Test Match England v India at Headingley July 1st -5th

Neil Whitaker

Day 1

A RECORD breaking sixth wicket partnership for India against England  of 232 between Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja in 39 overs rescued India’s first innings and transformed the day.

When they came together at 98 for five in 28 overs after they had lost four wickets in 10 overs for 52 runs and  it looked like the match would be over by Sunday.

Pant hit his fourth Test century against England.   He slogged Jack Leach to the long on boundary to take him into the nineties and thrashed the next ball straight with so much power that he swung himself off the ground. To bring up his century which came from 89 balls with 15 fours and a six he pulled Stuart Broad for a couple. If that was not enough he also reached 2,000 Test runs.  

He said: “Every hundred you score in a Test match is an achievement, I just want to give 100% every time I bat.  I just focus on each ball at a time.  We didn’t want to lose a wicket before tea and  we tried to make sure that we built a big  partnership.”

Pant cleverly worked Leach off his legs to the square leg boundary to reach his fifty and  danced down the wicket to Leach  to drive him to the long off boundary.  He pulled the next ball to the deep square leg boundary and blasted the next ball over the long off boundary for a six to bring up the fifty partnership with Jadeja.

After he reached his century Pant turned on the style by hitting Leach straight for two big sixes.  It was a typical Pant knock.  He blasted the England bowlers to the boundaries, he even blasted James Anderson straight to the boundary.  The thunderous shots were followed by graceful and delicate shots and he  teased the  England fielders as he hit the ball and took a couple of steps down the pitch and changed his mind and returned to his crease.

The left hander Pant stroked Matty Potts to the extra cover boundary in the first over after tea and stood and watched the ball eased past the boundary.   Two balls later  he cut Potts to the point boundary.  

He seemed to pull a hamstring in pulling Potts to fine leg which resulted in him letting loose with a couple of unconventional shots. Despite that he managed to swivel and pulled  Potts for consecutive boundaries.  The first of which brought up the hundred partnership with Jadeja in 21 overs. The second brought up the India two hundred.  He drove Anderson with brutal force straight over the Lancastrian’s head to the boundary. A boundary which was greeted by fireworks outside the ground. 

With thoughts of the fastest 150 against England he tried to heave a wide ball from Joe  Root to the boundary but edged it and Zak Crawley at slip took the catch.

England’s assistant coach Paul Collingwood said: “It was a brave ball but sometimes you have to be a genius or brave to get a wicket. We should have been smarter and kept him off strike but it’s a good wicket and our batters should be excited about batting out there.  But we take our hats off to Pant and to the way he played.”

Jadeja  was the careful accumulator of the partnership but his shot of the partnership was a classic extra cover boundary.  He edged a drive off Potts through the vacant gully area to the boundary.  To take him to 49 he steered Broad to the third man boundary and knocked  the next ball to mid wicket for a single to bring up his fifty from 109 balls with seven fours.

Jadeja pulled Ben  Stokes to bring their 200 partnership, in the previous over Root lost his rag with Pant and bowled him a bouncer which he flicked to the fine leg boundary.

After winning the toss and putting India in, it was Anderson who got the breakthrough in the seventh over when the 21 year old Shubman Gill edged him without moving his feet  and Crawley at second slip took a comfortable catch. Gill was replaced by Hanuma Vihari who was given a working over by Anderson as he mixed bringing the ball into him and leaving him.

Vihari pushed Broad out to Anderson at mid on and set off for a single and nearly sold Cheteshwar Pujara, on eight, down the river as he was slow to respond but Anderson’s throw missed the stumps.

England thought they had got Pujara again this time on 13 when umpire Aleem Dar gave him out caught behind but Pujara was quick to review it. The replay showed it had hit his back leg and was going over.

Vihari got a thick outside edge to Potts but Root at first slip couldn’t take the chance, on six he had another life when he edged  Broad,  this time it was Crawley at second slip diving  to his right  who got  an hand to the comfortable knee height but couldn’t take the chance and Jonny Bairstow at third slip couldn’t take the rebound.

