Specsavers' second England-India Test, 2018: Five Reasons why India lost
So, that's it. As we have been mentioning for quite some time now, it was just, "a matter of time". And the inevitable has happened. India, done and dusted. Effectively, in terms of overs bowled, the game lasted just two days - in Harsha Bhogle's words, "a dire statement to make".
It was indeed a clinical display from the hosts, and it is very hard to spot any area where they may have failed - be it the bowling, the batting, or even the fielding - the English were much, much stronger than their opponents.
And too many match-winners as well - Chris Woakes for his 137 in the solitary innings that England played, and also his four wickets; Stuart Broad's five wickets; and above all, James Anderson's amazing age-defying performance: 9 wickets for 43 runs across both innings. It was clearly a deserving victory for the hosts, as England remains a tough nut for India to crack.
"A clinical performance from England. The first time that a side has outplayed us so much in recent times. Not proud of the way we played" - Kohli's disappointment was evident as he spoke in the final presentation ceremony. And boy, don't we all feel the same.
Brief Scores: India 107(Ashwin 29, Anderson 5/20), 130 (Ashwin 33*, Anderson 4/23) lost to England 396/7 decl. (Woakes 137*, Bairstow 93, Pandya 3/66) by an innings and 159 runs.
Let us just wrap up the proceeding now, and look at some major reasons why India lost the game.
#1. Openers fail to make any impact
If the reader asks me to make a one-word description on what the Indian openers have contributed in the ongoing Test series till date, and before you complete the question, the answer will come out in a flash: "Nothing".
If one is still doubtful, then all that he or she needs to do is to take a look at Vijay's and Rahul's contribution in both matches of the Test series so far: Vijay - 20, 6, 0, 0. Rahul - 4, 13, 10, 8. Vijay (shamefully dismissed for a pair) did not even stay long enough to show that he may have any trouble with the English conditions in the Lord's game, while Rahul clearly showed his lack of proficiency in shot-selection.
On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan started well in either innings in the previous game, but his tendency to get dismissed while attempting reckless shots may have prompted captain Kohli to take Rahul in over him. It was already deemed a gamble but now it has definitely been proved as one, and a failed one at that. Hopefully, Dhawan returns to the squad in the next game and does justice to his talent and skill.