|The Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA stadium!|
It started off well. Vijay got bounced out and Broad, like Paul Gascoigne, tried to get Rahul fishing. The England seamer was more successful than Gazza. Kohli then batted beautifully as he racked up the debt of the English bowlers in Visa. The Maestro made the APR of our spinners go through the roof as he more than earned his Wonga. Poor captaincy was cited in the press as Cook stood there doing a mannequin challenge but Root as vice captain, Anderson and Broad all have to take responsibility. Pujara hammered a long hop in the direction of Sri Lanka to bring up his hundred, but Kohli had to wait as a dog interrupted play. Now I'm not claiming to be Barbara Woodhouse but the carrot and not the stick was needed to try and catch the hound. A bit of steak would have got the animal closer as opposed to the member of the groundstaff running after it with a shoe. Tea was called to remove the offending canine.
|The groundstaff work on the dog's recall technique|
Kohli after his hundred had this wonderful scoreboard rattling along, but after his loss the following day, India disintegrated as everyone thought the pitch would. Ali removed Jadeja and the Indian keeper. Moeen me, Moeen you, Saha. India finished with a match defining 455, much to the enjoyment of a host of screaming schoolchildren at this excellent venue. A crowd mike in this ground would make an excellent advert for contraception.
When England batted, Cook got cleaned up by Shami when the Indian seamer got the leather in his hand. His off peg was snapped in two. Hameed and Root were batting well until the Yorkist sold the Lancastrian down the river in a manner not seen since the battle of Bosworth Field. The Lord Protector Root then holed out in the deep and England were in something else deep. Bairstow and Stokes helped England to get up to 255 but not before Bairstow injured himself walking out to bat. The Yorkshireman does have previous after tripping up over a rope on his way out to bat at Lord's earlier in his career.
Stokes and Bairstow are excellent together and have now scored more runs together in 2016 than any other Test pairing in a calendar year. It shows how good they are but also highlights how poor we are further up the order. Duckett for one, should be charged with indecent exposure of his stumps. The innings finished with Jimmy out for a golden duck, Ashwin getting a fivefer.
|Vibrant Virat of Visakhapatnam|
When India batted again they were all out for 204, underpinned by 81 from the skipper. Ansari wasn't given a bowl but Rashid and Broad both got four wickets apiece. England needed over 400 to win and were up against it.
Cook and Hameed ground it out. The Bolton Blocker showed the Indian bowling more H Blocks than the Maze prison as they put on 75 in 50 overs. That is longer than the Australians have batted in four of their last eight knocks. Cook was out to the last ball of the day and surely it was a matter of time. India wrapped it up comfortably on the last day as England capitulated to spin in the sub continent - all ten wickets being lost for eighty odd runs. Sound familiar? The finale came when Jimmy registered the first King Pair by an Englishman in Tests since 1906. No joy for Anderson in Andhra Pradesh. India had won by 246 runs but England weren't as bad as that sounds.
For Mohali, there is plenty of talk of Buttler coming in for Dasher Duckett. Woakes surely has to replace Ansari? India were professional, confident and at home they are an outstanding outfit. Good seamers, quality spinners and in Kohli and Pujara they have two fine batsmen. The openers are shaky and not sure about how deep they go but they had more than enough to outgun England.
On to Mohali. Expect more of the same.