Team India started the England Test series 2018 with a hard-fought loss in the first Test at Edgbaston. They were expected to make a stronger comeback in the second Test of the five-match series at Lord’s ground.
However, despite rain washing away the first day of the match, the Indian team crumbled against some quality swing and seam pace bowling at the hands of England fast bowlers. Not only just batting, England outplayed them with the bat as well. Indian bowlers were a shadow of their selves in the first Test at Edgbaston.
Though the overcast conditions aided the swing and seam bowling of England bowlers, it was more the failure of Indian batting to cope up with the top class bowling. They were bowled out for 107 in the first innings in 35.2 overs and in the second innings were bundled out for 130 runs in 47 overs. In the Test, Indian team batted for just 82.2 overs.
Indian bowlers gave the team a chance by picking four wickets relatively early, but England keeper and a bowling all-rounder made them toil hard, after surviving the initial burst and made the bowlers pay.
Taking all the things into considerations, Team COC looks at the five things that went horribly wrong for Team India at Lord’s.
Here are the 5 Reasons why Team India lost the second Test against England at Lord’s
Dinesh Karthik’s failures with the bat
Indian wicket keeping can be easily divided into two eras; BD or before Dhoni and AD or After Dhoni. Team India struggled to find a good keeper who could bat since the advent of Adam Gilchrist in cricket. Gilchrist can be credited with changing the role of wicketkeeper from being brilliant with the gloves and batting at no.10; to being brilliant with the gloves and owning the no.7 position and scoring runs.
India finally found someone of the caliber of Gilchrist, who could change the course of games with his batting and was extremely safe behind the stumps in Dhoni. In his 90 Tests career, Dhoni made everyone forget the trials that Indian cricket went through before him.
Since his retirement, Team India settled for Wriddhiman Saha who is considered at par with MS Dhoni when it comes to his keeping skills and is trusted with the bat in his hand. However, with his injury during IPL, India had to look for other alternatives and found them in Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik.
Dinesh Karthik piped Parthiv Patel for the role of wicketkeeper for the tour of England, thanks to his batting abilities, which he showcased in the T20 format in IPL and the Nidahas trophy.
Dinesh Karthik had the experience of touring England before in 2007, and that too as an opener and was successful. He was expected to repeat the same. However, Karthik was found wanting with both bat and behind the stumps in both Tests.
He was bowled by a beauty of the delivery by Sam Curran in the first innings for 1 run and then Stuart Broad got him LBW on the first ball in the second innings. He took a very good one-handed catch of Jonny Bairstow off Pandya in England’s only innings.
However, his was needed to anchor one end with the bat and but has resulted in him failing to cope up with the swing and seam of England fast bowlers and it seems like India will be looking for his options in the upcoming Test at Trent Bridge.
Ajinkya Rahane’s loss of form
Much hue and cry were made when Ajinkya Rahane was dropped for the first two Tests during the South Africa tour and his place was given to Rohit Sharma. Now with Rohit Sharma failing to cement his spot, Rahane was slotted back in for the Afghanistan Test and was also chosen for the England tour.
However, he was found woefully out of form in both the Tests and in the Lord’s Test, he not only got out for 18 and 13, despite looking a bit set; but he got out for terrible shots. In both the innings, Rahane was out edging to slips, while fishing for the ball outside the off stump.
He being out of form puts the spanner in the scheme of things for the Indian team, as the only other option for him is Karun Nair. Seeing the way things have gone for him, Rahane requires a really good inning under his belt to keep his place intact for the rest of the series.
Openers couldn’t stand up to Anderson and Broad
Indian openers in the Lord’s Test added 0 runs in both the innings, thanks to two ducks scored by Murali Vijay who was removed by James Anderson in both innings. KL Rahul, on the other hand, scored 8 and 10 runs in the two innings and both the openers failed to set a good platform for the batsmen to follow.
M Vijay’s technique deserted him as he was found playing an out-swinging delivery from Anderson on the leg side in the first innings and then edged one to the keeper in the second innings. He didn’t play straight and didn’t leave the ball and was generally guessing where the ball would swing.
One might think, Shikhar Dhawan got a raw deal, as he was dropped to accommodate Cheteshwar Pujara in the playing XI, as having a left-hander in the top three gives the variety to the batting lineup. M Vijay had scored a century against Afghanistan before coming into this Test series, but given his experience and penchant for leaving the ball, he was seen as the best hope for India against the likes of Broad and Anderson. But the team management will now have to think again about continuing with him.
Key bowlers missing
One of the biggest reasons, India lost the match was that two of their best bowlers, who could exploit the overhead conditions were out of the team due to injury.
Jasprit Bumrah had a terrific start to his Test career against South Africa, where he picked up his maiden five-wicket haul. However, he broke his thumb in the first T20I of the UK tour against Ireland and has been missing in the action since then. Given his awkward action, his pace and his ability to move the ball off the pitch could have troubled the England batsmen a lot.
The second bowler missing was Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was the pick of Indian bowlers on the last tour of 2014. His ability to swing the ball both in the air and off the pitch would have had the same effect as Anderson and Broad in the same conditions and pitch. But his back injury, which he suffered in the IPL 2018, was aggravated when he was played in the third and final ODI of the England series.
Missing both Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar meant that India had no option to backup Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammad Shami. Hardik Pandya proved to be ineffective as the backup seamer and team management’s decision to leave out Umesh came back to haunt them.
Wrong team selection
Virat Kohli admitted in the post-match presentation that he and the team management erred in picking the team for this Test at Lord’s. The team management’s decision to pick Kuldeep Yadav in place of fast bowler Umesh Yadav backfired spectacularly on them, as overcast conditions meant that Kuldeep bowled just 9 overs and went for 44 runs.
However, if Umesh Yadav was picked, India would have had a better third fast bowler on that pitch, which had something for the pace bowlers and Umesh has that extra speed to make the difference, which Hardik Pandya doesn’t have.
In retrospective, even the decision to drop Shikhar Dhawan can also be seen as a wrong decision, because he was given the axe, despite M Vijay also failing in the first innings of both Tests. But M Vijay managed to keep his place on his reputation, which is now in tatters. Left-hander Shikhar Dhawan would have bought some variety in the all right-handed batting lineup for India.
Team India now have to get lots of things right to make a comeback in this series in the third Test at Trent Bridge starting on August 18