Rain England vs India Manchester Old Trafford
Rain played spoilsport on Day 2 of the 4th Test between England and IndiaReuters

England's hopes of fashioning a big lead by the end of Day 2 of the fourth Test at Old Trafford were halted after that great UK party pooper called rain played spoilsport again.

After smashing through the brittle India batting lineup on day one, England would have harboured hopes of pushing on from their overnight score of 113 for three, only for some wet weather to come raining down and stop the hosts at 237 for six, a lead of 85 runs.

Joe Root, the man who has proved to be a tough nut to crack as this series has progressed, and wicketkeeper/batsman Jos Buttler, seemingly completely at home in the five-day format, were looking good at the crease, putting on 67 together for the seventh wicket before rain wiped out pretty much the entire last two sessions.

The way India have batted against the moving ball, Hurricane Bertha, possibly the cause for this downpour, could end up being the visitors' best friend. With three full days still remaining, a result, and a result in England's favour, is quite possible, as long as the rain stays away of course.

From India's point of view, they will take some heart from the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (18-6-47-3) and Varun Aaron, who made use of the conditions quite effectively on Day 2 morning to send three England batsmen walking back to the pavilion.

From 113 for three, England had slumped to 170 for six, a lead of just 18 at that time, and were staring at a possible advantage of only around 50 runs or so. The first to go in the morning was Chris Jordan (13, 22b, 3x4), who pulled a short one from Bhuvneshwar straight to Aaron.

Jordan was followed soon after by Ian Bell (58, 82b, 8x4, 1x6), looking primed for another triple-figure mark, with Bhuvneshwar coming up trumps again a couple of overs later by finding the outside edge of the batsman.

Bell's wicket put England on 140 for five, and a 30-run partnership later, Moeen Ali (13, 27b, 2x4) succumbed – no, not to the short delivery -- with Aaron (16-2-48-3) finding a path between bat and pad to thud the ball into the stumps in style.

India, now, had their tails up and were envisaging bowling England out for a score of around 200, only for Buttler (22n.o., 53b, 2x4) and Root (48 n.o., 94b, 5x4) to prise back the momentum for the home side.

Rain halted what was proving to be a frustrating partnership for India, with the will-we-get-some-play or won't-we-get-any-play games following that rain spell proving to be more irritating for the spectators, who had come out in numbers in hope of watching another wonderful day of Test cricket.