England vs India 2014 - How India won the Lord's Test to take series lead | gocricket.com
 

How Lord's was conquered

21 Jul 2014, 2030 hrs IST,  ,  gocricket.com  
How Lord's was conquered
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Ishant Sharma took the plaudits, but on day one it was Ajinkya Rahane who rescued India. 
India have bucked the odds to take a 1-0 series lead in the five-Test series by beating hosts England at Lord's by 95 runs on Monday. Here, gocricket.com looks at the individuals and passages of play that helped India end a run of 14 overseas Tests without a win.

Rahane to the rescue

The wheels for success started rolling with the emergence of Ajinkya Rahane, who came out to bat on day one with India precariously placed at 113 for 4 and gutted it out to score 103. Contrary to how his team-mates fared against the swinging delivery on a green top, the 26-year-old looked fairly at ease against the English quicks. He forged a 90-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36) - who got two fifties in the first Test - for the eighth wicket and praised the lower-order batsman for his confidence. Scoring a century at Lord's is something every batsman dreams of and achieving that landmark on your very first Test on the ground makes it all the more special. Rahane can look back at his innings with immense pride.

Bhuvneshwar's six keep India ticking

Having helped India to 295 - his stand with Rahane helped them double their score from 145 for 7 - Bhuvneshwar was in his elements in his primary role: that of India's lead bowler. He bowled 17 of England's first 34 overs faced, taking the wickets of Alastair Cook, Sam Robson and Ian Bell, and then as the shadows lengthened across Lord's he had centurion Gary Ballance caught down the leg side. Bhuvneshwar put India on top on day three with 4 for 46, and then picked up two more on Sunday to finish with a career-best 6 for 82, getting his name onto the Lord's Honours Board.

Vijay's marathon

Murali Vijay's decision to be cautious and watchful has been a real bonus for India on tour, and in the second innings he was a rock around which the innings grew. Batting with Zen-like focus, Vijay kept England's bowlers at bay for 247 deliveries for a watchful 95; he added 78 for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara, but looked on as three wickets fell for five runs on the third evening. Digging even deeper, Vijay batted to 59 at stumps but on the fourth morning lost MS Dhoni and Stuart Binny in a matter of minutes. Unperturbed, he kept his focus as Ravindra Jadeja batted aggressively until falling five runs short of having his name etched onto the Honours Boards. His strike-rate in the second innings was 38.46, but that go-slow approach played a huge role in India pushing for a famous win.

Jadeja-Bhuvneshwar stand rattles England

India moving from a lead of 145 overnight to 318, with 173 coming in 40.1 overs on Sunday, was also massive. And the partnership that really got under England's skin was the one formed by Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar on day four. Jadeja's first fifty in Tests came at a critical time for his team, and by the time he departed - having added 99 in 17 overs with Bhuvneshwar for the eigth wicket - India had moved past a lead of 300. Of those 99 runs, 65 came in eight overs after lunch as Jadeja tucked into James Anderson and Stuart Broad, charging out and swatting with disdain. Jadeja's assault clearly rattled England, but even thought Plunkett rapped his fingers and Anderson clanged his helmet, Jadeja marched on to 68 off 57 balls. Attack was his best form of defence, and how it worked.

Bhuvneshwar too collected a fifty, his third of the series, while batting with an assuredness seldom seen by Indian tailenders. He is, of course, a far better batsman than India's lower order has had for some time, as some of his shots off front foot and back showed. Bhuvneshwar made 52 off 71 balls, helping India to a lead of 318.

Ishant's double dents England

Having bowled well without success - hasn't this been the case for most of his Test career? - in his brief first spell (2-2-0-0), Ishant Sharma returned after tea to help trigger a collapse of three England wickets for two runs in 19 balls. Mohammed Shami prised out Ballance (27) to make it 70 for 1, but Ishant's removal of Bell and Cook left the hosts stunned at 72 for 4. Bell (1) was hurried into a poke from a lovely delivery that hit the stumps, and moments later Cook (22) edged behind to continue his horror run.

England come undone against bounce

Joe Root and Moeen Ali had taken India to within one delivery of a wicketless first session on day five, until Ali poorly fended a short ball from Ishant to short leg. That sparked something in Ishant, who in the afternoon bowled to a ploy of banging the ball in to England's trigger happy batsmen - and it played right into India's hands. Matt Prior went first, picking out deep midwicket; then, in Ishant's next over, Ben Stokes made a meal of a pull and was easily taken at midwicket, followed by Root (66) pulling to deep square leg three balls later. From 198 for 4, England crashed to 201 for 8. Ishant picked up Broad to finish with a career-best 7 for 74 as India won at Lord's after 28 years.

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