Collective bowling effort takes India over the line against England to wrap up the 106-run win in the 2nd Test
Starting the play on Day 4 at the ACA-VDCA Stadium, Jasprit Bumrah troubled Zak Crawley on the first five deliveries before the opening batter drove the last ball of the over to the fence. Continuing the attack, nightwatchman Rehan Ahmed smashed Axar Patel away for two consecutive boundaries setting his eye in early in the day.
Axar got Rehan to edge the ball in his third over of the day but the ball brushed the fingers of the skipper Rohit Sharma before racing to the fence. Later in the same over, the southpaw trapped Ahmed LBW and the spinner headed for the hut after scoring 23 runs off 31 balls.
Ollie Pope signified his intent with a boundary on the first ball he faced as Axar continued to be expensive in the first spell of the day’s play. After Pope reverse-swept Axar for another boundary, Crawley hit the left-arm spinner down the ground to bring up another half-century in the 2nd Test.
Pope scored three more boundaries off the next five balls he faced against Axar before Ravichandran Ashwin got him to edge the ball to Sharma and the Indian captain held on this time around to complete the dismissal.
Like Pope, Joe Root also started with a boundary but the former English skipper took it up a notch by bringing out the reverse-sweep on the first ball and then used it again on the third ball to procure another boundary. In the next over, Root went down the ground for a maximum as Axar could do nothing about stemming the flow of runs.
Ashwin took his 499th wicket in the form of Root who survived a close DRS call when Axar was bowling but his attacking ‘Bazball’ style of play brought his demise as he top-edged the ball and Axar completed the catch safely to dismiss Root after scoring 16 runs off 10 balls.
Jonny Bairstow continued the onslaught on the Indian spinner along with Crawley before taking on Bumrah with two boundaries off the fast bowler’s first over of the second spell of Day 4.
Sharma also introduced Kuldeep Yadav for the first time in the day and it brought immediate relief to the crowd as the left-arm wrist-spinner trapped Crawley in front of the wickets but the umpire wasn’t moved by what he witnessed. Taking the DRS, the third-umpire ruled in favor of the fielding side as Crawley was sent back to the pavilion after contributing 73 runs off 132 balls.
Four balls later, Bumrah beat Bairstow’s defense and the ball crashed onto his thigh pad with the umpire raising his finger and sending the aggressive batter packing after scoring 26 runs off 36 balls which included five fours.
The Lunch was called as England had lost half their side on a score of 194 runs and both new batters hadn’t faced a ball when the the play commenced for the second session. Ben Foakes and Ben Stokes decided to take their time after a mini-collapse just before the first session ended and it reaped rewards as the pair put on 26 runs in 10 overs without taking a risk.
Unexpectedly, Shreyas Iyer became the hero on the field as his direct hit uprooted the bails with Stokes lazily running towards the keeper’s end, getting run out for the first time in Test cricket since he recorded his highest score of 258 runs against South Africa before getting run out by AB de Villiers.
Tom Hartley got off the mark with a maximum over the long-on region against Ashwin and Foakes also decided to send the ball flying over the deep mid-wicket boundary in the next over against Kuldeep.
Hartley continued to play spin well and negated the threat of Ashwin and Kuldeep with intent before Foakes was caught & bowled by Bumrah in the 65th over. The pair built the highest partnership of the innings as Hartley and Foakes contributed 55 runs for the eighth wicket.
Shoaib Bashir was promoted to the No.10 position but the experiment didn’t last long as the debutant was dismissed by Mukesh Kumar who was relieved after taking his first Test wicket at home with Srikar Bharat completing a regulation catch.
James Anderson came out and batted well enough for a No.11 as the experienced bowler drove Mukesh down the ground for his first and only boundary of the innings. Ashwin was left hanging at 499 wickets for a period of 10 days as Bumrah bowled the perfect delivery crashing onto the top of the off-stump after beating Hartley’s edge as the visitors fell 106 runs short.
Bumrah bagged the ‘Player of the Match’ award as the Indian vice-captain was chosen ahead of Yashasvi Jaiswal and the experienced fast bowler was happier about the win than the numbers.
“As I said before, I don’t look at numbers. As a youngster, I did that and it made me excited. But now it’s an added baggage. We’re going through a transition so I feel it’s my responsibility to help them in any way I can. We discuss certain things. Before a cricketer, I’m a fast bowling fan. If somebody’s doing well, kudos to them. I look at the situation, at the wicket and think what are my options. I should not be a one-trick pony.”