Going in to the third Test match, India had the tails up after winning the second Test at Lord’s. Their skipper spoke about aggression and said they would play the same brand of Cricket.
Virat Kohli decided to bat first after winning the toss and their batsman tried to replicate their captains’ brand of aggressive cricket but were blown away first by James Anderson. The Master of Swing knocked off India’s top three batsman and then the rest of the bowlers too chipped in to bowl out India for a paltry 78 runs.
In England, the first session is always crucial and India had done well by respecting the conditions with both Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul putting their heads down and leaving the ball outside the off stump at the Lord’s but at Leeds, Rahul was in a hurry and paid the price for going for a booming drive in the very first over. Then, it was a procession which followed as only two batsman got in to double figures which showed how poor India were with the bat.
You don’t judge the score of a team unless the other has batted, but unfortunately, Indian bowlers bowled far too short and wide with Ishant Sharma - who was surprising asked to bowl the first over ahead of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Ishant bowled a nine-ball over which set the platform for the English openers and put on partnership of 50, playing proper Test cricket and proving there were no demons in the wicket.
Anderson had admitted before the start of the third Test that emotions had got the better of him and team England at Lord’s where they were more hell-bent on revenge against Jasprit Bumrah than taking his wicket and paid the price for it. It seemed the same for Team India too at Leeds where they forgot this was a new Test match and had to forget the emotions they had when they had bowled out England batmen in just 60 overs.
They were highly charged after every wicket in that match and won the game in the last hour. But that’s the beauty of Test Cricket, you can learn from your mistakes which Anderson and England did but India lost it in the 40 overs it batted.
In businesses, there is a saying that you should do your business with lot of emotions - but not emotionally - and the same applies in sport too.
India has now allowed England to keep one foot in the door. Can they fight back and stop England from squaring the series?
- Cricket enthusiast and businessman Anis Sajan is Vice Chairman of Danube Group