India vs England: Team India report card - How Virat Kohli and Co fared at Lord’s
India suffered a heavy defeat in the second Test at Lord’s, losing by an innings and 159 runs in a rain-affected match as the England bowlers made merry in swing-friendly conditions.cricket Updated: Aug 14, 2018 09:55 IST
India’s defeat in the first Test of the five match series against England at Edgbaston, while disheartening, offered signs of encouragement for the Virat Kohli-led side.
Yes, the batting offered little resistance in the face of quality pace bowling but India’s bowlers put in a good showing and there was hope that the second Test match at Lord’s would be a more even contest.
However, persistent rain in London ensured the Test was essentially a three-day affair as after the entirety of the first day was washed out, James Anderson made merry while the sun didn’t shine and the Indian batsmen looked clueless against the onslaught of quality swing bowling.
With the third Test at Nottingham only five days away, the Indian cricket team have a lot of work to do in order to stay alive in the series. Here is the report card of the side after the Lord’s Test:
Murali Vijay - Rating: 0.5/10, Verdict: Abysmal
Murali Vijay struggled against the moving ball in the first Test at Edgbaston and the Tamil Nadu opener did not look anywhere near his best at Lord’s either.
In both innings, he was outdone by James Anderson who was getting the ball to do plenty in conditions best suited for him. While in the first innings, he misread an out-swinger and lost his stumps, the second innings saw him edge one to Jonny Bairstow. He gets a rating of 0.5 just for showing up to bat.
KL Rahul - Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor
Playing in his preferred position at the top of the order, KL Rahul’s inexperience at handling swing bowling was evident for all to see and he too fell victim to Anderson in both innings.
In the first innings, he barely had time to settle before he edged one behind the stumps. The second innings saw Anderson trap him after he failed to read an in-swinger.
Rahul showed intent while playing, something that would no doubt impress team management. However, he failed to show the temperament and patience needed to succeed in such testing conditions.
Cheteshwar Pujara - Rating: 3/10, Verdict: Below Average
Brought into the side in place of Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara was unlucky to be run-out in the first innings after finding himself at the wrong end of a mix-up with Virat Kohli.
He managed to play out 87 balls in the second innings, scoring 17 runs in the process before being removed by Stuart Broad. Pujara’s solidity in the middle remains necessary for India in challenging overseas conditions, but his lack of runs continue to be a concern.
Virat Kohli - Rating: 5/10, Verdict: Average
The only batsman to really shine at Edgbaston, Virat Kohli was again the only one who looked likely to offer any resistance against England’s swing bowling onslaught.
He managed to play out Anderson but any hope of more heroics from the skipper was snuffed out by Chris Woakes, who got him to edge one to Jos Buttler in the slips.
Kohli didn’t fare much better in the second innings, as he came in at number five due to a stiff back and was eventually removed by Stuart Broad.
Ajinkya Rahane - Rating: 4/10, Verdict: Below Average
What’s most disappointing about Ajinkya Rahane’s showing at Lord’s is that in both innings he looked in good touch, but both times he failed to convert his innings into one that could potentially make an impact.
For a batsman with his temperament, it was surprising to see Rahane chase balls wide of the off stump and get caught in the slip cordon in both innings.
Rahane is easily one of India’s best batsmen away from home but he needs to do more in the remaining games if India are to make a fist of it in the remaining Tests.
Dinesh Karthik - Rating: 1/10, Verdict: Poor
Experiencing something of a late career renaissance after his heroics in the Nidahas Trophy (against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) and a decent Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, Dinesh Karthik has so far failed miserably with the bat in England.
He scored just one run after facing a combined four balls in both innings at Lord’s, failing to make any sort of impact on the scoreline despite being one of the side’s most experienced pros.
To make matters worse, he struggled behind the stumps as well. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rishabh Pant replace him at Nottingham.
Hardik Pandya - Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Good
Pandya has found himself coming under fire from fans and experts alike in recent times, but he was one of India’s better performers at Lord’s.
His cameo of a knock in the first innings came to an end after he edged one behind off Broad, but he stitched together a 55-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin in the second innings before Woakes got rid of him.
Playing as a third seamer in this game, Pandya ended the first innings with the best figures (3/66) among the Indian bowlers. The team management will no doubt expect him to keep improving ahead of the crucial third Test.
Ravichandran Ashwin - Rating: 6.5/10, Verdict: Good
He was India’s star bowler in the first innings at Edgbaston, but Ravichandran Ashwin could not pick a single wicket in conditions that offered little to no assistance to the spinners.
Nevertheless, he was India’s top-scoring batsman in both innings, which is just as solid an indicator of how poorly the batting line-up has fared thus far in England as it is of Ashwin’s usefulness with the bat.
Ashwin scored 29 in the first innings before a Broad in-swinger crashed into his pads. He remained unbeaten with 33 in the second innings.
Kuldeep Yadav - Rating: 1/10, Verdict: Poor
He came into the starting XI as India’s team management felt a second spinner would be useful with the pitch on offer, but rain scuppered any chances of Kuldeep being a potent weapon.
It didn’t help that when he did get a chance to roll his arm over, his line and lengths were all over the place and he failed to pick up a single wicket, conceding 44 runs in just 9 overs.
To cap it all off, he failed to score a single run in both innings. It was definitely a Test match to forget for the young Chinaman, who will in all likelihood be dropped for the next Test.
Mohammed Shami - Rating: 4/10; Verdict: Average
Mohammed Shami had put in a decent shift at Edgbaston and also did well with the ball at Lord’s, ending the first innings with figures of 3/96.
However, it wasn’t a perfect day for the pacer as he was inconsistent with his line and length and as a result gave away more runs than he should have.
His performances in the first two Tests have been solid if not overly spectacular and the team will hope he can improve on his showings ahead of the third Test.
Ishant Sharma - Rating: 3/10, Verdict: Below Average
The de-facto leader of India’s pace attack had a hard time at Lord’s. He bowled 22 overs but failed to pick up a single wicket, which was slightly disappointing after the kind of form he showed at Edgbaston.
The lanky pacer showed some consistency with his line and lengths but will undoubtedly be itching to be among the wickets again in the third Test.
Normally a more than useful hand down the order, he fell cheaply to Anderson and Woakes in the first and second innings, respectively.
First Published: Aug 13, 2018 16:49 IST