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It was another humiliation for India as they lost by an innings and 54 runs inside three days. Abhijit Banare looks at how the events unfolded on the final day and India’s batting collapse.
At 237 for six, with a lead of 85, India still had a window of opportunity to fight back. But the seventh wicket partnership and lack of substance in the batting meant that there was yet another shock collapse. Here are some key highlights of the day and what led to India’s loss.
Root-Buttler partnership: From 170 for six, they had taken England to a relatively safe position to 237 for six with a lead of 85 when rain disrupted the play. They continued from where they let off previous afternoon. They were cautious early on and later never looked troubled as runs kept flowing. Joe Root, the backbone of the England middle-order got another fifty, his seventh
Unlucky Pankaj Singh gets a wicket: 69.2 overs/416 balls later all it took was a wayward delivery down the leg-side which got Joe Root to nick one. An elated Pankaj Singh raised his arms in joy as if he had bagged the final England wicket to win a Test. Having gone past the edges of batsmen in the morning, the #UnluckyPankaj resumed trending on Twitter. Just towards the end of first session he got Root and managed to get one more in the form of Jos Buttler. In the end, there was nothing big in store as India not only went down by an innings but Pankaj bagged a pair.
India’s missed chances: India’s slip fielding has been horrible all through the tour. With the seventh wicket partnership blossoming, Jos Buttler got first of the two reprieves batiing on 34. India were eager to strike with the new ball and Bhuvneshwar Kumar found the edge of Buttler only to see Virat Kohli floor it by going for a one-handed catch.
Stuart Broad’s injury: It’s one of those moments that you don’t want to see in sports. It was bad luck for Broad that a 140+ delivery from Varun Aaron went right through the gap of his helmet grill and cover to hit the bridge of the nose. Blood was dripping through the area and the entire Indian team converged to check on Broad. Broad walked back retired hurt and had to get it stitched and stayed away from the play rest of the day. The fear of concussion means it is unlikely Broad will be seen in action for the fifth Test.
India’s collapse: Eight for one to eight for four. 51 for one to 66 for six, says it all. In fact India haven’t lasted for 90 overs in both their innings combined. There was no mystery in the pitch but pure surrender from the batsmen. The collapse at Southampton dented their confidence and they carried the same form here. In the first two Tests, Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed India how to bat and in the fourth Test, Ravichandran Ashwin made the Old Trafford looke like a flat deck with his lovely timing. Virat Kohli has scored 30 runs and got out to James Anderson four times this series. Anderson has spotted the weakness of India’s best batsman. Kohli was about to bag a pair when he almost gave a bat-pad catch towards leg-slip in the second innings. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara hasn’t looked convincing either. The last warrior in the middle-order left was Ajinkya Rahane who too failed to hold on. It was a perfect display of collective failure.
Moeen Ali: There’s no doosra or a mystery spinner. Moeen Ali comes in a balls accurately and India manage to find the edges, lob the catches and even get bowled to him. With 19 wickets, he is second on the wicket-taker’s list behind James Anderson (21). Moeen is also the second highest wicket-taker in an India-England series in England. The last time India fell apart to a spinner like this was against Ajantha Mendis. If Southampton was a mistake, this collapse to Moeen means that he is no longer a part-time spinner.
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)
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