IND vs ENG：Team India Had Epic Win at Oval, Let's make it 3-1.
"We have everything that we need to win: we have the belief, we have the team,"
said India captain Virat Kohli.
India won the fourth Test at The Oval, taking a 2-1 series lead with one match to go. At lunch on Day Five, England had lost just a couple of wickets and it looked like they could possibly draw the game.
However, Virat Kohli was proactive with his field and gave the ball to Jasprit Bumrah, who broke the game open with his twin strikes. From there, India kept on chipping away with wickets at regular intervals and eventually won the game by a massive 157 runs.
This was the surface on which England's bowlers had laboured for almost 150 overs in India's second innings. It was the surface on which James Anderson, one of the most skilful bowlers the country has ever produced, said he had tried everything to gain some movement but to no avail.
In Bumrah India had a bowler with the pace and skill to extract life from the surface and the ball which was almost completely absent to his England counterparts. His figures of 2-27 do no justice to an outstanding spell of fast bowling which highlighted a key difference between the sides: he was able to hit the pitch harder than anyone in the England side and he was able to gain movement that England could not.
Jasprit Bumrah crossed the 100-wicket milestone in Tests at The Oval, becoming the fastest Indian pacer to do so. But it's just the start of what promises to be a glittering career in the red-ball format for the 27-year-old.
Bumrah and Jadeja, two wickets each, were the wreckers-in-chief in that afternoon session, cleaning up England's middle-order with a fuss. At the end, it was Umesh Yadav's three-for that cleaned up England's tail and sealed a famous win for India. Amidst all this, let's not forget Shardul Thakur's brace, which included the all-important scalps of Burns and Joe Root.
While in Ravindra Jadeja they had a spinner who could apply pressure and threaten. It is telling that his economy rate was 1.66 per over and his opposite number on the England side, Moeen Ali's, was 4.54. Ultimately, India were just better than England.
But it wasn't just about Bumrah. In Rohit Sharma, India had the one batter in the match to convert a start into a match-defining score. For his brilliant century in the second innings, Rohit Sharma was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’.
“I wanted to be on the field as much as I could. That hundred was special. We know how important the second innings. Virat just mentioned the effort from the batsmen, and as a unit it was really important. It's my first overseas hundred. Really glad that I could get the team in an important position. There was pressure after that 100-run trail.
Once we got the lead, we just wanted to put pressure on the bowlers. I try to contribute for the team, it's important for me. I know the importance of opening the innings. I am glad I could make it count. It's always important to embrace the challenge, it's not going to be easy,” said Rohit Sharma.
He and Cheteshwar Pujara displayed clinical batting, putting India in command, dominating England bowlers for two sessions. Their 153-run second-wicket stand helped India carry on the momentum KL Rahul set.
They mixed caution with aggression and the duo saw out spell after spell, taking India to a position of safety. Rohit finally brought up his century in the 63rd over of the innings by hitting a six off the bowling of Moeen Ali. This was Rohit’s first century outside Asia.
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq noted the pivotal role Shardul Thakur played in India's fourth Test against England at the Oval. He termed the all-rounder an effective player after he played a substantial role with both bat and ball.
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has urged fans and critics not to burden Shardul Thakur with the pressure of expectations. “There’s a lot to like about him — his bowling action, work ethics. He tries to give it all whenever he plays.
He has contributed outstandingly in England so far… However, don’t jump the gun in calling him an all-rounder or not calling him one. Let’s be patient with him. Just give him some time and space. Let him be a contributor for some time, and we can call him (an all-rounder) when the time comes. Don’t hurry. He’s shown potential. He can add things to his game, but with proper timing and planning.”
India's gameplan, fueled by aggression and a mentality to win at all costs, has been evident on multiple occasions in the recent past. Team India bounced back from being dismissed for the lowest Test total in Adelaide last year to eventually win the series by a 2-1 margin.
Even in the ongoing series, they have been on the backfoot for a significant amount of time before striking back and emerging victorious. Indian players have a very strong game awareness and that is what sets them apart from the other competitors.
The strong core of the Indian team is one of the reasons that has been a threat to all oppositions overseas. Team India are riding a wave of confidence after toppling England on a fairly flat wicket at Kennington Oval in London. Both the teams will now travel to the Old Trafford stadium, where India will look to land the final blow.
The final Test will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester and will begin on September 10th.
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