India make cautious start after England post 537

Rajkot, Nov 10:

Indian spinners were taken to the cleaners by the English batsmen as the visitors posted a mammoth 537 on the second day of the opening cricket Test here today.
India made a cautious start reaching 63 for no loss with openers Murali Vijay (25 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (28 not out) at the crease.
England’s first innings total was their third-highest ever in this country, showing their batsmen were in total control against Indian spinners especially Ravichandran Ashwin, who conceded 167 runs in 46 overs taking only two wickets.
Amit Mishra fared no better, having being hit for 98 runs in 23.3 overs.
India still need 275 more runs to avoid following on, on a track showing increasing signs of wear and tear after its easy-paced nature on day one yesterday.
The hosts also trailed the visitors by a massive 474 runs with all ten wickets in hand going into day three tomorrow. Both faced testing spells of fast bowling and probing spin bowling to remain unbeaten for carrying on the daunting task faced by the home team.
Vijay had faced 70 balls, striking four fours – three of which came in one over off Stuart Broad.
Gambhir, playing his second Test on the trot after his recall from hibernation, struck four fours in his 68-ball knock as they batted out the shortened last session of play.
Earlier, New Zealand-born England all rounder Ben Stokes became the third century maker in the visitors’ first innings after Joe Root yesterday and Moeen Ali today morning.
The tourists, in particular Stokes who made an attacking 128 which was the innings highest score, batted right down the order to post the massive total before being all out to end the extended session two.
England’s total revolved mainly around Root’s classical, foundation-laying 124 on day one, Ali’s attractive knock of 117 the enterprising hundred by Stokes against a listless Indian bowling attack that was plundered for a whopping 139 runs in 30 overs in the pre-lunch period.
Only the 652 made in 1984-85 in Chennai and 559 for 8 declared at Kanpur repeat Kanpur made way back in 1963-64 topped the total raised by England in this city, hosting its first-ever Test. This was also the first instance after 2009 by Sri Lanka in Motera that three visiting team’s players triple digit scores.
Stokes, who struck 2 sixes and 13 fours in his 235-ball knock, departed just before the scheduled tea interval and England lost their last wicket, that of  Zafar Ansari  for 32 during the extended second session to be all out after posting their third-best innings total in India.
Amit Mishra trapped Ansari leg before on the sweep shot to bring the innings to a close after England had batted for nearly ten and a half hours.
Earlier, the Indian bowlers appeared clueless on how to dismiss the left-handed Stokes who was finally out to a diving catch to his right by wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha off Umesh Yadav.
Saha had earlier put down Stokes in successive overs of Yadav in his second spell, when the batsman on 60 and 61 respectively.
In the morning session, the visitors scored at will after England resumed at last evening’s score of 311 for four and advanced to 450 for six.
The batsmen out before lunch were overnight unbeaten batsman Ali who duly completed his career’s fourth Test century after being one short of the coveted landmark at stumps on day one and Jonny Bairstow, who made a quick 46 off 57 balls. (PTI)
SCOREBOARD
England 1st innings (overnight 311/4)
A. Cook lbw b Jadeja               21
H. Hameed lbw b Ashwin             31
J. Root c and b Yadav             124
B. Duckett c Rahane b Ashwin       13
M. Ali b Shami                    117
B. Stokes c Saha b Yadav          128
J. Bairstow c Saha b Shami         46
C. Woakes c Saha b Jadeja           4
A. Rashid c Yadav b Jadeja          5
Z. Ansari lbw b Mishra             32
S. Broad not out                    6
Extras (B-5, LB-4, NB-1)            10
Total (all out in 159.3 overs)      537
Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-76, 3-102, 4-281, 5-343, 6-442, 7-451, 8-465, 9-517.
Bowling: Mohammed Shami 28.1-5-65-2, Umesh Yadav 31.5-3-112-2, R Ashwin 46-3-167-2, Ravindra Jadeja 30-4-86-3, Amit Mishra 23.3-3-98-1.
India 1st innings
Murali Vijay batting      25
Gautam Gambhir  batting      28
Extras: (B-8 LB-1 W-1)     10
Total: (For 0 wickets in 23 overs)  63
Bowling: Stuart Broad 5-1-20-0, Chris Woakes 7-2-17-0, Moeen Ali 6-2-6-0, Zafar Ansari 3-0-3-0, Adil Rashid 2-0-8-0

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