India looked a solid team as they defeated England in the second Test match in Vizag by 246 runs on Monday. With it, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the best of five-match Test series. Though India have won the Test, it was apparently Cheteshwar Pujara's strategy that helped dismiss Alastair Cook in the final over of Day 4 to pave way for victory on the last day. India skipper Virat Kohli spoke about Pujara's plans which worked brilliantly.
England were required to score 405 runs in their second innings, while India had to take 10 English wickets in one-and-a-half days to win the second Test. With the pitch providing variant bounce, it was always going to be an uphill task for England batsmen to score those runs or even play out a draw.
However, England openers Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed batted beautifully against the new ball and later the spinners on Day 4 afternoon. They had a clear picture on their mind. England did not care about the runs, but they did not want to give their wickets away. They blocked whatever was thrown at them, and scored patient 75 runs in 50.2 for the opening wicket before Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Hameed for 144-ball 25.
Though such a slow batting might have been boring for many, the English batsmen were winning, seeing off the India bowlers. With Cook and Joe in the middle, there was a serious need for India to dismiss one of them. One over to go for the end of Day 4 play, Pujara offered some advice to Kohli, regarding how the field should be placed, which led to the wicket of Cook.
"It's just that in the last over, the suggestion came from Cheteshwar Pujara that we could try probably a different field, have two more on the leg side and make him really defend well in the last six balls. Put a bit of doubt in his head, and it worked," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Kohli as saying.
"He tried to play in front of his pad, not close to the body. That's it, little margins can give you the game. I think that was a crucial breakthrough we needed and end of day's play as well, so the new batsman did not get to face any more deliveries. He knew first thing in the morning, four more balls to go in the over and he's straightaway under pressure. As a batsman, I know that for a fact. It was a pretty crucial dismissal that for us and it really set the tone for us today."
With Cook's dismissal in the final ball of Day 4, India were always set to start the final day on the front foot. They did so, with Ashwin dismissing Ben Duckett for a duck. The pressure began to build, which it always does on the last day of the Test with close-in fielders staring into the batsman's eyes.
From there on, wickets began to fall like nine pins, and none of the batsmen could cope with the pressure and the brilliance of India bowlers stood apart, as they ran through England's batting order.
Besides Jonny Baristow and Root, none of the batsman, who walked on Day 5 to bat, could score a double figure score, which explains their disastrous performance. With Ashwin and Jayant Yadav picking up three wickets each, and Jadeja and Mohammed Shami scalping two each, England were all out for 158 runs to go one Test down in the series.