India 455 (Kohli 167, Pujara 119, Ashwin 58, Moeen 3-98) v England
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Compton: Moeen’s pace, direction make him effective
England wrapped up India’s innings for 455 in the first hour after lunch on the second afternoon in Visakhapatnam, after R Ashwin and the debutant Jayant Yadav had bolstered the lower-order with a 64-run stand for the eighth wicket.
First to go after lunch was Ashwin, who brought up his fourth half-century in eight Tests against England before feathering a catch through to Jonny Bairstow to give Ben Stokes a hard-earned first wicket of the innings.
Jayant, who batted with composure for 84 deliveries in his first appearance, had reached 35 when he chanced his arm once too often against Adil Rashid and skied an easy catch to James Anderson in the covers.
His namesake, Umesh Yadav, gave the crowd some late entertainment with a string of lusty blows, while the No.11 Mohammad Shami chipped in with a meaty clout for six over long-off. But Umesh fell at cow corner for 13 to give Rashid his second scalp.
India 415 for 7 (Ashwin 47*, Jayant 26*, Moeen 3-77) v England
Moeen Ali revived England’s fortunes in the second Test in Visakhapatnam – but at the same time served as a harbinger of the challenge to come – by claiming three quick wickets in the second hour of the morning to undermine India’s dominant position. By lunch on the second day, India had slipped from their overnight 317 for 4 to 415 for 7, with R Ashwin marshalling the lower order with 47 not out.
Ashwin was lucky, though, to benefit from drop at slip by Ben Stokes when he had made 17. However, that reprieve, while coming as something of a surprise – Stokes has one of the safest pairs of hands in the world game – soon turned out to be an opportune error from England’s point of view.
The chance, which had flown sharply to Stokes’ left as Ashwin slashed at a big turner from Moeen, ricocheted off his knee and allowed the batsmen to cross for a single. One ball later, and with Virat Kohli now in his sights, Stokes made amends by snaffling a faster, lower edge to his right to see off India’s main man for 167.
It had been a sedate resumption from Kohli, whose 151 had been the mainstay of India’s first-day performance. Facing up to a new ball that was just two overs old at the start of play, he set himself for the long haul as England toiled for penetration in the first hour.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad – seemingly untroubled by the foot complaint that hampered him on the first evening – resumed the attack in the first half hour but with no swing or seam on offer. The ball was eventually changed by the umpires after six overs. With Zafar Ansari off the field suffering from nausea, Alastair Cook soon turned to the spin of Moeen and Adil Rashid to keep India’s progress in check.
Moeen needed just nine deliveries to make his presence felt, with Stokes celebrating his removal of Kohli with an angry slam of the ball into the turf. Two deliveries after the drinks break, Moeen had doubled his tally for the innings. Wriddhiman Saha played back to a big turner from outside off, was struck on the knee roll, and after an interminable pause for thought from umpire Kumar Dharmasena, he was sent on his way lbw for 3.
Saha was plumb as it happens, but Dharmasena’s indecision possibly helped persuade him to use one of India’s reviews. Two balls later, the reverse was true: up went the umpire’s finger as Ravindra Jadeja was pinned on the front pad, and off he trooped for a duck, even though the ball was this time shown to have been missing leg.
At 363 for 7, India were in danger of subsiding meekly, but Ashwin was joined by the debut Jayant Yadav, who showed good temperament as well as a decent technique against Stokes’ short ball, as he reached the break on 26 not out in an eighth-wicket stand of 52.
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