Ruthless England thrash hapless India, level five match series 1-1 - GulfToday

Ruthless England thrash hapless India, level five-match series 1-1


England's Ollie Robinson (centre) and teammates walk off the field after their victory over India at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds on Saturday. AP

Gulf Today Report

A resilient England put on a ruthless performance, showing no mercy to thrash a hapless India by 76 runs and an innings in the third Test with more than a day to go on Saturday.

A depleted-but-resurgent England bounced back to avenge their loss of the previous Test to level the five-match series 1-1, with two more to go.

Ollie Robinson produced a scintillating bowling performance to return with a figure of 7-81 and help England trounce the visitors after their much-hyped victory in the second Test at the Lord’s.

Resuming from their overnight score of 215-2, India had started fancying their chances of salvaging a draw with captain Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara on the crease.

But Robinson had different plans. He executed the moisture in the air and bounce off the pitch to peg India back two feet every time they tried to take a step forward.

England bundled out the out of colour tourists for a modest 278, which was however 200 more than their first innings paltry total of 78.

Robinson triggered the skid by trapping Pujara in front of stumps before the latter could add any run to his overnight score.

A clueless Pujara did not offer any shot against the swinging delivery of the master craftsman, who dominated the proceedings from the beginning till the end on fourth day.

He made Indian batsmen dance to his tune and they did not look like even a pale shadow of themselves, who gave their bowlers enough runs on the board to defend at Lord’s.

After the dismissal of Pujara, the onus of taking his team through fell on the shoulder of skipper, who has been going through a purple patch for over a year and half without scoring a century in any format of the game.

Kohli had scored his last hundred in international cricket in Novermber 2019 in a home series against Bangladesh in Kolkata.

Kohli could add another tens runs to his score and a hard-fought first fifty in the series, reaching one more personal milestone of scoring an overseas half-century.

But he also failed to wage the battle for long and became the third victim of England quick, who was on fire. The dismissal of Kohli opened the floodgates and England pacers ripped through the Indian middle and lower order.

Indian batsmen have always struggled on the fast pitches against the pace bowling. Even a star-studded Indian batting line-up had failed to chase a paltry total of 120 at Sabina Park against West Indies in 1999.

But the then pace attack of the West Indies featured the likes of Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop. While the current team bowed down against a weakened England pace battery which lacks the services of Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

India lost their last seven wickets for 65 runs with last five out of six batsmen failing reach a double-figure mark.

Ravindra Jadeja looked in hurry and smashed a quick-fire 30 instead of trying to staying at the pitch.

It looked like as if he had upcoming IPL and T20 world Cup on his mind and was using the opportunity to showcase his hitting prowess ahead of the much-anticipated tournaments to be held in the UAE.

However, now with one win each, India’s hope of winning a Test series in England look like distant dream. India have won a Test series in England only thrice, the latest being the 14 years ago under the captaincy of the Wall – Rahul Dravid – in 2007.

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