A day after India’s defeat to England in the England vs India series and the result still stings. The loss is harder to digest given the manner it came about. Another poor batting performance by the Indian team saw the team crumble on day 4 to not only lose the match by 60 runs but with it also hand over the series 3-1 to England. So what went wrong for the Indians in the fourth test? We at Tentaran decode India’s performance and bring you the moments that resulted in India’s defeat.
Failure to kill off the English innings in the first innings in the England vs India series: With England reeling at 90-6 in the first innings, India failed to deliver the finishing blow, allowing England to reach a total of 246. In a repeat of the Lord’s test, the Indian bowlers failed to finish off a good job, letting the English tail bat for far too long. Sam Curran tormented India in both the innings in Southampton, scoring 78 and 40 respectively to add vital runs at the end of the innings which proved to be the turning point at the end of the match.
India’s openers: Having tinkered with the Shikhar Dhawan-Murali Vijay, Dhawan-Rahul and Vijay-Rahul combination in the four matches for the opening slot, India for the first time in the series went in with an unchanged opening pair. That turned out to be the team’s biggest weakness after Dhawan and Rahul continued their poor form in the fourth test. Dhawan scoring a total of 160 runs and Rahul 110 runs in the matches provided to them this series has ended up costing the Indians big time. Not only have their embarrassing performances exposed the Indian middle order far too early to the pitch and the new ball but they have also failed to provide any solidarity to the innings at the top of the batting order. With the opening slot of crucial importance on the green, swinging English tracks, Dhawan and Rahul have thrown their wickets away far too easily, showing no sort of competence and application while playing Anderson and Broad.
Wrong team selection and a failure to read the conditions properly: Fielding two spinners on a green top at Lord’s and four pacers on a dusty, slow and sluggish Southampton pitch has left us all baffled. The moves have shown a clear lack of understanding by the Indian management of the English conditions. Coach Ravi Shastri has failed in overseas series in South Africa and England; both test series where India failed to field the proper playing 11.
Ashwin’s insipid performance: With his compatriot Moeen Ali exploiting the rough to get an excellent purchase from a turning track, Ashwin in comparison delivered a flat performance when his team needed it the most. With the wicket tailor-made for Ashwin to deliver a spell that could have tormented the English batsmen, Ashwin didn’t show up at all, bowling an uninspired spell that failed to trouble any English batsman.
The Indian batting performance: 245 with almost two days to play doesn’t sound that tough. And it shouldn’t have been also especially with the stakes at hand. However, another bad batting performance by the Indians ensured that the visitors failed once again while chasing in an overseas test match. It was especially India’s middle-order that left us surprised. A lack of will to apply themselves on the pitch left all Indian supporters perplexed. Hardik Pandya’s role in the team is still unknown to us; after all, he can neither bowl nor bat decently. Taking up the important all-rounder’s role, Pandya’s continued selection by the Indian management is letting the team down time and time again. New boy Pant has failed to impress in his two chances till now as well.
The nation hopes that the cricket fans don’t have to see results like England vs India series again and our team fares better in the upcoming matches as they have fared in many other international series before making us proud.