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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Lesser lights Jordan and Woakes tear India to shreds

Cricket

Derek Pringle

Published 16/08/2014 | 02:30

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Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes took the plaudits, not because they had raised their game from previous efforts but mostly because James Anderson (pictured) and Stuart Broad had lowered theirs. (Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE)
Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes took the plaudits, not because they had raised their game from previous efforts but mostly because James Anderson (pictured) and Stuart Broad had lowered theirs. (Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE)

Stuart Broad had the panda eyes but it was England's support bowlers, Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes, who got to feast on the green shoots in India's naive batting order, the pair sharing six of the 10 wickets to fall as the visitors were skittled for 148.

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On a pitch more typical of cruel April than mid-August, the back-up pair took the plaudits, not because they had raised their game from previous efforts but mostly because Broad and James Anderson had lowered theirs.

Had those two bowled as they had in the last two Tests, there would not have been any wickets for the other two to share.

It should have been even better for England after Alastair Cook had won the toss despite this being India's lowest total of the series. Had the opening bowlers maintained a fuller length India might not have made 80, so lavish was the seam movement.

At 44-6, they should certainly not have reached 100 and but for Ian Bell's spill at second slip off Jordan, when he put down Ishant Sharma with India on 95, they would not have done.

Aggression

Sharma hung around gamely for his captain MS Dhoni, who again showed his worriers in his team what is possible with a bit of grit and aggression. His 82, which included 15 fours and a six pummelled over extra-cover off Jordan, was a study in character. All too often Indian batsmen wave the white flag when the ball goes sideways.

Their partnership of 58 for the last wicket might have proved important had India taken quick wickets, but they were thwarted in that regard by Sam Robson's broad blade and a slightly fortunate Cook.

Dhoni was the last man to be dismissed, slapping a short ball from Broad straight to Woakes at long leg.

Earlier, Broad had got Cheteshwar Pujara out in unusual fashion when the batsman was bowled by one he appeared to have covered with a forward defensive, only for the ball to bounce off glove, thigh and then on to his stumps.

Before that Anderson had opened England's account with the fourth ball of the match when he had Gautam Gambhir caught behind for a first-ball duck.

Jordan had Virat Kohli lbw for six not offering a stroke. Jordan then used his other skill, a fine pair of hands, to bring about his next scalp when Ajinkya Rahane drove back a return catch.

Murali Vijay was caught at close gully off Woakes. Anderson returned to get Stuart Binny after lunch, caught at first slip, before Woakes and Jordan ran through the lower middle order. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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