The Big Picture
India will kickstart their much-anticipated 5-Test series against England at Edgbaston from August 01. Last time India visited England, they were humbled 3-1 despite notching up a historic win at Lord’s after 28 years.
Today, in this article, we’ll have a look at three Indian heroes who were the major architects of the win four years ago.
Here’s my compilation:-
#3 Ajinkya Rahane (103)
On a green seamer where the outfield and pitch looked indistinguishable, India found themselves reeling at 7-145 when in-walked Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane had given first impressions of his amazing stroke-play in white-ball cricket when he made his debut three years ago (2011) in the same country. Three years later, it was his technical prowess that made the cricketing world take notice of him. Rahane cut and drove with breathtaking ease en-route to a 154-ball-103 to take India to a very competitive 295 in 91.1 overs.
#2 Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36 & 52, 6-82)
If Rahane was the spearhead for India’s resurgence in the first innings, Bhuvneshwar Kumar played the perfect supporting role with the bat. He (36 off 84 balls) combined with Rahane to stitch an invaluable 90-run partnership that helped India post 295 in the first innings. And then arrived Bhuvi- the swing bowler.
In his maiden stint at the ‘Mecca of Cricket’ Bhuvi nipped out six English batsmen and recorded figures of 6-82 to help his side bowl the hosts out for 319; a slender lead of 24 runs. Bhuvi wasn’t done yet as he rounded off the match with a pristine 52 off 71 balls and in a 99-run partnership with Jadeja (68 off 57 balls) helped India set a target of 319 in the fourth innings.
#3 Ishant Sharma (7-74 in the second innings)
When Ishant Sharma is pitching the ball up and making it swing; he is a different bowler. He bamboozled Ian Bell and Alastair Cook with fullish length deliveries to reduce the host to 4-72 on the evening session of Day 04.
But Joe Root (66) and Moeen Ali (39) got stuck to stitch a 102-run partnership to help England recuperate to 4-173. Dhoni brought Ishant back into the attack at the stroke of Luch and asked the bowler to dig in short to Moeen Ali. Ali obliged by fending it straight to short-leg. The floodgates were well and truly open as Ishant persisted with the ploy of short-pitch bowling after Lunch to register career-best figures of 7-74 and hand India their first win at Lord’s after 1986.