Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow stabilize ship to leave England 139-5 over lunch in Fourth Test v India
Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow keep things steady with aggressive at bats to leave England 139-5 at lunchtime in the fourth Test…as India fights back via two early wickets for Umesh Yadav
- England closed at 111-5 at lunch on day two of the fourth Test against India
- Umesh Yadav took two wickets but Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope fought back
- The batting pair made 77 runs together and raced with more than four per over
India got itself back in the Fourth Test at the Oval on Friday morning after Umesh Yadav took two early wickets, but England batters Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow counterattacked with flair, leaving the home side 139-5 at lunchtime.
The visitors ended day three with a flourish after leaving England 53-3 overnight, including taking the vital wicket of captain Joe Root who shone with the bat, and India returned on day four full of intent.
They didn’t have to wait long for their fourth wicket. Yadav’s first over of the day saw night watchman Craig Overton chasing a short, wide ball out, then making the first slip to Indian captain Virat Kohli. He left for just one run.
India dragged itself back to the fourth test vs England and got two early wickets
But England counterattacked with panache via Ollie Pope (right) and Jonny Bairstow (left)
Malan had looked very calm after coming into the bat under difficult conditions on the third day, and his fluency lasted all through the fourth morning until he fiddled with a Yadav delivery outside the stump that brought the edge to a diving Rohit Sharma , who did an excellent catch on slip.
Malan, who batted in his Test comeback at Headingley, returned to the pavilion for 31 runs.
Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow then battled through a rough patch of Indian bowling, with Yadav and co holding their tails up tight. In the morning’s first eight overs, India took two wickets for just nine runs.
Despite not looking quite comfortable, both batters showed they were ready for the fight, Pope crashed three boundaries in a row at Shardul Thakur and Bairstow did the same to Mohammed Siraj the next.
Night watchman Craig Overton left for one run after falling behind Virat Kohli
India’s second came when Rohit Sharma took an excellent dive slip from Dawid Malan
Malan, who impressed on his test return at Headingley, went back to the pavilion with 31 runs
Pope (left) and Bairstow (right) took the fight back to India, crashing several borders
Bairstow continued to grow in the innings, putting his experience as a cue ball into practice by clubbing bad balls to the boundary and continuing the England scorecard.
Pope worked with Bairstow’s aggression with calm precision, waiting to pick up loose deliveries. The 23-year-old, who plays for Surrey, has averaged over 100 with the bat at The Oval in first-class cricket.
The result was a fluid and aggressive counterattack on the Indian bowlers, collaborating for 77 runs against more than four per over. Kohli eventually brought in spinner Ravindra Jadeja, but his three overs didn’t cause any problems for the English batter.
England went into the lunch break with 52 runs behind India’s first innings total of 191.