By Ashok Kumar
India 191 and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50 Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs and lead the series 2-1. Rohit Sharma was named player of the match.
Jasprit Bumrah’s devastating reverse-swing, Ravindra Jadeja’s miserly spell into the rough and crucial breakthroughs from Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur took India into a 2-1 series lead against England, sealing a 157-run win that had seemed improbable for much of the fourth Test at The Oval, to celebrate 50 years of 1971 India victory at The Oval.
The win-win graph at the end of the fourth day showed India as the favorite with over 62 % and the fifth day gave draw as a highly preferred result with Joe Root still batting and Hameed going strong past 60, England had a good chance of winning The Oval Test. After lunch, the swing graph showed 1.6 degrees, and bowlers just turned the match on its head.
Boomrah struck twice nipping one at Ollie Pope and rattled his stumps for 2 and then bowling out Jonny Bairstow with a swinging yorker for 0 and next over Jadeja got Moeen caught at short leg for 0 and England were from a comfortable 100 for 1 at lunch to 149 for 6 and Winwiz chart showing India as the favorite, with India needing just 4 more wickets.
Tea was taken with India just two wickets away from victory, leaving England with no recognized batsman to score the remaining runs. The Winwiz graph is heavily loaded in favor of India. The new ball was taken with 33.5 overs remaining and Umesh Yadav bowled Overton and England was reduced to 202 for nine. Anderson nicked one rising delivery from Umesh to Pant and the decision was reviewed and verdict upheld to give India victory.
A lot of effort went into this win: Bumrah – The Indian bowler spoke about the team’s hard-fought win at the Oval and was happy that the contributions came from all corners.
There were three players, Shardul, Boomrah, and Jadeja with match-winning performances but it turned out to be Rohit Sharma’s 127 that proved to be crucial and named player of the match. Shardul with back-to-back 50s and two wickets, including that of Root at crucial moments was a strong contender for the man of the match award. Bumrah provided a crucial breakthrough to raise India’s hope of victory. Jadeja made use of the rough patch on left-handers off stumps to lift India from a dire situation.
England openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns led the hosts’ fightback frustrating the Indian players for more than 40 overs as they longed for a breakthrough and it was provided by the man with the golden arm, Shardul Thakur.
Thakur dismissed Burns and the procession started. Dawid Malan was run-out and Hameed was sent by Ravindra Jadeja with an away-spinning delivery that pitched on the leg-stump from over the wicket and took out his off-stump.
Source- theistimes.com, September 6, 2021.