Action moved to Oval with series on the line. Joe Root had won the toss and opt to bowl, host’s with a couple of changes as Chris Woakes replaced Sam Curran and Ollie Pope replaced Jos Buttler which was a forced changed and for India, Shami and Ishant Sharma miss out as Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur were named in the XI, Ashwin’s wait for a game continues.
Rohit-Rahul got proceedings underway for India and both openers did well as they managed a few runs early on and didn’t allow James Anderson to find his rhythm. Chris Woakes on return striked in his first over and was a big wicket of Rohit Sharma on 11, soon Robinson trapped KL Rahul lbw on 17. Wasn’t too late before India lost their 3rd as Anderson with an absolute beauty removed Pujara on 4. Ravindra Jadeja was promoted up to bat at 5 and does well along with Virat on the other end to calm the rush, it was a small 30 run partnership between the duo that saw curtains with Jadeja’s wicket on 10, Ollie Robinson with the breakthrough and Root with a good low catch to complete the wicket. Kohli and Rahane put up a small partnership that saw captain Virat Kohli get to his half century and walked back with a 50 to his name as Ollie Robinson brushed the outside edge of the Indian skipper. Rahane was next to depart as Craig Overton brushed Rahane’s outside edge on 14. Looking to accelerate after a defensive start Rishabh Pant’s stay saw curtains on 9 and India were 7 down for 127. Shardul Thakur displayed an entertaining innings, put up a brilliant 31 ball 50 before Woakes trapped him lbw on 57, Umesh Yadav added 10 and a run from Siraj to end India’s batting outing. India were bowled out for a low total of 191 and for England Chris Woakes on return does the damage with 4 wickets, 3 for Robinson and a wicket each to Anderson and Overton.
India with the ball had a good start as Jasprit Bumrah in an over dismissed both English openers Burns and Hameed on scores of 5 and 0 respectively. England were 2 down for 6, Root and Malan take control and get England back in the contest, dying minutes of play on day 1 Umesh Yadav striked and it was a big one as Joe Root walked back on 21 and Overton was in as nightwatchman. Overton departed early next morning, without disturbing the scorecard and Malan who looked good on the other end after a few good shorts departed on 31 and it was Umesh Yadav with both wickets to his name. Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow do a good repair work after being 5 down for 62, they stich in a nice partnership that saw runs flow for England and India failed to put England under pressure, Pope and Bairstow stitched an excellent 89 run partnership that came to close with the wicket of Bairstow on 37, Siraj this time with the breakthrough for India. Moeen Ali joined a set Ollie Pope who soon got to his brilliant half century on return, the duo get England with the lead and soon Moeen Ali skied one and walked back after a good 35 handing a wicket to Jadeja, the 71 run stand came to a close. Chris Woakes and Ollie Pope extended England’s lead before Shardul Thakur disturbed Ollie Pope’s stumps on 81, was a brilliant innings by Ollie Pope on return, promising as always. Robinson was the next to depart, looking to clear Jadeja saw his bails dislodged. James Anderson hung in with Chris Woakes who changed gares and put up a quick fifty and was out looking to take a cheeky single to keep strike, handy and brilliant 50(60) from Woakes. James Anderson remained not out and it was the 100th time Anderson remained not out. England were all out for 290, from a stage of 62-5 to have a healthy lead of 99 runs, that was good work from England. Umesh Yadav topped the wickets table with 3 to his name, Jadeja and Bumrah had a couple each and a wicket each to Siraj and Shardul Thakur.
