So Near And Yet So Far: India succumb to English pressure as they lose battle of nerves in First Test

India lacked resilience as the batsmen except skipper Kohli let the nation down.

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Joe Root and his English side have drawn the first blood in the 5 match test series after beating India by 31 runs.

Continuing their innings from an overnight score of 110-5, India didn’t have the kindest starts after Jimmy Anderson picked up Dinesh Karthik in the very first over of the day. Virat Kohli was still on one side of the wicket as he continued losing partners. Hardik Pandya seemed like providing much-needed assistance to his captain. The duo constructed a hard-working 29 runs partnership.

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However, Ben Stokes was on a different mission altogether. He dismissed Kohli with a beauty of an inswinger, as it hit his pads before being adjudged as LBW by umpire Aleem Dar. Stokes again struck gold. This time it was Mohammed Shami who came into the firing line as Stokes picked two crucial wickets in only three deliveries. Joe Root now sensed victory. Ishant Sharma was lucky to find two boundaries. His two thick edges passed above the slip cordon of Anderson’s bowling. But Pandya’s too much reliance on Ishant didn’t help India’s cause. Adil Rashid’s googly struck Ishant’s pad. When umpire Chris Gaffaney hesitated to raise his finger, Root decided to send the matter upstairs to umpire Marias Erasmus. He had little doubt of the decision as Hawkeye showed three red signals. Ishant Sharma had to make the long walk back. India were now 154-9 and still 40 runs behind the target.

The win was a matter of when but if for England. Pandya carried India’s hope with a thin rope. However, it was that man, Ben Stokes, again who helped Joe Root. Stokes’ delivery found the outside edge of Pandya and veteran Alaistar Cook did the rest. India were bowled out for 162, thus falling 32 runs short of the target.

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Jubilations were seen all around the stadium as both the English fans and players celebrated with greater ecstasy. India bottled a great opportunity as all the work done by Virat Kohli went in vain. This could have India’s only seventh win in English soil ever. But it was not meant to be. Great credits go to England bowlers who persistent bowling succumbed team India. Sam Curran was the awarded with the Man of The Match trophy because of his great contribution both with the bat and the ball.

Indians now have to put their depressions away quickly as the teams travel to Lord’s for the second test on the 9th of August. Ravi Shastri would definitely want to find a place of Cheteshwar Pujara to consolidate India’s top order. England, too, would look at their batting performances which lacked quality throughout the test. Both the teams have been vulnerable on the slip cordons. Both would like to improve their catching. There much more to look forward to for both the teams.

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Match Summary:

England (1st Innings) 287/10.
Joe Root 80.
Ravi Ashwin 62/4.

India (1st innings) 274/10.
Virat Kohli 149.
Sam Curran 74/4.

England (2nd innings) 180/10.
Sam Curran 63.
Ishant Sharma 51/5.

India (2nd innings) 162/10.
Virat Kohli 51.
Ben Stokes 40/4.

Man of The Match: Sam Curran.

Virat Kohli gained the top spot in the ICC test match batsmen rankings after a dominating performance.

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