By: Shubham Kulkarni
India kept the series alive by making a great comeback in the Test Match at Trent Bridge, but will that comeback last?
It looked all but over for India following a heavy defeat at Lords after losing the opening test to go down 0-2. The Indian batsmen failed to show any fight as they were bowled out twice below 150. The Indian bowlers too weren’t at their best as the England kept pilling on the runs. Chris Woakes even scored his maiden Test century. It seemed that Murhpy’s Law was in effect for India; whatever could’ve gone wrong did go wrong.
As a response, there were three changes for India in the third match. After trying different opening combinations, it looks like India has finally got the right one. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul scoring runs in both the innings is a big positive for India as the middle order probably prefers a score of 60-0 rather than 10-2. The half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were important for their places in the playing XI.
As usual, there was the Indian captain scoring runs for fun. It looks like Virat Kohli is batting at a different level, again. He has now scored 440 runs in 6 innings at an average of 73.33. This time around, he finally got some run support from the other batsmen. That was the difference in India’s batting and the biggest influence on the result of the match.
Jasprit Bumrah, India’s X-factor in the bowling department, was brilliant in the second innings. He has picked up two five-wicket hauls in consecutive Test matches. Hardik Pandya, who struggled in the first two Tests, picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings and dried up the runs in his second innings spell. For first time in 38 Test matches, Kohli and management might be tempted to play the same XI barring injury.
England had never been bowled out in a single session from 1938-2016, but since 2016 they have been bowled out in a single session thrice and this was the first time it happened in England. These collapses would definitely be the talking points in the England camp before the next match. England’s opening combo is looking unsettled for ages now. There are talks of dropping Keaton Jennings for the next match. England will also have to look at the workload of their ageing seamers. Jonny Bairstow's injury remains a big concern for England considering he was in great touch with the bat.
England is still leading the series 2-1. In the history of cricket, only one team has come from behind to win a Test series 3-2 after being down 0-2. That was way back in 1936-37. Will India create history?