England fast bowlers mercilessly rattled India to beat them by an innings and 156 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground to go 2-0 up in the five-match Test series.
Meanwhile, Stuart Broad and James Anderson shared eight wickets among them in the second innings, exploiting the favourable conditions to produce masterclass to which Indian batsmen had no answer.
Chris Woakes (137*) and Sam Curran extended the first-innings lead to 289 in the morning session of day four. With England at 397 for 6, Joe Root decided to declare to ominous clouds overhead. Moreover, Root’s ploy to put more pressure on India’s beleaguered batting line-up worked brilliantly when Anderson struck in the second over.
Having cleaned up Murali Vijay in the first essay, this time Anderson induced an inside edge. Furthermore, it was Vijay’s second duck of the match and his third single-figure score of the series. For Anderson, it was a 100th Test wicket at Lord’s.
KL Rahul became the second victim of the England pacer, who trapped him in front at the stroke of lunch. Ajinkya Rahane walked to the crease instead of India skipper Virat Kohli, as law restricted him. Rahane could only muster 13 before he fell to Broad for the fifth time in nine Tests. It was loose shot as Keaton Jenning grabbed a diving catch, to leave the tourists 35 for 3.
Kohli then joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle, but Pujara’s 87-ball vigil ended on 17 courtesy a super delivery from Broad. On a dismal day, Kohli’s injury will be a primary concern ahead of the third Test starting on August 18. He became Broad’s third victim when he gloved a short delivery to forward short leg.
Three immediately became four for Broad when he trapped Dinesh Karthik with an inswinger. However, Ravichandran Ashwin averted the hattrick and played some good looking shots. He scored 33 runs on challenging conditions to top-score for India in both the innings.
Woakes (2/24) continued his excellent performance trapping Hardik Pandya (26) lbw before Anderson came to clean up the tail. He bowled Kuldeep Yadav and dismissed Mohammed Shami lbw for ducks and leave his final match figures 9/43. Fittingly it was Woakes, the Player of the Match, who completed the rout, Ishant Sharma glancing the ball to Pope at leg gully.
Meanwhile, India will have plenty of food for thought as they prepare for the remaining three Tests. On the other hand, England are on a roll, with Anderson and Broad – combined age of 68 – bowling as well as they have ever done.