Home > News >

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: England stamp authority on Day 2

Ian Bell also joined the English run-fest at he hit an impressive 68 off 132 balls at the end of lunch © Getty Images
Ian Bell also joined the English run-fest at he hit an impressive 68 off 132 balls at the end of lunch © Getty Images

By Arunabha Sengupta

Ageas Bowl: Jul 28, 2014

In contrast to the three sessions of the previous day, the first two hours were not only convincingly won by the hosts, they were thoroughly dominated by the England batsman.

Frustration piled on India early in the morning. Ian Bell missed outside the off stump, prodded tentatively, got an edge and it went through the slips. The early jitters were overcome. The strokes flowed, two particularly good hits through the covers. There were ominous signs of his normal prolific self emerging from beneath his shell of uncertainty. A back foot cover drive off Pankaj Singh was especially pleasing to watch.

Gary Ballance started quietly before hammering Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three boundaries in an over. Two flicks off the pads off Mohammed Shami and Pankaj Singh were superbly executed. A delicate late cut off Singh was pleasing and brought up the 300 with just two down. The last fifty was hastened in off just 59 balls. England had successfully injected the much needed impetus into their innings.

The Indian bowling, on the other hand, scarcely showed the discipline of Lord’s. MS Dhoni persisted with the three pacemen for almost the entire first hour, before introducing Ravindra Jadeja to plug the leaking runs. Drinks was taken at 301 for two. Ballance had proceeded to 134 and looking set for a massive score. Bell had reached 40. The cloud cover had not helped, and neither had the wicket got faster.

The English intentions were made clearer immediately after the break when Bell stepped out and lofted Jadeja straight down the ground for six. The batsmen were not going to allow the left-arm spinner to cast his miserly spell on the innings. A single off Shami in the next over brought up Bell’s fifty. He proceeded to back steer the same bowler for four, and followed it with a superb late cut off Jadeja. The England No 4 was looking more ominous by the minute. By now Ishant Sharma was being missed, not for the wickets and extra bounce but for the ability to keep things tight in the course of a long spell. At the other end, Balance was going from strength to strength, pulling Jadeja around the corner for four. The sun was now shining brightly over the ground from the bluest of skies and the England innings was in bloom.

“Runfest,” said Derek Pringle from the rear row of the press box. Michael Atherton agreed, “It’s one of the easiest days.” Ballance underlined the same with a pull – albeit not well controlled – that brought up his 150. When Jadeja floated one up, he drove through the vacant off-side for yet  another boundary. The 350 of the innings was up, and runs were coming in a torrent.

Nine minutes before lunch, Dhoni threw the ball to Rohit Sharma. And this innocent card thrown down more as a combination of pre-lunch ritual and desperation, finally produced the long, long awaited breakthrough. The ball turned, bounced, took the back thigh pad of Ballance and was held by Dhoni. Rod Tucker thought there was a snick. The disappointment with which the Yorkshire batsman trudged back after scoring 156 speaks volumes both about his appetite and also about the amount of runs he thought the pitch was good for.

Lunch was taken at 358 for three, Bell on 68, Joe Root on two. England had stepped firmly on the accelerator and look likely to launch on an all-out assault after the break. They have taken Jadeja on and have been able to dominate the stingy Indian spinner. On this track, the hosts need both time and runs to put India under pressure, and some fireworks may be on view during the next two hours.

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry.He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: Central Zone all out for 403; South Zone need 301 runs to win

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan hold advantage at lunch

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Australia 120/5 at lunch on Day 3 of 2nd Test vs Pakistan

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone all out for 403

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Robin Bist completes ninth First-Class century

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone reach 344/7 at Lunch; Robin Bist unbeaten on 87

Financial options to make West Indies’ Down Under tour possible

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here