India registered a comprehensive 151-run victory at Lord’s in the second Test of the five-match series against England to gain a 1-0 lead. In what was a complete team performance by the visitors, KL Rahul smashed a brilliant century in the first innings alongside Rohit Sharma, who scored an 83 of his own, before the bowlers ensured that England did not manage a considerable lead.
In the second innings, when India lost the in-form openers early, two mainstays in Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane bailed the team out of trouble, followed by an impressive lower-order rearguard by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the second innings that put India in the driving seat. Chasing 272 on a fifth day track at Lord’s, England tumbled out for a paltry 120, losing the game by a considerable margin of 151.
Unsurprisingly, the English media, both digital and print, had their front-pages painted with headlines depicting the sorry tale of the home team, who were also in a vulnerable position during the first Test, and might as well have been 0-2 down instead of 0-1 had it not been for the last day washout at Trent Bridge.
Joe Root’s questionable tactics fill column spaces
Lord’s was a loss that calls for filling up of plenty of column inches. And that was aplenty, including Geoffrey Boycott’s subtle bashing of England. In his column for the Telegraph, Boycott called out England for their over-reliance on Joe Root. That, however, did not absolve Root, who was in the line of fire after baffling on-field antics, which included a widespread field against a thorny Indian tail that wagged and wagged and wagged until the game was dispatched a good yard beyond England’s arms.
“Bizarre” is how England’s Ashes-winning skip Michael Vaughan described Joe Root’s tactics and fielding placements, whereas Shane Warne, too, was left heavily unimpressed by the hosts’ “horrible” approach against Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who ended up with a record unbeaten ninth-wicket 89-run stand.
To borrow from Boycott: “This Test match has proved two things. Firstly, if you are stupid, you do not deserve to win Test matches. Secondly, England cannot keep relying on Joe for all their runs.” The sooner England understands, the better.