'A near perfect Test match for India despite losing toss'

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 30, 2016 15:49 hrs
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It was a near perfect Test match for India despite having lost the toss. They hardly put a foot wrong. The only period of the match where they slipped a little was after tea on day two when they lost three wickets in a heap including that of skipper Virat Kohli. But thanks to their spinners who contributed with the bat, India were able to recover and also take a handy lead of 134. Then their bowlers rattled the English with pace and spin and thus ensured the India didn't have to chase too many in the fourth innings.

Parthiv Patel, who is making a comeback to the Indian team, because of the injury to Wriddhiman Saha, showed that his recall was perfectly justified. He batted superbly in both innings and his glove work behind the stumps was also top class. Unfortunately, the one mistake that the umpires and wicket-keepers do is usually highlighted despite them getting everything else right. Patel's brilliant batting in both innings might actually have solved India's opening problem in case KL Rahul does not recover from his injury.

The one area that India would want to look at is the dismissal of Murali Vijay to the short ball. For an opening batsman getting out three times in six innings is something that needs to be rectified and rectified fast. Everything else went swimmingly for India. Ajinkya Rahane took a fabulous catch at first slip to get rid of the dangerous Joe Root and if the other fielders in the team crouch as low as Rahane does, then they also will be able to take the catches that come near their boot laces.

No praise can be too high for the two Ravis - Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja. Not only with the ball but also with the bat they turned the match for their team. Ashwin guided Jadeja in the earlier part of their partnership ensuring that Jadeja played himself in and not go the bang-bang way that he usually does in Test matches. Jadeja also showed tremendous application and deserved a hundred. If only Ashwin had been batting with him, he would have guided the left-hander to his century. Jadeja's attempt at hitting a six ended in the hands of the long-on fielder and fell short of a first Test century.

Jayant Yadav is also a very good find with a terrific temperament and he did his future chances no harm by cracking a half-century. More importantly he got the wicket of England in-form Jonny Bairstow at the end of day three and then stuck another blow by getting the dangerous Jos Butler caught in the deep. Mohammed Shami's blistering spell blasted the English lower middle order of Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid who had offered some resistance.

It was therefore a complete team performance and that's why it was a near perfect Test match for India.

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