India landed in England in 2014 on the back of back-to-back humiliating defeats against the Englishmen. The 0-4 drubbing in 2011 propelled India lose its top billing in ICC’s Test ranking to the Three Lions. MS Dhoni & Co landed in overseas conditions with young guns as the team was going through a transition.
The likes of Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane have only started to make their presence felt when they landed in the lion’s den with James Anderson and Stuart Broad ready to dent them with their swing. The first Test in Nottingham was drawn and the action shifted to Lord’s where Alastair Cook’s England were expected to take a lead.
Anderson and Broad made the ball talk to crash the top-order but a gritty century from Ajinkya Rahane propelled India to 295. Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 6 wickets to ensure England managed to take only a 25-run lead. India’s top three and crucial partnership between Bhuvneshwar and Ravindra Jadeja helped India set a 300-plus target for the hosts.
Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami took India in the driver’s seat but excellent resistance from Joe Root and Moeen Ali brought back the host in the equation. It was during then captain MS Dhoni asked Ishant Sharma to pitch the ball short and the rest, as they say, is history as India won a Test match at Lord’s after a gap of 28 years.
“At the end of the fourth day, I had already dismissed Cook and Bell, Mahi bhai told us that from here no one will think of a draw. Obviously there was pressure on us on the last day. Moeen Ali and Root were playing bell so Mahi bhai asked me to start bowling short as nothing was happening. He told me to bowl short until we take the new ball. Just before lunch, Moeen Ali was dismissed.
“While we were going in for lunch Mahi bhai told me that he will make me bowl in short spells and that I had to bowl short. I told him that now he should just let me bowl till the end of the match,” Ishant said on Gaurav Kapur’s Youtube show Isolation Premier League.
Eventually, Ishant Sharma finished with figures of 7/74 and India won the match by 95 runs. However, things took a sharp dip since then as India ended the series 1-3 – another poor defeat in overseas condition.