England wrapped up a 4-1 series win against India in the five-match series with a comfortable yet tough 118 run victory in the final Test at The Oval on Tuesday. The scoreline 4-1 suggests the series was dominated by the hosts. However, that was not the case, as said by India skipper Virat Kohli. Also Read - IPL 2020 Points Table Latest Update After KXIP vs RCB, Match 6: Kings XI Punjab Jump to Top, KL Rahul Takes Orange Cap
“I think the 1-4 scoreline is a fair one as England played better than us but we were not outplayed barring the Lord’s Test,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “The kind of cricket we have played might not show on the scorecard. But both the teams know this series has been a competitive one,” he added. Also Read - KXIP vs RCB Dream11 IPL 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: KL Rahul Slams Century, Spinners Star as Punjab Beat Bangalore by 97 Runs
Let’s take a glimpse at some of the defining moments and performances from the five-match rubber: Also Read - IPL 2020, KXIP vs RCB: KL Rahul Scores The First Century of Season in Dubai
Virat Kohli’s 149 at Edgbaston
Kohli came into the 2018 series with the horrid memories of 2014 when he managed to score just 134 runs in 10 innings he played in England. The pressure was immense on the Indian skipper. However, in the very first Test of the series, the 29-year-old showed signs of grit during his knock of 149.
His knock was a perfect example of restraint, top-class shots, a bit of luck, and most of all, class. His knock helped India come out of hot waters, who were reeling at 100-5 at one stage and eventually posted 274 in the first innings, conceding a lead of just 13 runs.
However, India eventually lost the Test match by 29 runs.
James Anderson’s five-wicket haul at Lord’s
The second Test was perhaps the one which was dominated by the bowlers. Bowlers from both the sides came out with spectacular performances. However, the one which stood out was that of veteran pacer James Anderson which came on the very first day of the match, technically second.
It cannot be denied that the conditions suited him. But, his performance was one which sealed the fate for England in the match. It was a showcase of brilliant outswing bowling who later on, by the series end, became the seamer with the most number of Test wickets, having overtaken Glenn McGrath with its final delivery.
His final figures read 5/20, and he added 4/23 in the second innings. England went on to win that match by an innings and 159 runs.
KL Rahul’s diving catch to dismiss Stuart Broad at The Oval
In a series in which plenty of catches were dropped in the slip cordon, by either side, KL Rahul’s running catch to dismiss Stuart Broad stand’s out. Broad went for an aggressive shot against Ravindra Jadeja. However, the ball connected with the top edge of his bat and went high up in the air. Rahul, who was positioned at mid-on, ran back, leaped forward and grabbed the catch, which was his 13th of the series.
Rahul, later on, went past Rahul Dravid’s record of 13 catches which he took against Australia in the 2004 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Turning Point – Sam Curran swings it at Edgbaston
England were 86/6 in their second innings in the first Test Edgbaston and were in grave danger of giving India an all-too-easy chase and allowing the tourists to register a win to go 1-0 up in the series. But Sam Curran batted out of his skin to not only change the course of the match but the series. Batting at No.8 with the tail, the 20-year-old showed controlled aggression to reach a maiden Test fifty with a six over extra cover, before ending with 63 to get his team up to 180, and an eventually match-winning lead of 193.
Spirit of Cricket
Although the series was hard fought with both the teams not giving an inch to miss on the opportunity, there were no ugly moments. Yes, there was a little banter between the players but they never crossed the line. And the moment which envisaged the spirit of cricket was when all the Indian fielders went to shake hands with retiring Alastair Cook, who made a brilliant 147 in his final Test inning.
The gesture was a follow up to the guard of honour given to the former England captain on Day One. These moments were one which showcased how, even while playing competitive cricket, both the teams managed to respect what is called the spirit of the game.
The Lighter Moments—Some Bhangra Moves
Even though India failed to end the tour on a high and lost the final Test at The Oval, Shikhar Dhawan did not forget to entertain the crowd with his bhangra moves. Stationed in front of the Bharat Army, Dhawan just couldn’t stop jigging when he heard the dhol being played. And that just didn’t end there.
Seeing Dhawan’s on-field enthusiasm, India offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who was present at the commentary box during the India-England Test series also could not stop himself from flaunting his bhangra moves.
It was a series that had the highest quality of cricket played by both the teams, where barring the Lord’s Test, the matches saw a see-saw battle and pendulum swung in the direction from the side of one team to the other in matter of hours. However, it was England which played better cricket and emerged out as victorious.