Cricket: England Avoid Follow-On But Collapse Puts India in Ascendancy

Cricket: England Avoid Follow-On But Collapse Puts India in Ascendancy

THE GUARDIAN – Cricket – First with the bat and now with the ball, the Indian seamers have put their country in a strong position to be able to force a win in the first Test should they prove sufficiently bold at this early stage of the series.

The match, which had seemed dead in the water as Sam Robson and Gary Ballance, with a half-century apiece, chiselled out an unspectacular but efficient unbroken century partnership during the morning – 125 to be precise – was turned on its head quite spectacularly during the middle session, which saw six wickets fall for the further addition of 74 runs, including one processional spell of three for five in 10 balls when the England batsmen performed their well rehearsed impression of a Chuckle brothers deckchair.

Only some late hitting from Stuart Broad, who wisely took the view that an aggressive response was going to be his best bet, and a cultured, unbeaten, thoroughly responsible 78 not out from Joe Root prevented the humiliation of MS Dhoni even having the option of asking them to follow-on on a pitch deemed to be a bowlers’ graveyard.

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