On a bright and sunny morning in Birmingham, England batted first on a good wicket which had something for bowlers as well as batters who spent some time on the crease. Both teams were expected to put on a great show as both of them have world class players.
England lost Cook early in the ninth over to Ashwin to bring the captain 'Root' to the crease who steadied the ship for England and put on a good partnership with Jennings. England lost their third wicket soon in the form of David Malan. Root and Bairstow then put on 100+ partnership for the fourth wicket before Root was eventually run out after making 80. There weren't much bigger partnerships after the fall of Root and Bairstow and England were eventually bundled out for 287.
For India Ravi Ashwin and Shami were their best bowlers and shared 7 wickets among themselves. To my surprise, Shami was introduced very late into the attack but he proved his worth by picking up three important scalps.
In response to England's first innings, India didn't start well enough and kept loosing wickets at regular intervals. The only batsman who stood out was Virat Kohli who made a wonderful hundred but ran out of support. More than 60% of the runs were scored by Virat kohli for India and he looked sublime throughout the innings.
The 20 year old Sam Curran destroyed Indian batting with his swing bowling and took four wickets. Stokes, Anderson and Rashid took 2 wickets each.
England started their second innings and kept loosing wickets at regular intervals. Everyone thought that England will be bowled out for less than a hundred but Sam Curran had other ideas as he steadied the ship for his team and made a quick fire 63 off 65 to put on a respectable score for his team.
Ishant Sharma bagged 5 and Ashwin added 3 to his quota. Ishant Sharma particularly bowled really well. Umesh Yadav also chipped in with a couple of wickets.
India needed 194 in the last innings and given the batting India has, they would have backed themselves to hunt it down but chasing in the fourth innings on any pitch has never been easy. They started losing early wickets and it was Kohli again who stood between England and Victory. He scored a half century after being dropped by Malan two times. Although he got some support from Dinesh Karthik and Pandya but that was not enough for India to leave the field victorious.
This match was great demonstration of test cricket and both teams gave their 100%. Birmingham crowd witnessed an epic encounter between the two giants and this was just the start. There are four matches to follow after this, let's hope we see some more thrilling action.
This was originally posted on my sports blog Scorum
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