Pujara and Rahane resist after India's top order wobble

Filed on August 15, 2021
India's Ajinkya Rahane (left) and India's Cheteshwar Pujara tap gloves on the fourth day of the second cricket Test match. — AFP

Pujara, who needed 35 balls to get off the mark, was batting on 29 having soaked up 148 balls

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane dug in to frustrate England with their obdurate batting and guide India to 105-3 at tea on day four of the second test on Sunday.

They showed tremendous character in their 50-run partnership spread over nearly 30 overs, batting through the entire second session to put on a defensive masterclass.

Pujara, who needed 35 balls to get off the mark, was batting on 29 having soaked up 148 balls, while Rahane was on 24 with the tourists 78 runs ahead.

Earlier, India lost both their in-form openers to Mark Wood by the time they erased their 27-run deficit.

Wood drew first blood dismissing KL Rahul caught behind for five.

His next over turned out to be an eventful one that ended with Rohit Sharma being dismissed for 21.

Rohit dragged a chest-high ball from outside the off-stump and pulled it for an audacious six, but Wood had the last laugh in this duel.

The last ball of that over was a similar one and this time Rohit could not middle the ball and Moeen Ali took a tumbling catch at deep square leg.

India needed skipper Virat Kohli to lead by example, just like his opposite number Joe Root, whose unbeaten 180 was the bedrock of England's first innings total of 391.

Kohli played a couple of gorgeous drives in his 20 before Sam Curran got the prize wicket when he induced an edge from the touring captain.

Pujara has been without a fifty in his last 10 innings while Rahane has also been starved of runs but both showed tremendous grit to keep India in the game.

The rain-marred opening match of the five-Test series had ended in a draw in Nottingham.

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