There were a lot of positives for India in their comprehensive win over England.
The first Test was a closely fought affair in which England were the better performers, but there just wasn’t enough in the pitch for them to push for a win. However, the second Test was a different story altogether and India more or less dominated from the word ‘go’.
India amassed 455 and England were out for 255 despite stubborn resistance from Joe Root and Ben Stokes, in particular. India were bowled out for 204 in the second innings but this was a sign of batting becoming a touch difficult as the pitch was wearing down. England, chasing a mammoth 405, started off very well. Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed were patient but eventually, they both were dismissed just before the close of play on Day Four and that proved to be the killer blow. England crumbled on Day Five and India won by 246 runs.
India Player Ratings
Murali Vijay – 2/10
Vijay didn’t have the best of games with the bat. He looked fluent in the first innings until James Anderson bowled a peach to dismiss him. He didn’t do anything else of much significance and after a century in the First Test, this was a slightly disappointing Test from a personal perspective.
KL Rahul – 2/10
Making a comeback after a hamstring injury, KL Rahul didn’t have a great game. After close to six weeks out, it was always going to be slightly difficult and it proved to be so. He slotted straight into the side, replacing Gautam Gambhir and India should continue to stick with him as he is the long-term option.
Cheteshwar Pujara – 7/10
He scored a brilliant 119 in the first innings after India had a tricky start and were 22/2 at one stage. He was simply magnificent and looked fluent and was part of the mammoth 226 run partnership with his captain, Virat Kohli. A rare failure in the second innings followed but that shouldn’t perturb him too much as he has been in outstanding nick with the bat in the last three months or so.
India will expect him to continue with his good form and after some concerns, he has well and truly made the number three spot his very own.
Virat Kohli – 9.5/10
A near perfect performance in which in Kohli scored 167 and 81 in the two innings and captained his side to victory. In what was a tricky pitch to bat on, especially in the 2nd innings, he made batting look very easy and almost gave a feeling that he was batting on a different pitch. He averages close to 70 in Tests this calendar year and has scored more than 500 runs in all three formats of the game, in 2016. In short, he has been in majestic touch and it is hard to look beyond him as the best batsman in the world.
The only little criticism could be that he let the game drift away a bit and wasn’t aggressive enough on the 4th day with his captaincy but soon rectified it and it paid dividends.
Ajinkya Rahane – 3/10
It isn’t often that Rahane has consecutive Tests where he hasn’t performed, but this has been the case in this series. He had starts in both innings, but failed to convert and got out in similar fashion twice. It won’t be long until he regains his touch but he will be a little concerned with the manner of dismissals. Also, he was safe as house in the slips after an iffy time in the first Test.
Wriddhiman Saha – 4/10
Saha hasn’t had a great time off late with the bat and that continued in the Test. He has a solid technique but he needs to find ways to score more runs but his average of around 30 certainly shows that he is capable of doing more with the bat. He was very good behind the stumps and pulled off a great run out to dismiss Haseeb Hameed in the first innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin – 8.5/10
Ashwin was amongst the wickets after a lean first Test by his high standards. He picked up eight in total, and more importantly got wickets at crucial junctures of the game. The pitch wasn’t exactly bowler-friendly but Ashwin came up trumps and showed why he is the best spinner in the world.
He also continued to show massive improvement with the bat and has become a permanent number six for India. He contributed 58 with the bat in the first innings and stretched the total past 450 for India in the first innings.
Ravindra Jadeja – 5.5 /10
Although his returns of three wickets in total don’t sound great, he was extremely impressive with the ball and kept probing the England batsmen. He was tight and bowled consistent lines and lengths and enabled India to build more pressure on England. He was a livewire on the field as he always is and is a big asset for the team. However, his batting form has tapered off a bit and he needs to work on that more.
Jayant Yadav – 7.5/10
This was as solid a debut performance as you will ever see. Yadav was impressive in all three departments of the game and made important contributions. His scores of 35 and 27* helped India post a greater total and he did extremely well considering that he batted with the tail. He also did his job with the ball as a third spinner and picked up four wickets. He was solid and caused a few problems to the batsmen and this performance bodes well for the future. He also did a great job in the field and did very well to inflict the run out of Hameed in the first innings.
Umesh Yadav – 4/10
Umesh Yadav didn’t have great returns with the ball but he did his job as a good complement to the other bowlers. He bowled a peach to get rid of Jonny Bairstow at a crucial point of the Test match and didn’t really get much bowling in the next innings.
Mohammed Shami – 6/10
He got the wicket of Alastair Cook in the first innings with a delivery which broke the stump into two. Shami, who is a great exponent of reverse-swing, also got the wicket Joe Root in the second innings which paved the way to England’s tail. Shami has made a good comeback to the Indian side after being out for 18 months due to various injuries.