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Home Fantasy Cricket India vs England 2nd Test: Talking points from Day 1

India vs England 2nd Test: Talking points from Day 1

On Day 1 of the second Test, England won the toss and opted to bowl first. Moeen Ali, Haseeb Hamid and Mark Wood were included in the XI in absence of Dan Lawrence, Zak Crawley and Broad. Put to bat first, India dictated terms on Day 1 on the back of a masterclass from Rohit Sharma (83) and KL Rahul (127*), and a supporting role from captain Virat Kohli (42). The three together helped India put up 276-3 by the end of the first day’s play. 

Let’s take a look at the talking points from Day 1 of the second Test.

KL Rahul makes his way to the Honours Boards at Lord’s

KL Rahul scored a fine century at Lord’s – his sixth in Tests overall – and became the 10th Indian batter to reach the triple-figure mark at the ‘Home of Cricket’. Vinoo Mankad, Dilip Vengasarkar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Ravi Shastri, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Ajit Agarkar, Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane are the others to score a century on the famous English ground.

Among other records, Rahul is now the third Indian opener after Vinoo Mankad and Ravi Shastri to hit a Test ton at Lord’s.

Having lost his place in the team to his best friend Mayank Agarwal two years ago, Rahul came into the XI in this series after Shubman Gill and Agarwal suffered injuries.

“It was very frustrating that opportunities weren’t coming. It was only practise, practise and practise and as a player you want to be in the middle and want to challenge yourself, so I kept waiting for my opportunity and I am very happy that it came in England,” Rahul had said after scoring 84 in the first Test.

A solid 126-run opening stand

India’s openers negated the overcast conditions and put up an opening stand of 126 runs before Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Anderson. While Rohit scored the bulk of runs (83), playing some fine shots all over the ground, KL Rahul served as the second fiddle and played a cautious innings. With a 100+ opening partnership outside India, the duo has broken quite a few records.

Their partnership is India’s highest opening stand in Tests at Lord’s since 1952, when Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy scored 106 vs England.

This is also the highest opening partnership by any team at Lord’s after being put to bat first. Rohit and Rahul have gone past Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss’s 114-run stand against South Africa in 2008.

The two have also stitched India’s first 100-run opening stand in Tests outside Asia in over a decade. The last time this happened was when Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir shared a 137-run stand against the Proteas in Centurion in 2010.

Rohit Sharma converts his start into a long innings

Rohit missed out on his first Test century outside India by only 17 runs after being dismissed by  Anderson in the 44th over. The opening batter, who was under the scanner for not being able to convert his starts in the last few outings, hit 83 runs off 145 balls, which is now his highest overseas score in Test cricket. Before this knock, his last fifty came against Australia in Sydney in January 2021.

At Lord’s, the ‘Hitman’ saw off the new ball cautiously for the first hour of play, after which he sped up his scoring rate and unleashed a number of boundaries, including four fours in an over bowled by Sam Curran.

With this masterclass in swinging conditions, the batter from Mumbai is now the second leading run-scorer in Tests in 2021, only behind Joe Root. In addition to that, Rohit now has an average of 40.50 as an opener in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia combined. This is the second highest average by an Indian opener in SENA countries since 2001 (minimum of five Tests) after Rahul Dravid.

But keeping the exciting records aside, Rohit agonisingly missed out on a century at the iconic Lord’s. However, he is now only the third Indian opener to score a half-century in the first innings of a Test at the Mecca of Cricket, after Vinoo Mankad and Nari Contractor.

While Rohit’s wait for his first overseas Test century continues, his knock of 83, along with KL’s century, helped India dominate on day 1 of the Test. 

Jimmy Anderson is the pick of tye bowlers with 2-52

The veteran bowler’s 2-52 is probably the only highlight of England’s performance from Day 1. Anderson removed a well-set Rohit before sending back Cheteshwar Pujara for nine runs. At 39, the pacer is still England’s main man with the ball.

On Day 2, India will resume their batting with Rahul (127*) and Ajinkya Rahane (1*). 

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Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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