Virat Kohli had asked his batsmen to look at the mirror after India failed to chase down 194 at Edgbaston. Clearly, the batsmen did not pay heed to their captain’s words. A week after that heartbreak in Birmingham, India were humiliated at Lord’s, inside three days.
England will look back at this innings and 159-run win with a lot of fondness. Two of their oldest players – James Anderson and Stuart Broad- starred with heroic spells. Chris Woakes, returning to the Test side, showed his worth as a world-class all-rounder and Jonny Bairstow continued his rein as one of world cricket’s most accomplished batsmen.
And before India knew what hit them, England had gone 2-0 up in the five-Test series.
The first day of the second Test was washed out due to rain. Play could begin only on the second day and luckily for England, conditions were just right for James Anderson to rip apart the Indian batting line-up. Chris Woakes, who replaced Ben Stokes for the second Test, picked up a couple of crucial wickets (before slamming his maiden hundred).
After managing 107 in the first innings and giving away a 289-run lead, there was no chance India were going to win this one. There was a remote possibility of a draw given the weather conditions but for that, India’s batsmen had to show some kind of application, some fight.
There was none.
WE TAKE A 2-0 SERIES LEAD!!
England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 12, 2018
Murali Vijay and KL Rahul continued to disappoint. Ajinkya Rahane poked at a delivery he should have left alone while Cheteshwar Pujara showed he had learnt nothing about scoring runs in England.
Unlike Edgbaston, there were no Kohli heroics. He scored 23 in the first innings and walked out to bat with a stiff back in the second innings. He grimaced and struggled everytime he put bat to ball. But Kohli was still the most confident of India’s batsmen.
And when Kohli was eventually dismissed by Stuart Broad after a few dramatic moments of the DRS, the writing was on the wall for India. Broad struck again off the very next ball to remove Dinesh Karthik for a duck, bringing together Hardik Pandya and R Ashwin to battle the elements and the English pace attack at Lord’s.
Unless relentless rain came to India’s rescue, there was only one result possible from thereon. There was a brief respite for India when the umpires decided to stop play shortly after Broad’s blows, but another defeat was inevitable.
Pandya and Ashwin stayed together for a while and even played a couple of delightful shots. But that partnership was never going to do anything for India, not after the top-order batsmen had embarrassed themselves once again in an overseas Test.
Woakes got rid of Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav fell to James Anderson shortly after. Mohammed Shami became Anderson’s ninth wicket as England sensed victory with over a day to spare.
Fittingly perhaps, Woakes got the last wicket to seal England’s victory when he had Ishant Sharma caught by debutant Olivier Pope.
Ashwin was India’s top scorer in the first innings and he too scored in the second innings too as he remained not out on 33. It was a shame none of the regular batsmen up the order could learn more about application and courage from Ashwin, who would have felt lonely battling it out against England’s top-quality seamers.
There is not much time now for the third Test. There is no time for India to pull up their socks and salvage some self respect. The visitors have hardly played like the world’s number one Test team. Terming this defeat humiliating would be an understatement for a team which chose to spend time vacationing in England instead of playing more warm-up matches to prepare for the high-profile Test series.