It was another dominant day at the office for India who took control on Day 2 of the 2nd Test Match against England in Chennai. On a spicy pitch which offered significant turn and grip for the spinners, the Indian bowlers ran through the English batting line up with relative ease. 15 wickets fell for both sides across the day and the man at the centre of all the action was R Ashwin, who bowled with excellent control and guile to pick up his 29th 5-wicket haul in Test Match Cricket. With the help of the Indian spinners and Rishabh Pant behind the stumps, England was bundled out for a measly total of 134. India ended the day in a strong position with the bat at 54/1 with a healthy lead of 249 going into Day 3 of the test match.
The day started with some fireworks from Rishabh Pant who took the England spinners to the cleaners on his way to his 6th Test Match 50. Pant, however, was quickly running out of partners as England ran through India’s tail pretty easily in the morning session. Moeen Ali and picked up Axar Patel and Ishant Sharma in the second over of the day and Olly Stone cleaned up the rest few overs later to get India all out for a very competitive total of 329.
The wickets kept tumbling in England’s innings as the visitors were 4-down at the lunch break. Rory Burns was out adjudged LBW in the very first over from Ishant Sharma in what was his second duck in a row. After a few boundaries, Dom Sibley followed suit and was dismissed while trying to play the sweep shot. Joe Root looked to remain positive at the crease but couldn’t recreate his magic from the first test match and top-edged a sweep shot to give Axar Patel his maiden wicket in Test Cricket. The final victim was Daniel Lawrence, who edged a ball straight to short leg on the stroke of lunch to put India firmly in the ascendency.
India kept chipping away at the wickets post the break. Ben Stokes was bowled by a ripping delivery from Ashwin which drifted and turned to hit the top of off. Foakes and Pope showed some resistance as the ball got older but the partnership thanks to a stunning one-handed catch from Pant behind the stumps to give Siraj his first wicket in Indian conditions. Pant also took a second blinder few overs later to dismiss Jack Leach. Ashwin cleaned up the rest of the tail to pick up his 20th 5-fer in Tests since 2015, 5 more than any other bowler in that period. The last wicket of Stuart Broad was also his 200th left-handed victim, the most by any bowler in the history of Tests.
India had a bright start with the bat in the third innings. While Shubman Gill was trapped LBW off Leach, Rohit Sharma picked up where he left off from the first innings. The opener played some stunning strokes including his signature pull shot to help India to 54-1 at the close of play.