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England vs India: Test 2 Review

ENginningsand59It was a Test Match in which it felt like India didn’t turn up at all. It was all about England right from the toss, the weather, the conditions and nothing at all came India’s way. England were clearly the better side in the Test match which lasted only 170.3 overs, less than two full days of proper cricket, and the third shortest in England’s century old history of the game. Although there was a point in the match when victory looked almost certain for the hosts, they were ruthless and never lacked the intensity to win. A victory margin of an innings and 159 runs is enough to indicate the dominance that England had on this game.

In a Test Match which was no less than a nightmare for India, injury seemed like salt in the wound. Virat did not take the field the other day and when his turn came to bat, he looked in some kind of discomfort. Perhaps, to make a mockery of the mismatch between the Indian team combination and the wicket at Lords, R Ashwin top scored in both the innings for India, while going wicket less in his bowling spell.

On the other side, England would be very pleased with this performance. James Anderson picked up a fifer in the first innings to follow it up with a 4 wicket haul in the next, set the tone of the Test Match. Stuart Broad bowled one hell of a spell on Day 4 to prepone England’s wait for a win when his bowling figures 4/7. With such superb performances, the stand out had to be the knock played by Chris Woakes. Before Woakes came in to bat, it was India’s best moment in the game to try and look for an improbable come-back but the partnership between Woakes and Bairstow took the game away from India- too far as it turned out in the end. Chris now would be a series contender for a place in the team even if Ben Stokes is available- a good problem to have.

None of the problems in the Indian camp though, can be termed even remotely good. Dhawan was dropped to bring back Pujara in the XI and although his was a waste of a wicket in the first innings, with a wrong call by the captain, he somehow managed to face the most no of balls by an Indian batsman in the second innings. Will that be enough to secure a place in the next XI? What happens to the Murali Vijay, who just experienced his first pair in Test Cricket? Does Dhawan come in? What about somebody like a KL Rahul who hasn’t been amongst the runs either? Is Rahane still good enough or should Karun Nair be given an opportunity? What about Kuldeep Yadav who was picked in the team as an extra spinner on a wicket which had hardly anything for the spinners and bowled only 9 overs?

When England meet India for the third Test starting 18th August in Trent Bridge, Nottingham, India would want to have clarity regarding all these questions and not regret in retrospect. For India to have any chance of staging a come-back from here on, they shouldn’t be thinking about the Lord’s test at all and move ahead with the lessons well learnt and homework done.


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