India suffered an innings defeat at the hands of England in the third Test of this series with one and a half day’s of play remaining at Headingley in Leeds. The visitors went into this game with a positive mindset after a thumping victory at Lord’s. They were hoping to secure a win but failed miserably against a ruthless England side.
Opting to bat first, Indian batters looked clueless against English bowlers. James Anderson was the wrecker in chief as the visitors were bundled out for 78 runs. In reply, England banked on an outstanding effort from their batters led by captain Joe Root. The hosts posted a mammoth total of 432 runs and pocketed a sizeable lead.
In reply, India staged an outstanding effort with the bat on day 3 to go at 215/3. But English bowlers produced a spectacular effort in the morning session on day 4 to bowl out India for 278 runs and level the series. Here are three reasons why India lost the Headingly Test.
Poor Batting Display
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) August 28, 2021
India was completely outplayed in this department. They were bundled out for a mere 78 runs in the first innings. Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first. It certainly looked like the correct decision at the time, but it backfired. One of the main reasons was the poor shot selection and going after balls that were outside the line of the off-stump.
The bowling was also spot on. The English bowlers were absolutely spot on. They kept hitting the deck hard bowling the right lengths to the batsman to get them out. In the second innings, the batsmen were much more cautious. They negated the new ball swing and build partnerships.
James Anderson and Ollie Robinson
Ollie Robinson in Test cricket:
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 28, 2021
One of the main reasons that India was all out for 78 was James Anderson. The 39-year-old has aged like fine wine. He got the new ball to swing beautifully. He managed to pick up three crucial wickets of KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. He just bowled 8 overs in that first innings but that fiery spell was enough to shake the Indian batting line up to its core. He picked up 4 wickets in total in the game but his impact was unreal.
Ollie Robinson on the other hand had a higher number under the wickets column. He picked up 7 wickets in total. He was the star in the second innings as he picked up a fifer. He too was really impactful with the new ball. He managed to unsettle KL Rahul which eventually led to him falling early in the second innings. Both the English fast-bowlers proved why they are among the best.
Lack of Batting Depth
India certainly lacks depth when it comes to batting. Their last recognized batsman is Ravindra Jadeja. After that, it is up to the bowlers. In the last game, the bowlers stood tall and held the innings together but you can’t always expect them to do that. India certainly needs an all-rounder after Jadeja who can hold the batting from one end even while batting with the tail-enders. Who knows that if India did have another batsman at their disposal he might have helped stitch a partnership with the lower order and India would not have succumbed to 78.
After Leeds, the action now moves to London. The series is tied at 1-1 and both teams will look to break the deadlock. It is going to be a battle for the ages and we certainly have an exciting two test matches ahead of us.