England continued to dominate the second day’s play at Rajkot as they finished their first innings with an imposing total of 537. India will have to fight it out hard from this point to save the Test, leave alone winning it. Here are the important stats from Day 2.
As many as three batsmen from a visiting site scored a century in England’s innings – Joe Root (124), Moeen Ali (117) and Ben Stokes (128). This is a rather rare occurrence. The last time three opposition batsmen hit hundreds in India in a Test was back in 2009 at Motera. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene added tons back then.
England have achieved the feat in India only for the second time in their Test history. The previous instance was in Kanpur in 1961-62, when Geoff Pullar, Ken Barrington and Ted Dexter struck centuries while following on. The last instance of three England batsmen scoring a hundred in the same innings was against Sri Lanka at Cardiff in 2011.
England’s 537 is their highest Test total in India in a while. The last time they made a bigger score was when they amassed 652 for 7 in Chennai on the 1984-85 tour. Their 537 is also their third highest total in India. England also recorded the previous instance of a visiting team scoring over 500, when they 523 in Kolkata in 2012-13.
The Indian spinners had a rare struggle as well. The three slow bowlers chosen bowled a total of 99.3 overs while managing only six wickets among themselves. Of them, Ravindra Jadeja claimed three, Ravichandran Ashwin two and Amit Mishra one. Jadeja was the only one with an economy rate of under three (2.86). Ashwin had an economy rate of 3.63, and Mishra even worse with 4.17.
Ashwin finished the innings with a terrible average of 83.50, finishing with 2 for 167. In Ahmedabad against the same opposition in 2012, he averaged 111. Jadeja conceded 86 runs for his three wickets while Mishra gave away 98 for his solitary scalp.
For Ben Stokes, it was the turning of the clock of sorts. His previous three Test innings against India, which were his first three against the opponent, drew a blank. In the 2014 series played at home, the all-rounder got a duck at Trent Bridge and a pair at Lord's. Stokes now has four Test hundreds, and all have come in different continents – Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
Each of the first seven England batsmen reached double figures in England’s first innings. In fact, of the ten batsmen who were dismissed, only two failed to reach double figures.
Left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari registered his highest Test score of 32, playing in his second Test.
--By A Cricket Statsman