Alastair Cook scored an unbeaten 182 as England put on a massive 456/3 against India, who as Sunil Gavaskar said looked like a “bunch of school boys” in front of the hosts’ batting line-up. Score | PhotosEngland started the second day’s campaign of the Edgbaston Test with an overnight score of 84/0. By the end of it they had not only wiped out India’s scanty 224-run lead, but had put on a good 232-run lead.The match started half-an-hour late on account of early morning rains and wet outfield, but once it did, the England openers got busy piling runs in Birmingham.Cook, who hasn’t been in good form in the series regained his confidence and started frustrating the India bowlers, who failed to derive the swing and bounce from the wicket, which on Day One was helping the English pacers.The first day of the Test between India vs England saw MS Dhoni, who scored 77, help India to 224, after they were reduced to 92/4.In a matter of time, Cook went on to complete his half-century and was still looking strong in the face of an Indian attack that seemed tooth-less in the absence of Zaheer Khan. At lunch the two openers were going steady and the score was a fine 157/0.The second session was no better for India as the two openers continued to pile runs. Skipper MS Dhoni’s ploy of using paceman Praveen Kumar and spinner Ashish Mishra at opposite ends too didn’t help and the two left-handed batsmen made a mockery of the Indian bowling attack.advertisementHalf-an-hour into the second session, India got the breakthrough that their bowlers had been trying to get. An Amit Mishra delivery crept into the bat-pad gate of the England captain and Strauss was seen walking back on 87 after putting 186 runs for the first wicket with his opening partner Cook. Strauss’ 87 was decorated with 13 boundaries.Soon Cook and Ian Bell got going and India’s 224-run lead of effectively erased in the second session of Day Two.India’s sloppy fielding too helped their cause. Rahul Dravid dropped a sitter off Bell’s bat in Sreesanth’s over.Cook went on to score his first ton of the series – making a remarkable comeback to form. But, on the very next ball Praveen Kumar clean bowled Ian Bell, providing some cheer to India. However, by that time the England score was a good 252/2.At tea, Kevin Pietersen and centurion Cook were at the crease and England were cruising on 319/2 – a lead of 95 runs.England escalated their lead in the third session as India’s bowling took a nosedive. Cook and Pietersen continued to whack the bowlers across the park and completed their 100-run stand at ease. Pietersen completed his half-century even as Cook continued his march on scoring past the 150-run mark.Deep into the third session, Praveen Kumar managed to add another wicket in India’s kitty by trapping Pietersen leg before on 63. England lost their third wicket on 374 runs.Pietersen went back and in came Eoin Morgan to blunt the Indian attack. Not to speak of the poor fielding by the visitors, which only helped the English cause. Dravid dropped two sitters in two sessions and Sreesanth slipped an easy one off Morgan in Ishant’s over in the last session.At close England were 456/3 looking set for a mammoth first innings lead with Cook (182 n.o.) and Bell (44 n.o.) in the middle.
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