London, Aug 15 (PTI) India felt the heat on a sunny Lord’s Morning as English pacemaker Mark Wood removed his formidable prelude before Virat Kohli was left to gasp at visitors on the fourth day of the second Test at 56 leave here on Sunday.
The Indian starters KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who made up for the long failure of the middle class in the series so far, could not keep up for long on this occasion.
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Like skipper Joe Root for England, the responsibility was with Virat Kohli to get a big hit and get his team back into the game, but he couldn’t do it.
Kohli (20 of 31) got off to a promising start before stumbling across a wide shipment of Sam Curran to get his team into bigger trouble just before lunch.
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Pujara, who is also in desperate need of runs, took 35 balls to finish and was three of 46 balls at break and another out of shape, batsman Ajinkya Rahane with one of eight balls.
Root introduced Wood fairly early in the session, with the ball not doing much in the air. Wood took advantage of the extra pace and hit the deck hard to disrupt the batsmen.
He got rid of the first inning centurion Rahul (5 of 30) with a back of a length that straightened slightly to take the outside edge and the batsmen got stuck in the crease.
Rohit Sharma (21 of 36) looked sublime again before falling for the pull shot for the second time in the series. After drawing Wood for a six, Rohit went for another in the same over but couldn’t control the shot to get caught in the deep back square.
Given the game situation, the shot was avoidable, but Rohit made it clear that if the ball lands in his “areas” he will make his strokes.
Since India is effectively 29 for three, they need Pujara and Rahane to find form to stay in the game. BS
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