After a first test series defeat since 2014, England’s cricketers had the tricky test of trying to defeat Virat Kohli’s India, the same India team that will be still licking their wounds of defeat by New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championships, some two months ago.
Hosts England, come into this one, with no Jofra Archer who is still injured and effectively ruled out of the T20 world cup and Ben Stokes the all-rounder supreme who can win a match on his own.
In the case of Stokes, this only just goes to emphasise the demands of international cricket on players and the even bigger challenges they have of having to remain in the “bubble”. of course this is something that both teams will have to manage with, but it’s not ideal for both.
India too are deprived of some of their talent. Shrubman Gill who has impressed for his country and KKR in the IPL is injured as are bowlers Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar.
Delhi Capitals bowler Khan, although not featuring too much for India’s test side, many including ourselves, felt he would have done well in England, especially considering the pitches tend to be seamer friendly pitches.
Virat’s India team are seen as many as one of the best test sides around. Their performance in the World Test Championships where they were beaten finalists of course, only goes to further show that.
As for the first test itself then, it would be England who bat first and after winning the toss, it was a sorry state of affairs for Root’s side as they were all out for just 183. A brilliant 64 by captain Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow (27) and Sam Curran the same score, meant it was grim scorecard reading for the homeside.
A brilliant bowling performance by James Anderson (who else) and Ollie Robinson who seems to have a healthy habit of taking wickets, did cause India’s batsmen problems, but dropped catches and missed run outs really hurt England.
The tourists would be dismissed for 278, but it could have been so much better. Second time round, after an initial stubborn defensive rear guard, The Three Lions find themselves 46-2 at time of writing.
Rory Burns (18) and Zak Crawley (6) whose test places seem under threat, have done little here to alleviate this concern. England have a long day of batting today should the rain hold up, the play continues.