Bravo, Team India - GulfToday

Bravo, Team India


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Team India’s stunning win at the Oval has won praise from all quarters. From Sachin to Ganguly to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, everyone at home is praising the team to the sky for their sensational 157-run win against England at The Oval (“India beat depleted England in fourth Test, take 2-1 series lead,” Sept. 7, Gulf Today).

All praise for Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav for their heroics. The victory is historic in many respects. It is India’s only second  win at the Oval after the 1971 triumph. It is also the second time that India has won two Tests on a single tour of England. The first was in 1986. The Virat Kohli-led side now holds a strong 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

It was great going for Bumrah too, as he became the ninth Indian pacer to get 100 wickets in Tests and the 23rd bowler from India to do so.  It was his 24th Test match, but it seemed like a long wait for the right-arm pace bowler to achieve the feat.

Precisely because he took two early wickets in England’s first innings on the first day itself of the fourth Test to get to the 99-wicket mark, but achieved the milestone only on the final day.

There is little doubt that Bumrah turned the match around because until the 60th over the hosts were well placed at 141/2. Bumrah enters and his spell of reverse swing routs England.

Credit should also go to Shardul Thakur who gave India first breakthrough on the final day after the openers had completed a century stand. But one needs to also consider that England was also playing without the service of some of their key players including Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

The outstanding performance also places India in good stead in the World Test Championship (WTC) rankings. The win should push India to the top of the prestigious 2021-23 WTC points table.

If no points are docked by the International Cricket Council, India should earn 26 points. Next on the table are Pakistan and the West Indies, both with 12 points.

All in all, it was a tie well played.

Ved R — By email

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