Captain Jaspreet Bumrah dominated with an impressive all-round performance, including a world record with the bat and a quick spell with the ball as India regained full control of rain-affected England on the second day of the fifth Test here again. Achieved. Saturday. The strength of Bumrah’s all-round show (31 off 16 balls and 3/35) in his first appearance as Indian captain was that he easily hid Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliantly built third Test century that gave India the first innings. Reached the commanding score of K416.
England faced all sorts of troubles when half the team was back in the pavilion and the scoreboard had scored 84 runs for 5 wickets and the host team was 332 runs behind the visitors. In the first session, Stuart Broad must have felt the ‘deja vu’ when he was literally killed by the stand-in Indian captain, who scored 29 runs with Willow and gave him six extra runs to make it 35 runs. Also given In Test cricket, never in an over.
In his first match as captain, Bumrah would never have thought that he would get the most runs (28 runs) from Brian Lara in a single Test match over, which lasted for 18 years. George Bailey and Keshu Maharaj, however, equaled the feat.
Broad cannot be blamed if he remembers the night in September 2007 in Durban when Yuvraj Singh hit him six sixes in an over. He took his 550th Test wicket that day but by the end of it all, Bumrah had erased that smile from his face.
When England came out to bat, the captain warmed up well and bowled a dangerous first spell and was rewarded for putting his “wrong foot” on two occasions for a change which resulted in an extra. There were balls which gave him two wickets.
After two days of play, India retained all the units and it is good to be in contention to retain the Pataudi Trophy and a place in the final of the World Test Championship.
When India next play a Test series against Bangladesh in December, the second day in Edgbaston may have given India a realistic option of long-term captaincy in the traditional format and when Rohit Sharma decided to make time for his Test career. What is the decision?
Bumrah was good with changes in his bowling, field placement and his own bowling DRS call. Overall, a complete package in place.
India’s ‘MVP’ Jadeja
Earlier in the day, Jadeja confirmed his position as India’s most valuable player in all formats as he scored his best Test century – 104 off 194 balls.
This century, however, was of much better quality than their first two, especially if there was a factor in the conditions, the situation of the match and the quality of the opposing bowling.
Jadeja hit 13 fours, and his nearly four-and-a-half-hour stay at the crease allowed Pant to play his natural attacking game, even defending the former when needed.
Four months after his second century in Mohali, a Panchi Drive in the Core Point Region gave him his third.
Having already scored 2500 runs in Test cricket as well as taking 242 wickets, Jadeja can safely be called the best all-rounder the Indian team has after the great Kapil Dev.
The Test batting average of 37-plus is better than many of the experts who have played for India over the years.
‘Boom Boom’ show
Bumrah used the bat like a sword and even the top edge looked like the ball was hitting a “sweet spot” as Broad hit four fours and two sixes in the over. There were hooks, bridges and drives to attract a crowd of talent.
The Indian captain actually fed the hosts ‘baseball’ (Brendon McCullum’s attacking philosophy), which has become a trending language in English cricket over the past few weeks.
While a century for Rishbha Pant’s age and Jadeja’s third Test century set the stage, no one can reduce the 93 runs that India put up with the partnership of No. 9, 10 and 11.
As far as England bowling is concerned, James Anderson (5/60), who is a month ashamed to be 40, is still a classic figure, as he took the 32nd five wickets in Test matches.
But 40 extra runs, including 14 nine balls, will definitely bother England in the long run.
Blow up the English top order
By the time he came out to bowl, Bamrah already knew the weaknesses of left-arm opener Alex Liz (6). He rounded up the wicket and got one to go back a bit with Angle as he violated the opener’s defense.
In the case of Zack Crowley (9), Bumrah completed the ball on the ‘fourth off stump’ and Crowley’s drive was snatched by Shabman Gul on the third slip.
Similarly, after another break in the rain, he tested Oli Pope (10) with another full delivery that was slightly wider and this wide drive ended in the hands of Shriyas Iyer in just the second slip.
But India saved their best performance till the last minute as Mohammad Siraj left one behind with a strange seam as England’s best batsman Joe Root (31) could only tackle one and easily caught Rishbha Pant behind the stumps. Could give PTI KHS KHS ATK ATK
Topics covered in this article