Eventually England and Anderson got a second wicket when Pujara pushed at Anderson and Crawley took a comfortable catch at second slip.  Virat Kohli was booed when he came to the wicket.

Vihari looked like a walking wicket throughout his innings, played  around a straight ball and missed it. He thought about reviewing it but Kohli told him not to bother.

Potts got his second wicket and it was the wicket that England wanted, that of Kohli.  Kohli was caught in two minds whether to leave or play Potts, at the last minute he decided to leave it but it was too late.  He got a thick bottom edge on to his middle stump.  It’s now 18 Tests since Kohli scored a Test century.

Shreyas Iyer fell for the sucker punch. After hitting 15 from nine balls, Anderson moved one of his slips to leg slip, dropped one short down the legside to Iyer who gloved it and Sam Billings took a fantastic one handed catch down the legside.

Shardul Thakur came and went in a blink of an eye, he tried to get his hands out of the way off a short ball from Stokes but failed and Billings took  a good catch diving to his right.

Finally the LV Insurance Fifth Test match from last season got underway.  The match which was cancelled last season because India withdraw because of COVID in their camp.  But the team’s line up for this match were different from those who were going to play at Emirates Old Trafford: both teams have new captains. Stokes has replaced Root and Kohli is no longer captain,- Rohit Sharma  is now the Indian captain but not in this match because he has contacted Coved-19 and the side was captained by Jasprit Bumrah.

England brought in Anderson in for Jamie Overton and Billings who substituted for Ben Foakes in the last two days at Headingley played from the start.  After heavy rain during the night England won the toss and put India in on a humid day.

Day 2

THE second day had everything: runs, wickets and records, the only thing we did have was a full days play courtesy to the rain which interrupted play three times and 49 overs were lost.

India captain Jasprit Bumah,who last year was statistically the worst Test batsman, found himself in the batting records replacing Brian Lara by hitting 29 of one over in a Test match.  After promoting himself to number 10, he went to town against Stuart Broad.

After a wide Bumrah top edged a pull off Broad but the flew over Jack  Leach at third man. In  Broad’s previous over he was dropped on the fine leg boundary by  Zak Crawley before he had scored. Anderson said: “It was one of those things on another day that edge will go to a fielder.  Sometimes it’s easier to bowl at the top order.”

He blasted Broad for four to the long on boundary.  That four was followed by another two fours which brought up the Indian 400 and a six.  Bumrah scrambled a single to take the runs of the over to 35, the most expensive over in Test cricket.  To go with Bumrah’s 29 of them there were six extras.

India’s innings was over after 61 minutes when Mohammed Siraj flat batted  Anderson and Broad at mid off took the catch to give Anderson his 32nd five wicket Test haul. Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj had added 41 in an amazing 2.3 overs.

At the beginning of the day Mohammed Shami got off the mark, when after 18 balls, he pulled Matty  Potts to the mid wicket boundary and what do you know he cut the next ball to the point boundary. He hit another boundary as England kept bowling short balls to him.

On 92 Ravindra  Jadeja top edged a cut off Potts and above the slips to the boundary and he cut the next ball to point boundary to bring up his first century outside India. 

After 30 minutes on the second morning which saw India add 33 England broke the partnership when Mohammed Shami steered Broad to Leach at third man to give Broad his 550th Test wicket.

Jadeja went for a big swing off Anderson and was bowled, during his innings Jadeja passed 2,500 Test runs.

Aderson praised the partnership of Rishab Pant and Jadeja. “I am not sure that we did anything wrong against them, they soaked up all the pressure and that’s what we’ve got to do.  We were expecting Pant to come at us because he’s extremely talented.”

After his exploits with the bat Bumrah struck with the ball in his second over.  His last of his second over was a no ball, when he bowled it again it nipped back, hit Alex Lees’ pad and rebounded into the middle stump. 

