Mumbai, Nov 24 (IANS) A good start by England openers was marred by two late wickets as the visitors were 77 for two at tea on day two of the second cricket Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium here Saturday.
Alistair Cook (batting 43) and Nick Compton (29) forged a 66−run partnership for the first wicket before Pragyan Ojha picked up two wickets late on to wrestle the advantage away from England.
Both the English openers looked comfortable against the Indian spinners towards the beginning of their innings. Cook mixed aggression with defence to great effect hitting six fours and a six.
Though batting got tougher as the session progressed. The breakthrough did finally come thanks to some accurate bowling by Ojha. Compton edged a well flighted and full−pitched delivery into the waiting hands of Virender Sehwag at first slip.
The ball gripped and bounced as the session wore on and the English batsman got the going very tough.
Cook too was found wanting on more than one occasion against Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ajinkya Rahane, who came on as a substitute for Cheteshwar Pujara, had two difficult chances to dismiss the English captain in the 30th over but on both occasions the ball just fell short.
Jonathan Trott’s (0) bad run in the series continued as he was trapped plumb in front of the stumps. Though it wasn’t the spinning ball that got him but a flatter delivery that just skidded on.
Ojha’s dream run with ball continued. The left−arm spinner by taking 11 wickets so far has become the highest wicket−taker in the series. Swann is a close second with 10 while Monty Panesar, playing his first match of the series is a distant third with five wickets.
Earlier, Panesar and Swann took five and four wickets respectively dismissing India for 327 in the morning session.
Pujara scored 135, hitting 12 boundaries. The 24−year−old was dismissed for the first time in the series after scoring unbeaten 206 and 41 in the first Test at Ahmedabad.