After securing a comprehensive win against India in the opening clash in Chennai a week ago, England have completely been outplayed by the hosts in the following contest played at the same venue. The hosts have dictated the proceedings from Day 1 and now stand just seven wickets away from bouncing back in the series, while England need to put another 429 runs on a sharp-turning track at Chepauk to save the match.
However, if England want to take any positive from the contest then it would surely be Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes' performance, be it with the bat or his sharp work behind the stumps.
The 28-year-old emerged as the leading run-scorer from the England camp in their first innings as he remained unbeaten on 42 as the visitors ran out of wickets.
With the gloves, Foakes has been even better and his performance on Day 3 of the ongoing contest surely reminded the Indian cricket enthusiats of their former skipper MS Dhoni, who is renowned for his excellent wicketkeeping abilities.
Ben Foakes appreciation tweet pic.twitter.com/B5SxxYH8LX
— Cricket’s great moments (@PitchedInLine) February 15, 2021
— Cricket (@cricket_cri) February 15, 2021
Foakes affected two incredible stumpings on Monday with India opener Rohit Sharma becoming his first victim of the day. Rohit, who scored a brilliant 161 in the opening day of the contest, was dismissed on 26 in the second innings as he was outfoxed by Jack Leach and Foakes combining to complete the rest of the work. The wicketkeeper whipped the bails off even before Rohit could try to get his foot behind the crease.
Foakes went on to execute another fine stumping, making his Indian counterpart Rishabh Pant his second victim of the day. Pant failed to get a connection as he charged down the track against Leach, as Foakes dislodged the stumps at MSD-esque speed.
Foakes' effort was acknowledged by former English cricketer Matt Prior and Australia legend Adam Gilchrist.
This is an absolute master class from Ben Foakes behind the stumps #INDvsENG
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) February 15, 2021
Geez, how brilliant is Ben Foakes #INDvENG
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) February 15, 2021
Really impressed with wicket keeping skills of Ben Foakes. To concede 0 byes in the first innings in challenging conditions is superb. Soft hands, clean collection, fast to dislodge stumps. Not seen many overseas keepers keep so well here for long time. #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/yT5HyNtV8l
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) February 15, 2021
Meanwhile, India gained complete seize in the ongoing Test against England in Chennai as the visitors finished Day 3 at 53/3 and require another 429 runs to win the contest. Joe Root (2) and Daniel Lawrence (19) are present at the crease and the pair will resume the England fightback on Tuesday.