Before  Mohammed Shami could bowl the next delivery the umpires took the players off for rain but they returned 77 minutes later. Bumrah got on an hat trick when Crawley edged a drive off him with four slips waiting for the edge and Virat Kohli at first slip pouched the catch.

The rain came back at 1.31 and play resumed at 3.15. For the second time in the innings Bumrah got a wicket with an extra ball after a late no ball was called. This time it was Ollie Pope who had been worked over by Bumrah and the crowd felt a wicket was coming.  Pope drove at a widish length ball and edged it to Iyer at second slip.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow managed to survive till the rain came back for the third time  at 3.55 and play resumed at 6.00 with 15.5 overs left.  Root gracefully stroked Mohammed Shami to the extra cover boundary in the first over after the restart. But neither of them looked comfortable because the Indian bowlers were quicker and more accurate than the New Zealanders. After Mohammed Siraj had replaced Bumrah at the Birmingham end and got Root playing and missing till he top edged a cut to Pant.

With over 20 minutes to go England sent in night watchman Leach.  Before he had scored he edged Mohammed Shami after the ball kept following him but Pant was unable to take the catch.  Leach was soon back in the hutch when he edged Mohammed Shami to give Pant a comfortable catch.

Anderson added: “ We are up against it but we’ve been in this position before this summer but we’ll fight to get back in this game.  I thought we bowled well yesterday but Pant  and Jadeja batted well.

We’ve all got jobs to do at the bottom of the order and put pressure on India.  I think that our best plan of attack tomorrow will be to attack and put pressure on the opposition and move the game forward.”
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Day 3

JONNY  Bairstow hit his third consecutive Test century of the season to keep England in this Test match but at the close they were 257 behind India with seven second innings wickets standing.

Bairstow hit 106 and was easily England’s top scorer, the second highest was Sam Billings who made 36 batting at number eight and shared a seventh wicket partnership of 92.  It was his first century at Edgbaston, his first against India, his fifth in his last eight Tests and his 11th in total after he had been wound up by former India captain Virat Kohli at slip when both umpires had to step in.

Bairstow said: “ There was nothing in it between me and Kohli.  We’ve  been fortunate to play against each other for 10 years and we’ve been very lucky to play for our countries.  We are two very competitive people out there and we play the game passionately and want to do well for our countries.

I am pretty pleased with my innings. It was great fun out there.  They bowled very well last  night and for the first 20 minutes this morning.  It was tricky because the ball was swinging around.  Whatever they set we will go for it but you have to remember that we’ll be batting on a fourth and fifth day pitch. We are putting smiles on people’s faces after COVID. But sometimes we will be beaten but that’s  part and parcel of Test cricket. I  am enjoying my cricket at the moment. It's great fun.”

It was anything but an easy Sunday morning as both Ben  Stokes and Bairstow battled to lay a bat on both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit  Bumrah.  Bairstow had a torrid time against Mohammed Shami when he wasn’t good enough to get an edge and his first runs of the day didn’t come until the fifth over of the morning when he got a three to bring up the England hundred.  

Bairstow played Mohammed Siraj out on the offside and set off for a quick single to bring up his fifty from 81 balls but his next 20 runs came from 11 balls as he threw off the shackles of his slow start to the day.  His next 49 runs came from 38 balls. He clipped Thakur to the mid wicket boundary to bring up his century after Jadeja misfielded on the boundary 

On 78 he chipped Shardul Thakur but the ball fell short off Cheteshwar Pujara at mid wicket. Later he pulled Mohammed  Siraj over square leg for a big six and at the other end he clipped Thakur over mid wicket into the Hollies stand.  

India thought they had him leg before to Thakur on 89 and was given out, Bairstow reviewed it straight away. The replay showed he had got an inside edge to it. Then  Bumrah thought he had trapped Bairstow leg before and reviewed it. But the replay showed it to be missing leg stump.

Bairstow’s 227 minute innings ended when he edged a Mohammed Shami to Kohli at second slip, who took a good catch because the ball was travelling. His 240 included two sixes and 14 fours but not only was it his third consecutive but his third after coming in with England less than 60 for three.

