After encountering a minor blip in form in the first Test, the Indian team has found back its groove on home soil. The English troops, who showed promise in the Rajkot Test, seemed to have walked into landmines as they came a cropper against India’s bowling attack. Ravichandran Ashwin, who usually swoops in to claim most opposition wickets on dustbowls, might not have got victims in bucketloads here, but was ably supported by the rest of the bowlers. Mohammed Shami has been a revelation with the red cherry, displaying the aggression rarely seen in Indian fast bowlers.
As far as India’s batting is concerned, this Test match saw the lower order come to India’s rescue and take them to a commanding position. Ravindra Jadeja, with a blazing innings of 90, showing the way to the off-spinning duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav to build a lead for the hosts. Ajinkya Rahane’s form seems to be the only major cause of concern for the think tank.
Parthiv Patel, who made a Test comeback after eight years
“The kind of welcome I got in the dressing room, it didn’t feel like I was making a comeback after eight years. That is the beauty of the team. Playing aggressive cricket suits my game, and the intent was important. I have been practicing my drives against the bowling machine, because when I first came, I used to play just two shots: the cut and the pull. The cut shot comes naturally to me.”
“I have a bit of an abdominal strain. It was bad on the second day, but it has got better. We were in a bit of bother on day 2, but we had to back ourselves. Special mention needs to go to Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) for the way he bowled those boring lines, because the wicket was not doing much. More than Alastair Cook, I really enjoyed taking the wicket of Moeen Ali. I knew he would come out, so I slowed it down.”
Alastair Cook, England captain
“It was a good toss to win, but if you score 280 in the first innings, you won’t win matches. You need to get at least 400 on this kind of a pitch to win. Ben Stokes is a brilliant player, who lends balance to the team. Haseeb Hameed has shown a lot of character and promise, but it has been four frustrating days. Credit to India.”
Virat Kohli, India captain
(About the pitches in this series) None of the pitches have been turners. We have played really good cricket. We lost the toss, but got them out for 280. It was amazing to see the lower order contribute. Ashwin is a champion bowler, Jadeja is in the top-10, but Jayant showed a lot of maturity in the two Tests. He tells me what fields he wants. Shami feels that the injury was a blessing in disguise for him, because it made him more hardworking.”
Ravindra Jadeja, Man of the Match
“I am really happy with my performance, especially with the bat. I knew that the ball was turning so I took my time. I knew that if I play 40-50 balls, I could play a big innings. (On getting out on 90) I took a risk against the leg spinner, the ball came off slowly. The next time when I score 90, I will be careful.”
Here’s how the cricketing fraternity reacted to India’s triumph on Twitter: