For the second time in the series, after the Lord’s Test, England imploded to lose 10 wickets in their second innings on Day 5 as India claimed victory at The Oval. Joe Root underpinned the collapse on Jasprit Bumrah terrific spell in the middle of the day and which left the skipper in frustration.
At 146/3, the hosts still had the chance to save face. However, Bumrah shocked them with twin strikes post-lunch – castling Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow to tilt the game towards India, who eventually won it by 157 runs and take an unassailable 2-1 lead with one game to go.
Bumrah, who completed 100 Test wickets, finished with astonishing figures of 22-9-27-2, whom Joe Root hailed as “world-class bowling”.
“It’s frustrating, thought we’ll get something from the game today, we had an opportunity of winning a Test match. The opening partnership was outstanding, credit to India, they got the ball to reverse. I thought Bumrah’s spell was the real turning point of the game,” Joe Root said in the post-match conference.
“He’s a superb bowler and at times we need to be realistic and accept that he bowled really well, that was world-class bowling. Have to manage better if we’re in a similar situation in the near future, especially our game against reverse swing.”
We’ll have to look at other areas where we missed opportunities: Joe Root
Joe Root further lamented the “missed opportunities”: the number of dropped catches, including twice of centurion Rohit Sharma; the inability of the batting order to record a big lead as they did in Leeds. If not Root this time, no one else got the “big hundreds” which would have put England in a completely dominant position as they were in the third Test.
“From our side, we’ll have to look at other areas where we missed opportunities, maybe we should have made more of an advantage with the first-innings lead and should have taken the chances that were offered. We always look to get better,” he said.
“Whenever we lose a game, we can always look back at the toss, we can always think about a few things and the way it happened, but at the end of the day, we need to be ruthless.
“Should have got more than a 100-run lead. We needed that big hundreds, big partnerships… Having got starts, you have to make those 20-30 runs count. We need to play good cricket right around in Old Trafford.”
The fifth Test match in Manchester is scheduled to start on September 10th. However, there is a covid-19 scare around the Indian camp as Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar have tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.