As a test cricketer, there is no other prestigious moment than winning a test match at the celestial home of cricket- Lord’s.
In 2011, India were ripped apart at Lord’s, but three years later, Dhoni’s boys have successfully made a strong comeback.
In 2011, Indian batsmen were exposed of their vulnerability of playing short balls, but three years later, Ishant Sharma showed hosts the door by the same technique.
In 2012, England’s spinners performed better than the Indian’s and that too on spinner friendly wickets, but 2 years later, Indian fast bowlers have created history on seam friendly wickets.
Putting everything together, it can be said in simple words that India have taken revenge on England and have ended all the past sufferings that they endured. India’s win at Lords has given them the lead in the 5-test match series, ending a 3-year overseas win drought for MS Dhoni.
As we relish India’s memorable victory at Lord’s, we take a look at the jewels that led young India to script history:-
: -Many would hold me wrong that why I have selected Pujara. But in his innings, the time spent was more important than the runs that flowed from his bat. Considering the conditions, India were struggling with the new ball with Anderson bowling a magical spell. Pujara hold one end for about three hours which set a platform for Ajinkya Rahane and others to steer India to a respectable total.
On a green pitch it was important for one man to be there and soak the pressure. India were lucky that they found him in Cheteshwar Pujara. When he was dismissed, the seam movements were diminished and it was an ideal time for Ajinkya Rahane to launch a counterattack on the English bowlers.
Ajinkya Rahane: –
Indian team management should be proud that the youngsters, that they have got, have shown full grit and determination right from the South Africa’s tour in 2013. Rahane has been one of the most prolific batsmen for India, overseas. He has a brilliant technique and has successfully adapted on different conditions.
Wickets were falling at regular intervals as Rahane was holding one end. It was the ideal time for him to counter attack and that’s what he did. His boundary and a six off consecutive balls from England’s best bowler, Anderson, itself depicted his confidence which later made him join other legends in the Lord’s honours boards as he completed a well deserved century. His 90 runs partnership with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and 40 with Mohammed Shami was enough for India to lead to a respectable total of 295, particularly after England won the toss and chose to bowl on a green pitch.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: –
If Chetan Sharma ripped the English batting order in 1986, at Lord’s, it was Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who made the opposition dance on his fingers. He has been contributing both with the bat and the ball but during the 1st innings, he used the conditions well.
The pitch was ideal for him to take wickets and he did make the best use of it. He did what the English bowlers didn’t- pitching in the good length area. Their top-order succumbed to his swing and seam movement, giving India the perfect start.
Murali Vijay: –
When we saw him batting in IPL, we said that this lad can never play in test arena. But the same lad has proved everyone wrong from the moment he has started playing this format. He has got a brilliant temperament and a resounding batting technique. Vijay was full of confidence scoring a century in the 1st test but he was dismissed just 5 runs short of reaching the Lord’s honors boards.
More importantly he contributed with valuable runs that India required after trailing England after the 1st inning totals. England Captain Alastair Cook also helped him as he didn’t cover the third man region where as many as 4 boundaries went from Vijay’s outside edge of the bat. He scored most runs in the leg side which shows that he waited for the bowlers to ball to his body. It also depicts that he is a good leaver of the ball and knows where his off stump is which is very very important for any opener in test cricket.
Ravindra Jadeja: –
He has always been criticized for his attacking style of play in test format. But at Lord’s, he showed that on his day he can destroy any bowling attack. When Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar were at the crease, India were just leading by 211 runs and the match was in England’s grasp. What followed was a run-a-ball 99 run partnership which swung the balance back to the visitors.
Not to forget, he was also the one who ended the Lord’s test with a brilliant one-handed throw, shattering the stumps when Anderson was short of his ground.
Ishant Sharma: –
Well, he is the one who is like a pendulum, swinging between two extreme positions, hero and villain. But he showcased his heroics at Lord’s when his short balls mesmerized the English batting on the last day.
His spell after lunch will go down in history as one of the deadliest spells as he took wickets on will. He bowled short and the batsmen played into the fielder’s hand as if Sharma had hypnotized them. Even Joe Root fell into the trap. It is ironic to say the the player who once gave away 30 runs in an over, has been instrumental in handing India’s only win at Lord’s after 28 years. That’s Ishant Sharma!
MS Dhoni: –
During the past tours, we saw his defensive captaincy of which he was severely criticized. But at Lord’s we saw the attacking MS Dhoni.
It was during the last over before lunch that MS noticed the English batsmen troubling with short pitched balls. So during the break, he said to Ishant that his height was perfect to bowl well directed bouncers (as said by Ishant during the presentation ceremony) and that’s what motivated him. After lunch, the tall lanky guy bowled with the same tactic and troubled the batsmen. The rest was history!
Alastair Cook has vowed to make a strong comeback in the series and score some valuable runs for his team. The crowds appreciated his intentions which he told during the presentation ceremony and if he comes back in form then we may see a close fought series.
But as of now, Indian team has successfully conquered the Lord’s cricket ground after 28 years. As an Indian, it feels really good saying this, doesn’t it?