sports

England's horror batting collapse hands India victory

29 1

Jasprit Bumrah knew it was his time, and India captain Virat Kohli wasn't going to stand in his way.

England's brittle batting lineup was beginning to creak soon after lunch on day five of a riveting fourth Test at the Oval, so Bumrah seized the opportunity.

"Jasprit just said, 'Give me the ball,'" Kohli said. "And he bowled that six-over spell ... which completely shifted the momentum to our side."

Bowling at speeds of 90 mph (144 kph) and often taking a docile pitch out of the equation with his yorkers, Bumrah produced one of the spells of his blossoming test career to spark another English collapse — from 0-100 to 210 all out — and a 157-run win for India in south London on Monday.

India took a 2-1 lead with one Test left in a riveting series that will be decided at Old Trafford, Manchester, starting on Friday. All the momentum is with the tourists again as they seek to win a Test series in England for just the fourth time.

"We have everything that we need to win — the belief, the team," Kohli said.

And, in Bumrah, a pace bowler who is shaping up to be an India great.

Virat Kohli wearing glasses: Indian skipper Virat Kohli celebrates India taking a 2-1 series lead.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli celebrates India taking a 2-1 series lead.

Figures of 2-27 off 22 overs, which saw him reach 100 Test wickets quicker than any previous India pacer, seemed unfathomable on a pitch that offered little to the seamers in the opening four days of the Test.

Certainly, Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow didn't know what had hit them after being bowled in successive overs by Bumrah. That contributed to England, which had been set a record 368 to win, plunging from 2-141 to 6-147 in a game-changing 36-ball span.

"It was a brilliant spell of bowling from Bumrah," England captain Joe Root said. "That really was the turning point in the game.

"That was world-class bowling. He saw an opportunity in the game and performed really well."

A match that appeared to be heading for a draw suddenly turned into an inevitable win for the Indians.

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: India celebrates a wicket on the final day of the fourth Test against England.

India celebrates a wicket on the final day of the fourth Test against England.

It was clinched 40 minutes after tea when Umesh Jadav (3-60) got an edge behind off Jimmy Anderson (2) and Kohli sprinted to the middle, roaring in delight. The celebrations were held up by a desperate review from Anderson, but when a spike showed on UltraEdge, Kohli and his players really could jump for joy.

Kohli uprooted a stump and pointed it in the direction of India's fans. Or were they English? After all, Kohli hadn't been shy in responding to the home supporters, cupping his ear and even mimicking playing the flute as England wickets were tumbling.

He was hyperactive all day, always in the ear of the umpires and always applauding his bowlers.

"It's definitely among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as a captain," Kohli said of his team.

"It's absolutely a great momentum-booster because we have been here for a long time. It gives us more motivation to go out there and try to win the next one as well."

a close up of a man in a match: Jonny Bairstow is bowled for a duck on the final day of the fourth Test against India.

Jonny Bairstow is bowled for a duck on the final day of the fourth Test against India.

Avoiding defeat at Old Trafford would see India's class of 2021 emulate the Test series winners in England of 1971, 1986, and 2007.

And they have the momentum after a second day-five win of the series, after the second Test at Lord's also featuring an English batting collapse to 120 all out inside two sessions.

Root's side is going to have to pick itself up for another Test starting in just four days and there will be some tired bodies in England's dressing room, not least the 39-year-old Anderson and Ollie Robinson. They have played all four Tests in a depleted attack shorn of Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Olly Stone, and allrounder Ben Stokes.

Stokes' 135 not out inspired England's previous highest run chase in Test cricket, knocking over 359 to beat Australia at Headingley in 2019.

Even more, was needed on Monday, but India's bowling was just too good.

England started the day under a bright sky and on 0-77, requiring 291 more runs to set a new national record. All four results were open but it was clear from the reduced rate of scoring by lunch that a rearguard effort was going to be required.

Rory Burns (50) was the first batsman to depart, one ball after both reaching his half-century and bringing up the 100-run partnership for the first wicket when he edged behind Shardul Thakur.

And Dawid Malan's run-out for 5, misguidedly attempting a quick single with Haseeb Hameed, stalled any England ambitions before that half-hour period when the game went away from them.

The departure of Hameed started the collapse — the opener was bowled by offspinner Ravindra Jadeja for 63 — and then Bumrah took over.

He sent one through the gate of Pope (2) before his best yorker of the lot splattered Bairstow's stumps.

Moeen Ali joined Bairstow in getting a duck and then came the big wicket of Root (36), who played on from a loosener outside off stump by Thakur.

That made it 7-182 and the end was nigh for England.

"It shows if you give them half a sniff, they'll kick the door open," England coach Chris Silverwood said. "They made life very difficult for us. I've got to give credit to India today, they were excellent."

1 Comments

Leave a Comment

Related News