Mumbai: India asserted their dominance over England, after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match Test series, courtesy their eight-wicket win over England, on Tuesday.
What even accentuated their performance was that neither did any of the India bowlers take a five-wicket-haul, nor did any of their batsmen score a century. On that note, let’s take a look at five important talking points from the match.
Failure to notch up partnerships cost England
The tone for the match was set in the very first innings, when England were bundled out for just 283 runs. Although Jonny Bairstow played a well-paced innings, putting up 89 on the board, he did not have any significant support from the other end.
The highest partnership-stand that England could muster-up in the entire Test was that of 69 runs for the sixth wicket in the first innings, between Bairstow and Jos Buttler. To top that off-England failed to put up any 50-run partnership in their second innings.
Parthiv Patel’s return
The pocket-sized wicketkeeper-batsman may have made his return to Test cricket after eight years, but he did not look out of place in a dressing-room that has completely changed since the last time he played the longer version of the game.
Patel scored a gritty 42 in the first innings, and guided the team to victory with an unbeaten 67 in the second. What adds more value to his performance is that he provided India with good starts in both the innings. To add to that, he played a part in five dismissals (as a wicketkeeper) during the entire Test. Patel’s performance in the Mohali will certainly give the first choice wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha a good run for his money.
The Virat Kohli vs Ben Stokes saga
This is something that has intrigued many fans. The five-Test war between India and England was bound to have many sub-plots in between. One such battle within the war has stood tall above all others – Virat Kohli vs Ben Stokes.
The two have exchanged a few heated words (for which Stokes was reprimanded) during the match, and even went on to give each-other special send-offs after the respective player was dismissed by the opposition. This rivalry has certainly made things more interesting for the fans, and it would be interesting to see how both Kohli and Stokes react to each other in the coming matches.
Ajinkya Rahane failing to take charge of middle order
India have been getting good starts in their innings so far in the England series, but a key area where they have been missing out is the middle order.
Ajinkya Rahane, who comes in at no. 5, has averaged just 12.6 in the England series so far. The India Test vice-captain’s failure to take charge of the middle order has caused the hosts some problems. However, England have been unable to capitalise on this weakness, India all-rounders Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have more than made up for the lack of Rahane’s bad form.
Indian tail wagging
While Parthiv Patel gave India a good start in the first innings, a middle-order collapse left the home side struggling at 156 for 5 at one point.
While the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair failed to impress in the middle-order, it was all-rounders Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jayant Yadav that made the difference for them. The trio scored more than 52 per cent of the team’s runs in the first innings....