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IND vs ENG, 2024: Moments where England let things slip in the series

India vs England, Test Series 2023-24: Moments where England let things slip in the series. India beat England in 5 test match series by 4-1 margin.

India vs England, 2023-24_ Ben Stokes-led England is 1-2 down on 5 match series after 3 matches _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©X_Twitter)
India vs England: Ben Stokes-led England lost their first Test series (Images: ©X/Twitter)

India won the Test series against England 4-1. Although the margin of win shows India’s domination, it could be fairly argued that the series was a close one, and if only England had managed to win those crucial moments in few Tests, the series perhaps could have gone in England’s favour. 

In fact, there were few critical moments in the series when England let things slip which allowed India to bounce back and win the matches. Here’s a look at those critical moments that England were left wanting.

Rajkot Test: Joe Root drops Rohit and gives India the escape gate

After choosing to bat first, India had slumped to 33/3 in the Rajkot Test when Ravindra Jadeja joined captain Rohit Sharma in the middle. Another wicket would have given England the chance to have a go at the inexperienced lower-middle order and wrap up India’s innings quickly. 

But Joe Root dropped a chance off Rohit’s bat at first slip. Rohit was then batting on 27, and went on to score 131 and put up a match-winning stand of 196 runs with Jadeja, who also scored a ton. Few more catches were dropped in India’s first innings as the team posted 445. 

England’s tendency to give away strong positions came to haunt them again on the third day when they, after starting the day on 207/2, lost their next 8 wickets for 112 runs to be bowled out for 319. It was India’s credit that despite missing R Ashwin due to personal emergency, their bowlers bowled out England quickly to take a 126-run lead.

England let a newcomer Dhruv Jurel stage a fightback in Ranchi

In the fourth Test at Ranchi, England needed to win the match to keep the series alive. They had India on the mat, reducing Rohit Sharma and his men to 177/7 after a fighting century from Root had England post a good total of 353. 

But on the third day, England could not wrap up the tail quickly, and allowed a newcomer in Dhruv Jurel to stitch a valuable stand of 76 runs for the eighth wicket with Kuldeep Yadav. Jurel showed immense maturity during his knock of 90 as he added another 54 runs for the last two wickets. The last three wickets posted 130 runs helping India reduce England’s lead to just 46 runs. 

With the momentum in India’s favour, Indian spinners, led by Ashwin’s 5/51, bowled out England for 145 in the second innings. India batters successfully chased down 192 for a win, while England’s third-day lacklustre performance saw them lose the series.

India vs England, 2023-24_ Joe Root shuns fancy shots, scored 31st test century _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Joe Root found his form is a great positive for England (Images: ©ICC/Twitter)
England give away a strong start in Dharamsala

England were playing for pride in the Dharamsala Test, having lost the series. England openers showed great grit and defence as they weathered the early swing of India’s new ball bowlers and piled up 64 for the first wicket. Opener Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope took the score to 100 before England did their self-demolition job, losing their nine wickets for 118 runs to be bowled out for 218. 

A lot of credit also goes the way Kuldeep Yadav bowled as he managed 5 wickets on a first-day pitch that was good for batting as India batters showed later on. Overall, England were guilty of letting India off the hook.

England bowlers lacked the experience and ruthlessness

England spinners lacked the experience to run through India’s batting line-up. Except for the fourth innings of the first Test at Hyderabad where Tom Hartley took 7 wickets to lead England to a win, the England spinners struggled to repeat the same heroics in the subsequent Tests. They could not even exploit the conditions like India spinners, letting the batters off the hook. The only experienced bowler, James Anderson, could not do much as conditions were not suited for his style of bowling.

Middle-order failure

England’s top-order batters Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, and to some extent Ollie Pope did their best to keep England in the game, but the middle-order failed them. Joe Root struggled to live up to the attacking game of Bazball before resorting to traditional Test batting to score a ton.

But by then, it was too late. Jonny Bairstow managed only quick cameos but failed repeatedly against the quality spin from India. After a few good knocks, Ben Stokes too became sitting ducks to India’s spin wizardry. Ben Foakes, and other lower-order batters lacked in terms of batting skills against quality spin bowling. Lastly, the 4-1 scoreline justifiably exposed England’s weakness in Indian conditions. 


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