It is the same old story for India. Time and again, the world number one Test team has shown that they are heavily dependent on Virat Kohli and the fourth England vs India Test has further enhanced that notion. Kohli once again led his team from the front but was let down by his teammates.
Chasing 245, India began the proceedings in an usual manner as the top-order once again failed. Stuart Broad castled KL Rahul for a duck to set the tone for his side. And even before the visitors could recover from the early setback, James Anderson struck twice to put England well on top. He first trapped Cheteshwar Pujara for five before accounting for Shikhar Dhawan to leave India reeling at 22 for 3.
But before England could take complete charge of the game, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane revived India’s hopes with a century stand. However, the hosts restored parity when Moeen Ali dismissed Kohli at the stroke of tea to set up a frantic finish. Kohli was out for 58 which ended the 101-run stand.
And as soon as Kohli departed, the floodgates opened as India soon found themselves seven down for 153. The seventh wicket all but sealed India’s fate as Moeen dismissed Rahane for 51. Ravichandran Ashwin tried to delay the inevitable for a while but could not fight for long and became the last wicket to fall after scoring 25. India were all out for 184 as England won the game by 60 runs to seal the series with a match to go.
Speaking after the game, Kohli credited England for giving India a good target.
“I thought England did well to give us that target. They batted well in third innings. Seeing how the pitch was, how the ball was turning, they applied themselves. Don’t think we made too many mistakes today. Credit to them,” he said at the presentation ceremony.
On the team’s collapse, he said:
“We never thought like that (of an impending collapse). Usually with a big partnership you’re always in the chase. But we were always under the pump. The pressure was non-stop. We felt the passion of eleven players on the field, wanting to win the Test match for their country. Me and Jinks had the same passion. That’s the beauty of Test cricket. I thought about my dismissal as well in the first innings, if I had carried on we would’ve got a larger lead. Nothing to take away from Pujara. Weren’t many negatives for us from this game. Need to focus on positives. Have to take heart going into the final Test.
He went on to congratulate Sam Curran who scored 78 and 46 and picked up two wickets. He also made it clear that India would play the final Test with the same intensity.
“Quite handy to have guys who can strike the ball well in those positions. Every team feels like that, when the lower-order gets runs. They were braver in tough situations than us. Those contributions from lower-order have been significant. Would like to congratulate Sam Curran, nice find for England and he’s doing well. Joe was saying, it might not look like it but it has been a competitive series. Won’t throw in the towel, will come out with same intensity at The Oval.