There was a winner and there was a loser like there always has been in sport but what a cracker of a Test Match this was. Nobody knew what was about to happen next and just when we thought one team will seal the advantage the other threw a few punches as well. This was ‘Test Cricket’ at it’s absolute best. Exactly the kind of injection the format required after more than 30 % of the tickets remained unsold even though the boys from Bollywood were in town to take on their very own ‘Three Lions’.
Before The Start Of Day 4
India needed 84 to win with 5 wickets in hand. No India batsman had scored more than 30 runs in the entire Test Match barring Virat Kohli who by the end of day 3 had scored 192 all by himself. No England batsman barring Sam Curran had scored more than 30 runs in the second innings either. Such was the dominance of Virat Kohli and also India’s reliance on their captain that England knew that if they could have the big fish early in the day, it could well go their way.
On the other end, there was Dinesh Karthik who many thoughts had been playing his best cricket ever. Having said that, he departed without troubling the scorers in the first innings and the shouts of Rishabh Pant’s inclusion had only grown louder. Karthik was under pressure but this was also his best opportunity. Let’s not forget, when India last won a Test Series in England, it was Dinesh Karthik who opened the batting for India and made sure to blunt the new ball to protect the rest.
Could India Be The First One?
No Asian Team had ever won a Test Match at Edgbaston and this was their best ever chance. After 3 high adrenalin rush days of Test Cricket with the ball swinging a mile, the sun was finally out and Indian Cricket Fans could not stop doing double cart-wheels in their backyard. Well, they still had to go and play some good cricket against a quality bowling line-up though and let’s not forget the ball always swings in England irrespective.
James Anderson Sets The Tone
Not surprisingly, Joe Root decided to start proceedings with James Anderson who had just sent out a warning to Kohli that he might have won round 1, but there was still a lot more to come. He promised to give it his all on day 4 and backed it up by providing his team with a dream start by accounting for Dinesh Karthik’s wicket in his very first over. Karthik looked uncomfortable from the very first ball and Anderson immediately smelled blood and it only took him until the last ball of his over to have the wicket-keeper knick one to David Malan at slip.
There Goes Kohli, There Goes The Match
Yes, the sun was out but there was still movement through the air for the quicker bowlers. While Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli had already stitched a crucial 29 run partnership and all the focus was on the latter, captain Kohli played one across the line to a Stuart Broad delivery only to be trapped LBW in front of the stumps. Soom Mohammad Shami’s wicket followed and India who looked favourites to win were in desperate need of a miracle by Hardik Pandya.
Unlike Virat Kohli, Pandya failed to protect Ishant Sharma, scratch that, did not even try to protect him rather as the fast bowler departed after scoring 11 vital runs for his team. The writing was on the wall though as with all due respect to Hardik Pandya he wasn’t to emulate someone like a Virat Kohli even though he finally realized that being on strike himself rather than exposing the tailenders would be the wiser thing to do.
Well Played England, Well Tried India, Congrats Test Cricket
It took one more peach of a delivery from the emotionally drained Ben Stokes after a lot of banter with both Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya, especially the latter, for England to finally seal the deal as they managed to win the cliff-hanger by 31 runs. Having said that, in the end, cricket was the real winner and the fans from both sides certainly had their money worth.
Awesome start! Gonna be a good series this…. 😁 #1-0 #ENGvIND Great work boys ! 🏏
— Sarah Taylor (@Sarah_Taylor30) August 4, 2018
#TestCricket – enough said!
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) August 4, 2018
What a Test match 🙌
— Eoin Morgan (@Eoin16) August 4, 2018
So for the critics and the self doubters re Adil Rashid that he should NOT play Test Cricket because he doesn’t play Country 4 Day cricket….
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) August 4, 2018
The charm of test cricket ✨ #ENDvIND
— Mayanti Langer Binny (@MayantiLanger_B) August 4, 2018
You absolute beauty! What a win congrats to everyone involved! @englandcricket
— Alex Hales (@AlexHales1) August 4, 2018
— Chris Woakes (@chriswoakes) August 4, 2018
WHAT A TEST MATCH! @benstokes38 🔥
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) August 4, 2018
— Ish Sodhi (@ish_sodhi) August 4, 2018
Such an exciting game this has been! All hopes on Hardik now to take India through. He needs good support from Umesh. #ENGvIND
— R P Singh (@rpsingh) August 4, 2018
Yes boys!! Absolutely class! What a game!! #ENDvIND 🙏👌🙌
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) August 4, 2018
Regardless ! Well played India 🇮🇳 #EngvsIndia
— Shreevats goswami (@shreevats1) August 4, 2018
— Michael Lumb (@Lumby45) August 4, 2018
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) August 4, 2018
Was always going to be too many once Kohli was out. England ahead but series still open
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 4, 2018
Thrilling test match but England collectively were much better. Sam Curran’s contribution with the bat yesterday eventually turned out to be the difference. India will look for more contributions from the other batsmen #ENGvIND
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) August 4, 2018
Great win with some really special performances 👏🏻 What a series this is going to be!!!! #ENDvIND
— Mason Crane (@masoncrane32) August 4, 2018
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) August 4, 2018
— kartik (@ozilistm10) August 4, 2018
Only one bad decision by @imVkohli cost India this #ENGvIND Test Match & that’s dropping No. 3 Postion Batsman #Pujara,
who own the Spot on his merit than any other batsman in #TeamIndia,
it’s mad to use diff scales to diff players.
— Harshraj O+ve (@meinincubator) August 4, 2018
Get in England! Test cricket at its best, great win that #ENGvIND 🏴
— Nick Cross (@nicro6) August 4, 2018