4 Positives for Team India in the England Series
The scoreline of 4-1 in favour of England doesn’t reflect the true efforts of the Indian players in the England series.
To understand the positive aspects of India's performance, one should first take into consideration the unfavorable elements that India came up against in the entire series to end up with such a decent performance. A few of them are listed below:
Virat Kohli's poor run with the toss continued all through the series. The last time that Kohli won a toss in the series was on July 12th and for the next two months, it was Joe Root all the way.
As a result, India had to play the catch-up game from the very beginning. Joe Root was generous in the third Test in asking India to bat first. India ended up winning that match by 200 runs.
India started the series without the services of two of their best bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
They both would have been more than a handful in the second Test at Lord's. As it turned out, Bhuvneshwar Kumar missed the entire series due to injury. The Indians also missed Kumar's contribution with the bat lower down the order. Ashwin was not at his best as a bowler owing to a niggle.
The contrasting weather conditions on different days of play didn't help India's cause either. At Lord's when the Indians were batting the conditions were overcast and gloomy. When England came into bat, the sun was out in its full glory. To complicate matters further, India's team selection was erratic.
India's performance has to be assessed in the light of the above unfavorable factors. The Positives derived out of this defeat was to India's credit they were able to overcome the difficulties to put up a fight till the last day of the series.
Despite the humiliating defeats, some Indian players, with their individual performances, managed to salvage some pride
This article is about the positives that have come out of the England series in spite of the heavy defeat.
#1 The three fast bowlers
The three fast bowlers, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami bowled their heart out in the entire series.
They bowled without much luck as they kept on beating the bat without taking the edge. It was because of the performances of the fast bowlers that India could fight till the very last day of the series.
Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami played in all the back-to-back five Test matches.
Ishant was the leading wicket-taker for India with 18 wickets followed by Mohammed Shami with 16 wickets. Bumrah played only in the last three Test matches and took 12 wickets.
More than the number of wickets, it was the tireless efforts of the fast bowlers which stood out. The fast bowlers combined together managed to take all the 20 England wickets in the first, third and fourth Test matches of the series.
The fast bowlers showed a lot of character and Shami was all smiles even when the ball failed to take the edge on innumerable occasions. He was the unlucky bowler of the lot.
Ishant, bowling from round the wicket, was a nightmare to the left-handed England openers all through the series. For the first time in his career, Ishant Sharma took the responsibility of the leader of the pack seriously and guided both Shami and Bumrah to perform better.
Bumrah bowled exceptionally well with the new ball. His spell with the second new ball in the second innings of the third Test was memorable. He took 5 for 85 to accomplish the only win for India at Nottingham.
The only area where the fast bowlers failed to deliver was in wrapping up the England tail quickly which proved to be the difference in the series.