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Three takeaways from the England vs India second Test

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The Indian cricket team pulled off a stunning 151-run victory over England on the final day of the second Test at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London to go 1-0 up in the five-match series. 

It was India’s third Test win at the venue, with the first coming way back in 1986 under Kapil Dev while the second came under MS Dhoni in 2014. 

India were, in fact, the second-best team for a majority of the second innings, but an 89-run partnership between tailenders Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah flipped the script altogether. From 209/8, India went to 298/8 before declaring and setting England a target of 271 runs to chase.

The tailenders, who got the job done with the bat, went on to produce a dominant display with the ball as India bundled out England for 120 to win the match by 151 runs.

The final day drama was a sheer delight for cricket fans and here are some key takeaways from India’s historic win over England at Lord’s.

Joe Root: England’s lone warrior

England captain Joe Root was his team’s lone warrior with the bat. As others around him crumbled, the 30-year-old went on to score his 22nd Test ton and seventh against India. He has now scored 2,175 runs against India in Test cricket, which is the most by any active player from the two teams. Seven centuries scored by Root is the joint-most by a batsman in England vs India Test matches.

During his knock of 180* runs in the first innings, Root also reached the 9000-run mark in the longest format. He is the second-youngest player after Alastair Cook to reach the milestone.

England’s batting order has looked extremely uncomfortable in the two Tests so far. Their opening pair of Rory Burns and Dom Sibley scored a combined total of 60 runs across two innings in the second Test while there were as many as seven ducks at Lord’s, which is the most in England vs India Tests.

Most ducks for England vs India in a Test
Match Ducks Start Date
England v India at Lord's, 2021 7 12 August 2021
India v England at Ahmedabad, 2020/21 6 24 February 2021
India v England at Chennai, 1992/93 5 11 February 1993
England v India at Nottingham, 2021 5 4 August 2021

India’s match-winning 9th wicket stand

India’s inability to get their tail wagging was a worrying factor ahead of the Test series. The team was, in fact, averaging a lowly 12.35 from their tailenders since the start of 2020, but all that changed in the second Test as Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah stitched together a match-defining 9th wicket stand of 89 runs.

It was the best 9th wicket partnership for India in Test cricket in England. The previous best was of 66 runs between Kapil Dev and Madan Lal in 1982. As far as the venue is concerned, it is the fourth-best 9th wicket stand at Lord’s in Tests. Here’s the entire list:

Top 5 9th wicket stands for India in Tests in England
Partners Runs Ground Start Date
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami 89* Lord's Cricket Ground 12 August 2021
Kapil Dev and Madal Lal 66 Lord's Cricket Ground  10 June 1982
Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan 61 Nottingham 8 August 2002
Roger Binny and Dilip Vengsarkar 60 Leeds 19 June 1986
Rahul Dravid and Venkatesh Prasad 60 Nottingham 4  July 1996

Furthermore, Mohammed Shami, who came out to bat at number 9, scored his second half-century in Test cricket. Both of his half-centuries have come against England, making him the sixth visiting bowler to score multiple half-centuries in England while batting at position No.9-11 in Tests.

Shami remained unbeaten at 56 and now has a higher score at Lord's than Virat Kohli (42), Sachin Tendulkar (37) and Ricky Ponting (42).

Mohammed Siraj lets the ball do the talking

Mohammed Siraj may have missed out on a five-wicket haul in both innings, but the quality he possesses was evident right from the beginning. He was the most successful bowler for India in the second Test, finishing with match figures of 8/126, which is now the best bowling figure for an Indian bowler at Lord’s. The previous best was Kapil Dev’s 8/168 in 1982.

Top 5 match figures for India at Lord's in Tests
Bowler Overs Runs Wickets Start Date
Mohammed Siraj 40.5 126 8 12 August 2021
Kapil Dev 53 168 8 10 June 1982
RP Singh 33.3 117 7 19 July 2007
Venkatesh Prasad 57.3 130 7 20 June 1996
Ishant Sharma 47 135 7 17 July 2014

Siraj rose to the challenge in the second innings when India needed him the most. At one point in time, it looked like Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali could save the game for England, but the pacer picked two wickets in as many deliveries to rekindle India’s hopes of winning. 

With the clock ticking and India needing wickets to win, Siraj replaced Ishant Sharma and it only took him five balls to take his last two wickets. His return of eight wickets has now made him the leading wicket-taker for India in Test cricket in 2021. Only Ravichandran Ashwin (38) and Axar Patel (27) are ahead of him on the list.

Most wickets among Indian in Tests 2021
Player Matches Wickets
Ravichandran Ashwin 6 38
Axar Patel 3 27
Mohammed Siraj 6 22
Jasprit Bumrah 6 19
Ishant Sharma 6 14

Featured photo: AFP / Glyn Kirk

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