India end Day 2 on 63/0, after bowling out Englnad for 537 in the series opener in Rajkot on Thursday. England rode on two tons on the second day and contribution from Jonny Bairstow to push the scoreboard to a formiddable number. India have started in positive fashion and would like to make most of the morning session of the third day. Here’s a look at the five major talking points from the second day’s play:
Spin no-show: A lot of hopes were pinned on the Indian spin twins R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to help India dominate the visitors in the ongoing series. Rajkot offered a flat track and there was absolutely nothing in it for the Indian slower bowlers on most of the first two days. Both together bowled 76 overs, conceded 253 runs and picked only five wickets. Out of their 76 overs, only seven were maidens. England worked a decent plan against spin, and their intent to keep the scoreboard ticking worked in their favour.
Butter fingers: Catches win….Let’s stop there. We all know where this is heading, and India too would know if the batting fails to live up to expectations. Not once, but Wriddhiman Saha dropped Ben Stokes twice and left-hander went on to score a brilliant 128. The opening day too saw some dropped catches as both England openers got a life early in their innings.
Stokes ton: Ben Stokes hand lower down the order was the highlight of the day. He was the reason behind England not ending with little over 400, and going on to score a solid 537. The left-hander was patient as he worked his way to a 235-ball 128. There were no flashy shots or wild attempts as he went about doing his job in fine fashion. Stokes hit 13 boundaries and two sixes in the process, and now has a hundred in the four continents.
Bairstow counter-punch: Jonny Bairstow walked to bat after the dismissal of Moeen Ali in the 100th over of the innings. England scorecard read 343/5 and, with five wickets in hand, hopes of 500 would have been high in the visitors’ camp. Bairstow ensured as he injected urgency into the innings with a 57-ball 46, and put on 99 runs with Stokes at a brisk pace.