as Rohit and Rahul stood agency, although one alternative went begging: Anderson discovered Rohit’s exterior edge however Burns failed to select the ball up at second slip and watched it fly previous him.

Matt Curler is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98


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ESPN Sports activities Media Ltd.




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