The Indian cricket team fought back from a difficult position to pull off a stunning 157-run victory over England in the fourth Test at the Oval, and regained a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
It was India’s ninth Test win in England and the first victory at the venue in 50 years.
India have now won multiple Tests in a series in England for the second time since 1986. By doing so, they also registered their third Test win after being dismissed for 200 or less runs in the first innings of an away Test.
|IND's away Test win after being bowled out for 200 and less runs in 1st innings of Test|
|200/10||won||49 runs||v West Indies||Kingston|
|187/10||won||63 runs||v South Africa||Johannesburg|
|191/10||won||157 runs||v England||The Oval|
The visitors were reduced to 69/4 by the 30th over of the first innings, but made a comeback of sorts thanks to skipper Virat Kohli (50 off 96 balls) and a record-breaking half-century from Shardul Thakur.
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Shardul Thakur to India’s rescue in first innings
While wickets fell at regular intervals around him, Shardul, playing in his fourth Test, hit a quick-fire fifty off 31 balls to help India to 191 all out in the first innings. He became the quickest Test half-centurion for India in England and the second-fastest overall after Kapil Dev in 1982.
The 29-year-old bettered the record for fastest half-century in Test matches in England by breaking Ian Botham’s previously held record of a 32-ball fifty against New Zealand in 1986.
Furthermore, Shardul Thakur is just the fourth Indian batsman to score fifties in both innings of a Test while batting at positions between 8-11.
|Indian to score fifty plus runs in both innings of the Test at Position #8-#11|
|Player||1st Innings||2nd innings||Runs||Opposition||Ground|
|Harbhajan Singh||69||115||184||v New Zealand||Ahmedabad|
|Bhuvneshwar Kumar||58||63*||121||v England||Nottingham|
|Wriddhiman Saha||54*||58*||112||v New Zealand||Kolkata|
|Shardul Thakur||57||60||117||v England||The Oval|
Rohit Sharma’s snaps away ton drought
India’s batting response in the second innings was an example of their never-say-die attitude, and a certain Rohit Sharma led from the front. The opener ended his drought of 47 Test innings for a maiden century away from home.
While his knock of 127 runs was his eighth Test ton of his career, Rohit Sharma has now hit five Test centuries since being promoted to the opening position in the red-ball cricket in 2019.
|Most Test tons by openers in Tests since 2019|
|Rohit Sharma (INDIA)||16||1460||5|
|Dimuth Karunaratne (SL)||16||1261||4|
|Abid Ali (PAK)||14||917||3|
|Mayank Agarwal (INDIA)||12||887||3|
|Rory Burns (ENG)||26||1557||3|
|Tom Latham (NZ)||18||1103||3|
|Shan Masood (PAK)||12||685||3|
|David Warner (AUS)||12||948||3|
Rohit, who has now amassed 3000 runs in Tests, also registered the most three-digit scores across all formats in England, going past Rahul Dravid. Only legendary Australian batsman Don Bradman (11) has more hundreds among visiting batsmen in England than Rohit.
|Most Hundreds by Indian across formats in England|
Apart from playing a splendid knock, Rohit Sharma found quality support in Cheteshwar Pujara as they stitched a 153-run stand for the second wicket. It was the joint-third best second-wicket stand for an Indian Test pairing in England.
|Top 5 second wicket stand for India in England|
|Sanjay Bangar, Rahul Dravid||170||Leeds||22 August 2002|
|Farokh Engineer, Ajit Wadekar||168||Leeds||08 June 1967|
|Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar||153||The Oval||30 August 1979|
|Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma||153||The Oval||02 September 2021|
|Rahul Dravid, Dinesh Karthik||127||The Oval||09 August 2007|
Jasprit Bumrah cut through England
If the Indian batsmen set the ball rolling for a spectacular win at the Oval, the bowlers did their part by putting on strong finishing touches to the performance. Jasprit Bumrah, India’s leading pacer in recent years, became the quickest Indian fast bowler to 100 Test wickets.
|Fastest to 100 Test wickets by Indian Pacer|
Bumrah’s spell on the final day, in particular, will be remembered by many for years. As India looked to cut through England’s middle order, Bumrah answered the call in spectacular fashion.
He rattled the stumps with searing pace and a little bit of reverse as the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope were left searching for answers in front of the Indian pace ace.
Featured photo: AFP / Glyn Kirk