It took 28 years for India to win a Test match at Lords’ after Kapil Dev’s men achieved the feat way back in 1986. It was the first away win for Team India in three years and with puissance they did it. A wicket which would have suited home team England more, the visiting Indian team were absolutely cracking on it. Going back to Day One, fresh green wicket just as green as garden welcomed Indian batsmen, they stayed positive and played with intent and then a spirited (very rare) bowling by Ishant Sharma gifted India a historic win. Here is more on positives for India during the course of the second Test.
1. Ishant Sharma turns match winner
It was due for this tall fast bowler to win India a Test match after being drafted into the side almost regularly and fittingly he chose Lords as his stage to enthral. Ordinary first innings and then being smashed early on the last day of play, Ishant kept backing himself thanks largely to his skipper MS Dhoni who persisted with him and premeditated his bowling. Ishant scalped seven of English batsmen out of which five were victim of his short bowling, a plan that worked for him. He finished the day with 7-74, his career best and was trending not for the jokes but for his tall effort.
2. Ajinkya Rahane, composed & classy
There is a lot Ajinkya Rahane has imbibed from the‘’ Rahul Dravid school of batting’’. He has temperament to stay on the wicket and then gobsmack bowlers with his classy stroke making. His century in the first innings was nothing short of brilliance as he did the bulk of scoring and batted India to safe total. Harsh decision in the second innings may have cut short his stay but he was already a deserving candidate for all the applauses.
3. Murali Vijay, resilient & focus
After a well-crafted hundred on day one & fifty in second innings of the first Test at Trent Bridge, where wicket was easy to bat on Murali Vijay needed it to follow with something special at Lords. Green wicket, new ball and efficient fast bowlerswere all staring at this right-handed batsman. His gutsy stay on the wicket in first innings meant England had to earn his wicket. In second innings he showed the disposing qualities of an opening batsman by playing a patient knock of 95 runs. Vijay has been amongst runs so far and is carving out into an opening batsmen India may play safe with.
4. Multi-faceted Bhuvneshwar Kumar
It is factthat Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been best batsman than Virat Kohli on this tour so far, at least figures suggest so, but that has taken nothingaway from him as a bowler. Six wickets haul in the first innings was his second five-forin course of two Tests. His ability to swing both ways is no hidden treasure and honestly he looked better and threatening than rival James Anderson. His 11 wickets in three innings get better with three half-centuries from four innings and he surely is an all-rounder India needed.
5. And then there is MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja & Cheteshwar Pujara
To start with Dhoni’s willingness to stay on wicket in second innings was something to cheer about but the master was at his best leading the troops. Ishant Sharma post match insisted that it was Dhoni’s plan to bowl short at batsmen and then that unusual field setting and bowling changes it needed a Dhoni special tactics. Ravindra Jadeja comes into the side at expenses of regular spinner Ravi Ashwin but the former did well to register his breezy maiden Test fifty, valuable in terms of match and was somewhat unlucky not to have fetched more wickets after he bowled superbly in the last innings with some of his appeals being turned down. Cheteshwar Pujara may not have been up to the mark as per his standard but the right-hander played defying knocks in both the innings and made sure England had to toil for his wicket. He scored a crucial 117-ball 28 in 1stinnings to deny England a wicket on a greenish track.