Curran removes Kohli as England take charge of second Test

London (AFP) –


Sam Curran captured the prize wicket of Virat Kohli after Mark Wood dismissed both India openers as England dramatically seized the initiative in the second Test at Lord's on Sunday.

India were 56-3 in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day, just 29 runs ahead, with two new and struggling batsmen in Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease.

Express quick Wood had effectively reduced India to none for two during a spell of 2-16 in five overs that saw him dismiss both the in-form KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.

And left-arm swing bowler Curran, denied Kohli's wicket by an umpire's call lbw ruling, still got him for 20 when he had the star batsman caught behind.

Rahul and Rohit managed just 26 runs between them after the openers had made scores of 129 and 83 respectively in India's first-innings 364.

Play resumed with the match evenly poised after England, with captain Joe Root making 180 not out, had been dismissed for 391 when James Anderson was out to the last ball of Saturday's play.

England now had a slender first-innings lead of 27 runs, transforming the match into a one-innings shoot-out.

Anderson, who had taken 5-62 in India's first innings, and Ollie Robinson opened the bowling.

Sussex seamer Robinson was given just two overs before he was replaced by Wood, recalled after Stuart Broad was ruled out of this five-match series with a calf injury after appearing in last week's rain-marred drawn first Test in Nottingham.

It soon looked an inspired decision by Root as Rahul fell for five when, having left the ball outside off stump so well this series, he was lured into edging a 93 mph (150 kph) Wood delivery straight into the gloves of wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Rohit drew India level when he pulled a 91 mph Wood ball for six.

But three balls later Rohit, even though the odds were against him with three men on the boundary for the shot, repeated the stroke.

This time, however, he was well caught low down by Moeen Ali, running in from deep square leg, for 21 and India were effectively none for two.

Kohli got off the mark with an elegant cover-driven four off Wood.

By contrast, it took the struggling Pujara 35 balls to score his first run with a single off Curran greeted by huge, if ironic, cheers from the large contingent of India fans in a sun-drenched crowd and a touch of the gloves from Kohli.

The India skipper survived Curran's review for lbw on height after being rapped on the pad by an inswinger.

But there was no need for technology when, seemingly playing for the ball that came back, Kohli edged a delivery angled across him and was caught behind off a thin nick, with Curran running towards the Grandstand boundary in joyful celebration.