Updated: Sep 7, 2021
India 191 (Thakur 57, Kohli 50, Woakes 4-55) and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Umesh 3-76) and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50, Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs
India defeat England by 157 runs in the fourth Test played at The Oval, London and lead the 5-match LV Insurance series by 2-1.
Looking at the action in the last four days of this Test match, everyone thought that it would be a day which will belong to batters. But that was not the case. Everyone was proven wrong when India took all the 10 wickets on the last day of the Test match.
The pitch showed no demons except for rough patches to use but, was a batting-friendly throughout the last few days. The Indian bowlers proved everyone wrong on a batting-friendly deck with their pin point accuracy and determination.
England eventually got bowled out for 210 runs. The top scorers for them were both of their openers, Haseeb Hameed with 63 runs which included six boundaries and Rory Burns with 50 runs which included 5 fours.
For India, all the bowlers except Mohammed Siraj were among the wickets. Umesh Yadav took three wickets while Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets each and one wicket came through a run out.
Shardul Thakur breaks opening stand of 100 runs with the wicket of Rory Burns
The day started with the arrival of the openers, Hameed and Burns to the middle with England at 77 for no loss. The England openers performed well in the initial few overs of the first session. They took their partnership to 100 and seemed to take the game towards a draw or possibly set a platform for an England victory as well.
But the Indian bowlers brought back their team in the game. It started off with the wicket of Rory Burns when England had reached 100. Shardul Thakur sprung into action and had him caught behind. In the context of the match, it was an important wicket as the partnership was looking threatening. The other important wicket taken by Thakur was of the English captain Joe Root who scored 36 runs which included three boundaries before getting dismissed.
England managed to scrape through to the lunch break with the further loss of Dawid Malan’s wicket who was run out through some good work by substitute fielder Mayank Agarwal. England’s score read 131/2 at the stroke of lunch.
England collapse from 141/2 to 147/6, in effect giving away the match
Ravindra Jadeja got one delivery to spin prodigiously from around leg stump to take the off stump of Haseeb Hameed which literally set the cat among the pigeons.
England had little clue of what was to come in the next few overs. ‘Boom Boom’ Bumrah had bowled an exceptionally economical spell till then and was literally in the hunt for his 100th Test wicket. In the 65th over, he castled Ollie Pope to reach the landmark and in the process he became the fastest to the feat (in 24 Tests) among Indian pacers.
Jasprit Bumrah subsequently bowled his stock delivery, an exceptional yorker at immaculate pace, to bowl out the dangerous Jonny Bairstow in his next over. England were in shambles at 146/5 and India were clearly on top. Fans were reminded of the Melbourne Test 2018 when Bumrah bowled with similar precision and enthusiasm against the indefatigable Australians.
Jadeja then got Moeen Ali who has proven to be a hurdle for India on many occasions in the past. England were clearly down and out at 147/6.
Joe Root and Chris Woakes held on for a 35-run stand after which Shardul Thakur got the England captain played on with their score at 182/7. It was a matter of time in which the home team got folded up as they were bowled out for 210 giving India a 157-run win and a 2-1 lead going into the final Test.
Virat Kohli calls the shots and leads from the front
Although the DRS did not get in Virat Kohli's favour with his three reviews falling flat, he led the team like a pro. He was spot on with the bowling and fielding changes. From one side it was Sir Ravindra Jadeja who is known for bowling long spells as he has done in past for his side in difficult situations at home as well as overseas. From the other side, Kohli kept rotating his pacers so that they could remain fresh and bowl with their full strengths in crucial times.
India were brilliant in fielding as well, as they saved crucial runs and boundaries which created some pressure on the English side.
Rohit Sharma was adjudged Player of the match for his 127 in the second innings although Shardul Thakur ran him close for his superb performance especially with the bat and crucial wickets with the cherry in hand.
England captain Joe Root, in the post-match presentation, said, "Frustrating not to get something from the game today, we felt we had an opportunity to win, but credit to India, they got the ball to reverse and that was the turning point. Could have made more of a first-innings lead, and you have to make chances count against world-class players. Got to find ways to get better but be realistic and realise that it was world-class bowling [from India].”
Looking ahead to the fifth Test, and the injuries plaguing the English camp, Root said, "Woody is coming good, injuries have been frustrating, but those guys that have had the opportunity have been excellent."
The victrious India skipper Virat Kohli was wax eloquent about Rohit Sharma’s effort with the bat in the second innings which helped India recover from a 99-run deficit to help overcome England. He also praised the performances of the lower middle-order and bowlers but reserved his best praise for Shardul Thakur calling him the difference between the two sides.
“The character that the side has shown, to come back from a near-100 deficit, showed that we were not down and out. I said at Lord's as well that I am proud of the character. [This has to be] among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain. It's relative to what you call flat, field wasn't wet like the first three days, ball got scuffed up nicely, one side heavier, and the bowlers performed reverse swing perfectly. We believed as a team that we could get all ten wickets,” he said.
“Rohit's innings was outstanding, but the impact performance from the lower-middle order, Shardul fifty was the difference, and a counterattack in the second innings,” added the Indian captain Virat Kohli in the presentation.
Player of the match Rohit Sharma said, "I wanted to be on the field but getting that hundred was special. [Being a] 100 behind we knew how important it was to give them a target of 370-odd. A great effort from the batting unit. It's my first overseas hundred, so obviously my best one. The three-figure mark wasn't in my mind, we knew the pressure on the batting unit, but kept our heads down and batted for the situation!”
Twitter Reactions: India beat England by 157 runs
India beat England by 157 runs in the fourth Test and take a 2-1 lead in the 5-match series. With only one game to go, India can't lose the series from here.
Here are some of the best Twitter reactions compilation:
Notable former players including Sourav Ganguly, AB De Villiers, Michael Vaughan, Irfan Pathan, Shane Warne and VVS Laxman also expressed their appreciation for Team India for their second win at The Oval via their Twitter handles.
The famous Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle and former Indian player Wasim Jaffer, on a lighter note, tweeted about Shardul Thakur who has been trending for reasons beyond cricket at times, on Twitter.
Shardul Thakur's fourth match figure reads 3/76 apart from vital 57 and 60 runs in the first and second innings respectively.
The fifth Test between India and England will be held at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10-14.