India vs England, 1st Test: Wriddhiman Saha drops Ben Stokes, England drop anchor

Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali hundreds on day two help England pile 537 runs in first innings; India reach 63/0 at stumps.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: November 10, 2016 9:32 pm
india vs england, ind vs eng, eng vs ind, india vs england 2016, india england 2016, india cricket score, cricket score, cricket Ben Stokes scored his fourth Test ton and first against India in Rajkot on Thursday. (Source: Reuters)

Before this Test, Ben Stokes’s scores against India read a dismal – 0, 0, 0. That was in England in 2014. In Rajkot on Thursday, the three ducks turned into three-figures for him. Stokes, with his fair share of luck, scored his fourth Test century and first against India in India. What stood out in his innings was the counter-attack he did to Indian bowlers. He had his share of luck and to put down Stokes survivals, here is a list – two dropped catches, two run out chances and a stumping opportunity. But he deserved the hundred.

In propelled England to 537 in the first innings. Earlier in the day, Moeen Ali also brought up his fourth Test hundred before he left one alone that knocked over his off-stump. Zafar Ansari and Jonny Bairstow played important innings of 32 and 46 respectively.

Indian bowlers were once again ineffective throughout the day and bowled too many lose deliveries. Jadeja finished with figures of 3/86 and Shami also picked up three wickets. Ashwin and Umesh two wickets each.

India vs England 2016, Ind vs Eng 2016, India England Rajkot Test, Rajkot Test India England, Sourav Ganguly, Ganguly India England, Sourav Ganguly India, Cricket News, Cricket India struggled with the ball as England went on to score 537 in the first innings. (Source: PTI)

Full marks to England for their effort with the bat. They were calculated in their approach and their footwork against the spinner was a treat to watch. All the centurions – Ali, Stokes and Joe Root – were at ease against spin and kept the scoreboard ticking.

The only highlight of the day for India was the openers response to England’s big score. A solid last session from Gambhir and Murali Vijay saw India reached 63 without any loss at stumps, still trailing England by 474 runs. Gambhir was unbeaten on 28 while Vijay was also unbeaten on 25.

India vs England, India England 1st Test, Ind vs Eng 1st Test day 2, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Gautam Gambhir, Sports Gautam Gambhir remained unbeaten on 28 when day’s play ended in Rajkot. (Source: Reuters)

Morning session on the third day holds key for both teams. It’s heading towards a run-feast but some drama early on Day 3 can make the contest, played on a very flat pitch, interesting. Also, the pitch showed signs of slowing down later on Day 2 and can get slower as the match progresses.