England vs India 2018: England annihilate India in the Lords Test
On Day 4, England batted for 40 mins in the first session and added 39 runs to their overnight lead of 250. Indian openers came into bat under gloomy conditions with the threat of rain right round the corner.
English bowlers were right on the money from the word go and it did not take them long to draw first blood. Vijay nicked a vicious in-swinger from Anderson to Bairstow. This enunciated a procession of wickets which lasted for mere 47 overs. In the second innings, Indian openers seemed to have worked out how to handle the out-swingers from Anderson which was their Achilles heel in the first innings. But they were found wanting against the incoming ball which resulted in their demise.
Kohli could not come in to bat at his regular No 4 position as he did not take the field on Day 4 during England innings owing to stiffness in his back. Rahane along with Pujara tried to weather the storm by stitching together a partnership. This came to an agonizing end when Rahane edged out to slip. Indian skipper who came in next did not last long as he seemed to be impaired by his back strain.
Best partnership of the Indian innings was provided by an unlikely pair of Pandya and Ashwin. They managed to delay the inevitable and eventually the whole team was bundled out for 130 and India lost by an innings and 159 runs. Indians could not survive even 50 overs in either innings. This emphasized the dominance of the English bowlers in this test.
There was too much talk about the pitch being conducive for swing bowling on Day 2 and Indians were unfortunate enough to lose the toss. Pitch on Day 4 did not have any such demons and it was just lack of application from the Indian batsmen which resulted in their downfall. Batting was pedestrian and none of the batsmen seemed comfortable yet again against the moving ball. This batting performance was ignominious from the fact that Ravi Ashwin was the highest scorer in both the innings.
A couple of team selections in both the tests have also not helped the team's cause. Bringing in Rahul in place of Pujara was a horrendous move in the first test. Going in with two spinners under overcast conditions at Lords was another decision Kohli would rue about in hindsight.
If Team India does not come with a proper plan sooner than later, we might be looking at another whitewash on English soil. They might need to make bold changes and not include players based on their past performances. Kohli and Co. have a lot to ponder as they head into the 3rd test at Trent Bridge.