It was expected to be a thriller of test match on Day 4 as both the sides yesterday on Stumps at Day 3 were pretty confident of winning the match. And as it turned out England got the five wickets that they needed at the start of the Day's play. In the end, they won the match by 31 runs.
The overnight pair of Dinesh Karthik and Virat Kohli walked out to bat. They had built an important partnership yesterday and must have hoped for the same today as well. But Jimmy Anderson had some other ideas. The Edgbaston crowd also were behind their front-line bowler. James Anderson got the outside-edge of Dinesh Karthik. David Malan at second slip caught it and must be a relieved man after he dropped one yesterday.
Hardik Pandya was next in. It was certainly a different side of his we witnessed initially when he batted. He left alone as much as deliveries he could and rotated the strike thereby curbing his natural instincts to play shots. He would get a thumbs-up everytime from his skipper he got on the front-foot to defend the ball. Slowly and steadily both Anderson and Broad were loosing their rythm and pace along with that. With loose balls on offer both Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya took boundaries.
The skipper got to his half-century. But that wasn't enough as Ben Stokes who was brought in place of Anderson hit the ball on Virat's pad. Virat Kohli took a review but as it was a sharp in-swinger it was crashing onto the stumps. The hopes of India getting to the target came down with him walking back to the pavilion. Mohammad Shami too departed in the same over edging one to the wicket-keeper. Ishant Sharma struck two boundaries and got to 11. Adil Rashid who was primarily picked for the tail-enders as per Joe Root trapped him right in front.
Now it was all on Hardik Pandya to get India through. Umesh Yadav supported him well albeit for a short period of time. Pandya played his shots and kept the hopes still alive. Ben Stokes, it was him again to get Hardik Pandya edging one to Alastair Cook at first slip.
England won the match in the end by 31 runs. Sam Curran got selected as Man of the Match for a fantastic all round performance. Remember his knock of 63 runs in the second innings turned out to be vital. If it wasn't for his knock, India might have been chasing well less than 150.
Talking from team's perspective, England must have been happy with their overall performance. The pacers bowled well, Sam Curran contributing with the bat as well. Joe Root and Bairstow both batted well. Their area of concern must be the form of David Malan and his poor slip catching didn't help his cause either. Alastair Cook, as they say you must not sign away a champion player so soon needs to be back in form as possible.
For India, their biggest positive takeaway was the way their bowlers bowled. All four of them contributed and off-course Virat Kohli with the bat. Apart from the skipper, no one else found it going. There would be talks on giving Cheteshwar Pujara a place in the eleven with either Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul facing the axe.
Now the action moves to the home of cricket, the Lord's. India on their last tour in 2014 had won their lone test match here. The match is scheduled to begin on 9th August.