Two heartbreaking losses, followed by a well-deserved win by 203 runs keeps the five-match series 2-1 in favor of the hosts. The heroics from the skipper, all-round excellency from Hardik, match-winning performance from Bumrah, brilliant wicket-keeping from Pant and
unbelievable slip fielding from Rahul; can a team win in a better fashion than this? Well, is this the right time for the team think-tank to play an unchanged XI in the next test? Something that has never happened for the Indian team before, under Kohli’s captaincy.
I suppose, the victory in the mid-way of the series has blown a breeze of relaxation in the billions of hearts and souls that have been a part of India’s cricket journey, the good and bad times & the crests and troughs of the Indian cricket team as a loss in this match would mean that India could not stand a chance to even draw the series, let alone winning it.
What stands ahead for the Indian team now? Can India create history by winning the next two matches and with it the series? Has the team
found their best XI in absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Should the Indian team bid farewell to the veteran, Murali Vijay? How about testing the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Prithvi Shaw? A lot of unanswered questions and queries and the time will answer each of them.
Since the start of 2018, India has competed against strong teams like South Africa and England, that too at their own backyard. In these 6 matches, the highest scores of the out-of-form batsmen Dhawan, Rahul, Pujara and Rahane have come in the 3rd test versus England and we’ve witnessed what can happen if these batsmen get going, along with Kohli, who doesn’t need a mention.
Finally a wicket-keeper for India, who has shown guts to fight for runs, with some outstanding wicket keeping, after being sloppy in the initial few hours of the match. Things are really getting better for India, and from here on, consistency is the key. I believe, this Indian team has all the ingredients to serve the desserts of wins for the fan-like customers. A fiery and capable pace attack, a solo match-winner in the form of a spinner, the recently in-form batsmen and a promising all-rounder balances the side perfectly, and after Bhuvi gets into the team, the team will be even better.
Here are the five talking points of the outstanding test cricket being played between India and England:
5. Gutsy Fight Back From Buttler & Stokes :
Despite the rest of the batting unit collapsing like a tent of cards, two batsmen, Jos Buttler & Ben Stokes were not in the mood of giving up. From 62-4 to 231-4, the two players seemed like batting on a flat track. Every Indian cricket supporter can tell you how frustrating it was to see them batting on the crease for hours. The maiden test century for Jos Buttler, that too in the fourth innings, one innings out of few, which he will remember for the rest of his life came
against a successful bowling unit. Stokes too was brilliant for England. The duo taught a lesson to the rest of batting unit, that if the proper intent is shown, batting can get easier at times.
4. Pant & Rahul Show Excellence With The Gloves And Raw Hands :
Fielding has always been underrated as an important aspect of the game. India has lost several close games, due to their slip fielding
failures. However, KL Rahul made sure that the failure in the slip cordon wasn’t going to repeat again. Likewise, the young debutant Rishabh Pant too exhibited a brilliant wicket-keeping throughout the course of the match.
KL Rahul took seven catches in the test match, and guess what, it has never ever happened in test cricket before. And adding to this, Pant
too caught seven catches with the gloves in his debut, which turned into a ‘dream debut’. Along with the excellent batting and bowling performances, the fielding was one more reason for India’s victory.
3. Boom, Boom Bumrah Traps Five :
After Stokes and Buttler started grinding the India bowlers for hours, Bumrah made the difference as he cleared five of the obstacles from winning, which indeed was match-winning. After the performance, who knows, India could have won the 1st test in the presence of the young emerging talent.
With the figures of 29 overs-85 runs-5 wickets, Bumrah got the vital wickets of Root, Buttler, Woakes, Bairstow & Broad. We hope such performances occur more often than not. India badly needs such awesomeness from Bumrah in the rest of the two matches as well.
2. Hardik Shuts His Critics With An All-round Performance :
“Hardik is not an effective all-rounder.”
“Hardik should not be given the tag of an all-rounder.”
These were the lines used frequently by the critics from around the world, and what a way to shut their mouths. Hardik not only got his maiden 5-wicket haul in the first innings, grabbing the important wickets of Root, Bairstow, Woakes, Rashid & Rashid, but also ran havoc on the crease with a run-a-ball 52 runs, which included some beautiful cricketing shots. Yeah, Hardik is not the second Kapil, or the next Kallis, but the first Hardik. Let’s stop comparing him with other greats. Virat has proved why he kept on backing Hardik despite his failure in few of the matches.
1. Virat Grabs The Player Of The Match Award :
With the support roles of Bumrah, Hardik, Pant & Rahul, Virat was the leader of the entire win, as he outplayed the opposition in both of the innings, with the scores of 97 and 103, 200 runs in total, for the second time in the series.
Throughout the innings, Virat didn’t look in trouble against the English bowling attack and now has clearly won the battle against James Anderson. I’m actually tired of explaining how great this player is. The world knows who
he is and how great he can be on his day.