If someone was going to tell you that India will win the third Test match against England at Nottingham by a huge margin, not many would have believed the same. After two successive losses in the 5-match Test series, India managed to pull one back and trail England 1-2 at the moment.
Virat Kohli & Co. entered Nottingham with fear looming of another loss and a possible series whitewash. But the visitors stood tall and turned the table after a brilliant team effort to defeat the hosts by 203 runs. Kohli’s side exposed England’s issues with the bat yet again t0 come out on top at Trent Bridge.
If Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah were superb with the ball, then Virat Kohli was there to add the gloss in both innings, with the bat.
Here are the key talking points from the 3rd India-England Tests 2018.
Indian pacers led by example
Indian pacers have done a commendable job since their tour of South Africa. In six Tests this year outside the subcontinent, the pace attack managed to take all 20 wickets on four occasions. That in facts tells us a story of how the pace quartet have chipped in.
Indian bowlers were a notch better than England at Nottingham. They bowled with more zip and pace and made use of the conditions well. They bowled more consistently and forced England batsmen to make mistakes. Ishant Sharma was terrific with the new ball and created issues for England openers.
Then comeback man, Jasprit Bumrah did a tremendous job against the lower middle-order and the tail. His unorthodox style means that the angle always sees batsmen being lured into making shots. Joe Root’s dismissal in the 2nd innings highlighted just that.
Bumrah finished with seven wickets in the match.
Pandya shines as an all-rounder
Hardik Pandya showed that he can become a trusted fourth bowler of this team outside the sub-continent. Kohli was forced to give him the ball with Ashwin going off the field due to a hip problem, and the all-rounder delivered.
He got Joe Root off the first ball he bowled in the first innings. He never looked back since then. In a terrific six-over spell, Pandya got the wickets of Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid. He ran through the lower order and ensured the tail didn’t wag.
The player wasn’t just done there. He chipped in with the bat with a run-a-ball 52 in the second innings to help stretch India’s lead past 500.
India’s batting finally breathes a life
At this moment, there is no stopping the 29-year-old Kohli. What more can one say about the charismatic player? In-form Kohli made sure he led from the front and scored 97 runs in the first innings. The 159-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane gave India the platform to post a decent total.
After having missed out on a ton, he replied in a superb manner and hit 103 in the second. This was his 23rd Test ton and a third this year with all coming outside the subcontinent. Kohli’s 200 runs were instrumental for India in this match.
Besides Kohli, credit should be given to the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul for scoring 60 runs together in both innings. In the first two Tests, Indian openers managed 50, 19, 0, 0. May be, in Dhawan and Rahul, one finds a better combination than the out of form Murali Vijay.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are known as Test specialists and they finally showed some resistance to strike fifties. After a string of poor outings, Nottingham was a blessing for the duo.
England fail in all-round show
The win at Lord’s was sparkling on many counts. But at Nottingham, it was the exact opposite. England huffed and puffed in their batting and then the bowling too came to fruition in bits. The focus will be more on England’s poor batting, which once again, haunted them.
The hosts haven’t been good enough with the bat since the 2017-18 Ashes. The openers and the middle-order haven’t managed to click together. A lot is often left for numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 to come in and get the ship sailing. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler came together in the 2nd innings this time.
If not for Buttler’s counter-attacking 100 in the second innings, England would have lost inside four days. From where do they get the runs? How do they set things right? Two questions to follow now ahead of the 4th Test at Southampton.
KL Rahul leads India’s slip catching prowess
KL Rahul deserves a special mention here. The player was superb with his slip catching and held on to everything that came his way. Seven catches in the slip tell why Rahul played a major hand in helping India win.
In the three Tests so far, India has dropped 6 catches as compared to England, who have spilled 15. At Nottingham too, there slip fielding was woeful. Perhaps Rahul now will help the side draw inspiration and he could be the focal slip fielder in matches to come.
The visitors have often had issues with their catching at the slip cordon. This has often led the side to lose matches outside the subcontinent. But this time it was a different tale.