England crushed India by 319 runs to win the second Test at Trent Bridge with more than a day to spare and go 2-0 up in the four-match series.
India, set what would have been a record total of 478 to win, collapsed to 158 all out with Tim Bresnan taking a Test-best five for 48. Sachin Tendulkar top-scored for India in their second-innings with 56 but that meant he still has 99 international hundreds.
With the second loss in a row, India captain MS Dhoni admitted his team’s batting form was a worry. “It is a bit of a concern that we haven’t made 300 and it’s a continuation of the series in West Indies. My form is a worry too because if you are the leader you need to perform.”
On the other side was an ecstatic England captain Andrew Strauss. “There have been some outstanding performances in the two Tests,” said Strauss. “It was a fantastic turnaround and I’m proud on what we’ve done. Bresnan was unlucky not to be playing in the first Test and he keeps putting his credentials in place making it harder and harder.
“I didn’t tell Graeme Swann and Broad to do anything other than play their natural games. Ian Bell, too, was outstanding. To score that freely in tough conditions was outstanding.”
Before lunch England saw the back of Rahul Dravid, who made 117 in India’s first-innings, for just six when he was caught behind off Stuart Broad who was named man of the match after taking eight wickets and scoring 64 and 44 in two innings. After the interval VVS Laxman was bowled by a James Anderson delivery.
Opener Abhinav Mukund fell to Bresnan’s fifth ball. And Bresnan succeeded with the short ball again when Suresh Raina miscued to substitute Scott Elstone.
Yuvraj Singh gloved another rising delivery before Dhoni, inexplicably playing no shot, was lbw to leave the tourists 55 for six and Bresnan on a hat-trick. Harbhajan survived but it was scant consolation.
The post-tea session did not last long either as England’s fast-bowling trio of Anderson, Broad and Bresnan cleaned up the tail.
England will replace India at the top of the ICC’s Test Championship table if they win this series by at least a two-Test margin.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2011.
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