Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Strauss Is Hit but India Fail to Break Through

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Strauss Is Hit but India Fail to Break Through

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse at The Oval

ANDREW STRAUSS had a fright when he was struck on the helmet by Ishant Sharma but that was the only time India made life uncomfortable for England during the morning session as the home side cruised to 75 without loss at lunch.

Strauss has struggled for form in this series and he suffered another difficult moment here today.

The England captain had made 24 when he misjudged a short-pitched delivery from Sharma and the ball crashed into his headgear, removing a chunk of material from the peak of it.

Strauss had shaped to play a pull shot before deciding against it at the last second, and had the ball struck him slightly lower, it might have sneaked between the peak of his helmet and the top of his grille. The skipper could consider himself lucky to need nothing more than a new lid.

That was one of the few moments to surprise a capacity crowd during a desperately low-key opening two hours in south London.

Having won the toss on a flat surface, Strauss and Alastair Cook accumulated steadily and India offered little resistance. At the interval, England were 75 without loss as they sought to build the foundations for the victory that would complete a 4-0 whitewash in the series, something which last happened seven years ago when West Indies were the tourists. The re-start, however, was delayed by rain.

Indian supporters would have been hoping for a response from their team after seeing the series disappear in the last Test at Edgbaston, where England's third win in a row was enough to clinch the four-match series with a Test to spare. That result also saw England replace India at the top of the ICC Test rankings. But the early signs for India were not good. With their leading wicket-taker in the series, Praveen Kumar, ruled out through injury, India gave the new ball to RP Singh. …

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