India left embarrassed

India left embarrassed

 The heaviness of this defeat will linger in Indian players’ minds for a long time to come. They were not just beaten in the fourth Test, but were blown away by a high-on-spirit England side within three days.

First, India lost the match by an innings and 54 runs on Saturday to take 2-1 lead in the series. They could not reach 200 in either innings – 152 and 161 – in this Test at Old Trafford while a doughty England mustered 367 in their lone innings. India’s second innings lasted just over three hours, and lost nine wickets in a session for 128 runs.

England had not beaten India in three days of a Test match since 1967 at Edgbaston. The home side was also without strike bowler Stuart Broad, who suffered a broken nose while batting. Simply damning! The Indian batting line-up will have to shoulder a major share of the blame for this abject surrender.

Throughout this series, India failed to find a settled opening pair. M Vijay shone bright at one end but both Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir disappointed. However, the biggest letdowns were Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, the expected batting fulcrums.

Kohli has scored runs around the world but he found the craftiness of James Anderson too hot to handle. Anderson challenged Kohli with his persistent line in the channel outside the off-stump, and for once, the Delhiite couldn’t live up to the examination. He has tallied a mere 108 runs from eight innings at 13.50, woefully inadequate for a side’s leading batsman.

Pujara’s case is no different. The Saurashtra man has made 205 runs from eight innings at 25.87 but he needs to churn out more runs coming in at the crucial number three slot. The next Test at the Oval is six days away, and India’s top order needs to discover a way to score runs. Otherwise, they will slip into another disaster.

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