After setting a 368-run target for England in the 4th Test, India bowlers wreaked havoc and bowled out the hosts for 210 to win the match by 157 runs and take a 2-1 lead in the 5-match series. Notably, India were down after getting bundled for 191 and conceding a 99-run lead in the 1st innings.
Habitual raiders India register another emphatic comeback win
Down from 36 all-out in Adelaide, a bruised Indian cricket team went on to thrash Australia 2-1 at the start of this decade. We will not go deep to tell you about India's exploits Down Under but a mere reminder that the depleted side was without their captain Virat Kohli and pacer Mohammed Shami after the Adelaide debacle and lost the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah to injury at one stage or the other in the 4-Test series.
A few months later, India were battered in their own backyard, losing the opening Test of the 4-match home series by 227 runs versus England. The side regrouped and replanned to win the next three matches by 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings and 25 runs to seal the series 3-1.
History repeated itself on Monday after India bounced back from a series-levelling innings and 77 runs loss in the third Test, and defeated the Joe Root side by 157 runs to take a 2-1 lead. After conceding a 99-run first innings, India were down again but that is when this team flourishes and stamps its authority. This was India's second win at the venue and first after the famous 1971 triumph under Ajit Wadekar. What a time to get it! A win or draw in the next match will witness Virat Kohli become the first Indian captain after Rahul Dravid to win a series in England in the last three decades.
Shadrul Thakur opens gate, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja barge in
England openers were cruising with hundred runs on the board and a wicket was what India needed to smell blood and go for the glory. Shadrul Thakur took the responsibility again and dismissed Rory Burns (50) in his first over of the day to break a 100-run stand. In the next 14 overs, India gave away just 19 runs for 4 more wickets. Haseeb Hameed (63), unaware of any idea to tackle the threat from Ravindra Jadeja, ran his partner Dawid Malan (5) out while trying to get to the non-striker's end. The stage was set for Bumrah by then.
Ollie Pope (2) was castled by a brilliant in-swinging delivery which came at an express pace. Moments later, Bumrah produced a reverse-swinging yorker at 142 kmph that hit into the base of Jonny Bairstow's stumps. Since 2018, Bumrah has the best bowling average in the fourth innings of a match. At 17.62, the 27-year-old has scalped 26 wickets in the time period. Making stumps cartwheel on a flat track on which India lower-order batsmen belted the home bowlers, is not a child's play.
Later, Ravindra Jadeja made the best use of the rough yet again and got rid of Moeen Ali (0) and Umesh Yadav also chipped in to spoil Chris Woakes' (18) comeback party which has been going smooth until today. Shardul Thakur returned and again got a wicket in first over of his new spell by sending Joe Root (36) packing.
Special shoutout for Umesh Yadav
The 'strongman' of the Indian cricket lived up to his tag. Playing in his first match for India after the Boxing Day Test in Australia last year, Umesh Yadav's match-winning performance is worth mentioning.
His dream delivery to dismiss Joe Root, the No. 1 Test batsman in the world, will most probably end up being the ball of the series. Three wickets in the first innings to help India stay in the match and then important 25 runs in the second innings to help India post a total in excess of 350, helps the Vidarbha stalwart grow in stature.
The 33-year-old took another 3 wickets in the second innings. A vicious outswing delivery which got extra bounce and hit the elbow of Craig Overton (who looked in tremendous pain) before landing onto the stumps to bring India just a wicket away from a famous win at Oval. Then another short of length delivery outside off to get an edge from James Anderson and seal the match for India. Notably, James Anderson's wicket was the last to fall when India won the second Test at Lord's and to a 1-0 lead.