The five-match Test series between India and England was among the most anticipated fixtures in this year’s tournaments. And if the battle between the teams as seen in the opening Test match is anything to go by, the viewers are surely in for a treat.
While there were not enough fireworks from the Indian willow-wielders barring Virat Kohli’s magical performance, it was a tight affair that eventually saw the Three Lions emerge victorious by 31 runs.
The expectations were high form Virat Kohli’s boys as they are the favourites for winning the tournament, but the torment the Indian batters faced at the hands of the English bowlers proves that the players from the sub-continent will have to pull up their socks if they wish to remain in the contest.
While the 20-year-old English all-rounder Sam Curran stood out for his performance, Indian bowlers showed their character by taking 20 wickets in the first Test.
For the most experienced player in the current England squad, Alastair Cook disappointed the viewers with his bat. R Ashwin claimed his scalp in both the innings in identical deliveries.
English opener Keaton Jennings’ batting in the first innings was average had he lost his wicket just like Cook, England would have been in great trouble. However, Jennings’ performance in the second inning was below average.
Though English skipper Joe Root was removed early in the second innings, he led his side from the front in the first innings as he scored 80 runs off 156 balls and helped England get to a respectable total.
Two lost catches of Virat Kohli at the slips in the first innings and then gifting his wicket for 20 and 8 runs in the first and second innings respectively; he was disappointing.
English wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow scored 70 in the first inning and then 28 in the next one. Though it was not magical or extraordinary he did just fine.
English all-rounder Ben Stokes was praised after he got rid of rival skipper Virat Kohli in the second innings and helped his side in securing the victory. Though Stokes failed with the bat, he shined with the bowl. Stokes bagged 4 wickets in the second innings and 2 in the first.
Jos Buttler (0 runs in the first innings and 1 in the second) – just one word: disappointing.
English all-rounder Sam Curran was the most effective player for England in the opening Test match. Curran took 4 wickets and scored 24 runs in the first innings. In the second innings, he scored 63 runs and bagged one wicket.
Adil Rashid was the most controversial pick in England squad for the Test match. Though he did not get enough overs to bowl, he was impressive.
Star English pacer Stuart Broad’s performance in the first match was average. Broad was wicket-less in the first innings and bagged two wickets in the second innings.
James Anderson was phenomenal with the bowl and the way he teased and tested Indian skipper Virat Kohli was quite impressive. Anderson bagged four wickets in the first Test, two in the first innings and another two in the next.
Murali Vijay scored 20 runs in the first innings and then 6 runs in the second – not good enough.
Shikhar Dhawan scored 26 runs in the first innings and then 13 runs in the next – not impressive.
Virat Kohli was marvellous with the bat in both the innings. He was the only man standing between England and victory. The 29-year-old Indian skipper scored 200 runs (149 runs in the first innings and 51 runs in the second) in the first Test match.
‘Mr Dependable’ Ajinkya Rahane’s performance in both the innings was disappointing.
Dinesh Karthik was sent back for a duck in the first innings and then 20 runs in the second innings –disappointing.
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya scored 33 runs in the second innings and 22 runs in the first.
Ravichandran Ashwin took seven wickets in the first Test – four in the first innings and 3 in the second.
Shami was impressive in the first innings and claimed three wickets. However, in the second innings he went wicket-less.
Ishant Sharma single-handedly ruined the English middle-order by taking three wickets (Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stoke and Jos Buttler) in a single over in the second innings. Ishant took one wicket in the first innings and conceded 46 runs.
Umesh Yadav took two wickets in the second innings and one in the first.