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India vs England: Hardik Pandya blames toss loss, defends Kuldeep Yadav’s selection…

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya attributed England’s luck to the toss rather than the visitors’ poor batting, bowling or team selection for staring at a possible defeat in the rain-hit second Test at the Lord’s. (MATCH REPORT) 

England seamers skittled out India for 107 on a rain-hit Day 2 and reached 357/6 in reply, a lead of 250 runs, when bad light ended third day’s play early on Saturday. (DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)

It rained after stumps, and with more rain forecast, it will be a battle for India to salvage a draw.

The visitors trail 0-1 in the five-match series, and more than the poor batting or bowling that came under pressure as Chris Woakes (120 batting) and Jonny Bairstow (93) added 189 rapidly for the sixth wicket, picking a second spinner was glaring when conditions cried out for a third pacer.

India picked chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, rain washing out play on the first day and dampness on the pitch changing its character after the harsh summer had promised a more spin-friendly surface.

“Nothing happened. That was the problem. As a bowling unit we tried, but all of a sudden the ball stopped swinging. And Woakes and Bairstow took the game away,” Pandya, who took two wickets, told reporters after the day’s play.

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“It happens in Tests. You get five wickets or four wickets quickly and then have a partnership. With our batting line-up also we have done it many times. It’s part of the game.”

England were 107/5 before the Bairstow and Woakes, back after an injury layoff, dominated the Indian bowling after lunch on Day 3.

“Any team would have got the same score we got, you know. Playing in that condition, there was a little drizzle, the wicket also got a little wet. Conditions were completely different.

“When we bowled today, it was the proper wicket. The first day it was different. Today what we got was the actual wicket we expected on the first day. Because of the weather the wicket changed and it was doing a lot.”

The explanation suggested India either stuck to plans drawn up before rain on the first day – the toss was done only on Day 2 – without giving consideration to the conditions, which are crucial playing in England. Or else, it seemed a weak defence of leaving out Umesh Yadav from the playing eleven despite his pace.

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“They had some thought behind that,” he said when asked about the selection and that the two spinners failed to take a wicket or even put pressure on the England batsmen. “So, three (pacers) was enough, to be honest. We did enough, we bowled properly. Today’s wicket was the wicket which we expected. It was a proper call. Had this been a five-day game, spinners would have come into play.

“Because of the rain and everything, it shortened (the game) and there were not many footmarks. Had this been a five-day game, it would have been different.”

“Except the first day, we didn’t expect anything else. Only the first day it was something different from what we expected. Today’s wicket was what we expected. That is the only difference.”

First Published: Aug 12, 2018 08:45 IST

Source: HindustanTimes