Oh what a feeling, India wins the Lord’s Test!

Ishant Sharma







Ishant Sharma claimed seven wickets for the historic win for India outside the country  


By Kersi Meher-Homji

It is often said that Indian cricketers roar like lions at home but bleat like mice overseas. Not any more as they beat England by 95 runs in the lord’s Test last night. They are one up in the series with three more Tests to go.

And the cricketers roaring the loudest were India’s tall hairy opening bowler Ishant Sharma and left-hand spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

What a final day to remember for India! Usually at the receiving end of short pitched deliveries, Ishant Sharma delivered knockout punches on the final day. He finished England with a sensational 7 for 74 spell and was the worthy Man of the Match.

It may be added that England contributed to her fall by some idiotic hooking spree after Joe Root and Moeen Ali had given them a solid foundation in the morning session of the final day.

The exciting Test was tilting towards England after lunch on the fourth day when India lost her opening batsman and anchor man Murali Vijay for 95. The visitors’ were then 7 for 235, only 211 runs ahead and England had almost ten hours to chase around 250 for a win.

But the dynamic Jadeja changed the scenario in a hurry. He batted as if it was a T20 match and smashed anything dished out to him, especially Jimmy Anderson with whom he had a disagreement in the first Test at Trent Bridge a week ago.

He went bang bang smashing 68 off 57 balls with 9 spectacular fours. A hit on the helmet and on his finger did not inhibit him. He celebrated his 50 with a unique “bat dance”.

Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar made 52 off 71 balls with 8 fours. He and Jadeja added 99 runs off 100 balls and now India had a sniff of victory, only her second at Lord’s in 82 years.

India was all out for 342, setting England 319 runs to win in eight and half hours. It was a difficult but not an impossible chase. However, the fired-up Jadeja was not finished with Cook’s men. As if saying, “Fi-fi fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman”, he had Sam Robson lbw for 7 and the home team was 1-18 at tea. And all at sea!

At stumps on day-4 they were 4 down for 105 still needing 214 to win.

Kumar has taken 11 wickets in two Tests so far, with 6 for 82 in the first innings being his best. In fact he became the third Indian bowler after Ladha Amar Singh and Bishan Bedi to capture 6 wickets in an innings in a Lord’s Test. Ishant Sharma was to join him two days later. In fact, Ishant is the only Indian to grab a seven wicket haul at Lord’s.

Kumar has also rescued India from batting woes in this series scoring 209 runs at 69.66. Coming in at no.9, he made 58 and added 111for the last wicket with another quickie Mohammed Shami (51 not out) in the first Test first innings, 91 for the eighth wicket with debutant Stuart Binny (78) in the second innings and 99 with Jadeja in the Lord’s Test as described above.

All three partnerships were crucial for India.

The drawn first Test in Trent Bridge will be remembered for tenth wicket partnerships. To follow in the footsteps of Kumar and Shami, Joe Root (154 not out) added a record 198 runs for the last wicket with Man of the Match Jimmy Anderson (81).

Murali Vijay has scored most runs in the series so far, 317 runs at 79.25 following his 146 and 52 at Trent Bridge with 24 and 95 at Lord’s. Middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane who resembles Rahul Dravid batted like him too in the first innings of the Lord’s Test.

The poor batting form of England’s captain Alastair Cook is a huge problem for England. More so is the failure of India’s star batsman Rohit Kohli. In this series he has scored 1, 8, 25 and a first ball duck, to make 34 runs at a deplorable average of 8.50.

However, this victory at Lord’s is a confidence-booster for India prior to their tour of Australia in a few months. In 2011 India was demoralised being whitewashed in England and then whitewashed in Australia as well.

But three years have changed their outlook. Winning the Lord’s Test after being sent in to bat on a greenish wicket is a big positive for India. It was her first overseas Test victory in three years.

“Beware Michael Clarke, we can roar overseas too”, is the message from India’s victorious cricketers to Australia after her convincing victory over England at Lord’s in London last night.








Ravindra Jadeja celebrating India’s victory at Lord’s in London

Bravo Ishant, Jadeja, Vijay, Kumar, Rahane and skipper Dhoni.

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