Tuesday, 07 September 2021 | PTI | London
India win 4th Test by 157 runs
A menacing Jasprit Bumrah joined forces with a canny Ravindra Jadeja to decimate England by 157 runs in the fourth Test as India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, here on Monday.
The Indian bowling attack was without two of its senior pacers Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami but was still potent enough to bowl out England for 210 in 92.2 overs.
The hosts were chasing a tough target of 368.
Bumrah (22-9-27-2) and Jadeja (30-11-50-2) hit England with such ferocity that a batsman of Joe Root’s (36 off 78 balls) stature looked dumbfounded at the other end with the kind of distress that his fellow batters were in.
Perhaps that was the reason that India’s man-of-the-moment Shardul Thakur’s (8-1-22-2) off-cutter was dragged back onto the stumps by Root, signalling the end of English resistance.
Umesh Yadav (18.2-2-60-3) then completed the formalities with the second new ball as India won two Test matches in a single series in England after a gap of 35 years.
Virat Kohli had said after the third Test that a win at Lord’s didn’t guarantee a win at Leeds and a humbling defeat at Leeds didn’t mean that tables could not be turned at the Oval.
The skipper’s thoughts were vindicated by his team with an all-round performance — Rohit Sharma showing steely temperament, Shardul Thakur giving it his all knowing that chances may be far and few.
Umesh showing that he is no less effective than team management’s first choice quartet of pacers.
As far as Jadeja was concerned, he answered all the pro-Ashwin backers on his and Virat Kohli’s behalf. He hit the rough created outside the left-hander’s off-stump as his skipper had assessed at the toss.
He started the slide making Haseeb Hameed (63 off 193 balls) pay for his ultra-defensive tactic with a classic left-arm spinner’s dismissal.
Using the rough outside the leg-stump of the right hander, he landed one on the spot as the opener prodded forward for a defensive stroke but the ball turned enough to evade the bat and hit the top of the off-stump.
Then it was Bumrah’s turn to unleash his sharp incoming reverse swinging deliveries with a lethal mix of yorkers for Ollie Pope (2) and Jonny Bairstow (0), who couldn’t stop their defence from being breached.
Pope got one that came in sharply at a brisk pace which also ensured the quickest 100th Test wicket for India’s most prolific all-format fast bowler in the last decade. But the ball that got Bairstow was even special as it would have made someone like Waqar Younis proud.