India vs England: Massive task ahead for India post Cook’s double ton

first_imgAlastair Cook scored his career-best 294 propelling England to a gigantic 710/7 declared in their first easy against India in the third Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday. Score | PhotosAt stumps, India were 35/1 with Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid at crease. Virender Sehwag, once again failed to provide the visitors with the required impetus as an opener. In the first innings, he had fallen on the first ball; this time round he walked back on the second to the lethal combo of paceman James Anderson and skipper Andrew Strauss.Alastair Cook’s 294 is more than India’s score in the last five innings in the Ind vs Eng series.Hosts England started their third day’s campaign with lead of 232 runs and seven wickets in hand. By the end of it they had three in hand the lead had swelled to a massive 486 – thanks the gargantuan innings by Cook. His 294 went down the history as the highest by a English batsman on the Edgbaston pitch.On Thursday the Day 2 of the Test, an unbeaten century by Alastair Cook had helped the hosts wipe out India’s first innings lead of 224 runs with ease.On Friday, even as Cook was 12 runs short of his maiden double ton, his efforts hit a road block when rain stopped play. Undaunted, he came back post the brief delay and went on to hit his second double hundred in Tests.His 200-run innings spanning across two days saw him play 379 balls and hit 27 fours. Cook’s patience can be gauged from the fact that he did not hit a single six in his long innings.advertisementHe could have asked for a better comeback to form after his poor showing during the first two Test at Lord’s and Trent Bridge.The milestone having been achieved Cook went ahead to beat his highest Test score – 235, which his scored during the Ashes in November last year.Riding on Cook’s impressive double, England were sitting pretty on 503/3 at lunch – lead of 279 runs at the stage. At the other end Eoin Morgan was going easy on 66 not out.The second session didn’t bring any cheer for the visitors as Cook and Morgan kept the scorecard ticking in front of a clueless India attack. Soon Cook surpassed his career-best total of 235, but his thirst for runs remained.And even as Cook added more to his double, Eoin Morgan completed his century in style.No sooner had Morgan scored his second Test hundred of his career that Suresh Raina got the first wicket for India on the day. A top edge off Morgan’s bat got carried to Sehwag at covers and England’s fourth wicket stand of 222 runs came to an end. Morgan’s 104 was decorated with 11 boundaries.There was some more cheer for India on a day that was dominated by England batsmen and listless India bowling. Leggie Amit Mishra trapped Ravi Bopara leg-before and he was seen walking back on 7 when the England score read 605/4.Cook was still in the middle and went on to cross the 250-run mark at ease and this time he had wicketkeeper Matt Prior by his side.Mishra then came around to get rid of Matt Prior cheaply, but the big-scorer Cook was still firm. England lost their sixth wicket on 613. At tea, England were 646/6 with Cook and Tim Bresnan in the middle.The third session wasn’t any different to begin with as Cook – the pivot around which the England’s batting revolved, continued with his array of strokes, but not a single taking the aerial route.However, deep into the third session, Cook’s innings came to close. And it was Ishant, who got the prized wicket.The lanky paceman bowled it wide and Cook went for the ball but didn’t quite connect and ended up lobbing the ball in the deep, where Raina took a smart catch to finish the batsman’s innings on 294. That was the juncture England announced their declaration – at 710/7, with a massive lead of 486.last_img

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