Stokes aggressively went down the pitch to Mohammed Shami for the first boundary of the day.  He was also hit in the unmentionables by Bumrah while Kohli kept chirping in at first slip.

India should have broken the partnership when Stokes on 18 went down the pitch to Mohammed Shami and toe ended it and the ball went straight up in the air. The crowd waited for Thakur at cover to take  the catch but the ball slipped out of his hands like a bar of soap.

Stokes had another life when he drove Thakur to Bumrah at mid off who dropped a dolly but it wasn’t expensive, Stokes  creamed the next ball and Bumrah took a fantastic catch diving to his left.

Stuart Broad top edged a pull off Mohammed Siraj and the ball went miles in the air and Rishabh Pant raced to the stumps to take the catch.

Billings was hardly noticeable in his partnership with Bairstow but he  ramped Mohammed Siraj to the third man boundary.  In the next over he used his feet to Mohammed Shami and lofted him over Shubman Gill at deep mid off for a couple.  His end came when he tried to guide Mohammed Saraj through the slips but got an inside edge and played on.

After hooking Mohammed Siraj  over the fine leg boundary, Marty  Potts pulled the next ball over square leg into the Hollis stand for a six.  Potts backed away from the next ball and edged to Iyer at second slip who claimed a low and juggling catch.  The television couldn’t prove conclusively that he hadn’t taken the catch. Mohammed Siraj  finished with four for 66.

Leading by 132, India lost their first second innings wicket to the third ball when Gill edged a short ball from James  Anderson to Zak Crawley at second slip at a comfortable height.

In the fourth over after tea Hanhari Vihari was tempted by a full length ball from Broad but he edged his drive to Bairstow at second slip.

Kohli, who was greeted by a chorus of boos when he came in, got off the mark with a glorious drive of Broad to the cover boundary.

England went up for a leg before appeal against Pujara on 23 which was turned down, England reviewed it and showed it to be missing.  Pujara edged the next ball  but despite Billings getting his fingertips to it the ball ran to the boundary.

After adding 32 with Pujara and seemingly batting England out of the match, Kohli's run of unusual dismissals continued.  He gloved Stokes and the ball brushed Billings’ gloves and Joe Root at first slip caught the rebound.

Broad appealed for a leg before against Pujara who had nicked it. While Broad turned his back to appeal Root hurled the ball at the bowlers end missed the stumps and Pujara got three over throws. Pujara clipped Root off his legs for a single to bring up his fifty from 139 balls

Day 4

JONNY Bairstow is at it again no century today but he is still there unbeaten on 72 and sharing in an unbroken fourth wicket  partnership of 150 with Joe Root to leave the match in an intriguing position at the end of day four with England needing another 119  to win and India seven more wickets.

They came together after England had lost three quick wickets either side of tea to swing the match back in India’s favour after they had the ball changed.  India captain Jasprit Bumrah brought himself back into the attack with the changed ball and he struck with his fourth ball.  Zak Crawley left one that nipped back and bowled him. With Alex Lees they had made their first hundred partnership and the fastest England opening partnership.

Mohammed Siraj had a plan for Bairstow to bounce him out but Bairstow was wise to it and pulled him for a six  clearing the fine leg fielder that had been placed back for him.  Earlier he clipped Mohammed Sami off his to the fine leg boundary to bring up his fifty from 71 balls, Root’s fifty also came from 71 balls.

Needing 378 to win with 59 overs left in the day, England made an aggressive start to their innings, Lees went down the pitch to Mohammed Shami in his first over who could have dismissed him twice as well in the over.  He reversed swept Ravindra Jadeja to the point boundary to bring up the England fifty in the ninth over.

Lees said: “I wanted to be positive and it’s  my job is to put pressure on the Indian bowlers.”

India thought they had made a breakthrough on 70 in the 15th over when Crawley reversed swept Jadeja and the ball popped up to short leg.  The umpires weren’t sure and reviewed it and the replay showed that Crawley had hit the ball into the ground.

