Senior players respond at vital moment, but England still have plenty to do against India
When Mohammed Siraj castled Haseeb Hameed, gone for an agonising first-ball dismissal, England supporters were entitled to think “here we go again”.
Just after tea on the second day, they were 23 for two in response to India’s 368. A ball before, Dom Sibley had fallen in desperate fashion – again. Joe Root, charged with carrying their batting, was in early again, with a superb bowling attack’s tail up. A very good day, in which they had taken seven Indian wickets for 88, was being wasted.
They were grateful, then, that Root and Rory Burns came together to share 85, into the final half-hour. From nowhere, Burns was dismissed for 49, a seemingly marginal lbw shout from Mohammed Shami revealed by DRS to be crashing into the stumps.
With the light flat, Jonny Bairstow joined Root and got off the mark with a five – thanks to a Ravindra Jadeja overthrow – and survived a big Siraj celebrappeal for caught behind in 17 balls that took England to stumps. By then, Root had moved unobtrusively to within one of his third half-century in three innings, and England were 245 runs behind.
Manchester United vs Leeds LIVE! Premier League match stream, latest team news, lineups, TV, prediction today
It was a day for England’s senior players to stand up and, with Jimmy Anderson taking another five-wicket haul and Burns and Root coming together at a vital moment, they did.