There has numerous changes since quite a time in the management and the team itself and now we can come to a conclusion that it well sorted move. The test scenario for team India has seen a turnabout as the recent form of the team as a whole was enough to knock England off the perch.
Throughout the series, England was outnumbered both with the bat and the ball. It all started in the 1st Test which was played at Rajkot, where Team india had an uphill task of 310 runs to chase where the wicket started to spin around. Captain Kohli ensured that the Indian team didn’t succumb to the spin duo of Rashid and Ali.
With a good momentum, both the teams then played their 2nd game in vizag where Pujara and Kohli put up magnificent tons to take India to a strong position. In return, England had no answers for the questions posed by the spin maestro Ashwin as they collapsed for a paltry 255. Team India then gave a target of 405 runs to the Englishmen after a very balanced 3rd Innings where the English spinner Rashid and the experienced campaigner Broad had picked 4 wickets each. But their individual performances couldn’t harm India’s grip on the game as the English batsmen got out for a dismal 158 handing team India their first victory in the series with a margin of 245 runs.
The 3rd match which was played at Mohali proved that Indian tail-enders aren’t an easy cookie to crumble as Ashwin , Jadeja&Jayant had a combined tally of 217 runs where the Team at a whole scored 417 runs. Then came out the Englishmen who thought to give a healthy lead to the Indians , but in turn they were caught in a tantrum as the Indian bowling came in with all canons firing , Shami , Jayant & Jadeja picked a couple each whereas Ashwin chipped in with 3 scalps which included the priced wickets of Cook, Ali & Stokes. With only 103 runs to chase, Indians stepped on the pedal and chased down the target within 20 overs with a staggering run-rate of 5.11 where the major contributor was Parthiv Patel who was re-introduced into the test squad after 8 years.
With 2 games already in the bag, Team India locked horns for the 4th time at the Wankhede. The young and instrumental Hameed was unfortunately injured and paved way for fellow countryman Jennings to fill in the void who didn’t disappoint as he went onto score a magnificent ton. Moeen Ali and Buttler also chipped in 50’s with the bat as the Cook’s boys posted 400. All the wickets were claimed by the spin duo of India, where Ashiwn bagged 6 and Jadeja bagged 4. In reply, Team India posted a mammoth total of 631 runs where major courtesy went to Kohli for his double ton and followed by Vijay’s and Jayant’s tons.England was left clueless as they couldn’t get into the opponent’s skin, rather the vice-versa had occurred as the English side were bowled out for a paltry score of 195, apart from Root & Baristow, nobody showed the will to resist the wrath of the Indian bowling line-up. Ashwin went on to bag another five wicket haul as he toppled 6 batsmen, Jadeja got 2 scalps while Jayant & Kumar picked 1 each.
With the Series in hand, the Indian team encountered the English side for one last time in whites at Chennai. After winning the toss, England chose to bat. The opening pair was soon dismissed and to steady the sinking ship, the middle order & the tail responded in a tremendous fashion as the English side put up a formidable total of 477. When everybody thought it was a tough task for the Indians, the unimaginable happened. A record shattering 759 was posted by the side where Rahul scored a scintillating 199 and his partner , Patel scored a handy 71, and then came the knock of the series where a rookie player went onto grab highlights with his tally of 303* runs. The tail yet again rubbed England’s nose as Ashwin and Jadeja scored 67 & 51 respectively. When everybody thought that the match ought to be drawn, Jadeja emerged as a gladiator who single handedly ruffled up the Englishmen as he picked up 7 scalps to hand India yet another victory.
Both the teams had an exhaustive series where new talent was seen taking shape such as Hameed for England &Jayant for India.
Team India finally had a befitting reply for the previous two series of ’12 & ’14. Captain Kohli was rightly adjudged as the man of the series for his 655 runs at an average of 109. With 3 five-fers and a tally of 28 wickets in the series, Ashwin went on to climb the Rankings as he sits on the 1st position where his companion Jadeja is the 2nd spot with a tally of 26 wickets. Saha was replaced by Patel midway and it looks like he will cling onto that position as he really impressed everybody with his performances both with the bat and the gloves, an injured Rahane paved way for Karun who showed that he is no less than any other batsman in the team which makes the task of selectors even more tougher as there are plenty of options for a perfect team. With the series win, Team India now has an unbeaten streak of 18 tests. Captain Kohli recently disclosed that this is just the beginning as much bigger things are in mind for the Test side to accomplish.
Both the teams would be engaging themselves against each other once again now in the shorter format of the game in the month of January, the schedule of the series is as follow:
- 1st ODI – January 15 (Sunday) at Pune
- 2nd ODI – January 19 (Thursday) at Cuttack
- 3rd ODI – January 22 (Sunday) at Kolkata
After the completion of the ODI’s , The teams would be facing-off each other in a 3 match T-20 series , the schedule of the series is as follow:
- 1st T20I – January 26 (Thursday) – Kanpur
- 2nd T20I – January 29 (Sunday) – Nagpur
- 3rd T20I – February 1 (Wednesday) – Bengaluru
With an unstoppable attitude and hunger for victory coupled with the home ground advantage, a somewhat similar result in the limited over games shouldn’t be far from Team India’s reach.
– By Akshath Jeksani