Lees drove Mohammed Siraj off the back foot to the cover boundary to bring up his fifty off 44 balls with seven fours as the Indian fielders looked lacklustre.

Crawley hit consecutive boundaries off Mohammed Siraj: the first through the covers and the through mid wicket.  Then he drove Shardul Thakur to the extra cover boundary.

Fired up by Crawley’s wicket former skipper Virat Kohli urged the Indian fans to get more behind their team.   But they had to wait until after tea when Bumrah got his second wicket of the innings when Ollie Pope edged the first ball after tea and Rishabh Pant took a comfortable low catch.

Lees turned Jadeja round the corner and didn’t move but Root at the non striker's end raced down the pitch.  Lees didn’t know Root was coming till he looked up  and saw Root a few yards from him. Mohammed Sami threw the ball to Jadeja and ran Lees out by a mile.  Lees added: “That was  my second run out so it’s hard to take but he was  gutted for me but I’ve run out players and it’s an awful feeling.

I feel that it’s a good batting wicket and there’s a great belief in the dressing room that we can chase any total down and if we bat well tomorrow for the first 30 or 40 minutes I can’t see there being any other result and we should be in a good position to win the game.”

Bairstow had life on 14 when he edged Mohammed Siraj and the ball flew through the hands of Hanuma Vihari at second slip before he had time to react.  He had another life on 39 when Pant couldn’t on to a  leg glance off Thakur.

If India don’t win this match they may rue that fact that they wasted two reviews which were clearly not out against Root. After finding runs to come by against Mohammed Sami, Bumra and Jadeja both Bairstow and Root found runs a lot easier against Mohammed Siraj and Thakur.  By the 48th over Root and  Bairstow had brought up their 10th century partnership for England.

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathur admitted that it had been a bad day for India.  “When play started we were ahead of the game but we had a pretty ordinary day as far as our batting. We could have batted them out of the game but it didn’t happen. We were expecting one of our batters to get a big score but it didn’t happen.  Unfortunately we couldn’t execute our plans. A lot of our players have to learn how to deal with the short ball.”

Earlier in the day India should have batted England out of the game and it looked like that was India’s plan after it took India a couple of overs before they scored the first boundary of the morning, but there were a couple of soft dismissal’s which could have the door ajar for England. 

Just as it was looking that Cheteshwar Pujara was going to add to his tally of centuries he played a nothing shot to Stuart Broad neither getting over it or under it he ended up slicing it to Lees at point.

Pant pulled James Anderson to the square leg boundary, his first aggressive shot in the ninth over of the morning.  On 45 he edged a drive off Broad and Crawley at second slip dove to his left but couldn’t take the chance with his left hand.

He glanced Broad off his legs to  bring up his fourth Test fifty against England.  This one was  a relative slow one for Pant coming from  76 balls with seven fours.  Then soft dismissal number two when he reversed swept Jack Leach and the ball hit the back of his bat and Root  took the surprised catch at first slip.

Shreyas Iyer looked more confident in his second innings than he did in his first but he fell to another soft dismissal when he had to reach outside his off stump to pull Matty Potts and found Anderson at mid wicket for his 100th Test catch.

When Potts  bowled at Thakur he had a long stop, in Potts’ next over Thakur ducked into a short ball. Thakur's miserable innings ended when he fell for a trap. Potts posted three men out for the catch bowled a short ball and Thakur duly obliged and pulled him to the finer of the three men.  Four balls later Jadeja got a leading edge to Potts but Anderson at mid wicket couldn’t take the catch after two attempts.

While many of the spectators were making their way back from lunch,India lost three wickets for 16 runs in nine overs after lunch.  First to go was India lost Mohammed Sami who top edged a pull off Ben Stokes and found Lees at deep backward square leg.  

With Jadeja taking the bulk of the strike to protect his skipper the runs dried up with six coming in six overs and something had to give.  It did when Jadeja cut Stokes but the ball was too close to him and he played on.

