London: India let the advantage slip away and finished Day 2 of the second Test at a worrying 174/6.
England’s leading-run getter in this series (349 and counting), Buttler brought up his second half-century of the series and forged two crucial partnerships down the order to steer his side to 332 in the first innings, way more than England would have hoped for at the start of play.
India in reply, would witness two familiar patterns of their own – a bad start to the innings followed by a small recovery dented by a flurry of wickets.
India, from a point where they seemed to be putting up a courageous show, let the advantage slip away and finished the day at a worrying 174/6.
At 70/1, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara looked in control, but once Sam Curran produced a Wasim Akram-like delivery to clean up the opener, and James Anderson followed with back-to-back dismissals of Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (0), it signalled the beginning of that same pattern.
The knockout punch was landed 20 minutes before close of play when Virat Kohli, one short of his fourth half-century of the series, edged Ben Stokes to his counterpart Joe Root at second slip.
In his next over, Stokes dealt India another blow with Rishabh Pant edging to Alastair Cook. His was a perfect follow up act to Anderson, Broad and Curran’s probing spells. They produced a riveting spell of fast bowling that saw India score three runs in 33 deliveries.
India must be tired by the number of time they’ve had to see Buttler dig England out of trouble. The trend continued here. The wicketkeeper batsman, celebrating his 28th birthday put on 33 with Adil Rashid and another 98 with Broad and frustrated India.