On a rain-marred day at Lord’s lightning struck twice as England batsman Jos Buttler put down a catch and made amends the very next ball twice.
It felt like history repeating when Buttler, fielding at second slip, put down Virat Kohli, the India captain who was dropped twice on his way to a superb 149 in the first Test at Edgbaston.
But the drop would not prove costly as paceman Chris Woakes, who had visibly vented his frustration at the missed chance, produced a brilliant outswinger to find the edge of Kohli’s bat for a second consecutive ball, with Buttler making no mistake with the gift.
Two overs later Woakes was again left fuming when Buttler barely got a hand to a flying edge from Hardik Pandya, who nicked a half-volley through the cordon for four.
Woakes’ anger evaporated next delivery as Buttler redeemed himself with a low catch to see the back of Pandya, the allrounder who was squared up and out edging for 11.
Poor catching sorely hurt England in the first Test, with Dawid Malan the main culprit with two crucial dropped catches giving Kohli a life and keeping the tourists in the game.
Malan was dropped for the second Test after a lean run with the bat, which is why Buttler – England’s limited-overs wicketkeeper – found himself in the slips cordon at Lord’s.
The overcast conditions and trademark Lord’s slope were perfectly utilised by England’s seam attack, led by veteran swing bowler James Anderson.
For the sixth time in his illustrious career, Anderson claimed a five-wicket haul at Lord’s, finishing with figures of 5-20 that leaves him on 99 wickets at ‘the home of cricket’.
India, who were sent in by England captain Joe Root, were bundled out for 107 inside 36 overs, and have a long way to go if they are to level the series after losing by 31 runs in the thrilling opening Test last week.