Connect with us
[entitysport_widget id=appendHtmlForslider_widgetcricket]

IND vs ENG: Batting first no problem, India brush aside England | Cricket


IND vs ENG: Batting first no problem, India brush aside England | Cricket


What will it take to stop the Indian juggernaut at this World Cup? Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and New Zealand haven’t had the answers. At the Ekana stadium on Sunday, England – defending champions and prime favourites for the title until three weeks ago – didn’t have the answers either.

Rohit Sharma shakes hands with Jos Buttler after India won their ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match against England in Lucknow(AP)
Rohit Sharma shakes hands with Jos Buttler after India won their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match against England in Lucknow(AP)

They may have been able to restrict India to 229/9 on a track where the ball spun prodigiously, but so ruthless was India’s response with the ball that they cantered to a 100-run victory.

From Rohit Sharma’s masterclass with the bat on a sluggish surface to Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav’s supremacy with the ball, their sixth straight win was masterminded by multiple protagonists. It must be equally gratifying that this came while defending a total after five successful run chases on the trot.

In defence of a score England would have been hopeful of chasing at the halfway mark, India’s bowlers ideally needed to be pinpoint accurate from the outset. Bumrah was, Mohammed Siraj wasn’t. His first two wayward overs went for 18 and England were 26/0 in four overs.

But Bumrah, with his disarming smile and deadly skill, was all too predictable with what he did next. He provided the spur India needed by removing Dawid Malan and Joe Root off successive balls. First was Malan, who erred by cutting a ball just outside off stump and chopped on. For Root, who has a tendency to play across his front pad early in his innings, Bumrah produced a full inswinger to prey on the No. 3’s fallibility. It was all that was needed for the panic that has embodied England’s batting right through this campaign to resurface.

When Sharma replaced Siraj with Shami at the start of the sixth over, England’s problems mounted. Now there was pressure from both ends, and England were afforded no easy scoring opportunities. Fraught with risk were Ben Stokes’s attempts to throw his hands at balls outside off-stump, not one of which he connected. Nine dot balls resulted in Stokes losing his patience against Shami. With his feet rooted to the crease, he swung across the line and found his stumps dismantled.

In Shami’s next over, Jonny Bairstow – never quite settled in his 23-ball stay – also played onto the stumps. By the time Sharma called for spin with Kuldeep Yadav’s introduction in the 14th over, England were already heading for disaster at 45/4. That became 52/5 when Kuldeep unleashed a ripper from his locker – the ball pitched a few metres outside off and spun back so viciously that England captain Jos Buttler’s bat and pad couldn’t stop it from clattering into the stumps. Kuldeep also dismissed Liam Livingstone to end with two wickets. Shami went on to finish with four scalps while Bumrah ended proceedings with a yorker at the base of Mark Wood’s stumps.

The win wouldn’t have been possible without Sharma’s 87. In early strife at 40/3, Sharma and KL Rahul staged a recovery with a 91-run partnership off 111 deliveries for the fourth wicket. The others in India’s top order didn’t find their fluency. Shubman Gill was undone by a Chris Woakes nip-backer while Virat Kohli fell for a nine-ball duck after his attempted loft over mid-off against Willey went awry. The most worrying was Shreyas Iyer’s dismissal to a short ball by Woakes. Having been dismissed playing a pull against New Zealand in Dharamsala, Iyer committed the same error.

If not for Sharma’s successful review against a leg-before verdict when he was on 33, India would have been in further trouble at 51/4. Sharma survived, going on to show he’s as adept at grinding runs on a challenging surface as he’s belting the big hits on a flat deck. While Sharma’s pull shot off the pace bowlers is often feted, what isn’t as much is his footwork against spin. In the 29th over, bowled by part-time leggie Livingstone, his nimble feet allowed him to skip down and chip a flighted delivery over midwicket for four. He manoeuvred the field with sweeps of the conventional and reverse variety too.

With the partnership building, the sea of blue at the stadium was just sensing a shift in momentum when Rahul fell. With Bairstow inside the 30-yard circle at mid-on, Rahul charged at Willey knowing he will just have to clear the infield to fetch a boundary. While the intention behind the stroke may have been fine, its execution let him down as the ball soared before landing safely in Bairstow’s hands. The slowness of the surface eventually did for the India skipper too. He had picked Adil Rashid’s googly early enough, but his heave could only find Livingstone at deep midwicket.

A surge from Suryakumar Yadav (49, 47b) allowed India to cross 200. Ingenuity, one of Surya’s strengths, was on view. When Wood pitched short, he moved inside the line and helped it along over fine leg for six. The spinners’ fuller lengths were met with fierce sweeps for boundaries. That he came to the fore in Hardik Pandya’s absence at No. 6 is yet another positive of India’s perfect campaign so far.


Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Cricket

Most Runs Scored by


To Top