India resumed Day 2 of the second Test against England at Chennai on 300-6 but could only score 29 runs in the morning session as Rishabh Pant (58 not out of 77 balls) ran out of partners. The aggressive Pant scored 25 of those runs, hitting two fours and two sixes to remain unbeaten. India lost two wickets in the second over of the day as Moeen Ali struck twice in the space of three balls. Axar Patel (5) was stumped by Ben Foakes while Ishant Sharma, who came in at No. 9, defended the first ball he faced before a top edge off an attempted sweep lobbed to Burns for an easy catch. The other two wickets fell shortly thereafter.
England’s resolve to wrap up the first innings as quickly as possible was impressive but they also ended up breaking a rather unique record that, until Sunday (February 14) had stood for 66 years.
India’s first innings total of 329 is the highest score conceded by any team in a Test innings without giving away an extra. England just edged past the 328 runs that India had conceded against Pakistan in Lahore in 1955.
But while they did well to ensure India didn’t get close to the 400-run mark, England still face a Herculean task in getting close to India’s first innings score of 329 on a dustbowl.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2/15) struck at the stroke of lunch, having Dan Lawrence (9, 52 balls) caught at short-leg by Shubman Gill as England sank into further trouble.
Pacer Ishant Sharma (1/15) provided the first breakthrough for India when he had left-handed opener Rory Burns LBW for a duck with a ball that nipped back and beat his defensive push.
The other opener Dom Sibley (16) was the next to go, caught by Virat Kohli at leg-slip off Ashwin, which was given by the third umpire after India chose to review as the on-field umpire turned down the appeal for a catch.
The big wicket of captain Joe Root (6), who tormented the host bowlers in the first Test, was taken by debutant Axar Patel (1/9) when the England captain’s attempted sweep against the turn landed safely in the hands of Ashwin at short fine-leg.
England currently lead the four-match Test series 1-0, having won the opening Test match at the same venue by a mammoth 227 runs. The third and fourth Test of the series will be played at Ahmedabad, with the penultimate Test being a Day-Night affair.