India advance despite Kohli exit in fourth test against England – sports
LONDON: Virat Kohli’s fast 44 strengthened India’s grip in the fourth test against England at the Oval on Sunday. India were 329-6 in their second inning at lunch on Day 4, a 230-point lead, with a five-game streak tied at 1-1.
Chris Woakes continued his excellent comeback in England taking it 2-0 on nine balls before off-line Moeen Ali won the wicket from Indian captain Kohli. Rishabh Pant had not come out 16 years and was back in good shape, the all-rounder Shardul Thakur undefeated on the 11th.
Significantly, there were only five successful fourth inning pursuits of over 200 at Oval in Test cricket, with England’s 263-9 against Australia in 1902 the highest and the Hosts 205-2 against South Africa in the most recent 1994. . India took back 270-3, already 171 races ahead.
Rohit Sharma had led the way with 127, his first century of overseas testing, and with Cheteshwar Pujara (61) he frustrated England in a 153 second partnership – although it would have been a Another story if Sharma hadn’t been missed twice in the slides.
Both batsmen had fallen to Ollie Robinson in the first round with the new ball before poor light ended Saturday’s play. Kohli, without a 100 Test in almost two years, was not out 22 and Ravindra Jadeja undefeated out of nine.
Although the second new ball was still only 12 overs, it wasn’t long before Kohli covered great Englishman James Anderson for four before a practice from Robinson rushed to the border. But the versatile Warwickshire Woakes, who had already scored his first test in over a year with first-set contributions of 4-55 and 50, reduced India to 296-5.
The paceman only hit with his second ball of the day when he had left-hander Jadeja lbw for 17. Jadeja had been promoted past Ajinkya Rahane who was almost absent for a third ball duck when at the same time , he was given out lbw to Woakes after not making a stroke before the decision was overturned during the pitch review
But Woakes had Rahane lbw for an eight-ball draw, playing across the line and the Indian vice-captain was so clearly absent this time around that there had been no criticism. India, however, were 197 points ahead on a seemingly ideal sunny day for the batter – something Kohli proved again with a dismissive four in cover against Craig Overton.
Moeen, however, succeeded where England’s rapids had failed when, in his first pass on Sunday, he slid Kohli to Overton on the slip. Kohli, whose last Test 100 was his 136 against Bangladesh in Kolkata in November 2019, has now gone 21 scoreless innings at this level – the longest drought in the star batsman’s career.
Meanwhile, it was announced ahead of the game that India’s head coach Ravi Shastri was forced to stay at the team’s hotel after testing positive for Covid-19 on Saturday evening, with the Bowling coach Bharat Arun, field coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel all isolated as a “Preventive Measure”.