India made a strong comeback in the five-Test series against England earlier this week, defeating the visitors by 106 runs to level 1-1 in the second Test. Jasprit Bumrah produced a wondrous performance, picking nine wickets throughout the match, including a six-wicket haul in the first innings, aiding the side to an opening win in the series.
Despite the loss, England produced a fighting performance in the fourth innings, reaching close to 300 on a fourth-day pitch in Visakhapatnam in their 399-run chase; the side was bowled out for 292.
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook stated that India would be “relieved” by the win in the second Test, insisting that the visitors had put Rohit Sharma’s men under pressure.
“India will be relieved more than anything. They were under the cosh after the first Test. This Indian side can definitely be beaten again. England have got close here without any hundreds. They’ll be disappointed,” Cook said on BBC TMS.
Cook was the last English captain to win a Test series in India; his side had beaten the Indian team, which was captained by MS Dhoni, 2-1 in 2012.
It was largely a one-man show for the Indian team in the first innings of the second Test, as Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed a magnificent double century. The next best score in the innings was Shubman Gill’s 34.
In the second innings, however, it was Gill’s 108 that propelled India to 255, helping the hosts set a daunting target to take a 2-0 lead. While there were no centurions for the English team throughout the Test, the side will take pride in its showing in the second innings, with Zak Crawley (73) and lower-order batters Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley (both 36) giving India a scare in the chase.
In fact, India head coach Rahul Dravid was all praise for the English team as well; during the post-match press conference, Dravid lauded the brand of cricket that England had delivered throughout the game.
“They are playing very well. Whether you call it Bazball or whatever. I’m not sure how happy they are about it, but they are playing really good cricket. They’ve shown good skills. It’s not like wild slogging. Some of the shots they are playing require a lot of skill and ability. There’s more to it than just attacking cricket,” Dravid had said.
There is a 10-day gap between the second and third Test, and both sides are on a well-deserved rest; the third match takes place at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot.