England vs India, 4th Test: Hosts take crucial lead
The England cricket team took a crucial lead against India on Day 2 of the fourth Test match at the Kennington Oval. England lost two quick wickets as the day started but Ollie Pope defied the Indians with a sensible knock. He was part of key partnerships that helped England (290) take the first-innings lead (99). The Indian openers have started cautiously (43/0).
England lost their overnight batters Craig Overton and Dawid Malan early on to be reeling at 62/5. An outswinger by Umesh Yadav saw Overton edge a delivery to the first slip. Next, Malan was also dismissed for a 61-ball 37. The southpaw went for a shot with the ball swinging in a bit and Rohit Sharma got hold of the catch at slips.
Ollie Pope, who made a return from an injury, was excellent. He got along with Jonny Bairstow and the two forged an 89-run stand in just 22.2 overs. Their acceleration made India go on the back foot. Bairstow hit seven fours in a 77-ball 37. Pope then shared a 71-run stand alongside Moeen Ali (35). These two partnerships helped England gain control.
Surrey batsman Pope played a real mature knock and didn't let India settle down. Pope stuck to his task and once he set his eyes in, he put a price on his wicket. He played some superb drives and blunted the Indian attack. The second session belonged to Pope, who surpassed the 900-run mark in Tests. He scored his runs at a decent pace.
The pitch helped to bat and India's bowling wasn't as good. After Umesh's early burst, the likes of Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur were predictable and conceded boundaries to release the pressure. Umesh too went on to leak a few runs as the Englishmen played some sweet shots. Some deliveries were overpitched and juicy and they received proper treatment.