Edgbaston: The attacking nature of cricket by the English side since the coming of new coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes has paid dividends. England got past the Blackcaps in all the three Tests in similar fashion, and they repeated the same sort of aggressive cricket at Edgbaston and overpowered India by seven wickets to square the five-match Test series 2-2.
The Edgbaston Test has proved that one should remain tight-lipped regarding results in cricket. Therefore, it is called a great game replete with uncertainty.
India was right on top after the end of the third day’s play. The hosts’ heart-born supporters did not believe that England would recover from this position.
The Never Say Die attitude helped the English side come back strongly in the Test like a roaring tiger. They never drooped their shoulders at any moment of the match, despite conceding 132 runs in the first innings. In India’s second innings, the disciplined English attack never allowed the Indian batters to open their arms freely. They restricted the visitors to 245 runs in the second innings.
Chasing more than 350 runs is a daunting task in the longest format of the game, but now this English side has made it their habit. The same batter chased down more than 275 runs in three consecutive Tests against New Zealand recently. They crossed the line against India by surpassing the 378 target, losing just three wickets.
It must be said that the Edgbaston Test turned one-sided in the end. Root and Bairstow have toyed with the India attack. Their mammoth 269-run unbeaten partnership at a rapid pace changed the complexion of the match and series.
It is a heartbreaking loss for the Indian team. Time has come to do some introspection. Vihari has been nothing more than a mere spectator. How long will Kohli play? The failure of the middle order is the reason behind the team’s debacle at Edgbaston. Newcomers should be inducted into the team; otherwise, the team will lose the match from the commanding position.
Pant’s performance is laudable. Jadega also proved his worth as an all-rounder. In cricket, teamwork is required to win a match.
India’s pacers should be blamed for bowling below par in England’s second innings. But credit must be given to Root and Bairstow for the wonderful exhibition of batting.
Root and Bairstow were rightly adjudged Player of the Series and Player of the Match, respectively. Jasprit Bumrah was declared Player of the Series for India. It is a consolation for the Indian team and the captain of this Test, Bumrah.