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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Aug 17, 2014
England wrapped up the five-match Test series 3-1 with a huge innings and 244-run victory on Day Three at The Oval. India‘s victory at Lord’s seemed a distant memory as they had no answer to the England bowling and couldn’t check the flow of runs.
With a 338-run lead before them, India collapsed like a pack of cards. Just before the lunch interval, India had already slumped to nine for two, losing both openers. After an extended lunch break due to rain, a procession ensued in the middle as India kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Only Virat Kohli showed a little semblance of fight, but his innings was also done by the time he got to 20.
Most of the Indian batsmen were out caught in the slips. It was a pattern as the England bowlers exposed the flaws in the batting and completed a memorable series victory. It does complete a comeback that saw them bounce back from the defeat at Lord’s. For India, it has been a downhill ride.
Earlier, England had won the toss on Day One and elected to bowl. They came in with an unchanged side, but India brought back Ishant Sharma and Stuart Binny for Ravindra Jadeja and Pankaj Singh.
MS Dhoni was the only batsmen who fought the bowlers with a determined innings of 82. India could only muster 148 with the England bowlers all over India. Stuart Broad had played with an injury, but the stars of the first innings were Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes, men who were considered weaklings of this bowling attack. And, England rarely used Moeen Ali, which shows the dominance of seam.
In response, England dominated with the bat as well with Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance set the tone with a good partnership. India let go too many runs through third-man. A few catches were also dropped at slip, which only added to their woes. In a sense, one’s mind went back to the third Test where Ravindra Jadeja dropped Cook and that turned the series. The only time India felt they were in the game was when they took four wickets in the afternoon session on Day Two.
However, it was Joe Root who took total control of proceedings and guided the tail through the evening session on Day Two and then got the runs on the third morning. He ultimately finished with a 165-ball 149 not out which propelled England to the 338 run lead. It was England’s game after that and India kept collapsing against the pace battery.
The only positives to emerge for India would be Varun Aaron’s bowling in this Test match. England have now showed that they still have the winning fire in them.
India 148 (MS Dhoni 82, Murali Vijay 18; Chris Jordan 3 for 30, Chris Woakes 3 for 32) and 94 (Stuart Binny 25*; Chris Jordan 4 for 18)lost to England 486 (Alastair Cook 79, Gary Ballance 64, Joe Root 149*; Varun Aaron 2 for 111, Ishant Sharma 4 for 96, Ravichandran Ashwin 3 for 72) by an innings and 244 runs.
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