Four-star Broad and Anderson engineer England's innings win over India at Lord's

David Clough 12/08/2018
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Stuart Broad and James Anderson took charge as England surged into a 2-0 series lead with an innings-and-159-run victory over India in the rain-ravaged Lord’s Test.

Broad (four for 44) and Anderson (four for 23) each bagged a notable new milestone in their stellar careers as England bowled India out for 130 on the fourth evening.

The hosts appeared set for renewed frustration when rain twice more interrupted play in a match which had suffered a first-day washout and lost almost 170 scheduled overs in all.

But after half-an-hour of morning batting in which Chris Woakes (137no) and Sam Curran collected 39 runs for a declaration on 396 for seven, there was time for Anderson to become the first bowler in history to take 100 Test wickets at this famous venue.

Between two further rain breaks, Broad then made the most of leaden skies to move into the top 10 all-time leading Test wicket-takers – before celebrating with two further wickets in two balls, including captain Virat Kohli.

Seventh-wicket pair Hardik Pandya and Ravi Ashwin kept England waiting after tea, with a stand of 55, but Woakes quickly parted them to put his team on the home straight.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad picked eight wickets in the second innings.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad picked eight wickets in the second innings.

Anderson had earlier wasted precious little time bagging his Lord’s century, and getting started on his second too.

England’s all-time leading wicket-taker was armed with the new ball in very favourable conditions for the second time, after Joe Root had raised a few eyebrows around the ground by choosing initially to delay England’s declaration.

Anderson needed just five deliveries to bowl Murali Vijay with a brilliant outswinger to kickstart India’s descent to a first-innings 107 all out.

Second time round, it took him nine as the opener completed his pair when he was caught-behind off an inside-edge as the ball swung down the slope.

The evergreen seamer then also dismissed India’s other opener KL Rahul again, lbw to another one slanted in.

Kohli failed to take the field while England batted on, reportedly because of a back strain, and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane replaced him at number four.

He and Cheteshwar Pujara held firm until the rain arrived. But once under way again in early afternoon, there was no stopping Broad – who took over from Anderson at the pavilion end, with India on 30 for two.

In his second over he brought the edge from Rahane, and Keaton Jennings took a neat catch away to his left at third slip. Enter Kohli, but he was to lose Pujara after 87 balls of admirable defiance when Broad bowled him off his pads with a perfect inswinger.

Broad’s 421st Test wicket took him up to joint 10th among the all-time leading bowlers, alongside South Africans Dale Steyn and Shaun Pollock – and he soon passed them with the wicket of Kohli.

The India captain survived when Broad went to DRS for a catch down the leg-side by Jonny Bairstow, but then there was no reprieve via his own review next ball.

Debutant Ollie Pope dived forward from short-leg to take the catch, and replays confirmed umpire Aleem Dar’s belief that it had hit Kohli’s glove.
Broad then immediately had Dinesh Karthik lbw pushing forward.

His hopes of becoming the first bowler ever to take three Test hat-tricks foundered when he fired the next one to Ashwin for four leg-side byes.

But Woakes broke the resistance of Pandya and Ashwin when he overturned an lbw decision against the former in England’s favour with the first ball of his second spell.

Then in the gathering gloom, Anderson and Woakes made short work of the last three wickets.

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Justice Lodha disappointed as court sets aside key recommendations on BCCI's functioning

Sudhir Gupta 12/08/2018
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Chairman of India's Supreme Court appointed panel Rajendra Mal Lodha.

After the Supreme Court of India set aside core recommendations of the Justice RM Lodha committee regarding the administration of the Indian cricket board, Lodha has expressed his disappointment over the development.

The Indian court accepted the reservations of the Indian board on key issues, including granting voting rights to established state units and relaxing the cooling off period for officials for election to key posts.

“I will not say that I am shocked but I’m surely disappointed,” Lodha was quoted as saying by ANI news agency.

“These were two fundamental recommendations made by us in our report and it would have introduced good reforms in administration, management and governance. They have diluted the reforms which had all been accepted by Supreme Court (in 2016).”

He said that the motive of his panel was to put an end to the monopoly of office bearers.

“Unless they are removed there won’t be space for newcomers. Our reforms were aimed to stop these officials from building their kingdom for six years,” Lodha added.

“Such reforms were needed to lay a strong foundation. We had worked very hard, spoken to so many stakeholders connected with the game. It had been a really long and comprehensive exercise.”

According to the new amendments made in BCCI’s constitution, office bearers will now be allowed to serve two consecutive terms instead of one. Apart from that, the Supreme Court set aside the ‘one state one vote’ policy. The court thus granted full membership to Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha, and Railways among other bodies.

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India have shot themselves in the foot through selection blunders

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Kuldeep Yadav was ineffective at Lord's.

India entered the five-Test series against England severely disadvantaged by the absence of main fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. They also had to make do without main wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

And to add to this perfect storm of personnel issues, no batsman apart from Virat Kohli has looked capable of making a statement in the five Tests. And even Kohli entered the series with hope rather than runs in red-ball matches.

The first Test in Birmingham was an intense battle which England deservedly won despite Kohli himself scoring 200 runs. Expectations of another fine display from both teams in the second Test at Lord’s were therefore high.

But after just two days of actual cricket, India have not only been thoroughly outplayed but the calibre of their personnel brutally exposed. Whether or not the tourists somehow manage to avoid defeat in the second Test is immaterial – though a hammering looks on the card. What matters is the decisions made by the Indian team heading into each Test.

While the focus is on India’s inept batting on admittedly challenging wickets, the bowling mix has left a lot to be desired as well. The difference between the two sides in the first Test was 31 runs, which at the end of the day is not a lot. Therefore, the decision to go in with just one spinner – Ravi Ashwin – on a pitch that offered a lot more to the slower bowlers can be allowed to slide.

However at Lord’s, England scored at nearly four and a half an over as the Indians had reduced the hosts to 131-5, after they themselves were bundled out for 107 on a stormy Friday.

Admittedly, it was most clear skies on Saturday in London with the pitch easing out. But it isn’t a flat wicket by any stretch of the imagination. Balls are staying low and there is movement off the wicket. For England to be 250 ahead from that position shows India’s bowling in a poor light.

Once again, it was a case of bad team selection. After the opening day’s play in London was washed out, the management would have known that the wicket had spiced up and seam bowlers will receive a lot more help than earlier expected. But instead of recalibrating, Kohli stuck to his original plan of fielding two spinners. If there had been no rain, having two spinners would have been the right plan. But not after Thursday’s washout.

What we got was a shocking situation where not only did left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav look completely ineffective in his nine overs, ace spinner Ravi Ashwin was brought on to bowl only in the 39th over of the England innings.

While Kuldeep couldn’t maintain his line or sustain pressure, Ashwin was forced into a defensive position from his first over itself. That meant India’s two ‘frontline’ bowlers had been rendered useless as far as taking wickets was concerned. You can try to hide one bowler who is not at his best. Not two.

When batsmen like Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes are scoring freely, the Plan B is to dry up the runs and wait for mistakes. Any decent Test bowling side should be able to do that against middle and lower-order players by packing the square with close in fielders and either bowling straight or fullish outside off. It has been done by many teams on flat wickets over the years but for that you need reliable bowlers. India were avoiding the two they had.

There is no point thinking about what could have been had Bhuvi and Bumrah been fit. On a pitch where India’s batsmen could only manage 107, England have motored along at over four an over. Coming from the No1 Test team in the world, this is simply not good enough.

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