English Lions Hunted Indian Princes’ In English Safari
England Vs India Test Series 5th Test Played at Oval , London
England 332 ( Jos Buttler 89, Alister Cook 71, Moeen Ali 50 , R Jadeja 4/29 ) and 423/8 declared ( Alister Cook 147, Joe Root 125 , Vihari 3/37 ) beat India 292 ( Jadeja 86* , Vihari 56 , Moeen 2/50 ) and 345 ( K Rahul 149, R Pant 114 , Anderson 3/45) by 118 runs
England won the series 4-1
India , the number one test team of ICC ranking came to English safari for hunting English lions .They themselves were hunted instead in what appeared to a fascinating mouth watering contest though the 4-1 margin of defeat in favour of the home side did not reflect the true image of the superior quality the contest produced.
India was almost Tsunamied in the first two tests under cloud cover on green top seaming and swinging surfaces .None but indomitable Kohli looked great at all. Then they bounced back in the third test whipping England .
The fourth and fifth tests were evenly contested though England with superior pace and spin bowling attack and better batting finished with their noses in front . Even the final session of the last test on the last day was played with all four results possible. England triumphed. The series witnessed amazingly great moments, very sad moments .
The end result of 4-1 does not reflect at all the intensity of the contest . The last two tests swung from end to end . Finally England had the last laugh.
The series was the swansong of one of the great cricketer of the modern day cricket . Alistair Cook signed off with a brilliant century in his very last innings. The great swing king Jimmy Anderson stormed past another great Glen McGrath with the very last ball of the series.
The world cricket will never see again Cook cooking curries in the slip cordon with two greats Anderson and Broad hunting in pairs. Cook dropped a few as well. When test is played with two top dogs producing high quality cricket on very testing surfaces it becomes a viewers delight . While looking at the end result people would get dodged not knowining about the quality of the contest .
Great bowlers of modern day cricket were up against great batsmen. England were better equipped with quality batsmen and horses for the courses .India had lesser number of quality batsmen adapting to conditions on swinging surfaces against very potent English attack .Otherwise it was precious little to choose between the sides .
The manner in which England pulverised India in the first two tests it seemed that India would get white washed in a lop sided one way traffic .But determined Kohli squad brilliantly bounced back with vengeance in the third test and for a greater part of the fourth test looked like winning and squaring the series .
But Moin Ali the English spinner out shown Indian spinners paying back on their own coin . We have seen how fascinating was the contest on the last day of the last test. Test cricket will definitely get back its glorious crowd pulling attraction if such series are played with either team having possibilities of win every test.
England had already wrapped up the series before England met India for the last test of the fascinating English summer at Oval . Batting first England had to bat to the best of their skills against quality pace and spin combination of Indian attack.
J Buttler produced an excellent fighting innings of 89 while c Cook playing his last test of his illustrious career was looking fresh as ever played the anchor role with a patient 71 . Bumrah (3/83) , Sharma 3/62 kept English batsmen honest .However Jadeja with his left arm spin was the peak of the Indian bowling with 4/79 . India in response was in great trouble while encountering a very balanced English attack .
They were looking like conceding a huge first innings lead till Jadeja and Vihari combined to a brave partnership inching India close to English first Innings . Jadeja remained unbeaten with well compiled 86 while Vihari growing in confidence with every innings produced 56 . India went as far as 292 all out conceding a lead of 40.
However , excleent batting of Alister Cook in his last test innings (147 ) and Root 125 led England declaring at 423/8 setting an improbable target of 464 on a wearing wicket . Many teams while trailing 3-1 already in the series would have put their hands up and surrender . Specially after a long tiring English summer it was very difficult to concentrate .
England made early inroards with Dhawan, Pujara , Kohli Rahane and Vihari going back with only 121 on board .Rahul was seen ploughing in the sand when young wicket keeper batsman risal Pant walked in . These two walked on a purple path and at tea it looked like a nail bitting photo finish was to be staged . The pair produced an excellent 204 sixth wicket partnership .
At tea all four results were possible . But English bowlers struck . As soon as the epic partnership got broken and new ball was taken one of the greatest pace bowler of all times Jimmy Anderson wrecked the Indian innings .
His wicket of Sami with the last ball of the last test took him past the other great Glen McGrath . Now only Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan are in front .Anderson has two to three years cricket still ahead of him to add to his tally . McGrath has already declared it wont be possible for any modern day fast bowler eclipse the milestone that Jimmy set given the amount of work loads modern day cricketers shoulder.
It was a great series win by England . But India also produced great cricket . Indian bowlers Bumrah, Sharma , Sami bowled much better in England than ever before . Kohli, Pujara , Rahul , Pant , Vihari batted well. But against a very lethal English attack on their condition no other visiing team could reach the height that was only possible once the great great team of Sir Donald Bradman achieved.
Hats off to a great English batsman the ever smiling Alister Cook . Cricket would definitely get poorer as he hanged his bat after great career . He played two brilliant innings in the test and signed off with an epic century in the last innings.