Cook fails as India strike

2014-07-18 13:42
Alastair Cook (Getty)

London - England captain Alastair Cook suffered yet another failure with the bat as India seized control of the second Test at Lord's on Friday.

Cook was out for 10, caught behind by opposing skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The same combination also did for Cook's Australia-born opening partner Sam Robson (17) and at lunch England were 51 for two in reply to India's first innings 295 -- a deficit of 244 runs.

Gary Ballance was seven not out and Ian Bell not out, with Kumar having taken two wickets for 17 runs in 11 overs,

Cook's exit meant it was now 26 innings since the left-hander had scored the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds, with his tally for the calendar years standing at meagre 107 runs in eight Test innings.

The 29-year-old Essex batsman's poor run of form has also coincided with an England slump that has seen the team go nine Tests without a victory - their worst winless streak for more than 20 years.

As if conscious he had had often been caught in the slips while struggling for runs, Cook met Kumar's first ball of the innings with an exaggeratedly straight forward defensive shot.

But having looked assured for 40 minutes, Cook's 29-ball knock, including two fours, came to an end.

Not moving his feet, Cook nicked a good length ball just outside off stump that swung away from Kumar through to Dhoni.

And it was not long before England's 22 for one became 31 for two in front of a capacity, sun-drenched crowd.

Robson, dropped in the slips on seven, squandered his reprieve by driving loosely at a ball wide of off stump, Dhoni making no mistake with the catch

Kumar had now taken two for four in 13 balls.

Meanwhile both Shami and Ishant Sharm, India's other two frontline seamers, had also bowled a far more consistently challenging length than their England counterparts.

It took England just 10 balls to wrap up India's innings after they resumed on their overnight 290 for nine, with Cook holding a juggled catch at first slip to dismiss Shami (19) off Ben Stokes.

India had been in dire straits at 145 for seven after being sent into bat by Cook on a green, seaming pitch that was the opposite of the bare, lifeless track in last week's drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.

But England let India of the hook, the tourists doubling their total before stumps, with Ajinkya Rahane making a superb 103 in his maiden Test innings at Lord's.

James Anderson led England's attack with four for 60 in 23 overs in what was the Lancashire paceman's first match since both he and India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were charged with disciplinary offences under the International Cricket Council's code of conduct for an alleged clash at Trent Bridge.

Both players must now wait on the verdict of ICC judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge, to discover if they will be banned from any matches in the rest of this five-Test series.

Read more on:    england  |  alastair cook  |  cricket

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