Rohit and Rahul walked out with nearly an hour to survive on day 2, Rohit looked to do a bit too much initially but after a misjudged catch drop by Rory Burns that gave Rohit a life saw him settle and did well in the remaining duration of play, Rahul too on the other end did well to hand India a wicketless outing, 43-0. Day 3, Rohit-Rahul batted well and kept the runs flowing before James Anderson handed England a much wanted breakthrough on 83 and it was of a set KL Rahul on 46 who nicked one to Jonny Bairstow. Cheteshwar Pujara joined a set Rohit Sharma and the duo get India past the 99 mark and get India to lead, the duo stitched up an impressive 155 run stand that saw Rohit Sharma get to his maiden overseas century and in what better cause could it come, in England in a must win game. Pujara too batted well with a lot of intent and soon got to his good looking half century. It was all looking good for India and were bossing the game before the second new ball was in play as Robinson striked ball 1 and got the prize wicket of Rohit Sharma pulling one, Rohit Sharma walked back with a match winning knock of 127 and in the same over after a few balls Pujara walked back on 61, an inside edge that Moeen Ali grabbed. Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja settle things for India after loosing two wickets in quick succession, was a crucial time of play with the new ball and floodlights in play, Virat and Jadeja bat strong and ensured India don’t lose a wicket more. The play was called off as bad light affected play and India with a lead of 170 walked back.
Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja put up a watchful start to begin day 4, runs soon started to flow for India and mainly for Virat Kohli who continued to impress, bowling change worked for England as Woakes trapped Jadeja lbw on 17(59) and Ajinkya Rahane soon departed on duck, survived earlier with a successful review not this time and it was Woakes again causing the damage. A small partnership between Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant that settled things but soon Virat walked back for a good 44 and it was Moeen Ali who got the prize wicket of Virat Kohli. Sensible, sensible from both Pant and Shardul who added runs and made it count with a big 100 run stand that pushed England on backfoot, the century run stand saw curtains as skipper Root found the outside edge of Shardul Thakur on 60(72), brilliant knock by Shardul. Wasn’t too late before England had their second as Pant got to his 50 and departed to Moeen Ali who grabbed a catch off his own bowling, was a well paced innings by Pant who wasn’t on his toes. Tailenders, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah put on a 36 run stand that frustrated England and it was Chris Woakes again for England with a breakthrough, the 36 run stand saw curtains as Bumrah walked back on 24(38), handy 24. Siraj added 3 to his name before Umesh Yadav tried to go over covers but was caught and Craig Overton finally had a wicket to his name. India put up a massive total of 466 in 2nd innings, 368 is what England need to gather for a win. Chris Woakes topped the wickets chart, Robinson and Moeen had a couple each and a wicket each to Anderson, Root and Overton to end England’s bowling outing.
Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed in reply show good batting display in the remaining time of play on day 4, put up a brilliant 77 run opening stand and had a wicketless outing. Final day 5, Burns played a few shots and got to his 50 and walked back to a peach by Shardul Thakur handing India a much wanted breakthrough and England’s 100 run opening partnership saw curtains. David Malan was in and a defensive stay that pressured him to score saw his outing end on 5, looking for a single was ran out, substitute Mayank Agarwal with a perfect throw and Rishabh Pant does the required, a suicide by Malan. Haseeb Hameed who was looking good on the other end walked back for a good looking 63 as Jadeja with a peach handed India a key wicket, Root on the other end continued to score but was very watchful. Jasprit Bumrah striked as Ollie Pope walked back on 2 and Bumrah had his 100th test wicket and in his next over dismissed Jonny Bairstow on duck. Jadeja then picked up Moeen Ali on duck comforting India, 3 wickets in quick succession that was it and England knew it was all over. England had a small 35 run stand, Joe Root and Chris Woakes with some repair work but the 35 run stand saw curtains as Shardul Thakur bowled Joe Root dismissing him on 36. Chris Woakes minutes before tea walked back as Umesh Yadav trapped Woakes on 18 getting him to flick and KL Rahul with a good diving catch completed the wicket. India take the second new ball and strike immediately as Umesh Yadav dislodged Overton’s bails on 5 and the final wicket took a while to come but had come as Umesh Yadav brushed Anderson’s outside edge to hand England a defeat on the final day, England bowled out for a total of 210. India bag the test with a big margin of 157 runs and it was bowlers again up to the task, Umesh Yadav with 3 wickets topped the wickets chart, a couple each to Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja to end India’s brilliant outing with the ball.
Bowling heroics saw India bag the test despite ealry bad sessions, India take a 2-1 lead in the series with a match more. England continue to disappoint with the bat and again fail to perform on crunch moments and has been the story of the summer for this English team, nothing changes. For the final test England-India will meet at Old Trafford, a promising thriller to wrap the english summer.