India vs England First Test: 5 Takeaways
|Published November 13, 2016
The first game between India and New Zealand a closely fought encounter in which the English team had an upper hand. Winning the toss and electing to bat first England managed to put a mammoth total on the board from where there was no looking back. We at The SportsRush analyse five things that we learn from India vs England first test.
Fighting Spirit in the England team
England are off to a fabulous start to their long testing subcontinental tour. The nerves of the players, who expected viciously turning tracks would have settled after splendid performance of the England batters. None of the cricket pundits gave them a chance against the mighty Indians, who have been decimating opposition teams in home conditions.
The loss of the English team to Bangladesh also made people skeptical of such a performance from them. However against all odds England came all guns blazing in the first test giving Indians a run for their money. The batting is deep and looks capable of handling Ashwin and Co., while the bowling looks balanced. There is a good mixture of quality spin and pace which makes the bowling lineup more balanced.
The game seemed to end in a sluggish draw on the third day after the end of the Indian innings. However the intent with which England batted in the second innings brought the game alive. They scored runs briskly, took their chances against the spinners and put pressure on the Indian spinners. After a long time it seemed that there was a contest between ball and bat on fourth day on an Indian track.
Read Also: Kohli advises Cook about subcontinent conditions after 1st Test match
over dependence on Ashwin
Ashwin has been a match winner for India in home conditions. He has single handedly won a number of games for India. The records speak for themselves. In the home series against New Zealand he rattled the entire batting lineup. His subtle variations in speed and loop foxed the New Zealanders. The best thing about Ashwin’s bowling is that the stock delivery is turning and getting him wickets.
However the problem that the Indian team currently facing is over dependence on Ashwin to deliver. In case of an off day for Ashwin it seems that the entire bowling lineup loses its sheen. In the 46 overs that Ashwin bowled in the first innings he conceded 167 runs taking only 2 wickets which is pretty low as compared to the standard he has set for himself.
Three spinner theory
India went into the game with three quality spinners who have the ability to win games for India. Ashwin is the pivot of the bowling lineup on which the performance of the bowling unit depends. However the problem with three spinner theory is that the services of one of the bowler is underutilized. In the first Innings of the game Ashwin did bulk of bowling delivering 46 overs. Jadeja too chipped in with 30 odd overs but Amit Mishra seemed to be have under bowled.
An important thing for a spinner is to get into rhythm for which he craves for longer spells. The problem with having three spinners in the side is that inevitable one of the bowlers would have to compromise on that front. Going forward in the series it would be interesting to see if Kohli continues with this side or twerks the bowling lineup a bit.
Susceptibility to succumb in pressure situation
The Indian batting lineup showed tremendous character and grit in the second innings. In response to a mammoth total of 537 by England, Indian batters batted with a sense of calm and composure. Lead by Murali Vijay and Pujara it seemed that the Indians would surmount England’s total, however some soft dismissals in the middle order restricted the Indian total.
However in the fourth inning when there was pressure to save the game the batting lineup faltered. The Indians tried to be aggressive in their approach and as a result lost wickets at crucial junctures. This could have been possibly dangerous had Virat not held fort from the other end. The likes of Wriddhiman Saha danced down the track looking to dig it out and lobbed the ball to the bowler. At such crucial junctures a more sensible approach is required.
Where does Jimmy Anderson fit into scheme of things
For England, it has been a very good start to the series. With questions over how well they’ll cope on big turners against superior players, they have out-batted and out-bowled India. Hameed’s runs coupled with the consistency that Rashid and Zafar Ansari displayed leaves the tourists in a good head space for the next four Tests. They will have one big question to answer – should they recall James Anderson? Having worked hard on his fitness as Loughborough, where he bowled 30-overs outdoors thanks to a state-of-the-art tent, he is available for selection for the second Test. However, with spin expected to play an important part, the big question that England’s team management needs to think about is who would make way for Jimmy Anderson.
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