The 203-run success at Trent Bridge has boosted India’s confidence. They have a great chance of making the five-match rubber 2-2 in Southampton and head to The Oval for an exciting decider
Fearless. This is what comes to your mind first when you think of the current crop of Indian cricketers.
Be it in the comforts of home or testing conditions abroad, they are brave enough to take on any opponent. Every challenge is accepted.
The hallmark of a great team is not about only winning but also about the ability to bounce back after defeat.
The Indian side led by Virat Kohli has shown enough character in the ongoing England Test series that they can deliver in adversity.
Edgbaston and Lord's were witness to the Indian batsmen, barring Kohli, capitulating in swinging conditions. When most thought they would be rolled over again in Trent Bridge, India triumphed in style to send a strong message to their critics.
This was not the first time that India, under Kohli, had bounced back. Something similar was witnessed in South Africa earlier this year as well. After losing two Tests, India won the third and final match.
The 203-run success at Trent Bridge has boosted India’s confidence. They have a great chance of making the five-match rubber 2-2 in Southampton and head to The Oval for an exciting decider.
Here are the signs of revenge that were clearly visible at Trent Bridge
1. All-rounder Hardik Pandya
The biggest gainer in the Nottingham Test was Pandya. He was much criticised for not delivering as a Test all-rounder. West Indies pace legend Michael Holding led the critics’ onslaught on the youngster. Unfazed by all that was spoken about him, Pandya, first, let the ball do the talking. In just 29 balls, the right-arm paceman destroyed England’s batting in the first innings. He took five wickets (5/28) and later returned to score a half-century (52 not out in second innings). That was a real slap in the face for Pandya’s critics.
2. Ajinkya Rahane rediscovers form
India vice-captain Rahane, considered as one of the best Indian batsmen in overseas Tests, was having a poor run of form. But when the need of the hour was for him to stand up and be counted in the third Test, he did exactly that. The Mumbai right-hander stroked 81 and his 159-run partnership with Kohli and laid the platform for India’s score of 329 in the first innings. He was team’s second top-scorer in the match, after Kohli (103). In fact, Kohli accumulated 200 runs in the Test. Till this contest, India was like one-batsman show, with Kohli dominating. But at Trent Bridge, Rahane showed why he is considered a pillar of the Indian batting.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara’s dogged approach
With Kohli emphasising on showing intent, Pujara has been accused of batting too slow. But each and every Indian batsman cannot take the same route as Kohli and Pujara is not known for his fast scoring. However, yet again, he showed why his style of Test batting is required. The right-hander hung in there for 208 balls to make a crucial 72 in the second innings.
4. Jasprit Bumrah’s stellar return
If Pandya made the ball talk in the first innings, it was Bumrah who did the same in the second essay as England crumbled in the chase of 521. Having missed the opening two Tests due to injury, Bumrah returned with a bang. With his awkward action and accuracy on the pitch, he troubled the hosts’ batsmen. He used the bouncer well and rattled them, bagging a five-for in the second innings.
5. Efficiency at slips
India have had problems with slip-catching but those were solved in Nottingham. KL Rahul emerged as the top performer as he snaffled seven in the slips. Kohli, Rahul, Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and Pujara are the specialist slip fielders and sometimes they have been guilty of dropping catches. But Trent Bridge was different.
6. No Test debut nerves for Rishabh Pant
Young Pant won his Test cap to replace the out-of-form Dinesh Karthik and the southpaw showed hardly any jitters in his debut Test. Known for his aggressive batting, he smashed a six to get his Test career underway — the first Indian batsman to have done that. It was heartening to see such a bold approach by Pant, and it is perhaps a mark of the generation that he belongs to. He put up a fine show as a wicketkeeper as well, pouching five catches in the first innings and two in the second.
7. Bouncing out opposition batsmen
In England’s swinging conditions, both sides were hesitant to use the bouncer. But Bumrah, Pandya, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma dished out the short stuff to the host batsmen and succeeded. James Anderson took blows on his hand and body from the Indians' bouncers. Chris Woakes, centurion at the Lord’s Test, was dismissed to the short ball in both innings. In unleashing the bouncer, Bumrah was India’s best.
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Last Updated Sep 9, 2018, 9:08 AM IST