England vs India, Edgbaston Test: India Thought They Would Appear And Things Would Just Happen
England vs India, Edgbaston Test - Match Review (@Edgbaston)

As the Edgbaston Test came to an end, giving England a fine win that gave them a 2-2 verdict in the five-Test series, one was left wondering what the result would have been, had India played the final Test of the series last year along with the rest, when they had the momentum. But other things take precedence in Indian cricket, one assumes. Nevertheless, even when the side went into the Edgbaston Test, there seemed to be a little bit of an assumption that all they needed to do was to appear, and things would just happen. Couldn’t have been more wrong, as the Indian team brutally got to know.

India lost the Test, or began the process of losing, on Day 3 afternoon, when, in spite of a definite edge in proceedings, the batters just could not translate that into anything close to a challenge.

It can’t be that the Indian think tank was not aware of the English batters’ ability to run down scores they made it clear time and again against New Zealand so the need to score really big runs in the second essay was not important, it was not negotiable.

But only a handful came good. While Rishabh Pant accounted for himself admirably, scoring a 50 to supplement his superb first-inning century, and Cheteshwar Pujara and the other first-inning centurion Ravindra Jadeja gave in a real go, the rest just simply folded.

Shubman Gill looks good only in patches, while Virat Kohli is struggling to collect even 30 runs. While a lot is said in his defence, there is no denying that the drought is just too long for a batter of his calibre and his efforts to stitch together a decent score are beginning to tell on his aggression and scoring rate, and that is reflecting on the entire batting line-up.

Hanuma Vihari too was as sketchy as Gill, and was unable to bat for long enough to make things relatively easier for the middle-order.

Shreyas Iyer struggled. There is really no other word for that. The English bowlers found him out rapidly with their short stuff and he just didn’t know how to counter.

Also, the English batters looked way more cohesive in the manner in which they approached the 377-run target. The openers went after the Indian bowlers and instead of folding up as expected by the Indians, they kept attacking, so much so that the Indian fielding side ran out of ideas rapidly.

Then, once Root and Bairstow got into the act, the rest was there for all to see.

A tepid batting approach, an inability to score consistently, and then bowling without much faith by the afternoon of Day 4, the match was already over. The rest of India’s contribution was just to see the two overnight batters score centuries. Not the way it was envisaged. If there was any vision to start with.

(This article was first published on india.com)