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No Fear No Favour

England Crush India In Second Test Match

England crush India and by an innings and 159 run to win in the second Test at Lords on Day 4, in playing time of roughly two days in the rain-hit game, going 2-0 up in the five-Test series. After the 4-0 series loss in 2011 and 3-1 defeat four years ago, it has once again left India facing capitulation.

For the World No 1 Test team that had vowed to play aggressive cricket, its credentials in tough overseas conditions lay tattered amid a batting crisis never seen before in recent times.

The visitors folded for 107 in 35.2 overs in the first innings, and were once again routed, for 130 in 47 overs. Again Indian batsmen were found out in seaming conditions as Chris Woakes, who made an unbeaten 137 for his maiden century, removed last man Ishant Sharma after James Anderson and Stuart Broad had snapped up four each.

Anderson, who became the first to take 100 wickets at Lord’s, had ridiculous match figures of 9/43.

England Captain Joe Root declared the innings at 396/7 half-an-hour into the morning. The 289-run lead was enough to pile on the pressure. Grey skies made life difficult for batsmen without confidence in their technique, and an 80-minute weather break didn’t lead to any change in fortunes.

After the narrow defeat in the Edgbaston Test, India were hoping. But a batting crisis has been triggered by the England pacemen after stopping India for less than 200 in three of their four innings.

The Indian Skipper is nursing a back problem, which leaves the visitors wondering whether their only form batman will be ready to lead in the third Test starting at Trent Bridge on August 18.

It wasn’t just James Anderson who was nigh unplayable. Stuart Broad ripped through the Indian batting line up in the second innings.

The writing was on the wall once Root declared half-an-hour into Day 4, and with Kohli half-fit and weather just holding, they were rolled over.

Murali Vijay has fallen to in-coming deliveries in each of his innings in England, after failing in South Africa. Anderson handed him a pair, a sharp, in-coming delivery taking the inside edge to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. It was Anderson’s 100th wicket at Lord’s. He is the first to achieve the venue distinction.

KL Rahul was trapped leg before playing a half-hearted prod. Cheteshwar Pujara lasted 87 deliveries, and with Ajinkya Rahane, who batted ahead of Kohli as he had to spend 37 minutes before coming in, seemed to be coping when Broad, switching to the pavilion end, produced a dream spell.

The master of seam bowling was next to unplayable. He drew a loose drive from Rahane to have him caught at third slip. Pujara, run out for one in the first innings, was set up as he was pushed back with shorter balls, with forward short leg in place. Then came the one that swung in and straightened to hit off-stump as the batsman tried to flick.

Virat Kohli was in pain and needed treatment. He popped a pain-killer but it was physically impossible for him. This time Broad brought forward shortleg (Ollie Pope) into play by getting the glove. Kohli reviewed more in desperation. Dinesh Karthik went first ball, which left Broad on a hattrick.

Ashwin’s late resistance, despite taking blows on the hand, and his 55-run stand with Hardik Pandya 26) only helped delay the inevitable.

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