India had another horrible start to the second Test at Lord’s against England as both the openers were dismissed cheaply before rain interrupted play. While Murali Vijay got a beauty from James Anderson, Lokesh Rahul nicked one behind the stumps as the bowler maintained a relentless length.
India’s opening batting woes are nothing new. But, a detailed reveals a highly shocking stat about the massive problem with India’s first two slots. Did you know the last century stand between two Indian openers away from home, against a top Test nation, came way back in December 2010?
Yes, that long back. This happened when Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag added 137 for the opening wicket in the second innings at Centurion. Gambhir made 80 and Sehwag 63. India ended up making 459, with an unbeaten ton from Sachin Tendulkar. Yes, this hundred-run stand came when Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were still part of the team. For the record, India went on to lose the match by an innings as they were battling a massive first-innings South Africa score following on.
Well, in June 2015, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay featured in a mammoth 283-run stand for the opening wicket. That, however, came at Fatullah against Bangladesh, and doesn’t count for much although Dhawan blasted 173 and Vijay made exactly 150.
Over the last eight years, India have desperately struggled to find competent openers once Gambhir and Sehwag lost their way. They have tried Dhawan, Rahul, Mukund, Vijay and Pujara, but the century stand continues to elude them.