Surprising. Unsurprising. Balanced. Another superb day of test cricket at Mumbai. While India will feel they took honours on Day 2, the test match is delicately poised and could swing in either direction in the next 3 days.
Jos Buttler, who has made his name as a limited overs batsman, was brought in after the 2nd test and managed an impressive 43 in Mohali. He continued his form in Mumbai with an excellent 76 to take England to a solid 400, before becoming the last man dismissed. Could Jos be on track to join our list of cricketers whose records may surprise you?
The other surprise today was DRS – early in the day Stokes felt hard done by the third umpire’s decision. Given not out by the on-field umpire, Kohli reviewed for the edge, and the 3rd umpire overturned the decision to send Stokes back to the pavilion. Many thought the sound was Stokes’ bat hitting the ground, but India won’t be complaining.
Ashwin picked up another 5-wicket haul, his 23rd in just 43 test matches. He equalled the record for most 5-wicket hauls by an Indian, with Kapil Dev who had 23 in 131 tests. An excellent feat, but given his recent form, par for the course as he continues to raise the bar.
Pujara too, came in at 39-1 after Rahul was dismissed thanks to some pretty ordinary shot selection against Moeen. He stabilized the innings, adding 47* with Vijay, to give India confidence at the end of Day 2. He has now scored at least a half-century in his last 7 test matches, converting 3 of those to centuries. Another excellent feat, but we’ve come to expect this of Chetu at #3.
At the end of Day 2, Kohli’s India will be feeling optimistic, with momentum starting to swing to them. They will do well to remember that England were comfortably at 230-2, before losing Ali (50) and Jennings (112) within 2 balls.
Tomorrow will be key. India trail by 254 with 9 wickets in hand.On a Wankhede pitch that tends to deteriorate exponentially on Days 4 and 5, this means that the match is very much even at the end of Day 2. India will hope to amass a huge first innings lead and only bat once. England will be hoping to bowl India out cheaply and get a first innings lead.
You have to love test match cricket!
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