London : England batsman Jos Buttler said that the hosts are in the driver’s seat in the fifth and final Test after reducing India to 174-6 at stumps on day two at the Oval here. Buttler’s 89 helped England recover from 198-7 on day one and score 332 runs in their first innings even as India struggled in bowler-friendly conditions. “Yes, I think so (we are in-charge of the game),” Buttler said to a question after the end of second day here.
“The lead at the moment is quite healthy, and I hope if we can back up the performance today we can be in a really strong position in the game.”
Buttler had put on 33 runs with Adil Rashid and then 98 runs with Stuart Broad to bail out England.
Talking about his partnerships, Buttler said: “We probably spoke about 50 (more) runs – that’s what we were targeting. But I thought we worked really well in partnerships, and Rashid’s got a lot of talent with the bat. And we know Broad’s scored some vital runs for England over his career as well.
“What that does is give you confidence to stay in the same manner, and you don’t have to change the way you’re playing – just because you’re seven or eight down. We can just build a partnership as we did today,” he added.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli again took the onus of scoring, as India struggled to 103-4 after being 70-1 at one stage. Kohli eventually was out for 49 to Ben Stokes towards the end of play.
“It’s obviously a massive wicket. He’s one of the best players in the world, and he’s had an outstanding series. Any time you create a chance, or umpire’s call early on can go either way, they are huge moments for us against a guy of that quality,” said Buttler.