Assuming a green top awaits India at Lords punters and pundits would not have given the visiting team a much of chance to create the history. On a surface which was well and truly greenish in nature India batsmen had to toil hard on the opening day of the Test after being put to bat. England bowlers had their wish granted as pitch at Lords turned green for this affair.
The patience and determination of Indian batsmen put-on in the 1st innings was certainly a stepping stone for success in this match.Cheteshwar Pujara’s waiting game followed by Ajinkya Rahane’s scintillating ton made sure India stay firm in 1st innings, with due respect to big names which was rare in 2011.On a wicket were any top-notch battingside could have been easily bowled under 200, England were frustrated by the gutsy response of the Indian batsmen.
With not much juice left in the wicket it needed Indian bowlers to bend their back and try curtail England. Even though England whizzed ahead India on 1st innings lead, buthome team was still kept under the check courtesy Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s second consecutive five-wicket haul kept India fighting.
The pitch at Lords started to wear down and India knew setting a decent total of above 250 would be a tricky chase for England. The batsmen once again regrouped and played with resilience. Murali Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India set England a fighting target. India’s 2nd innings held key for them, there was deficit even though very low but to counter with and then cross the 250 run lead as a psychological advantage.
Murali Vijay dropped anchors and played a sheet anchor role and then Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar further appended India’s total with their charming knocks. After the batters did their job it needed a brilliance from bowlers which is rare in overseas conditions.
Captain MS Dhoni was tactically at his best and did not mind going out on limb, bringing Jadeja on in just sixth over of England innings was one of those astute decisions he took as the spinner removed opening batsmen Sam Robson on his first ball. Dhoni kept implementing changeson day four and made sure Alistair Cook and Gary Ballance not look at home.
Mohammad Shami had bowled a shortspell before Dhoni brought him back in the attack and he rewarded his captain with a prized wicket of Ballance. There was assistance for spinners but Dhoni stuck with seamers and Ishant Sharma scalped two quick wickets in succession to put India on top.
Joe Root and Moeen Ali, the two unbeaten batsmen started last day the way England would have wanted. Match seemed to be slipping out of India’s hands but Ishant Sharma’s fiery spell proved to be the difference between two sides. With the wicket of Moeen Ali just before lunch India began post lunch session positively. Even though runs kept coming but Dhoni and Ishant decided to attack England with short balls and there was protection in the deep for any miscued hit.
England were mentally attacked as batsmen seemed to be left with no other option than to pull the ball, this led to their brain freeze and one by one all of them started throwing wickets away. Dhoni persisted with Ishant who had his tail-up after fetching wickets one after one. It aptly ended with a Jadeja inflicted Anderson run-out and India after 28 years won a Test at Lords and more importantly go one up in five match series.