After the dismissal of key man Rishab Pant early on day five, England were looking favorites to wind the Lords Test
However, England saw their chances evaporate within 40 minutes, courtesy of having mistaken Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for prime Vivian Richards and Sachin Tendulkar.
But that change as early as in 40 min minutes, courtesy of the tactic and the planning deployed by the England team. One-dimensional bowling, questionable field placements and a poor overall mindset gave India a massive boost, as they went on to win the match by 151 runs.
No one could have believed that India would win by such a margin given Pant was dismissed with the lead standing at 167. England then fell into the trap of returning serve to Bumrah in particular, after the India fast bowler peppered James Anderson with bouncers on the third evening.
The overuse of the bouncer, in conjunction with up to six fielders in boundary-saving positions, allowed Bumrah and Shami to rotate strike with ease. With every passing run, England’s chances of victory diminished further, which was a major waste given the position they were in thanks to Joe Root’s fine hundred and excellent bowling before the Bumrah-Shami stand.
England captain Joe Root takes responsibility
When questioned in the post-match presentation, skipper Joe Root said, “A lot on my shoulders, as captain you take responsibility, tactically we could have done things differently – we went from a position where we could win to being behind.”
England were shellshocked by the time it was their turn to bat. They had worked so hard to put the game in their grasp, but they let go of that advantage in almost an instant. Both England openers were out for a duck for the first time ever in a home Test, and the home side was always playing catch up.
India, in such a pumped up mood, are hard to stop. And England had no answers.
Expert and Fans Slammed England
The likes of Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott led the chorus of discontent among England fans, as the Indian supporters lapped it up. Shane Warne described the tactics as “horrible.”
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, though capable, have not scored runs on a consistent basis at Test level. In fact, India’s tail was seen as a major point of concern ahead of this series. So, for England to show so much respect with numerous fielders out on the boundary was quite the scene.