Joe Root, who scored 218 and 40 on the first test, made just six before failing against Axar Patel.

Second Test, Chennai (2nd day).
India 329 (Rohit 161, Pujara 67, Pant 58*, Moen 4-128) and 54-1
England 134 (Foakes 42*, Ashwin 5-43)
India leads with 249 points

English batsmen fell in the dust in Chennai while India recorded a solid victory in the second Test.

The ball bit, whistled and spit on the rapidly deteriorating pitch. England had little answer to the skilful Indian spinners and slipped to 52-5 after the hosts had scored 329.

Ben Fox showed admirable resilience with an unbeaten 42, saving a continuation that probably wouldn’t have been forced until England were eliminated for the 134.

Ravichandran Ashwin finished with a score of 5-43, while newcomer Aksar Patel and pitcher Ishant Sharma took two wickets each.

Rohit Sharma, who shone with 161 runs on Day 1, survived a chance of 20 and reversed an lbw decision of 22 to end Day 2 with 25 off and lead India 54-1 with a 249 lead.

During the on-field debate, India scored 383 runs against 113.5 with the loss of 11 wickets.

Is the scene imperfect?

There is a lot of discussion on the field and about when exploiting home field advantage goes so far as to compromise the integrity of the league.

For one thing, extreme conditions are part of the rich tapestry of Test cricket, and overcoming them is the challenge of playing away from home. Isn’t it harder for England in Chennai than it was for India when it was dismantled under English conditions at Lord’s in 2018?

On the other hand: Should the surface – and therefore the drawing – dictate the result so much? This field has an over-stimulating effect on spinners, even in the subcontinent.

In any case, the circumstances provide a context for the state of the game, and it would be difficult to see this as a new contribution to England’s historical struggle in Asia.

In these extreme conditions, the Indian drummers are more adept at scoring points on the lanes, their bowling players are more ruthless at exploiting the tools.

Yes, India won the toss, but they also had Rohit’s wonderful batting and Ashwin’s mesmerizing play that England could not come close to.

India roars

Even as India adjusted conditions after its crushing defeat in the first Test with 227 matches, it still outclassed England by two days under the Chennai sun.

At 300-6, Rishabh Pant hit two sixes in a row before eliminating his partners for 58.

After Rory Burns was beaten by Ishant with the third ball of the set, the spinners went to work.

Ashwin, with his subtle variations, hooked Dom Sibley at backward point, a troubled Dan Lawrence kept his leg short and Ben Stokes threw a near unplayable bucket that turned sharply and flew over the stump.

By the way, the precise Axar struck the biggest blow of all, forcing Captain Joe Root into one of his trademark sweeps.

Only Fox slowed the Indians’ advance, and when the tail was cleared, Rohit picked up where he left off on Saturday to quickly extend the lead.

Fox and Stone – The Bright Side of England

While it sounds like a cruel wake-up call for England after an excellent performance in the first Test, they can certainly point to the performances of their two most inexperienced players.

Although he hasn’t done much wrong in the last five tests, Fox is only playing because Jos Buttler has been spared. He again showed his class behind the strands and his composure with the baton.

He started the second day with a lightning jump to take out the Axar, then came when England were in trouble.

With precise footwork and solid defensive work, he rarely had trouble with Ollie Pope, who was just as dull (22′).

After Pope was caught on the first leg of fast bowler Mohammed Siraj in the Indian Test, Foakes ensured that the lower order remained unbeaten. The rare mistake occurred when he missed an obvious chance when Rohit Moeen charged Ali.

Stone, on his second test, impressed with his pace on the first day. As England sought to end the chase for India on Sunday morning, he was asked to chip in Kuldeep Yadav and Siraj, both of whom were caught in three balls, leaving Stone on 3-47.

England must fight.

Former British captain Michael Vaughan at the Cricket Society: England just need to fight. You never know, someone might do something big.

It looks like England will lose this match, but they will try to win something in the next test. Don’t get too demoralized.

Graham Thorpe, assistant coach of the England team: On this surface, it’s incredibly difficult for us. They have a rotating offense, and it was a very good chance to win.

There are a few balls on the field that you may not feel comfortable with. As for comments about the suitability of the domain for testing, those should be made by someone higher than me.

We need something very, very special tomorrow and someone to do something amazing with the bat. We knew we were going to struggle and most importantly the dressing room didn’t suffer too much today.

The English Ben Fox calibrator on channel 4 : It’s been an incredibly difficult day. The field played a few tricks. I was just trying to stick to my plan.

We have to work hard in the second set, take back the defense and try to put pressure on the players.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Indian spinner: In the seven days of cricket tests we have spent in England so far, we have had very good results. I haven’t seen them complain about the conditions yet.

There are circumstances that will challenge you, whether it’s spinning or sewing. If the ball leaves the bridge at 145-150 mph, it should be harder than if it spins at 85-90 mph.

Jonathan Agnew, cricket correspondent: The wider game will raise questions about the suitability of this pitch for test cricket.

If cricket were still played on this pitch, there would be no reason to do so for five days.


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