The last day of the second Test between India and England was remarkable for a couple of reasons. While Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami’s partnership of 89 took India to a position of strength, it was clueless bowling by the English seamers to the Indian tail, that bemused everyone.
Former England bowler Steve Harmison also could not believe what he witnessed. He went on to say that while seeking revenge for James Anderson, England lost the plot. Earlier in the match, Bumrah had bowled a few short ones to Anderson, which rattled the latter a bit. So as a part of the plan, England bowlers kept peppering Shami and Bumrah with short balls, and both the Indians expected that to happen. While predicting the move, Shami scored 56 and Bumrah made 34.
Courtesy this, India declared at the score of 298, setting England a target of 272.
“They completely lost the plot. That half an hour period after getting Rishabh Pant, what on earth happened to the England cricket team? They didn’t have any slips, no catchers in any position while bowling at numbers 9 and 10. A good ball to Virat Kohli is a good ball to Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
“When the verbals were coming round, it was good entertainment. You want to see two passionate groups going head-to-head. But England just seemed to get one eye off trying to get Jasprit Bumrah out by bowling bouncers at him. India though played fantastic cricket.”
Meanwhile, It seems that Virat Kohli is being haunted by the ghost of his 2014 England tour where he had a horrible performance with the bat. His tendency to chase deliveries outside off was exploited to the hilt by the English bowlers back then keeping him quiet during the entire tour.
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar though defended Kohli’s approach arguing it has gotten him thousands of runs but he did point fingers over the India captain’s intent.
“That method has been successful for him. He has got 8000 Test runs with that back and across movement,” Gavaskar said on Sony Sports Network. “But he is playing at deliveries way outside off stump and a little too early in the innings. This time around, the foot is somewhere else, the bat is somewhere else, which means that he hasn’t really played well. It could be about this much-talked-about word intent but in a five-day game, every batsman goes in to score runs. It’s the method that differs.”