India lost three quick wickets before lunch on day 4.
India felt the heat on a sunny Lord’s morning as England pacer Mark Wood removed their in-form openers before Virat Kohli was caught behind to leave the visitors gasping at 56 for three lunch on day four of the second Test at Lords in London on Sunday.
The Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who made up for middle order’s prolonged failure so far in the series, could not bat long on this occasion.
Like skipper Joe Root did for England, the onus was on Virat Kohli to score a big one and bring his team back into the game but he could not do so.
Kohli (20 off 31) made a promising start before poking at a wide Sam Curran delivery to leave his team in deeper trouble at the stroke of lunch.
Pujara, who too is in desperate needs of runs, took 35 balls to get off the mark and was three off 46 balls at the break and another out of form batsmen Ajinkya Rahane on one off eight balls.
Root introduced Wood rather early in the session with the ball not doing much in the air. Having the advantage of extra pace, Wood hit the deck hard to trouble the batsmen.
He got rid of first innings centurion Rahul (5 off 30) with a back of a length delivery that straightened slightly to take the outside edge, leaving the batsmen stuck in the crease.
Rohit Sharma (21 off 36) once again looked in sublime touch before falling to the pull shot for the second time in the series. Having pulled Wood for a six, Rohit went for another one in the same over but failed to control the shot to be caught at deep backward square.
Considering the game situation, the shot was avoidable but Rohit has made it clear that he will go for his strokes if the ball lands in his “areas”.
With India effectively 29 for three, they will need Pujara and Rahane to find form to stay in the game.