Sports Magazine

Nagpur Test: James Anderson Put England in Command

By Azharnadeem
James Anderson

James Anderson finished with 3-24 on second day of fourth Test against India in Nagpur

England pace spearhead James Anderson struck thrice to leave India in deep trouble on the second day of the fourth Test at Nagpur on Friday.

Anderson bowled both Virender Sehwag (0) and Sachin Tendulkar (2) and had Gautam Gambhir (37) caught behind as India slumped to 4-87 in reply of England’s first innings 330.

The hosts, who are legging the series 1-2 after facing humiliating defeats in Mumbai and Kolkata, are still in arrears of 243 runs.

With England in total command and three days left in the series-concluder, the merciless tourists are on course to record their first Test series victory on Indian soil since 1985.

The clueless hosts had no answer to the seam and bounce of James Anderson, laid the foundations of Indian calamity by dismissing Sehwag in the first over.

Cheteshwar Pujara (26), who had scored a double-ton in the series-opener at Ahmedabad to help India secure a nine-wicket win, shared 58 runs with Gambhir for the second wicket to steady the Indian innings but off-spinner Graeme Swann struck in the midway of post-tea session to end Pujara’s resistance.

Anderson continued to sprinkle salt of deep Indian wounds and uprooted the stumps of Tendulkar before edging well-set Gambhir behind the stumps to leave hosts 4-71.

Virat Kohli and skipper MS Dhoni were present at crease for 11 and 4 runs respectively at close.

Earlier, resuming the innings at 199-5, England rode on the fighting half-centuries from debutant batsman Joe Root (73) and Matt Prior (57) and Graeme Swann to post 300-plus total.

Root and Prior, who recommenced their knocks with the overnight scores of 31 and 34 runs respectively, began the day dominantly and drove up the total to 242-5 before latter, who hit six boundaries in his 142-ball knock, fell to off-spinner Piyush Chawla, who finished with 4-69.

The dismissal ended the 103-run sixth-wicket partnership between the pair which helped the hosts to gain the control of game after being slumped to 139-5 on the opening day.

Paceman Ishant Sharma, who finished with 3-49, snared Tim Bresnan for duck but dauntless Root found another ably partner in Swann and shared 60 runs in his company before eventually pooping a return catch to Chawla. His 229-ball vigil was laced with four boundaries.

Chawla scalped Swann, who hit two sixes and half-dozen fours in his 91-ball knock, and James Anderson in the successive overs to wrap the England innings up.

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