India look for lifeline on fourth day

James Anderson was on song in bowler-friendly conditions

James Anderson was on song in bowler-friendly conditions

Maiden to start with.

India skipper Virat Kohli did not take the field on the fourth morning of the second Test at Lord's on Sunday due to "back stiffness", a team official said.

LONDON: Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes scored the first fifties of the match as England recovered to build a significant first-innings lead in the second Test against India at Lord's on Saturday after yet another top-order collapse. All-rounder Woakes registered his maiden worldwide century, while Bairstow scored his 19th Test fifty as the duo shared a 189-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Woakes had already impressed with the ball, dismissing India captain Virat Kohli in taking 2-19 on Friday, but was arguably even more impressive with the bat from number seven. "That feeling of raising your bat to a standing ovation at Lord's is a bit of a boyhood dream".

Warwickshire favourite Woakes, recalled after England omitted Ben Stokes because of a clash with his fellow pace-bowling all-rounder´s trial for affray, had missed the hosts´ 31-run win in the first Test at his Edgbaston home ground last week because of fitness concerns following knee and calf injuries. The forecast of further rain over the final two days appears to offer India's best chance of avoiding defeat.

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Having been bowled out for 107 on day two, India will have harboured hopes of at least limiting England's lead when they reduced the hosts to 89-4 at lunch.

In the following over, Alastair Cook (21) was caught behind after he nicked a swinging delivery from Ishant Sharma which brought 20-year-old debutant Ollie Pope to the crease.

With Woakes, the first of England's three bowling all-rounders, at the crease alongside Bairstow, India could sense an opportunity to expose the tail.

India's decision to replace pacer Umesh Yadav with slow left-arm bowler Kuldeep Yadav came into question as the tourists struggled to maintain control on a wicket that appeared better suited to seamers than spinners. We just tried to fight and score as many runs as we could. "And Woakes and Bairstow took the game away". In an interview with European Central Bank, the 29-year-old gave insight into what was going on in his head while he was at the crease. "The 90s were a bit of a blur but I am so pleased to get there". I went from 60 to 80 pretty quickly.

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