Thursday, 28 October 2021

Huge win for India in 4th Test at Oval

Huge win for India in 4th Test at Oval

The highest praises for Jasprit Bumrah's dream spell post Lunch on the final day get paid by his fast-bowling colleagues Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav. They bowled good follow-up overs when viewed in isolation but were held at bay relatively quickly by Joe Root and Chris Woakes, who was batting under immense pressure.

It showed that The Oval pitch hadn't changed dramatically post Lunch and that India needed their pace-bowling spearhead to conjure magic through the air and produce a spell that read 6-3-6-2.

India shot through England in that post-Lunch session taking 6 for 62, blowing England's hopes of winning this Test, and consequently, the series. Ravindra Jadeja was the other central figure in this run, starting the procession with the wicket of Haseeb Hameed and then adding the wicket of Moeen Ali as England lost 4 for 19 from a position of relative comfort.

England began the day with an outside chance of scoring those 291 runs. A scenario runs pushed them into dreaming by the solid opening partnership between Hameed and Rory Burns. In that spirit of positivity, both openers got the fifties and completed a century stand. It was then that Shardul Thakur, introduced into the attack, produced a ball in his first over that angled into Burns from around the stumps and straightened off the seam to take the edge.

Dawid Malan walked in to face Jadeja with ominous footmarks lurking all around his off-stump. He survived a delivery that spun viciously out of the rough but was sold short by Hameed, who called him for a non-existent single. India had two wickets in the first session for just 54 runs. It could have very quickly been three had Siraj held on to a simple catch at mid-on.

Hameed, though would add only eight more runs after his reprieve when Jadeja bowled him from the rough with a turner that spun past the batsman's attempts of a nurdle to hit the top of off-stump. First-innings half-centurion Ollie Pope walked right in the middle of the Bumrah theatre.

With a ball now 64 overs old and Jadeja doing a great job landing it in the rough, there was a hint of reverse swing on offer. Bumrah first produced a nip-backer at 140 kph to beat Pope's defenses. It was his 100th Test wicket, an achievement he'd gotten to one match faster than Kapil Dev (25 Tests). His 101st was even better. Jonny Bairstow got beaten by a 142kph reverse-swinging yorker that crashed into the stumps.

Moeen Ali walked in almost immediately, aimlessly poking at a Jadeja ball and offering a simple catch to forward short leg. England is never far from a batting collapse, but this dramatic blowout was not entirely their doing. It was just high-class bowling.

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Root and Woakes added 35 risk-free runs in 13 overs to when the second new ball was available. Instead, Kohli didn't take it and threw the old reversing ball to Thakur, who produced an innocuous first delivery and had the England captain playing. Chris Woakes then chipped Yadav to a catching mid-wicket to become the eighth man out.

Proceedings didn't last long after Tea. Team India took the second new ball in the 89th over, and Umesh bowled Overton via a painful blow to the Englishman's elbow. With the final wicket of James Anderson, Umesh made it three wickets in each innings as India completed their second Test win on a tour of England for the first time since 1986. Now for the big one at Old Trafford.

Brief scores: India 191 (Shardul Thakur 57, Virat Kohli 50; Chris Woakes 4-55, Ollie Robinson 3-38) & 466 (Rohit Sharma 127, Cheteshwar Pujara 61, Shardul Thakur 60; Chris Woakes 3-83, Ollie Robinson 2-105) beat England 290 (Ollie Pope 81, Chris Woakes 50; Umesh Yadav 3-76, Ravindra Jadeja 2-36) & 210 (Haseeb Hameed 63, Rory Burns 50; Umesh Yadav 3-60, Jasprit Bumrah 2-27) by 157 runs.

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