Ashes 2010 2nd Test: England in the driving seat after splendid batting performance by Alastair Cook
England seized the advantage on the opening day the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval through some brilliant swing-bowling and an extraordinary fielding display. On the second day of the Test, the English team carried on with yesterday’s momentum and took the game away from Australia by the end of day with a lead of 72 runs and still eight first-innings wickets in the bank. The Aussies’ bowling was once again mediocre as England piled up 317 runs for the loss of two wickets in reply to Australia’s first-innings score of 245 runs.
England faced an early blow when captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed by Doug Bollinger, but then Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott rescued the English innings and built a partnership of 173 runs for the second wicket. The star of England’s first innings was once again left-handed opener Cook, who is still unbeaten at 136 runs and has struck 17 fours so far.
Jonathan Trott also played extremely well and yielded plentiful runs on the leg-side – but that choice of stroke-play turned out to be his downfall when he chipped one straight to mid-wicket fielder, Michael Clarke. Trott scored 78 off 144 balls, including 11 fours.
After Trott’s dismissal, Kevin Pietersen came to the crease. Pietersen, who has been under immense criticism for his recent performance against Pakistan at home, played his shots from the word go. He and Cook have accumulated 141 runs for the third-wicket partnership. Pietersen remains not-out at 85 off 141 balls, and has struck 13 fours so far. His strike-rate is over 60 runs per 100 balls, which is incredible at the Test level. Pietersen will be looking to silence his critics by taking his 85 to triple figures when play resumes tomorrow.
Although Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting tried six bowlers today but only Ryan Harris and Doug Bollinger were able to pick up a wicket each. Ponting must be ruing the day bowling Aussie legend Shane Warne retired from Test cricket. On a flat track, captains need a reliable spinner who can hold an end without giving too much away, and left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty was quite disappointing today. The English batsmen made 70 runs off his 15 overs.
England are in the driving seat right now and look set to win this Test, which will give them the lead going into the third Test of the series. While both teams have balanced batting line-ups, it is plain that the team which bowls better will be the one to win the Ashes.