Bumrah added to his total of sixes in the match when he pulled Stokes over fine leg.  He repeated the shot to the next ball but this time he found Crawley on the fine leg boundary.  Those three wickets gave Stokes four wickets for 33.

Lees added: “That spell turned the game on its head before then we could have been chasing 400 or 450.”

Day 5

IT took Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow 90 minutes on the final morning in 21.4 overs to chase down their second highest fourth innings total of 378 to win the fifth Test match by seven wickets to draw the series with India 2-2.

Root was unbeaten on 142 and Bairstow was 114 not out as they broke the fourth wicket stand for England against India,beating the 266 made by W. Hammond and TS Worthington at the Oval in 1936.

Bairstow became the fourth English player to hit four centuries in five matches joining Wally Hammond, Peter Parfit and Graham Gooch.  For a while it looked there would not be enough runs left for Bairstow to reach his century especially when he became tied down by Ravindra Jadeja who was belatedly brought into the attack after 13 overs. 

He reached his century which came from 139 balls in 227 minutes and included 12 fours and a six when he turned Jadeja to the onside and set off a single.  While Bairstow and Root embraced the umpires decided to check on a run out review.

Root said: “Bairstow knows his role in the team now and is now playing with a huge amount of confidence.  It’s great to see him recognise that ability, he is now the full package.  He is capable of doing a lot more than I can ever do and I think the sky’s the limit for  him.

When we came together we had to absorb a lot of pressure and take the sting out of the Indian pressure.  We knew it was going to be a big ask, we had to settle things down until the right time to attack.”

India opened the bowling surprisingly with Mohammed Siraj, whose first two balls to Root were fast and hostile, with a defensive field with only one slip and England added four of it.

After nine balls the ball was changed but only lasted 34 balls it the first of two changes, and Bairstow clattered the first to the point boundary and steered the second ball to the third man boundary.  

Jasprit Bumrah replaced Mohammed Siraj at the Pavilion end and Bairstow drove him for a gorgeous on drive. In the first six overs England added 39 showed that Bairstow and Root wern’t in a mood to hang about.

Root clipped Bumrah to the mid wicket boundary in front of the Hollies stand to bring up the 200 partnership with Bairstow and take him to 98.  He reached his ninth century against India, the most by any player when he dabbed Mohammed  Siraj down and over the slips heads to the boundary. His ton came from 136 balls with 14 fours and was his   28th Test century and he also passed 700 runs for the series.

Root took a couple of places down the pitch to Shardul Thakur and blasted him straight to the boundary and two balls later he ramped him for a six over third man. In Thakur’s next over he creamed him to the cover boundary.

He added: “It’s great. I feel like I did when I started, it’s been an amazing four or five weeks and there’s still potential in the dressing room.  Credit has gone to our batters but a lot of credit also has to go to our bowlers. In the last four matches they have taken 80 wickets and put us in positions to win and give us a chance to chase the runs down.  Before the game  Ben Stokes said ‘We’re not going to bat, we are going to chase’.  When you get that backing you  are full of confidence and because you have done it once it seems all the more believable that you can do it again.  Other teams will be watching what we are doing and will be weary of us.

Root reversed swept Jadeja to the point boundary to put England within one of victory and two balls later he simply collected a single out on the offside.

India coach Raul Dravid said: “It’s disappointing that in the past few months we haven’t been able to take 10 wickets in the second innings.  In this match we didn’t bat as well as we can in our second innings and it’s not up to scratch. We started the match well but we weren’t able to carry that on.

Before the toss there was a covering of grass on the pitch that’s why we decided to leave R Ashwin out.  Even going into the last day the pitch wasn’t breaking up because there weren’t periods of sunshine so the spinner didn’t have a role.  

England have played well in all four of their Test matches this summer and chased down runs because they have two batsmen who are in the form of their lives.  They played really well so it’s hats off to them.  We performed well in three days but you have to put in those performances on all five days.”


July 2, 2022 12:44 pm

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