India have taken further control of the second Test and moved their lead to 249 on a wild second day that once again brought controversy – with 15 wickets falling for 217 runs.
There were continued questions over the state of the wicket, which appears to have been playing like a day 4 track since the start, while as it did yesterday the umpiring drew criticism.
After India finished their first innings with 329, England were bowled out for 135 before the hosts reached 54/1 by stumps.
India started the day on 300/6 with England knowing it was vital that they wrapped up the tail cheaply and Joe Root’s side did just that.
Moeen Ali and Olly Stone, two players that have returned to the Test side after a significant period away, proved the star men and took two wickets each this morning as the tourists dismissed their hosts for 329.
At that point, it had been an entertaining morning for our representatives inside the stadium with England generating some momentum heading into their first innings but led by Ravi Ashwin, who took 5-43, India quickly wrestled back control.
Rory Burns was trapped in front by Ishant Sharma after just three balls, while his opening partner Dom Sibley was dismissed in the eighth over.
England struggled to deal with the extreme conditions in Chennai and with Joe Root and Dan Lawrence both back in the pavilion, they were 39/4 by lunch.
Ben Foakes, back in the side after Jos Buttler returned home to rest, was the standout performer with the bat and made 42 before he ran out of partners – with Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope the other key contributors.
Eventually, England were bowled out for 135, 195 runs behind and there was no shortage of criticism over the state of the pitch on Twitter.
It’s entertaining cricket as things are happening all the time but let’s be honest this Pitch is a shocker .. Not making any excuses as India have been better but this isn’t a Test Match 5 day prepared Pitch … #INDvENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 14, 2021
When an Aussie is backing England, you know something has to be wrong!
I’m all for a good contest between bat and ball in test match cricket but this pitch in Chennai is unacceptable at test match level. You can’t have the ball going through the top of the surface on day 1 from the main part of the pitch. Ie not from the footmarks.
— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) February 14, 2021
There’s no denying that the Indians have played the extreme conditions better, however, and after his 161 in the first innings Rohit Sharma helped his side extend their lead past 200.
Shubman Gill was trapped LBW by Jack Leach for 14 and Sharma could, and perhaps should, have followed him back to the pavilion not long after.
He appeared to play no shot to a delivery that struck him on the pad. It was given not out and England reviewed but though ball-tracking showed it was going on to hit the stumps, the umpire ruled he was playing a shot meaning the fact it struck him outside the line meant he couldn’t be given out.
If that’s a shot then we’re Australian 😂#INDvENG
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) February 14, 2021
After the issues yesterday, Root and his team will no doubt be feeling frustrated by the umpiring in this Test – and you can’t blame them!
They’ll have to put that behind them, however, because they’re facing the tough task of trying to stay in the game with three days still to be played.
India will resume on 54/1 tomorrow, with a lead of 249.